Photo Credit: Kenai Backcountry Lodge

Where To Stay In the Kenai / Soldotna Area

Adventure Lodges View All

Season: Jun 01 to Sep 15 $1795+ Multi-Day Packages

Alaskan adven­tures and great lodg­ing await at the Great Alaskan Adven­ture Lodge. This all-inclu­sive expe­ri­ence lets you dri­ve or fly in to the prop­er­ty, which sits on 25 acres at the con­flu­ence of two rivers. An old home­stead with cab­ins and lux­u­ry tent options, the lodge makes for a com­fort­able stay. You’ll also find an array of adven­tures — every­thing from great fish­ing to glac­i­er cruis­ing. The own­ers have been per­fect­ing their itin­er­aries for  ...more

Season: May 28 to Sep 08 $109+

This 86-room lodge not only has end­less views over a vast val­ley, but it also sits on the banks of the Kenai Riv­er, which teems with fish. With vault­ed ceil­ings made of nat­u­ral­ly fin­ished wood, cozy sit­ting areas with wood-burn­ing stoves and pri­vate porch­es, it’s easy to feel like the whole place is yours. The area is famous for its fish­ing, but you also have easy access to Kenai Fjords Nation­al Park, a wild land filled with glac­i­ers, marine  ...more

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Fishing Lodges View All

Season: Jun 01 to Sep 01 $2050+ all-inclusive packages

Stay­ing at the remote Kenai Back­coun­try Lodge with­in the Kenai Nation­al Wildlife Refuge offers a real taste of the wilder­ness. The lodge, locat­ed on a five-acre, pri­vate in-hold­ing, began as a riv­er-accessed hunt­ing cab­in back in 1935. Years lat­er, the remod­eled and expand­ed prop­er­ty is still road-free, and guests raft into the lodge. Alas­ka Wild­land Adven­tures pride them­selves on a leave no trace’ style of eco-tourism. 

Season: Jun 01 to Sep 15 $1795+ Multi-Day Packages

Alaskan adven­tures and great lodg­ing await at the Great Alaskan Adven­ture Lodge. This all-inclu­sive expe­ri­ence lets you dri­ve or fly in to the prop­er­ty, which sits on 25 acres at the con­flu­ence of two rivers. An old home­stead with cab­ins and lux­u­ry tent options, the lodge makes for a com­fort­able stay. You’ll also find an array of adven­tures — every­thing from great fish­ing to glac­i­er cruis­ing. The own­ers have been per­fect­ing their itin­er­aries for  ...more

Season: Jun 01 to Aug 31
$2195+
2 - 5 days
Land Package Type: Wilderness Lodge Vacations

Spend 2 – 5 days in hi-tech tent cab­ins” with heat, light and bath­rooms, along with gourmet meals, knowl­edge­able local guides, and spec­tac­u­lar scenery.

Season: May 24 to Sep 15 $65+ 2 to 7 hrs

Alas­ka Wild­land Adven­tures pio­neered float­ing the mel­low, turquoise Kenai Riv­er and has oper­at­ed con­tin­u­ous­ly since 1977. Join them for a serene 2‑hour float, or take on a 7‑hour adven­ture, com­plete with fun Class II+ rapids and a cruise through a glacial lake. AWA’s Kenai Riv­er Scenic Float Trip offers a nice intro­duc­tion to the riv­er, tak­ing you along a stretch of the scenic Upper Kenai closed to motor­ized boats. Watch for wildlife as your  ...more

Locat­ed on the banks of the Kenai Riv­er and open 7 days a week in the sum­mer. Stop by and pick up a Sol­dot­na Vis­i­tors Guide as well as view pho­tos from all over the Kenai Penin­su­la. Don’t miss the exhib­it on the world record king salmon — 97 pound, 4 ounces!

Season: Year Round $157+ Lodging, $1297+ All-Inclusive Fishing Packages

The logo for the Sol­dot­na B&B Lodge says it all: a guest who’s loung­ing in bed — while also fish­ing. This fam­i­ly-run fish­ing lodge direct­ly on the Kenai Riv­er offers a relax­ing place to soak up the sights and sounds of nature, while also deliv­er­ing a front-row oppor­tu­ni­ty to do some of Alaska’s most famous, excit­ing fish­ing. All stays car­ry a two-night min­i­mum, but most guests stay longer (an aver­age of 5 – 7 days), which is easy to do giv­en the  ...more

Season: Jun 01 to Sep 01
$4795+
Visits: Anchorage, Nondalton, Soldotna, Seward, Kasilof, Cooper Landing
Land Package Type: Wilderness Lodge Vacations

World class fish­ing, an overnight expe­ri­ence at Bear Camp, and a glac­i­er and wildlife cruise come togeth­er to cre­ate the ulti­mate week of adven­ture for you and your family. 

Season: Jun 01 to Aug 31
$7395
Visits: Nondalton, Moose Pass, Seward, Cooper Landing, Homer, Sterling, Talkeetna, Healy, Anchorage
Land Package Type: Wilderness Lodge Vacations

Com­bine a stay at Great Alas­ka Adven­ture Lodge with an amaz­ing stay at their pri­vate, fly-in wilder­ness Bear Camp plus 3 days tour­ing Denali for that per­fect blend of adven­ture and vari­ety with­out con­stant trav­el or the dread­ed bus tour” feel. Expe­ri­ence glac­i­er cruis­ing, wild bear view­ing, Wilder­ness hik­ing, and end of the road” touring.

This spot, just north of Ster­ling, is pri­mar­i­ly a boat launch, but it also offers excel­lent sock­eye fish­ing. It’s locat­ed at the end of Bing’s Land­ing Road: There’s a park­ing lot, but when the fish­ing is hot, you can expect to park along­side the road, up to half a mile away from the boat launch site. (Anoth­er rea­son you might park on the road: The lot near the boat launch has a fee.)

Each head of house­hold is allowed to keep 25 sock­eye salmon per year, and every addi­tion­al mem­ber of the fam­i­ly is enti­tled to 10 fish.

Season: May 28 to Sep 08 $109+

This 86-room lodge not only has end­less views over a vast val­ley, but it also sits on the banks of the Kenai Riv­er, which teems with fish. With vault­ed ceil­ings made of nat­u­ral­ly fin­ished wood, cozy sit­ting areas with wood-burn­ing stoves and pri­vate porch­es, it’s easy to feel like the whole place is yours. The area is famous for its fish­ing, but you also have easy access to Kenai Fjords Nation­al Park, a wild land filled with glac­i­ers, marine  ...more

This spot in Ster­ling — at mile­post 82.3 at the Isaak Wal­ton Camp­ground — is where the Moose Riv­er meets the Kenai Riv­er, and the two rivers’ dif­fer­ing paces are dras­tic. The Moose Riv­er is very slow and wide, with almost no cur­rent — so much so that it feels more like a lake. The Kenai Riv­er, on the oth­er hand, flows fair­ly swift­ly in com­par­i­son, and the con­flu­ence can play strange tricks on your tackle. 

