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Just an hour south of Anchorage, the Kenai Peninsula is popular both with tourists and as a weekend destination for Anchorageites. Several small cities provide services: Seward, Soldotna, Kenai, and Homer, but the big attractions are natural. Most of the peninsula lies within Chugach National Forest, Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, Kenai Fjords National Park, and Kachemak Bay State Park, and virtually all of this is undeveloped. The Kenai Mountains form a snowy backbone, while the Harding Icefield feeds a multitude of active glaciers. Fishing is especially popular on rivers and lakes, but be ready for summertime crowds when the sockeye ...

Just an hour south of Anchorage, the Kenai Peninsula is popular both with tourists and as a weekend destination for Anchorageites. Several small cities provide services: Seward, Soldotna, Kenai, and Homer, but the big attractions are natural. Most of the peninsula lies within Chugach National Forest, Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, Kenai Fjords National Park, and Kachemak Bay State Park, and virtually all of this is undeveloped. The Kenai Mountains form a snowy backbone, while the Harding Icefield feeds a multitude of active glaciers. Fishing is especially popular on rivers and lakes, but be ready for summertime crowds when the sockeye salmon are running up the Kenai River. Halibut and salmon charter boats head out from Homer, Seward, and Ninilchilk. Excellent hiking and mountain biking trails traverse the mountains, the refuge's lakes are perfect for canoeing, and Sixmile Creek provides wild Class-V whitewater rafting. The quaint towns of Homer and Seward are both well worth a visit, with abundant attractions, fine restaurants, and lodging. In addition to the main towns, be sure to visit the old gold mining town of Hope, now almost a ghost town.

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:

    Mid-summer when sockeye salmon are returning