Kenai Peninsula Audio Guide
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.
Points of Interest
Located on the shores of Upper Trail Lake, the town is surrounded by the Chugach National Forest and is also home to the start of the Iditarod trail, which was blazed through here in 1910. Since it seems to be just a dot on the road, though, it would be easy to miss — but it makes a great home base for visiting Seward or the Russian River fishing area.
Sandwiched between the Kenai mountains and the waters of Kenai Fjords National Park, Seward is one of Alaska’s oldest and most scenic communities. A spectacular 2.5‑hour drive south from Anchorage brings you to this seaside village, which offers a bustling harbor, quaint shops and galleries, and many different ways to tour Kenai Fjords National Park. The entire Kenai Peninsula is rife with scenery and activities, but Seward packs a lot into… ...more
Some would say Cooper Landing is the heart of the Kenai Peninsula, both literally and figuratively: Located in the middle of the peninsula, the small town also sits at the intersection of the Kenai and Russian Rivers, which makes it an especially fertile fishing spot. World class Rainbow fishing is readily available and the salmon that make it all the way to Kenai Lake are still full of fight.Also, especially given its small size, it packs in… ...more
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
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
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
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 town of Kasilof (pronounced kuh-SEE-loff) has a lot of the great activities that other Kenai Peninsula towns do — fishing, camping and wildlife viewing. But this tiny town 15 miles south of Soldotna, on the Sterling Highway, is also a vibrant dog sledding community — while here you can visit the kennel of Dean Osmar, an Iditarod champion, and take a ride behind champion dogs. The best fishing is at the Kasilof River and Johnson Lake — both… ...more
In an area that’s famous for fishing, here is one spot where you don’t need a tackle box to blend in. As the name implies, this is a clamming town— with thousands of razor clams harvested annually from the sandy beaches. Best of all, there is a pretty short learning curve for clamming: all you need is a little gear, a few safety pointers and a license, all of which you can get at one of the general stores in town, or through most B&Bs if… ...more
Come to this fishing town and you’ll probably leave with, among other things, a cool picture of the Russian Orthodox Church. Built in 1900, the church is a reflection of the Russian fur-trading village this town used to be — and there is still a Russian community here, though Ninilchik doesn’t strive to be a themed tourist town. Indeed, the quaint Russian sights are not the only great photo ops here. Across the Cook Inlet you can see four… ...more
This tiny town along the Sterling Highway may be known as “North America’s Most Westerly Highway Point,” but it has another, lesser publicized claim to fame: this is where locals love to come fish. In the spring, it’s king salmon, followed by Dolly Varden and silver salmon in the summer; in the fall, you can catch steelhead until freeze-up. Non-anglers here will enjoy beachcombing, browsing the art studios and gift shops, watching a… ...more
Sure, Homer’s the “Halibut Fishing Capital of Alaska,” but even non-anglers will revel in this end-of-the-road Alaska town. An eclectic mix of artists, fishermen, and outdoor lovers make up the lifeblood of Homer, drawn by its slow pace and postcard-ready setting by the clear-water bay. The heart of town is the Homer Spit, a long, narrow finger of land jutting into the bay. People from the Lower 48 come here because they’ve heard it’s… ...more
Once upon a time, this little town across Kachemak Bay was bigger than Homer, with a fish canneries, businesses and an extensive boardwalk. It was even known as the Boardwalk Town until the 1964 earthquake wiped out the boardwalk and nearly wiped out the town. Even so, Seldovia is still the biggest of the small communities “across the bay” from Homer. That said, laid-back Seldovia has a decidedly tiny-town feel: There are no traffic signs, no… ...more
When people visit Homer, they may like to spend a day or two going “across the bay”— taking a boat or air taxi across Kachemak Bay to explore the quaint villages that straddle the line between towns and wilderness. Here you’ll find 375,000 acres of forest, fjords, mountains and ocean. You can hike along 40 miles of trails, fish for salmon or rainbow trout, or just keep your eyes peeled for wildlife: moose, black bears, mountain goats, coyotes… ...more