Season: May 25 to Sep 15 $410+ 2 to 3 hrs

Fly out of Sol­dot­na with Natron’s own­er and pilot, Tim. You’ll soar over the Cook Inlet towards Mt. Iliamna Vol­cano and land on a beach, right where the bears are. You’ll watch them play­ing and clam­ming and be close enough to take amaz­ing photos.

For many Alaskans, trav­el by plane is essen­tial for work, get­ting to med­ical appoint­ments in the big city, or con­nect­ing with fam­i­ly in anoth­er part of the state. For vis­i­tors, plane trav­el helps max­i­mize their lim­it­ed time explor­ing the state, show­cas­es spec­tac­u­lar views of the land, and gives an authen­tic peek into Alaskans’ air-cen­tric lifestyle. Ravn Alaska’s net­work offers flights to major Alas­ka cities such as Anchor­age and Fairbanks,  ...more

Def­i­nite­ly keep your eyes open here, there’s vol­ca­noes, bel­u­ga whales, har­bor seals, and tons of birdlife to be seen — depend­ing on the sea­son and weath­er, of course. Extra cred­it if you spot an owl!

Season: Jun 01 to Sep 10
$8795+
11 Days / 10 Nights
Land Package Type: Wilderness Lodge Vacations

Expe­ri­ence up close and per­son­al brown bear view­ing at the pri­vate BearCamp, world class fish­ing from the Great Alas­ka Adven­ture Lodge, glac­i­ers, 3 nation­al parks and much more over 11 mem­o­rable days.

Season: June - Sept $295+ per person Half-Day to Full-Day

Don’t miss this oppor­tu­ni­ty to go fish­ing for Alaskan salmon in beau­ti­ful rivers. This easy, one-day trip departs from Anchor­age; you’ll dri­ve over moun­tain pass­es and along the Cook Inlet to the Great Alas­ka Adven­ture Lodge where you’ll have lunch. Then it’s out to the con­flu­ence of two rivers with the lodge’s expert guides, where you’ll cast your line for famous salmon — king, sock­eye, sil­ver, or pink, depend­ing on the sea­son. Or choose a one-day  ...more

Sol­dot­na Park, in down­town Sol­dot­na, offers all Kenai Riv­er species — but most peo­ple are here for the sock­eye. That means it can get crowd­ed dur­ing peak sock­eye sea­son, but it’s also a good place to learn how to fish for sock­eye. The com­bi­na­tion of easy acces­si­bil­i­ty, hard-packed grav­el and a shal­low grade make the fish­ing enjoyable.

Locat­ed down Beaver Loop Road, just out­side of Kenai, Cun­ning­ham Park is a great, easy-access loca­tion for sock­eye and sil­ver salmon. The shore­line here is a mix of grav­el and mud, with the mud being more preva­lent below the tidal zone. That said, this spot is very tidal depen­dent, so you’ll have to con­tin­u­al­ly adjust your bait set­up as the water ris­es or falls. 

Season: Mid-May through mid-to-late September $225+ Half-Day to Multi-Day

Feel the thrill of world-class salmon and trout fish­ing on Alaska’s Kenai Penin­su­la with expe­ri­enced, pas­sion­ate guides. You’ll get out on the Kenai and Kasilof Rivers, just hours from Anchor­age, with a team that knows where the fish will be run­ning each day. Spend a day, or make it a mul­ti-day trip with a cus­tom pack­age that includes lodg­ing on the river.

Season: Jun 01 to Oct 20 $175+ 3-8 hours

Where can you find the biggest salmon, on aver­age, in the entire world? In the Kenai Riv­er. And The Riv­er Crew, based in Sol­dot­na, can take you to some secret spots on the famous riv­er to fish for salmon and trout — whether you’re an expe­ri­enced angler or not.

This spot is par­tic­u­lar­ly good for any­one who’s mobil­i­ty impaired, since you access the riv­er by a flat, met­al board­walk — and the actu­al fish­ing area is also from the board­walk. This makes Moose Mead­ows one of a very few places where anglers can fish for sock­eye with­out hav­ing to be in the water — you can do excel­lent even from a wheel chair. 

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

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

Season: Year Round $250+ 1.25 hrs

Natron Air’s own­er and only pilot, Tim, can take you flight­see­ing to some of Alaska’s most beau­ti­ful places: the Hard­ing Ice­field and Mt. Redoubt Vol­cano. You can also opt for a bear-view­ing tour that includes a beach land­ing, where you can pho­to­graph bears in their nat­ur­al environment.

Season: Jun 01 to Aug 31 $2195+ All-inclusive, multi-day Adventures

Alas­ka bear camp is mag­i­cal­ly hid­den in a rare Crit­i­cal Bear Habi­tat in the wilder­ness of Lake Clark Nation­al Park. Instead of hun­dreds, only 16 priv­i­leged guests observe the won­der of up to 50 brown Bears liv­ing out their dai­ly dra­ma. Due to the beau­ty of the loca­tion and the excep­tion­al bear pop­u­la­tion, the deluxe camp, with en suite biffies, beds with mat­tress­es and food flown in dai­ly, was used as a base camp for the Dis­ney movie Bears.  ...more

You’ll either enjoy a peace­ful walk through a seclud­ed and beau­ti­ful estu­ary ripe with birdlife — or have a ring­side seat at the annu­al salmon dip­net­ting extrav­a­gan­za, fea­tur­ing hordes of crazed locals armed with 10-foot poles. The beach road emerges from the for­est at a riv­er-mouth lined by dunes, tidal­ly influ­enced beach, an estu­ary and broad salt marsh.

The City of Kenai’s vis­i­tor cen­ter goes well beyond a per­son at a counter hand­ing out maps. You’ll find an impres­sive per­ma­nent col­lec­tion of Native Alaskan and local his­to­ry arti­facts, art exhibits, as well as the largest col­lec­tion of mount­ed bald eagles in North Amer­i­ca. The gift shop fea­tures sou­venirs, maps, books, music, and local­ly pro­duced items. And, indeed, friend­ly staffers dis­trib­ute infor­ma­tion on local lodg­ing, tours and…  ...more

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

Whether you wish you’d caught more fish when you vis­it­ed the Kenai Penin­su­la — or you just want easy access to excel­lent fish at about half the usu­al retail price —this fish­ery in Kasilof is a great find. The fam­i­ly-owned fish­ery — a his­toric site first estab­lished in the 1930s —offers fresh-caught wild salmon and oth­er fish at har­vester prices. They sell whole fish, and you get the sat­is­fac­tion of pick­ing your own fish from their catch if you’re…  ...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.

The Kenaitze Indi­an Tribe’s Dena’ina ances­tors, rec­og­niz­ing the abun­dance of the place called Yagha­nen, the good land,” set­tled along the banks of its rivers and Tikaht­nu (Cook Inlet). In the past sev­er­al years, one loca­tion the Kenaitze Tribe has focused on is Sqi­lant­nu, mean­ing the gro­cery store,” locat­ed in the area now called Coop­er Land­ing. Today, Kenaitze Indi­an Tribe part­ners with the Chugach Nation­al For­est to pre­serve, pro­tect and  ...more

Thou­sands of sock­eye salmon migrate up Hid­den Creek each year in late July and ear­ly August. With salmon come bears to feed on them. As you dri­ve through this area, you may be able to spot bears at the Ski­lak Road cross­ing of the creek near the Hid­den Lake Camp­ground turnoff. 

