The Best Things to Do in Soldotna

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Fish for the day, or stay overnight at a fishing lodge for multiple days of angling

1. Experience World-Class Fishing

This is your chance to experience angling for Alaska’s famous fish in fast-running rivers backdropped by Alaskan peaks. The waters around Kenai teem with salmon: king, sockeye, silver, or pink (depending on the season) or you can cast for trout or halibut. Come here on an easy day trip from Anchorage, or leave from the area, where fishing charters can take you to the best spots—and away from the crowds. Or, stay at a fishing lodge for several days of angling.

2. Go Bear Viewing

Few things in the world can compare to witnessing the majesty of bears in the wild; watching them wade into rivers and fish for salmon can help make your Alaskan dreams come true.

Fly out to Lake Clark National Park and spend the day watching bears, or get even more time near them by taking an overnight bear-viewing adventure, where you’ll stay in a deluxe wilderness camp.

3. Flightseeing

With some 40 glaciers, the vast Harding Ice Field is one of Alaska’s most spectacular sights. And it’s just one of the dramatic sites you can get perspective on when you take to the air on a flightseeing trip. Look down on the crevasses of a glacier and check out the Mount Redoubt Volcano—and keep an eye out of wolves, moose, bears, and seals!

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Levitt Amp Soldotna Music Series

4. Attend a Local Festival

Each Wednesday from June - August, the Levitt Amp Soldotna Music Series puts on a free concert in Soldotna Creek Park, following the popular Wednesday Market. The annual Soldotna Progress Days held the fourth weekend in July is the longest-running community event, celebrating the population boom in Soldotna over 60 years ago. And the Frozen RiverFest is an outdoor beer festival -- in February! Sounds crazy? Maybe. But that's part of the fun!

5. See the Kenai River

If you drive through town -- you won't miss it. The bright turquoise blue water is hard to miss! But there are plenty of spots to take a closer look. In fact, Soldotna boasts 10 boardwalks along the Kenai River. They provide access for fishermen to reach the river without damaging the shore, but they're also the perfect place for a stroll.

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Playground in Soldotna Creek Park

6. Fun for the Whole Family

Soldotna is a great destination for families with small children. There are summer camps, fun runs, story times at the local public library, free fishing pole rentals, and so much more. Read our full blog post on the best things to do in Soldotna with kids!

7. Eat Great Local Food

Soldotna is a thriving community of local entrepreneurs -- many of whom have decided to take a culinary route! Thanks to them, there are some great local eateries in Soldotna. From local breweries and coffee roasters, to food trucks selling reindeer gyros. Here's what's not to miss on the food scene in Soldotna.

8. Hit the Trails

The best thing about Soldotna may be its trail system. You'll find several to explore right in town, including the Centennial Campground Loop Trail, or the Tsalteshi Trails multi-use trail system.

And, the visitor center for the surrounding Kenai National Wildlife Refuge is right in town too! From there, you have access to several trails, including the popular Keen-Eye Nature Trail, an easy .75 mile loop that's great for families.

9. View Public Art

In Soldotna, there are several easy spots to take in fantastic displays created by locals artists. There's a series of large 4' by 8' murals throughout the community, displayed at local businesses. Our guide shows you how you can see them all!

And, there's the Soldotna Rotary Art Park, which features a rotating display.

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An ice skating loop appears at Soldotna Creek Park each winter

10. Don't Overlook Winter

There's just as many reasons to visit Soldotna in the winter as there are in summer. The outdoors are embraced with equal excitement. Tsalteshi Trails provides over 25 kilometers of groomed cross country ski trails, as well as some trails designated for fat biking.

Maintained outdoor ice appears throughout the community at A.R.C Lake and a loop in Soldotna Creek Park.

Or, join a guided snowshoe walk from the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center.

See a full itinerary for a long winter weekend in Soldotna.

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Day Tours & Attractions View All

Sum­mer Wednes­day evenings in Sol­dot­na are times that every­one looks for­ward to. That’s when the famous — and free! — Levitt AMP Sol­dot­na Music Series takes place in the beau­ti­ful Sol­dot­na Creek Park. It hap­pens week­ly from June through August, and on top of catch­ing some great music, it’s a fan­tas­tic chance to meet locals.

