Rafting on the Kenai Peninsula is quite diverse and can lead you to some of the most remote, picturesque and challenging sections of its many wild rivers. The most popular rafting trips include a white water rafting trip on Six Mile Creek near Hope or a more leisurely float down the upper Kenai River near Cooper Landing. For more information on these trips, please see the following links:
Hiking on the Kenai Peninsula is very popular and there are a number of well established trails of varying degrees of difficulty. For specific information on different trails and hiking locations, please see:
The Kenai Fjords National Park is indeed one of the most popular of all the Kenai Peninsula’s spectacular sightseeing destinations. Accessible via cruise ship from the port of Seward, this magical wonderland of steep mountain fjords, calving tidewater glaciers and abundant sea life is an awesome experience. For booking information and to see the different cruise options, please see:
Canoe rentals are available for the nearby Moose River or Swanson Lake trail through a variety of local outfitters. Typically they have several available and advance reservations are not required for a day trip. If you are interested in an overnight or guided canoe trip , please see:
A variety of sea kayaking trips are available from three Kenai Peninsula locations: Whittier, Seward and Homer. Please see the following links for additional information:
Float planes are not just handy for accessing remote fishing locations, they are nice to just fly around in and command a bird’s-eye view of the area. These tours vary in price according to the number of people and the duration of the flight. Please contact the following flight service for further details:
Here is a brief description of the major towns on the peninsula to help you develop your itinerary.
Seward: A small fishing village on the east side of the peninsula with a resident population of about 1500, Seward offers not only fishing, but excellent wildlife tour boats that will take you the edge of glaciers that form the Kenai Fjords. Here, you can watch glaciers calving into the ocean as well as view diverse marine wildlife including several species of whales, seals, mountain goats, an occasional bear. In addition, you can view myriad species of birds like the amusing puffin that eats so much fish in the rich Alaskan waters, they are unable to fly and instead run on the surface of the water.
Approximately 8 miles from Seward by road is Exit Glacier. Here you can park within 1/2 mile of the glacier and take a short hike to get a closer view of the blue ice that borders the edge of the Harding Ice Field. Exit Glacier is one of the most rapidly receding glaciers in Alaska. As you drive up the road you will notice signs with years marked. These signs indicate where the edge of the glacier was during that year. You will be amazed to see where the ice had been as little as 30 years ago.
The Fourth of July is a big event in Seward as this is when the annual marathon is held. This is an annual competition to see who can run up Mt. Marathon faster. Seward also offers a marine aquarium and exhibit as well as some quaint gift shops and restaurants.
Hope: Hope is a little town that borders the Turnagain Arm at the mouth of Resurrection Creek.. Once the center of the Alaskan gold rush, today Hope is a quiet and quaint community with only several dozen permanent residents. Resurrection Creek is known for its substantial run of pink salmon, and today visitors are allowed to pan for gold in the creek.
Soldotna: Sister City to Kenai, Soldotna has a resident population of about 8000. Soldotna offers dining, dancing, entertainment, gift shopping, fast food restaurants, pizza parlors and shopping centers. We in Soldotna certainly don’t live in the boondocks, however there is an abundance of wildlife in and around our town. Eagles, moose, and an occasional bear will encroach within the limits of our city, even during the summer. So don’t be surprised if a moose happens to stop traffic on the main highway or one of the side roads..
Kenai: Kenai borders the lower Kenai River and has a resident population of about 8000. Here you will find the airport, many large shopping centers, Home Depot and K-Mart among other large stores. Many of the launch sites we use for fishing the lower river are in Kenai.
Ninilchik: Certainly worth of mention due to its unique character, Ninilchik maintains the atmosphere of the Russians who named the town. A small river flows through this tiny town, and several lucky anglers catch salmon from the bank from this river. This Russian church make for a striking view from the river.
Deep Creek (not a city): Deep Creek is where many boats launch from the beach with the assistance of tractors to fish the waters of Cook Inlet for halibut. This can be a very busy place when the weather is favorable.
Homer: Homer is called the halibut capital of the world. We don’t know if this is actually true, but we can say that Homer is a popular spot for sport and commercial fishermen alike. The Homer Spit has a boat harbor that borders Kachemak Bay and a small saltwater lagoon called the Fishing Hole. This pond is stocked with king and silver salmon as a “terminal” fishery. Since the salmon have no river to spawn in, they simply swim in circles in the pond and attracting many anglers.
For those not interested in fishing, there are dozens of gift shops in Homer that offer jewelry, furs, Native Alaskan carvings from tusks, whale bones, wood and moose horns. There are also many restaurants ranging from fish and chips shops to some nice but expensive restaurants such as Land’s End.
No trip to Homer would be complete without a visit to the Salty Dog Saloon. Once the first post office in Homer, the Salty Dog is now a historical landmark with an atmosphere that must be seen to be believed. Dollar bills cover the walls and ceilings, autographed and dated by the posters. Read this article from the Seattle Times, Homer, Alaska: the town at the end of the road
Seldovia: Those wanting a little adventure can take a taxi boat across the Kachemak Bay inlet to the little town of Seldovia. This area is not accessible by road, only by boat and aircraft. Seldovia is a little art and fishing community with character. It is certainly worth a visit to get away from the busy roads during the summer.