The Chal­lenger Learn­ing Cen­ter of Alas­ka was cre­at­ed to meet the edu­ca­tion­al needs of stu­dents through­out Alas­ka. Using sim­u­lat­ed space and earth sci­ence mis­sions, dis­tance edu­ca­tion and hands-on work­shops, the CLCA inspires youth to devel­op an inter­est in sci­ence, tech­nol­o­gy, engi­neer­ing and math (STEM), and to con­sid­er careers in these fields. Using space and earth sci­ences as a medi­um, par­tic­i­pants work in an envi­ron­ment that spans the…  ...more

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. 

Stretch your legs here and check out one of the favorite rest stops for thou­sands of Kenai Riv­er salmon on their jour­ney home. We’ll also seek out giant trum­peter swans, red-necked grebes, and of course, fish­ers of anoth­er species — humans. Here at the con­flu­ence, the two rivers reveal their source waters in a very clear visu­al demonstration.

This park is the con­flu­ence of the Kenai and Moose Rivers. Take a break at this recre­ation site named for the Eng­lish author Iza­ak Wal­ton who wrote The Com­pleat Angler. Look for the infor­ma­tion­al sign to learn about the Moose Riv­er Archae­o­log­i­cal Site. You will also find a host­ed camp­ground and boat launch. There’s excel­lent fly-fish­ing in this area.

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!

Difficulty: Easy

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

Serv­ing up local­ly brewed beers in a fun, fam­i­ly-friend­ly pub atmos­phere, St. Elias is a favorite with locals and trav­el­ers. It draws a crowd and can get loud and a lit­tle wild if they have live music. But with­out a band, it’s a fun, hap­pen­ing place. They have a great deck for nice after­noons, serve sam­pler flights of their beer and have great piz­za and big salads.

Stop off here dur­ing the sum­mer for an eagle’s eye view of an annu­al Alaskan fish­ing fren­zy. We real­ly love our salmon, and it shows! Or, just count the bald eagles cir­cling high overhead.

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. 

Sounds Wild: Moth­er Bat­sThis recre­ation­al site has a series of loop trails that pass two small lakes. Park in the park­ing lot and take the path to your left as you face the build­ings; this will lead you to the trail­head. The trail is great for view­ing wood­land birds and loons on the lake. As evening approach­es, look for bats fly­ing over the lake feed­ing on insects. Bats are hard to see because they are very secre­tive and do not become active…  ...more

Sol­dot­na His­tor­i­cal Soci­ety, locat­ed on Cen­ten­ni­al Park Road, fea­tures a wildlife muse­um and his­toric log vil­lage. Among the log build­ings is the last ter­ri­to­r­i­al school built in 1958, where stu­dents stud­ied by the light of gas lanterns, still hang­ing in the school. Sol­dot­na’s foun­ing set­tlers arrived in 1947. The hab­it­able dwellings” which enti­tled two of these first home­stead­ers to 160 acres from what is now mid-town Sol­dot­na are part of…  ...more

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

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.

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. 

Although this cab­in is not acces­si­ble from the road sys­tem, it bears men­tion­ing as a Nation­al His­toric Site in the Cor­ri­dor. Har­ry A. John­son arrived in Seward in 1904 from Erie, Penn­syl­va­nia. A 30-year-old black­smith, he came north to help build the railroad. 

Difficulty: Moderate

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

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

Difficulty: Moderate Distance: 4 miles

Nation­al chain with great local perks

Sounds Wild: Eagles Life­time MatesWant to see a soar­ing eagle up close? Stop at this site near the senior cen­ter and walk out toward the bluff – not too close as the bluff is erod­ing. Eagles play in the wind along the bluff. If not fly­ing they can be seen on the mud flats at low tide– look­ing for food that has washed downstream.More Information   ...more

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

Sounds Wild: Alaska’s Drag­on­sWat­son Lake is a shal­low lake that is full of veg­e­ta­tion – just the right spot for drag­on­flies and oth­er crit­ters. Stand­ing at the boat launch and camp­ing area, look out across the lake for these large fly­ing insects. Red-necked grebes, rusty black­birds and loons are also found on the lake. Most lakes on the Kenai Penin­su­la can be a good spot for dragonflies.More Information   ...more

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. 

This Kenai Penin­su­la lake is a great place to take the fam­i­ly for a quick mid­day swim. There is ample park­ing with direct water access. 

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

As the sis­ter city of Kenai, the town of Sol­dot­na is in many ways the heart of the Kenai Penin­su­la. As proof of its fish­ing mec­ca sta­tus, the 97-lb world record salmon was caught here; you’ll find more ele­vat­ed fish­ing plat­forms here than any­where else, which helps pro­tect the waters for fish and anglers to come. One hun­dred forty miles from Anchor­age, Sol­dot­na offers pret­ty much any activ­i­ty that fits with the Kenai’s play­ground” vibe,…  ...more

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.

Big-screen tele­vi­sions for the game. It’s fun and loud when it’s busy and serves up stan­dard pub food. If you’re look­ing for a sports bar, this is the only one. If you’re look­ing for food along­side the game, get a burg­er. The menu is aver­age and can be hit or miss, but the burg­ers are con­sis­tent­ly big and juicy, and can be ordered with buf­fa­lo, elk or caribou.

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. 

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.

Not Steinbeck’s clas­sic nov­el, but a fan­tas­tic adven­ture, com­muning with a 30,000-member her­ring gull colony. It’s a one-of-a-kind expe­ri­ence you won’t want to miss.

Sounds Wild: Pond-Bot­tom MooseThe wet­lands where the Kenai Spur High­way cross­es Beaver Creek are great for view­ing moose in the ear­ly morn­ing or late evening. Like most streams on the Kenai Penin­su­la, the stream­side veg­e­ta­tion con­sists of wil­lows- a favorite food of moose. Look to your right as you head toward Kenai and check out all the wet­land areas for the next cou­ple of miles.More Information   ...more

This 1616 cab­in is locat­ed on the north bank of Big Indi­an Creek. This cab­in offers seclu­sion and the oppor­tu­ni­ty to explore the remote north­east inte­ri­or of the Refuge. Wildlife includes moose, black and brown bears and wolves. Hunt­ing and trap­ping is allowed. In the win­ter there is cross-coun­ty ski­ing and snow­shoe­ing. Review Alas­ka depart­ment of Fish and Game hunt­ing and fish­ing regulations. 

