Set on the north shore of Summit Lake in the heart of Chugach National Forest, the Summit Lake Lodge resort feels remote—and yet it makes a prime base for anyone who wants to spend a few days playing on the Kenai Peninsula.

En Route to the Kenai Peninsula

First opened in the 1950s, the lodge—built from local logs, and featuring a slate fireplace and a beamed ceiling—was bought and renovated in the 1980s by hosts Marty and June. The nearest town is tiny Moose Pass, but Summit Lodge is still an easy 90 minutes from Anchorage, and an hour’s drive or less from all the main stops around the Kenai, including Seward and Whittier.

Spontaneous Adventures

The lodge also offers a friendly atmosphere: Marty and June have been working with local tour operators for decades, and they’re happy to talk with guests about what activities they want to do—whether it’s fishing, kayaking, rafting, horseback riding or golf—and help set them on their way. You can set up tours and activities before you arrive (or even book all-inclusive packages, with all meals, tours and gear included) or you can be spontaneous, and plan your day’s destination over breakfast at the lodge.

Eagles, Loons—and no TV

Once just a small hotel with six rooms, the lodge added eight cabins in 2011—featuring extra-large rooms, bathrooms and great views of the surrounding mountains and lake. While the cabins have TVs, the lodge rooms are fairly “unplugged”—with neither TVs nor phones—so that you can immerse yourself in the wilderness setting, whether it’s enjoying a book and a drink out on the deck, watching for bald eagles or listening to the gentle cries of the resident loons.

From Reindeer Sausage to Espresso

All bookings include breakfast in the lodge—such as pancakes, eggs, reindeer sausage or seasonal fruits—in a dining room that has more views of the lake and mountains. There’s also an on-site ice cream shoppe that offers pizza, fruit pie and espresso. Your hosts can pack a box lunch for you if you’re heading out for the day, and welcome you back at day’s end for a cocktail hour in the bar. You can swap stories with other guests, sit down for dinner in the dining room, or just relax before you start a new adventure the next day.