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Overview

Little known outside Alaska, this 400,000-acre wilderness park covers the southwestern edge of the Kenai Peninsula. It's one of the largest coastal parks in America, with a mix of mountain peaks, glaciers, long beaches, forested hills, lakes, open alpine landscapes, and rocky islands. Most visitors come by water taxi from Homer, just a few miles across the bay. A number of Homer-based companies guide sea kayaking trips along these shores, and more than 85 miles of hiking trails are available. Flightseeing trips by plane or helicopter provide an alternative perspective. Grewingk Glacier is the most popular destination, accessible via a ...

Little known outside Alaska, this 400,000-acre wilderness park covers the southwestern edge of the Kenai Peninsula. It's one of the largest coastal parks in America, with a mix of mountain peaks, glaciers, long beaches, forested hills, lakes, open alpine landscapes, and rocky islands. Most visitors come by water taxi from Homer, just a few miles across the bay. A number of Homer-based companies guide sea kayaking trips along these shores, and more than 85 miles of hiking trails are available. Flightseeing trips by plane or helicopter provide an alternative perspective. Grewingk Glacier is the most popular destination, accessible via a 1.5-mile hike from Halibut Cove or an almost-level 3-mile hike from Glacier Spit. The glacier spills icebergs into Grewingk Lake, pieces of which are always along the shore. Other paths climb quickly into the park's alpine areas, including Grace Ridge Trail. Many visitors just come over from Homer for the day, but a number of public use cabins and cozy yurts are scattered around the park, providing an easy alternative if you don't want to camp. In addition, several high-end wilderness lodges and the village of Halibut Cove are located along Kachemak Bay adjacent to the state park. The mountainous eastern margins of the park abut Kenai Fjords National Park.

Don Pitcher
About the Expert

Don Pitcher has written or photographed 10 travel guidebooks to Alaska, Wyoming, Yellowstone-Grand Teton, and the San Juan Islands for Avalon Travel Publishing, Random House, and Sasquatch Books.

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Don Pitcher for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    June through September; fall colors in mid-September