Known as Alaska’s Play­ground, the Kenai Penin­su­la is one of the state’s most beau­ti­ful and acces­si­ble areas. A wealth of roads and trails offers the poten­tial for amaz­ing wildlife view­ing: birds, seabirds, whales, bears, moose, and cari­bou are all here. Of course, these crit­ters don’t just mag­i­cal­ly appear when you walk by. So we con­sult­ed long­time wildlife biol­o­gists to put togeth­er an audio guide to three dozen hot spots that offer the best…  ...more

Attached to the Sol­dot­na Inn, Mykel’s has the rep­u­ta­tion for the best prime rib din­ners on the Kenai Penin­su­la. They also do high qual­i­ty salmon, hal­ibut and seafood din­ners. It’s a fine din­ing expe­ri­ence, Alaskan style, with white linens on the table, but it also has booths and feels cozy and casu­al. Locals cel­e­brate anniver­saries and oth­er spe­cial nights here because of the fine food and nice atmos­phere. It’s expen­sive, but they have a…  ...more

The Ster­ling High­way begins at the Tern Lake Junc­tion of the Seward High­way and stretch­es 142 miles to the town of Homer

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

Sounds Wild: Cari­bou Cari­bou can be seen any­where on the Kenai Riv­er estu­ar­ine area but are more fre­quent­ly seen on the east side of the Bridge Access Road. They have their calves here in the spring and feed the rest of the sum­mer and fall. They are com­mon­ly seen but there are no guar­an­tees with cari­bou. More Information 

Built between 1894 – 96, the Holy Assump­tion Ortho­dox Church is the most endur­ing exam­ple of Russ­ian cul­ture in south cen­tral Alas­ka. For the Kenaitze Indi­ans, who once com­prised a sig­nif­i­cant por­tion of the pop­u­la­tion, this church con­sti­tut­ed a major link to west­ern cul­ture. A sim­ple, wood-frame struc­ture with clap­board sid­ing, Holy Assump­tion Church fea­tures a square two-sto­ry bell tow­er and a dis­tinc­tive crown-shaped cupo­la, both with the…  ...more

Difficulty: Easy Distance: 2 miles

Join us as we drift down­stream through one of the world’s most beau­ti­ful fresh­wa­ter salmon fish­eries, pass­ing grav­el bars left by a glacial flood, migrat­ing salmon, brown bears, and human fish­ers as you float on by.

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

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

A fam­i­ly-run place that’s been around for 40 years, Par­adis­o’s serves up Ital­ian and Greek food, plus seafood and even some Mex­i­can. They’re best known for their piz­za and Greek food, but you can score a good seafood din­ner here on the right night. Ask the staff. The locals come for the Greek food, which is scarce on the Kenai.

Sounds Wild: Spar­rows­Sa­van­nah spar­rows love to sing and hide in the grass. How­ev­er, some­times they will perch on a fence, small trees or brush piles in this estu­ar­ine area. Walk along the beach toward the Kasilof Riv­er and look at the large flats to your right. In addi­tion to spar­rows you will see arc­tic terns, numer­ous her­ring, mew gulls and migrat­ing shore­birds in the spring and fall.More Information   ...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.

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.

Soldotna’s home­stead­ers arrived in 1947, vis­it the Sol­dot­na Home­stead Muse­um and take a look at some of the area’s ear­ly home­stead cab­ins. The muse­um also fea­tures hand­made uten­sils and pio­neer objects as well as Alas­ka Native arti­facts, boats and the orig­i­nal school­house. Hours Sum­mer only or by appt. Admis­sion No admis­sion fee, dona­tions accepted.

Recent­ly recon­struct­ed from two lanes of traf­fic to four, this is one of only three bridges that span the Kenai River.

Difficulty: Moderate

Dif­fi­cul­ty: Mod­er­ate Dis­tance: 5 – 50 miles Ele­va­tion Gain: Less than 500ft Type: Out-and-Back Fea­tures: Kid Friendly

At the Sol­dot­na dump you can some­times see sev­er­al hun­dred eagles at once. 

This is a pop­u­lar attrac­tion with wildlife exhibits, free wildlife films, and rangers avail­able to answer about recre­ation and camp­ing in the refuge. Take a short walk down the nature trail to a view­ing plat­form. Use the spot­ting scope to look for wildlife on Head­quar­ters Lake.

In 1906 the chapel was built to hon­or Father Igu­men Nico­lai and Makary Ivanov. Fr. Nico­lai, Kenai’s first priest, brought small pox vac­cine, which saved the lives of hun­dreds of Dena’i­na. The chapel is on the site of the orig­i­nal 1849 church, locat­ed in the north­west cor­ner of the Russ­ian fur trad­ing post of Fort St. Nicholas.

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. 

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! 

Difficulty: Easy

The trail is half a mile long and takes you through a mature birch for­est that is car­pet­ed with dev­il’s club and water­mel­on berry plants. It’s an easy walk­ing, ide­al for small chil­dren, and ends at a small camp­ing area on a slight bluff that over­looks Bish­op’s Beach and Bish­op Creek.

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.

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! 

Walk out to the board­walks along the Kenai Riv­er, learn about river­ine habi­tat and the salmon life­cy­cle, and wit­ness the time­less dance of hunter and hunt­ed, of fish and fish­er. One year-round res­i­dent here will impress you with their win­ter sur­vival skills.

Includes bear lock­er and fire ring. 

Many events are held here through­out the year, the largest being the Kenai Penin­su­la Fair held annu­al­ly the 3rd week­end in August. Locals call this the biggest lit­tle fair in Alas­ka. The fes­tiv­i­ties include a rodeo, parade, live­stock com­pe­ti­tion, horse show and exhibits rang­ing from arts and crafts to produce.

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Hotels & Lodges View All

Season: Year Round $157+ Lodging, $1297+ All-Inclusive Fishing Packages

The logo for the Sol­dot­na B&B Lodge says it all: a guest who’s loung­ing in bed — while also fish­ing. This fam­i­ly-run fish­ing lodge direct­ly on the Kenai Riv­er offers a relax­ing place to soak up the sights and sounds of nature, while also deliv­er­ing a front-row oppor­tu­ni­ty to do some of Alaska’s most famous, excit­ing fish­ing. All stays car­ry a two-night min­i­mum, but most guests stay longer (an aver­age of 5 – 7 days), which is easy to do giv­en the  ...more

Season: May 28 to Sep 08 $109+

This 86-room lodge not only has end­less views over a vast val­ley, but it also sits on the banks of the Kenai Riv­er, which teems with fish. With vault­ed ceil­ings made of nat­u­ral­ly fin­ished wood, cozy sit­ting areas with wood-burn­ing stoves and pri­vate porch­es, it’s easy to feel like the whole place is yours. The area is famous for its fish­ing, but you also have easy access to Kenai Fjords Nation­al Park, a wild land filled with glac­i­ers, marine  ...more

Season: Jun 01 to Sep 01 $2050+ all-inclusive packages

Stay­ing at the remote Kenai Back­coun­try Lodge with­in the Kenai Nation­al Wildlife Refuge offers a real taste of the wilder­ness. The lodge, locat­ed on a five-acre, pri­vate in-hold­ing, began as a riv­er-accessed hunt­ing cab­in back in 1935. Years lat­er, the remod­eled and expand­ed prop­er­ty is still road-free, and guests raft into the lodge. Alas­ka Wild­land Adven­tures pride them­selves on a leave no trace’ style of eco-tourism. 