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: 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: 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

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 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

Season: May 25 to Sep 15 $450+ 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.

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: 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


Soldotna Parks & Trails View All

Distance: 2 miles

This 2.2‑mile loop trail is an off-shoot of the Keen-Eye Trail that departs from the Kenai Nation­al Wildlife Refuge Vis­i­tor Cen­ter. It is less crowd­ed than the Keen-Eye Trail (which was built to accom­mo­date large groups), and while it’s not a dif­fi­cult hike, it fea­tures some light hills and var­ied terrain.

Two sets of stairs to riv­er and 625 feet of ele­vat­ed boardwalk.

In sum­mer, the trails are open to all kinds of foot-pow­ered recre­ation — walk­ing, run­ning, hik­ing, bik­ing, pho­to­shoots, wildlife watch­ing and berry-pick­ing. There’s even an 18-hole disc golf course. K‑9 feet are wel­come, too. In win­ter, locals hit the trails for cross-coun­try ski­ing and fat-tire bik­ing. There are more than 25 kilo­me­ters of groomed ski trails, per­fect for clas­sic and skate cross-coun­try skiing.

Distance: 3 miles

This wide, mul­ti-use trail is pop­u­lar with locals and a fun hike for every­one. The ADA-com­pli­ant trail winds through bore­al for­est, and it’s the only head­quar­ters trail open to dogs and bicy­cles. You can even get your pup cer­ti­fied as a B.A.R.K. Ranger, meant to strength­en the rela­tion­ship with your dog on fed­er­al pub­lic lands.

Difficulty: Easy Distance: 1 mile

The Cen­ten­ni­al Camp­ground Loop Trail is a great place for a walk right in town at any time of year. It’s well-traf­ficked, well-marked, wide, and easy for most peo­ple to use. The trail is busiest in sum­mer — espe­cial­ly the part near the camp­ground where anglers access the Kenai Riv­er — and a lit­tle qui­eter dur­ing the oth­er seasons.

Distance: 3 miles

This 10-mile cir­cuit of dif­fer­ent loop trails is well-main­tained and makes for fun hik­ing and ski­ing. Look for access from the park­ing lot at the Kenai Nation­al Wildlife Refuge Vis­i­tor Cen­ter, where there are bath­rooms and out­door port-a-pot­ties. If you come here to ski, warm up inside the cen­ter, next to the soap­stone mason­ry heater.

Dur­ing the sum­mer months it’s a great spot for canoe­ing, kayak­ing, pad­dle board­ing, even pad­dle­board yoga. The cold­er months are just as live­ly as the warmer ones. There’s a skat­ing loop on the lake’s perime­ter, as well as sev­er­al skat­ing areas on the lake. The City offers free pub­lic skates Sat­ur­day after­noons, ice con­di­tions depen­dent, Decem­ber through February.

Six sets of stairs down to the riv­er, 800-plus feet of ele­vat­ed board­walks, and fish walks.

Distance: 9 miles

The pop­u­lar, paved Uni­ty Trail begins in Sol­dot­na and winds its way around 9 miles to Kenai. It’s pop­u­lar with locals and trav­el­ers alike for all kinds of activ­i­ties: walk­ing, bik­ing, jog­ging, bird­ing, rollerblad­ing, and more. 

This beau­ti­ful park set along the turquoise Kenai Riv­er hosts com­mu­ni­ty events, has a board­walk, access to the riv­er, play­ground and more. There’s an ice loop for skat­ing (free ice skates are avail­able dur­ing win­ter fes­ti­vals) and ani­mal cutouts with white twin­kle lights on them. 

This park is a can’t miss for dog own­ers and dog lovers! It’s one of the busiest parks in town, with peo­ple and their dogs there prac­ti­cal­ly 247. If you’re trav­el­ing with your dog, it’s a great place to give Fido some exer­cise. You’ll also have an oppor­tu­ni­ty to meet the locals, learn what it’s like to live in Sol­dot­na, and get the inside scoop on the best things to see and do from peo­ple who live here.