Chances are you are going to Alaska to explore the extraordinary landscape and wildlife that the state has to offer. Many visitors will head to Denali National Park, and for good reasons as the park is a must-see while in Alaska. But in our mind, the Kenai Fjords National Park is another one, and the Kenai Peninsula as a whole should be on any Alaska itinerary. Let us take you to the top things to do in Kenai Alaska and see by yourself why you should visit this area.
Top Things to Do in Kenai Alaska
- Visit Kenai Fjords National Park
- Explore the Kenai Peninsula up to Homer
- Join one of the Kenai Fjords tours to cruise along the fjords
- Go on a Kenai River fishing trip for a chance to catch wild salmon
- Board a flightseeing plane to see the Grizzly Bears at the Brooks Falls in the Katmai National Park
Kenai Peninsula Alaska
The Kenai Peninsula is a massive inland south of Anchorage, separated from the Alaskan mainland on the east side by the Prince William Sound, and on the west side by the Cook Inlet. The area’s main highlights are the popular Kenai Fjords National Park, but towns like Homer and Seward are also worth considering.
From the rugged coastline, the snow-covered and glaciers of the Kenai Mountains, the quaint towns, and fishing opportunities, the Kenai Peninsula should be explored beyond the Kenai Fjords National Park.
With around 90% of the area essentially wilderness, the Kenai Peninsula is the perfect outdoor paradise.
Kenai Peninsula Map
Kenai Fjords National Park
Headed to Seward will let you access Kenai Fjords National Park. Know for the impressive Harding Icefield
The small city of Homer is located Kachemak Bay at the tip of the Kenai Peninsula, gaining its nickname of “the end of the road”. The main attraction of Homer is the Homer Spit, a long stretch of shore featuring seafood restaurants and shops, as well as a nice beach strip.
Kenai River Fishing
From Homer, it’s easy to arrange for a salmon fishing trip. Indeed, four different species of salmon return in the hundreds of thousands to the Peninsula rivers every summer. If you are looking for a treat, head to the Kenai River for a chance to catch some King Salmons, the largest of all salmon. Fishing requires permits, where each river, each species of salmon has its own requirements based on season and quotas. Be sure to check the Kenai River fishing reports and get the relevant reports.
There are plenty of adventurous things to do in Kenai.
Kenai Fjords Tours
With over 400 miles of trails, every hiker will find a trail for his or her shoes. From walking by remote lakes and waterfalls to ice-climbing Exit Glacier or Godwin Glacier, day hikes or multi-day treks are available for all levels of fitness and duration.
Kenai White-Water Rafting
The 17-mile stretch of the Upper Kenai River is a very popular rafting destination with up to Class III rapids. More challenging Class III and Class IV rapids are available for more experienced rafters on Sixmile Creek. Most white-water rafting adventures start from Cooper Landing and Hope.
Resurrection Bay or Kachemak Bay from Homer where you can explore the numerous coves and fjords along the coastline for a day or over multiple-day trips. Seward and Cooper Landing are the main hubs for kayaking adventures. Watch for the Kenai tides when preparing your trip.
Board an airplane, a seaplane, a helicopter, and even a ski-plane, and enjoy the bird’s views of the Kenai Mountains. Your flight might take you over the Kenai Fjords National Park, the Chugach National Forest, or basically any park on the Peninsula. Besides fantastic views, these flightseeing trips can have you land on a glacier, or get close to some of the most famous Alaska wildlife, including bears. Seward and Homer are the best places to board such flights. From Homer, you can even take a flight to see the Grizzly Bears of the Katmai National Park, combining stunning scenery with the mindblowing experience of being almost face-to-face with Grizzlies!
Wildlife and Bear Viewing
The Kenai Peninsula has a large population of black and brown (grizzly) bears, but places like the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge are also home to large numbers of moose, as well as lynx, wolves, Dall sheep, caribou. Some of the most impressive bears are in Katmai and Wolverine Creek. Homer and Soldotna are the main hubs for wildlife viewing tours.
Compared to the rest of Alaska, the weather on the Kenai Peninsula is considered a mild subarctic coastal climate. It comes with heavy rainfall, potentially even in the summer months.
There are plenty of hotels in Kenai Alaska to choose from. But that’s not the only accommodation style possible. Renting a cabin, driving an RV, and staying at the campground are also available throughout the Peninsula. However, given the short travel season in Alaska, make sure to book your room or site early.
The Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge is rather famous as it sits in the Kenai Fjords National Park overlooking the Kenai River valley. But you can find a room for all budgets.
There are hundreds of RV sites and campgrounds on the Kenai Peninsula so you are most likely going to find a place suitable during your Alaska itinerary.
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