Season: Jun 01 to Sep 15 $1795+ Multi-Day Packages

Alaskan adven­tures and great lodg­ing await at the Great Alaskan Adven­ture Lodge. This all-inclu­sive expe­ri­ence lets you dri­ve or fly in to the prop­er­ty, which sits on 25 acres at the con­flu­ence of two rivers. An old home­stead with cab­ins and lux­u­ry tent options, the lodge makes for a com­fort­able stay. You’ll also find an array of adven­tures — every­thing from great fish­ing to glac­i­er cruis­ing. The own­ers have been per­fect­ing their itin­er­aries for  ...more

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RV Parks & Campgrounds View All

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

Difficulty: Easy

The trail is half a mile long and takes you through a mature birch for­est that is car­pet­ed with dev­il’s club and water­mel­on berry plants. It’s an easy walk­ing, ide­al for small chil­dren, and ends at a small camp­ing area on a slight bluff that over­looks Bish­op’s Beach and Bish­op Creek.

Includes bear lock­er and fire ring. 

This park is the con­flu­ence of the Kenai and Moose Rivers. Take a break at this recre­ation site named for the Eng­lish author Iza­ak Wal­ton who wrote The Com­pleat Angler. Look for the infor­ma­tion­al sign to learn about the Moose Riv­er Archae­o­log­i­cal Site. You will also find a host­ed camp­ground and boat launch. There’s excel­lent fly-fish­ing in this area.

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

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

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Bed & Breakfasts View All

Season: Year Round $157+ Lodging, $1297+ All-Inclusive Fishing Packages

The logo for the Sol­dot­na B&B Lodge says it all: a guest who’s loung­ing in bed — while also fish­ing. This fam­i­ly-run fish­ing lodge direct­ly on the Kenai Riv­er offers a relax­ing place to soak up the sights and sounds of nature, while also deliv­er­ing a front-row oppor­tu­ni­ty to do some of Alaska’s most famous, excit­ing fish­ing. All stays car­ry a two-night min­i­mum, but most guests stay longer (an aver­age of 5 – 7 days), which is easy to do giv­en the  ...more

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Wilderness Lodges View All

Locat­ed on the banks of the Kenai Riv­er and open 7 days a week in the sum­mer. Stop by and pick up a Sol­dot­na Vis­i­tors Guide as well as view pho­tos from all over the Kenai Penin­su­la. Don’t miss the exhib­it on the world record king salmon — 97 pound, 4 ounces!

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.

Season: Jun 01 to Sep 01
$4795+
Visits: Anchorage, Nondalton, Soldotna, Seward, Kasilof, Cooper Landing
Land Package Type: Wilderness Lodge Vacations

World class fish­ing, an overnight expe­ri­ence at Bear Camp, and a glac­i­er and wildlife cruise come togeth­er to cre­ate the ulti­mate week of adven­ture for you and your family. 

Season: Mid-May through mid-to-late September $225+ Half-Day to Multi-Day

Feel the thrill of world-class salmon and trout fish­ing on Alaska’s Kenai Penin­su­la with expe­ri­enced, pas­sion­ate guides. You’ll get out on the Kenai and Kasilof Rivers, just hours from Anchor­age, with a team that knows where the fish will be run­ning each day. Spend a day, or make it a mul­ti-day trip with a cus­tom pack­age that includes lodg­ing on the river.

Season: Jun 01 to Aug 31
$7395
Visits: Nondalton, Moose Pass, Seward, Cooper Landing, Homer, Sterling, Talkeetna, Healy, Anchorage
Land Package Type: Wilderness Lodge Vacations

Com­bine a stay at Great Alas­ka Adven­ture Lodge with an amaz­ing stay at their pri­vate, fly-in wilder­ness Bear Camp plus 3 days tour­ing Denali for that per­fect blend of adven­ture and vari­ety with­out con­stant trav­el or the dread­ed bus tour” feel. Expe­ri­ence glac­i­er cruis­ing, wild bear view­ing, Wilder­ness hik­ing, and end of the road” touring.

The City of Kenai’s vis­i­tor cen­ter goes well beyond a per­son at a counter hand­ing out maps. You’ll find an impres­sive per­ma­nent col­lec­tion of Native Alaskan and local his­to­ry arti­facts, art exhibits, as well as the largest col­lec­tion of mount­ed bald eagles in North Amer­i­ca. The gift shop fea­tures sou­venirs, maps, books, music, and local­ly pro­duced items. And, indeed, friend­ly staffers dis­trib­ute infor­ma­tion on local lodg­ing, tours and…  ...more

For many Alaskans, trav­el by plane is essen­tial for work, get­ting to med­ical appoint­ments in the big city, or con­nect­ing with fam­i­ly in anoth­er part of the state. For vis­i­tors, plane trav­el helps max­i­mize their lim­it­ed time explor­ing the state, show­cas­es spec­tac­u­lar views of the land, and gives an authen­tic peek into Alaskans’ air-cen­tric lifestyle. Ravn Alaska’s net­work offers flights to major Alas­ka cities such as Anchor­age and Fairbanks,  ...more

This spot in Ster­ling — at mile­post 82.3 at the Isaak Wal­ton Camp­ground — is where the Moose Riv­er meets the Kenai Riv­er, and the two rivers’ dif­fer­ing paces are dras­tic. The Moose Riv­er is very slow and wide, with almost no cur­rent — so much so that it feels more like a lake. The Kenai Riv­er, on the oth­er hand, flows fair­ly swift­ly in com­par­i­son, and the con­flu­ence can play strange tricks on your tackle. 

Season: Jun 01 to Sep 01 $2050+ all-inclusive packages

Stay­ing at the remote Kenai Back­coun­try Lodge with­in the Kenai Nation­al Wildlife Refuge offers a real taste of the wilder­ness. The lodge, locat­ed on a five-acre, pri­vate in-hold­ing, began as a riv­er-accessed hunt­ing cab­in back in 1935. Years lat­er, the remod­eled and expand­ed prop­er­ty is still road-free, and guests raft into the lodge. Alas­ka Wild­land Adven­tures pride them­selves on a leave no trace’ style of eco-tourism. 

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

Season: May 24 to Sep 15 $65+ 2 to 7 hrs

Alas­ka Wild­land Adven­tures pio­neered float­ing the mel­low, turquoise Kenai Riv­er and has oper­at­ed con­tin­u­ous­ly since 1977. Join them for a serene 2‑hour float, or take on a 7‑hour adven­ture, com­plete with fun Class II+ rapids and a cruise through a glacial lake. AWA’s Kenai Riv­er Scenic Float Trip offers a nice intro­duc­tion to the riv­er, tak­ing you along a stretch of the scenic Upper Kenai closed to motor­ized boats. Watch for wildlife as your  ...more

Season: Year Round $157+ Lodging, $1297+ All-Inclusive Fishing Packages

The logo for the Sol­dot­na B&B Lodge says it all: a guest who’s loung­ing in bed — while also fish­ing. This fam­i­ly-run fish­ing lodge direct­ly on the Kenai Riv­er offers a relax­ing place to soak up the sights and sounds of nature, while also deliv­er­ing a front-row oppor­tu­ni­ty to do some of Alaska’s most famous, excit­ing fish­ing. All stays car­ry a two-night min­i­mum, but most guests stay longer (an aver­age of 5 – 7 days), which is easy to do giv­en the  ...more

Def­i­nite­ly keep your eyes open here, there’s vol­ca­noes, bel­u­ga whales, har­bor seals, and tons of birdlife to be seen — depend­ing on the sea­son and weath­er, of course. Extra cred­it if you spot an owl!

