Kenai / Soldotna Points of Interest

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Points of Interest

Here’s our list of places to see wildlife on the Kenai Penin­su­la, as well as tours to get you to the good spots.

Vol­ca­noes not only shaped the face of Alas­ka but also make for spec­tac­u­lar sights. Here are the top vol­ca­noes to look for and pho­to­graph dur­ing your Alas­ka vacation.

Quick: what’s the longest com­bined rail and high­way tun­nel in North Amer­i­ca? It’s the Ander­son Memo­r­i­al Tun­nel, and you’ll dri­ve through it on the scenic and his­toric dri­ve to Whit­ti­er. The Kenai Moun­tains-Tur­na­gain Arm Nation­al Her­itage Area is a place whose val­leys and moun­tains, com­mu­ni­ties and peo­ple tell the larg­er sto­ry of a wild place and a rugged fron­tier. This audio guide gives you the inside scoop on its fas­ci­nat­ing his­to­ry. You’ll…  ...more

Choose this site and you have a good oppor­tu­ni­ty to spot some charis­mat­ic megafau­na.” Moose and cari­bou can often be found graz­ing along this oil­field ser­vice road, which runs adja­cent to some prime wildlife habitat.

Local mush­ers run their teams behind 4 wheel­ers along South Cohoe Loop Road and down to the beach. Even though the road con­tin­ues past this point it becomes too sandy to dri­ve, so park here and walk down to the beach. If the dogs are train­ing you’ll see them whiz past with tongues lolling and sand flying.

Ken Tar­box is your guide to this area. Ken’s a retired fish­ery biol­o­gist for the Alas­ka Depart­ment of Fish and Game. He’s lived in the area for 32 years and would­n’t change a thing about it. 

The city of Kenai has plen­ty of nat­ur­al won­ders going for it: Over­look­ing the mouth of the Kenai Riv­er, it has great views of Cook Inlet as well as miles of sandy beach­es, two moun­tain ranges and four active vol­ca­noes. Soldotna’s twin city has lots of cul­tur­al assets, too. Orig­i­nal­ly set­tled in the eigh­teenth cen­tu­ry by Russ­ian fur traders, the Peninsula’s old­est city has plen­ty of his­toric charm, such as tak­ing a self-guid­ed walk­ing tour…  ...more

Cab­in in the Kenai Nation­al Wildlife Refuge. The trail­head to the cab­in is locat­ed on the Ski­lak Lake Road, mile 7.5 from the east entrance junc­tion with the Ster­ling High­way. The cab­in is locat­ed .2 miles from the road on the Upper Ohmer Lake Trail. 

Difficulty: Easy

If you’re a bird watch­er, you’ll love this half-mile trail of Aspen and Spruce forest.

This 18-mile-long loop grav­el road is the pre­mier wildlife-view­ing area on the Kenai Penin­su­la, and you’ll get spec­tac­u­lar views of lakes and glac­i­ers. Don’t for­get to stop and explore all the nature and wildlife around you! 

The cab­in is locat­ed on the north shore of Engi­neer Lake. The cab­in is south fac­ing over­look­ing the lake sur­round­ed by spruce and birch trees. Two bunk beds, table with bench­es, wood stove, broom, shov­el, water buck­et, fire extin­guish­er, estab­lished camp­fire ring, and outhouse.

This lit­tle town 10 miles north­east of Sol­dot­na shares its name with the high­way that cuts through the Kenai Penin­su­la. Iron­i­cal­ly, one of the best rea­sons to pull over here is to steer a dif­fer­ent kind of vehi­cle: a canoe. The Swan Lake Canoe Route starts 12 miles down Swan Lake Rd and offers a 17-mile float into town on the Moose Riv­er and over 60 miles of lakes and short portages, great for every­thing from day trips to week-long…  ...more

Let’s go cari­bou-spot­ting on the wide open spaces at the mouth of the world-famous riv­er sys­tem. This spot is one of your best bets for view­ing these beau­ti­ful, state­ly beasts.

If you need a moment to your­self, this lone­some lake is a great place to find qui­et soli­tude – and some excel­lent rain­bow trout fish­ing. But that’s not all it’s great for. 

See the small body of water to the right? This is the upper end of Hid­den Lake. Find out what nat­ur­al changes have occurred to it over time. 

Out of ideas for what to do? Check out the log books at this cab­in to see who has stayed here and what they’ve done.

This 18-mile-long loop grav­el road is the pre­mier wildlife-view­ing area on the Kenai Penin­su­la, and you’ll get spec­tac­u­lar views of lakes and glac­i­ers. Don’t for­get to stop and explore all the nature and wildlife around you! 

Would­n’t it be nice to afford a sum­mer home one day? Well, most species of birds have both a sum­mer and win­ter home. Note which bird makes this lake its warm weath­er getaway. 

Camp out at this qui­et, clear­wa­ter lake, where glac­i­ers once stood over 2,000 feet tall

Find out how the sock­eye salmon in this lake ben­e­fit from the clear waters.

This lit­tle town 16 miles north of Kenai makes a nice spot for fam­i­lies to stop for a meal, stock up on sup­plies at M&M Mar­ket, and get advice on local fish­ing hotspots and camp­ing loca­tions. At Cap­tain Cook State Recre­ation Area, 13 miles fur­ther north, you can get a great camp­ing site — with great views of the Cook Inlet, Mt. Spurr, Mt. Redoubt, & Mt. Iliamna. Off the coast in the Cook Inlet, you’ll also see oil platforms,…  ...more

Find­ing your lost pup­py is prob­a­bly eas­i­er than this. Under­stand how refuge staff try to bring moose back to an area. It’s not as sim­ple as putting up posters.

Close to Anchor­age and endowed with abun­dant recre­ation­al oppor­tu­ni­ties, cen­tral Kenai is Alaska’s play­ground. Two high­ways, numer­ous trails, and sev­er­al major rivers slice through the spine of the Kenai Moun­tains. World-class fish­ing, hik­ing, riv­er raft­ing, and canoe­ing – plus alpine lakes and gold his­to­ry – make for an ide­al day trip or week-long vacation. 

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? On this lake it could be either. 

Difficulty: Easy Distance: 3 miles

The Keen-Eye Nature Trail is .75 miles long through a wood­ed area with a side trail lead­ing down to Head­quar­ters Lake. The Cen­ten­ni­al Trail pro­vide an addi­tion­al 1.9 mile loop through a wood­ed area with fur­ther oppor­tu­ni­ty to view wildlife in the area.

Fire can be huge­ly impor­tant in an ecosys­tem. Pyro­ma­ni­acs should note that they’re only pos­i­tive­ly effec­tive when con­trolled and contained. 

Hav­ing trou­ble being effi­cient with all your resources? You could prob­a­bly take a les­son from the ecosys­tem found here. 

Check out this salmon-friend­ly habi­tat and learn why so many salmon spawn here annually. 

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