3 Destinations You Need To Visit On Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula

The Kenai Peninsula is located in southern Alaska and boasts nearly 9,000 square miles of mountains, glaciers, forests, and rugged coastlines. Small towns are scattered throughout the remote peninsula and the diverse landscape presents endless opportunities for unique experiences and outdoor recreation.

Whether you want to catch some salmon, view wildlife, take an epic hike, or paddle through stunning coves, here are 3 awesome destinations you can look forward to on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula.

Kenai Fjords National Park

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This park was created in 1980 to protect and conserve some of Alaska’s most unique wilderness. Kenai Fjords stretches more than 600,000 acres, and nearly 60% of the park is covered in ice and snow. The Harding Icefield, a massive sheet of ice that extends for more than 700 square miles, is one of the park’s most distinct features. More than 35 glaciers flow from the icefield, resulting in breathtaking fjords and enormous icebergs.

The coastal waters are teeming with wildlife, and on any given day you can view whales, sea otters, harbor seals, porpoises, or sea lions. On land common wildlife sightings include brown and black bear, moose, and mountain goat.

Popular activities in the park include exploring Exit Glacier, kayaking, fishing, biking, hiking, snowmobiling, dog sledding, boat tours, mountaineering, and cross-country skiing.

Kachemak Bay State Park and State Wilderness Park

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Kachemak Bay was Alaska’s first state park and it’s the only wilderness park in Alaska. Here you will discover 400,000 acres of forests, glaciers, mountains, and ocean. Along the coast you will find bay, lagoons, gravel beaches, and protected coves. As a critical habitat area, Kachemak Bay is home to a variety of marine life including seals, dolphins, salmon, whales, and sea otters. At low tide you can see sea stars, mollusks, and anthropoids along the tidal marshes and seashore, and a number of different bird species can be found in the park.

If you’re looking for a great hike, you will find more than 80 miles of backcountry trails in the park. Popular destinations include Poot peak, Grewing Glacier, Humpy Creek, Tutka Bay, Halibut Cove Lagoon, and Sadie Cove. The kayaking is also excellent in Kachemak Bay, and the lagoons and coves provide ample opportunities for exploring the beautiful landscape.

Chugach National Forest

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More than a million people visit this amazing forest year, and while it’s much smaller than Tongass National Forest, it’s still enormous and comes in as the second biggest national forest in the US at nearly 6 million acres. The lakes, mountains, rivers, forests, and glaciers in this area create a truly unique landscape that provides habitats for a variety of wildlife. Nesting trumpeter swans travel to the Copper River Delta every year, and bear, moose, Orca whales, Dall porpoises, sea lions, and many more mammals and bird species can be seen in this area.

Mountain bikers and hikers have more than 200 miles of trails to explore in Chugach. Water recreation such as fishing, kayaking, and boating are popular as well as raft trips. There are numerous glaciers in the forest, including Portage Glacier and Spencer Glacier, and Prince William Sound is a must if you want to see calving glaciers and amazing coastal scenery.

Camping on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula

Anchor Point is a small town on the western side of the Kenai Peninsula known for it’s gorgeous scenery and world-class fishing. Bear Paw Adventure offers 4 amazing log buildings in this area that are located in quiet surroundings but offer easy access to larger cities and nearby recreation. All of the vacation rentals come will full kitchens, wifi, satellite, and breathtaking views you can savor from a private deck.

Bear Den Vacation Home sleeps up to 10 guests and has 2 full bathrooms.

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Captain Cook Lodge can sleep up to 8 guests and has 2 full bathrooms.

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Wise Old Hunter Lodge can sleep up to 10 guests and has 1 1/2 bathrooms.

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Moose Cabin can sleep up to 4 guests and has 1 full bathroom.

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Want to explore more of the Last Frontier? Discover more beautiful campgrounds in Alaska on Camp Native.

Tony Cain title: Author