You’ll either enjoy a peace­ful walk through a seclud­ed and beau­ti­ful estu­ary ripe with birdlife — or have a ring­side seat at the annu­al salmon dip­net­ting extrav­a­gan­za, fea­tur­ing hordes of crazed locals armed with 10-foot poles. The beach road emerges from the for­est at a riv­er-mouth lined by dunes, tidal­ly influ­enced beach, an estu­ary and broad salt marsh.

Season: May 28 to Sep 08 $109+

This 86-room lodge not only has end­less views over a vast val­ley, but it also sits on the banks of the Kenai Riv­er, which teems with fish. With vault­ed ceil­ings made of nat­u­ral­ly fin­ished wood, cozy sit­ting areas with wood-burn­ing stoves and pri­vate porch­es, it’s easy to feel like the whole place is yours. The area is famous for its fish­ing, but you also have easy access to Kenai Fjords Nation­al Park, a wild land filled with glac­i­ers, marine  ...more

Each head of house­hold is allowed to keep 25 sock­eye salmon per year, and every addi­tion­al mem­ber of the fam­i­ly is enti­tled to 10 fish.

This spot is par­tic­u­lar­ly good for any­one who’s mobil­i­ty impaired, since you access the riv­er by a flat, met­al board­walk — and the actu­al fish­ing area is also from the board­walk. This makes Moose Mead­ows one of a very few places where anglers can fish for sock­eye with­out hav­ing to be in the water — you can do excel­lent even from a wheel chair. 

Season: May 25 to Sep 15 $410+ 2 to 3 hrs

Fly out of Sol­dot­na with Natron’s own­er and pilot, Tim. You’ll soar over the Cook Inlet towards Mt. Iliamna Vol­cano and land on a beach, right where the bears are. You’ll watch them play­ing and clam­ming and be close enough to take amaz­ing photos.

This spot, just north of Ster­ling, is pri­mar­i­ly a boat launch, but it also offers excel­lent sock­eye fish­ing. It’s locat­ed at the end of Bing’s Land­ing Road: There’s a park­ing lot, but when the fish­ing is hot, you can expect to park along­side the road, up to half a mile away from the boat launch site. (Anoth­er rea­son you might park on the road: The lot near the boat launch has a fee.)

Season: Jun 01 to Aug 31
$2195+
2 - 5 days
Land Package Type: Wilderness Lodge Vacations

Spend 2 – 5 days in hi-tech tent cab­ins” with heat, light and bath­rooms, along with gourmet meals, knowl­edge­able local guides, and spec­tac­u­lar scenery.

Season: Jun 01 to Sep 15 $1795+ Multi-Day Packages

Alaskan adven­tures and great lodg­ing await at the Great Alaskan Adven­ture Lodge. This all-inclu­sive expe­ri­ence lets you dri­ve or fly in to the prop­er­ty, which sits on 25 acres at the con­flu­ence of two rivers. An old home­stead with cab­ins and lux­u­ry tent options, the lodge makes for a com­fort­able stay. You’ll also find an array of adven­tures — every­thing from great fish­ing to glac­i­er cruis­ing. The own­ers have been per­fect­ing their itin­er­aries for  ...more

Season: Jun 01 to Aug 31 $2195+ All-inclusive, multi-day Adventures

Alas­ka bear camp is mag­i­cal­ly hid­den in a rare Crit­i­cal Bear Habi­tat in the wilder­ness of Lake Clark Nation­al Park. Instead of hun­dreds, only 16 priv­i­leged guests observe the won­der of up to 50 brown Bears liv­ing out their dai­ly dra­ma. Due to the beau­ty of the loca­tion and the excep­tion­al bear pop­u­la­tion, the deluxe camp, with en suite biffies, beds with mat­tress­es and food flown in dai­ly, was used as a base camp for the Dis­ney movie Bears.  ...more

Locat­ed down Beaver Loop Road, just out­side of Kenai, Cun­ning­ham Park is a great, easy-access loca­tion for sock­eye and sil­ver salmon. The shore­line here is a mix of grav­el and mud, with the mud being more preva­lent below the tidal zone. That said, this spot is very tidal depen­dent, so you’ll have to con­tin­u­al­ly adjust your bait set­up as the water ris­es or falls. 

Season: Year Round $250+ 1.25 hrs

Natron Air’s own­er and only pilot, Tim, can take you flight­see­ing to some of Alaska’s most beau­ti­ful places: the Hard­ing Ice­field and Mt. Redoubt Vol­cano. You can also opt for a bear-view­ing tour that includes a beach land­ing, where you can pho­to­graph bears in their nat­ur­al environment.

Sol­dot­na Park, in down­town Sol­dot­na, offers all Kenai Riv­er species — but most peo­ple are here for the sock­eye. That means it can get crowd­ed dur­ing peak sock­eye sea­son, but it’s also a good place to learn how to fish for sock­eye. The com­bi­na­tion of easy acces­si­bil­i­ty, hard-packed grav­el and a shal­low grade make the fish­ing enjoyable.

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

Season: Jun 01 to Oct 20 $175+ 3-8 hours

Where can you find the biggest salmon, on aver­age, in the entire world? In the Kenai Riv­er. And The Riv­er Crew, based in Sol­dot­na, can take you to some secret spots on the famous riv­er to fish for salmon and trout — whether you’re an expe­ri­enced angler or not.

Season: Jun 01 to Sep 10
$8795+
11 Days / 10 Nights
Land Package Type: Wilderness Lodge Vacations

Expe­ri­ence up close and per­son­al brown bear view­ing at the pri­vate BearCamp, world class fish­ing from the Great Alas­ka Adven­ture Lodge, glac­i­ers, 3 nation­al parks and much more over 11 mem­o­rable days.

Season: June - Sept $295+ per person Half-Day to Full-Day

Don’t miss this oppor­tu­ni­ty to go fish­ing for Alaskan salmon in beau­ti­ful rivers. This easy, one-day trip departs from Anchor­age; you’ll dri­ve over moun­tain pass­es and along the Cook Inlet to the Great Alas­ka Adven­ture Lodge where you’ll have lunch. Then it’s out to the con­flu­ence of two rivers with the lodge’s expert guides, where you’ll cast your line for famous salmon — king, sock­eye, sil­ver, or pink, depend­ing on the sea­son. Or choose a one-day  ...more

Whether you wish you’d caught more fish when you vis­it­ed the Kenai Penin­su­la — or you just want easy access to excel­lent fish at about half the usu­al retail price —this fish­ery in Kasilof is a great find. The fam­i­ly-owned fish­ery — a his­toric site first estab­lished in the 1930s —offers fresh-caught wild salmon and oth­er fish at har­vester prices. They sell whole fish, and you get the sat­is­fac­tion of pick­ing your own fish from their catch if you’re…  ...more

Big-screen tele­vi­sions for the game. It’s fun and loud when it’s busy and serves up stan­dard pub food. If you’re look­ing for a sports bar, this is the only one. If you’re look­ing for food along­side the game, get a burg­er. The menu is aver­age and can be hit or miss, but the burg­ers are con­sis­tent­ly big and juicy, and can be ordered with buf­fa­lo, elk or caribou.

The Chal­lenger Learn­ing Cen­ter of Alas­ka was cre­at­ed to meet the edu­ca­tion­al needs of stu­dents through­out Alas­ka. Using sim­u­lat­ed space and earth sci­ence mis­sions, dis­tance edu­ca­tion and hands-on work­shops, the CLCA inspires youth to devel­op an inter­est in sci­ence, tech­nol­o­gy, engi­neer­ing and math (STEM), and to con­sid­er careers in these fields. Using space and earth sci­ences as a medi­um, par­tic­i­pants work in an envi­ron­ment that spans the…  ...more

Sol­dot­na His­tor­i­cal Soci­ety, locat­ed on Cen­ten­ni­al Park Road, fea­tures a wildlife muse­um and his­toric log vil­lage. Among the log build­ings is the last ter­ri­to­r­i­al school built in 1958, where stu­dents stud­ied by the light of gas lanterns, still hang­ing in the school. Sol­dot­na’s foun­ing set­tlers arrived in 1947. The hab­it­able dwellings” which enti­tled two of these first home­stead­ers to 160 acres from what is now mid-town Sol­dot­na are part of…  ...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.

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. 

Difficulty: Easy

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

This park is the con­flu­ence of the Kenai and Moose Rivers. Take a break at this recre­ation site named for the Eng­lish author Iza­ak Wal­ton who wrote The Com­pleat Angler. Look for the infor­ma­tion­al sign to learn about the Moose Riv­er Archae­o­log­i­cal Site. You will also find a host­ed camp­ground and boat launch. There’s excel­lent fly-fish­ing in this area.

Soldotna’s home­stead­ers arrived in 1947, vis­it the Sol­dot­na Home­stead Muse­um and take a look at some of the area’s ear­ly home­stead cab­ins. The muse­um also fea­tures hand­made uten­sils and pio­neer objects as well as Alas­ka Native arti­facts, boats and the orig­i­nal school­house. Hours Sum­mer only or by appt. Admis­sion No admis­sion fee, dona­tions accepted.

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

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.

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.

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

This is a pop­u­lar attrac­tion with wildlife exhibits, free wildlife films, and rangers avail­able to answer about recre­ation and camp­ing in the refuge. Take a short walk down the nature trail to a view­ing plat­form. Use the spot­ting scope to look for wildlife on Head­quar­ters Lake.

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

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. 

Sounds Wild: Pond-Bot­tom MooseThe wet­lands where the Kenai Spur High­way cross­es Beaver Creek are great for view­ing moose in the ear­ly morn­ing or late evening. Like most streams on the Kenai Penin­su­la, the stream­side veg­e­ta­tion con­sists of wil­lows- a favorite food of moose. Look to your right as you head toward Kenai and check out all the wet­land areas for the next cou­ple of miles.More Information   ...more

This Kenai Penin­su­la lake is a great place to take the fam­i­ly for a quick mid­day swim. There is ample park­ing with direct water access. 

Sounds Wild: Moth­er Bat­sThis recre­ation­al site has a series of loop trails that pass two small lakes. Park in the park­ing lot and take the path to your left as you face the build­ings; this will lead you to the trail­head. The trail is great for view­ing wood­land birds and loons on the lake. As evening approach­es, look for bats fly­ing over the lake feed­ing on insects. Bats are hard to see because they are very secre­tive and do not become active…  ...more

Sounds Wild: Spar­rows­Sa­van­nah spar­rows love to sing and hide in the grass. How­ev­er, some­times they will perch on a fence, small trees or brush piles in this estu­ar­ine area. Walk along the beach toward the Kasilof Riv­er and look at the large flats to your right. In addi­tion to spar­rows you will see arc­tic terns, numer­ous her­ring, mew gulls and migrat­ing shore­birds in the spring and fall.More Information   ...more

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.

Not Steinbeck’s clas­sic nov­el, but a fan­tas­tic adven­ture, com­muning with a 30,000-member her­ring gull colony. It’s a one-of-a-kind expe­ri­ence you won’t want to miss.

As the sis­ter city of Kenai, the town of Sol­dot­na is in many ways the heart of the Kenai Penin­su­la. As proof of its fish­ing mec­ca sta­tus, the 97-lb world record salmon was caught here; you’ll find more ele­vat­ed fish­ing plat­forms here than any­where else, which helps pro­tect the waters for fish and anglers to come. One hun­dred forty miles from Anchor­age, Sol­dot­na offers pret­ty much any activ­i­ty that fits with the Kenai’s play­ground” vibe,…  ...more

Sounds Wild: Alaska’s Drag­on­sWat­son Lake is a shal­low lake that is full of veg­e­ta­tion – just the right spot for drag­on­flies and oth­er crit­ters. Stand­ing at the boat launch and camp­ing area, look out across the lake for these large fly­ing insects. Red-necked grebes, rusty black­birds and loons are also found on the lake. Most lakes on the Kenai Penin­su­la can be a good spot for dragonflies.More Information   ...more

Join us as we drift down­stream through one of the world’s most beau­ti­ful fresh­wa­ter salmon fish­eries, pass­ing grav­el bars left by a glacial flood, migrat­ing salmon, brown bears, and human fish­ers as you float on by.

Difficulty: Moderate

Dif­fi­cul­ty: Mod­er­ate Dis­tance: 5 – 50 miles Ele­va­tion Gain: Less than 500ft Type: Out-and-Back Fea­tures: Kid Friendly

Difficulty: Easy Distance: 2 miles

A fam­i­ly-run place that’s been around for 40 years, Par­adis­o’s serves up Ital­ian and Greek food, plus seafood and even some Mex­i­can. They’re best known for their piz­za and Greek food, but you can score a good seafood din­ner here on the right night. Ask the staff. The locals come for the Greek food, which is scarce on the Kenai.

Thou­sands of sock­eye salmon migrate up Hid­den Creek each year in late July and ear­ly August. With salmon come bears to feed on them. As you dri­ve through this area, you may be able to spot bears at the Ski­lak Road cross­ing of the creek near the Hid­den Lake Camp­ground turnoff. 

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.

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

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

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. 

This 1616 cab­in is locat­ed on the north bank of Big Indi­an Creek. This cab­in offers seclu­sion and the oppor­tu­ni­ty to explore the remote north­east inte­ri­or of the Refuge. Wildlife includes moose, black and brown bears and wolves. Hunt­ing and trap­ping is allowed. In the win­ter there is cross-coun­ty ski­ing and snow­shoe­ing. Review Alas­ka depart­ment of Fish and Game hunt­ing and fish­ing regulations. 

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. 

Built between 1894 – 96, the Holy Assump­tion Ortho­dox Church is the most endur­ing exam­ple of Russ­ian cul­ture in south cen­tral Alas­ka. For the Kenaitze Indi­ans, who once com­prised a sig­nif­i­cant por­tion of the pop­u­la­tion, this church con­sti­tut­ed a major link to west­ern cul­ture. A sim­ple, wood-frame struc­ture with clap­board sid­ing, Holy Assump­tion Church fea­tures a square two-sto­ry bell tow­er and a dis­tinc­tive crown-shaped cupo­la, both with the…  ...more

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!

Nation­al chain with great local perks

Difficulty: Moderate Distance: 4 miles

Although this cab­in is not acces­si­ble from the road sys­tem, it bears men­tion­ing as a Nation­al His­toric Site in the Cor­ri­dor. Har­ry A. John­son arrived in Seward in 1904 from Erie, Penn­syl­va­nia. A 30-year-old black­smith, he came north to help build the railroad. 

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.

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

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! 

Walk out to the board­walks along the Kenai Riv­er, learn about river­ine habi­tat and the salmon life­cy­cle, and wit­ness the time­less dance of hunter and hunt­ed, of fish and fish­er. One year-round res­i­dent here will impress you with their win­ter sur­vival skills.

Recent­ly recon­struct­ed from two lanes of traf­fic to four, this is one of only three bridges that span the Kenai River.

Difficulty: Moderate

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

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

Stretch your legs here and check out one of the favorite rest stops for thou­sands of Kenai Riv­er salmon on their jour­ney home. We’ll also seek out giant trum­peter swans, red-necked grebes, and of course, fish­ers of anoth­er species — humans. Here at the con­flu­ence, the two rivers reveal their source waters in a very clear visu­al demonstration.

Serv­ing up local­ly brewed beers in a fun, fam­i­ly-friend­ly pub atmos­phere, St. Elias is a favorite with locals and trav­el­ers. It draws a crowd and can get loud and a lit­tle wild if they have live music. But with­out a band, it’s a fun, hap­pen­ing place. They have a great deck for nice after­noons, serve sam­pler flights of their beer and have great piz­za and big salads.

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.

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. 

Known as Alaska’s Play­ground, the Kenai Penin­su­la is one of the state’s most beau­ti­ful and acces­si­ble areas. A wealth of roads and trails offers the poten­tial for amaz­ing wildlife view­ing: birds, seabirds, whales, bears, moose, and cari­bou are all here. Of course, these crit­ters don’t just mag­i­cal­ly appear when you walk by. So we con­sult­ed long­time wildlife biol­o­gists to put togeth­er an audio guide to three dozen hot spots that offer the best…  ...more

Sounds Wild: Eagles Life­time MatesWant to see a soar­ing eagle up close? Stop at this site near the senior cen­ter and walk out toward the bluff – not too close as the bluff is erod­ing. Eagles play in the wind along the bluff. If not fly­ing they can be seen on the mud flats at low tide– look­ing for food that has washed downstream.More Information   ...more

Sounds Wild: Cari­bou Cari­bou can be seen any­where on the Kenai Riv­er estu­ar­ine area but are more fre­quent­ly seen on the east side of the Bridge Access Road. They have their calves here in the spring and feed the rest of the sum­mer and fall. They are com­mon­ly seen but there are no guar­an­tees with cari­bou. More Information 

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! 

Difficulty: Easy

The trail is half a mile long and takes you through a mature birch for­est that is car­pet­ed with dev­il’s club and water­mel­on berry plants. It’s an easy walk­ing, ide­al for small chil­dren, and ends at a small camp­ing area on a slight bluff that over­looks Bish­op’s Beach and Bish­op Creek.

Stop off here dur­ing the sum­mer for an eagle’s eye view of an annu­al Alaskan fish­ing fren­zy. We real­ly love our salmon, and it shows! Or, just count the bald eagles cir­cling high overhead.

Includes bear lock­er and fire ring. 

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. 

Attached to the Sol­dot­na Inn, Mykel’s has the rep­u­ta­tion for the best prime rib din­ners on the Kenai Penin­su­la. They also do high qual­i­ty salmon, hal­ibut and seafood din­ners. It’s a fine din­ing expe­ri­ence, Alaskan style, with white linens on the table, but it also has booths and feels cozy and casu­al. Locals cel­e­brate anniver­saries and oth­er spe­cial nights here because of the fine food and nice atmos­phere. It’s expen­sive, but they have a…  ...more

At the Sol­dot­na dump you can some­times see sev­er­al hun­dred eagles at once. 

The Ster­ling High­way begins at the Tern Lake Junc­tion of the Seward High­way and stretch­es 142 miles to the town of Homer

Many events are held here through­out the year, the largest being the Kenai Penin­su­la Fair held annu­al­ly the 3rd week­end in August. Locals call this the biggest lit­tle fair in Alas­ka. The fes­tiv­i­ties include a rodeo, parade, live­stock com­pe­ti­tion, horse show and exhibits rang­ing from arts and crafts to produce.

In 1906 the chapel was built to hon­or Father Igu­men Nico­lai and Makary Ivanov. Fr. Nico­lai, Kenai’s first priest, brought small pox vac­cine, which saved the lives of hun­dreds of Dena’i­na. The chapel is on the site of the orig­i­nal 1849 church, locat­ed in the north­west cor­ner of the Russ­ian fur trad­ing post of Fort St. Nicholas.

The Kenaitze Indi­an Tribe’s Dena’ina ances­tors, rec­og­niz­ing the abun­dance of the place called Yagha­nen, the good land,” set­tled along the banks of its rivers and Tikaht­nu (Cook Inlet). In the past sev­er­al years, one loca­tion the Kenaitze Tribe has focused on is Sqi­lant­nu, mean­ing the gro­cery store,” locat­ed in the area now called Coop­er Land­ing. Today, Kenaitze Indi­an Tribe part­ners with the Chugach Nation­al For­est to pre­serve, pro­tect and  ...more

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

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Bear Viewing Lodges View All

Season: Jun 01 to Aug 31 $2195+ All-inclusive, multi-day Adventures

Alas­ka bear camp is mag­i­cal­ly hid­den in a rare Crit­i­cal Bear Habi­tat in the wilder­ness of Lake Clark Nation­al Park. Instead of hun­dreds, only 16 priv­i­leged guests observe the won­der of up to 50 brown Bears liv­ing out their dai­ly dra­ma. Due to the beau­ty of the loca­tion and the excep­tion­al bear pop­u­la­tion, the deluxe camp, with en suite biffies, beds with mat­tress­es and food flown in dai­ly, was used as a base camp for the Dis­ney movie Bears.  ...more

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