Introducing Kenai Peninsula
Jutting into the Gulf of Alaska, the Kenai Peninsula is about the size of Belgium. Fewer than a tenth of Alaska's residents inhabit this southcentral extremity, and with mountains, glaciers, rivers, lakes, fjords, forests and fish galore, the area is an unparalleled recreational playground.
On the west coast is Cook Inlet, whose beaches offer razor clams, and whose waters support a vibrant fishing industry. You'll find the biggest salmon on the planet, which migrate each summer into the Kenai and Russian Rivers, attracting starry-eyed anglers by the tens of thousands.
On the rugged east coast, the Prince William Sound rains turn to snow among the jagged mountaintops, feeding North America's largest ice fields and sending glaciers toward the ocean. This sculpted seascape is a haven for marine creatures and heaven for kayakers, who could paddle for months among the berg-strewn fjords.
Down south, in Kachemak Bay, it's the best of all worlds, with islands and peaks, whales and trails, and plenty of succulent, barn door-sized halibut. There is the peninsula's fun-loving cruise-ship ports like Seward, dynamic hippie metropolises such as Homer, plus peaceful fishing villages the likes of Ninilchik and Seldovia.
The peninsula is largely well serviced, well developed and, being close to Anchorage, well frequented during the summer. Some trails are wildly popular and many campgrounds are filled to near-capacity, but if you hike a little further, you'll soon find only nature around you.
Kenai Peninsula destination guides
Guns at low tide at Clam Gulch
An ultra-low full moon or a new moon tide says only one thing to the happy inhabitants of Clam Gulch, on Alaska's Kenai Peninsula: 'time to go clam hunting'.
Alaska The Dramatic Northwest
Experience Alaska's most beautiful National Parks
Soak up the beauty of the USA’s frontier state, a wilderness playground that abounds with towering glaciers, emerald green forests and unique wildlife. Get up close and personal with some classic Alaskan Highlights, from soaring peaks, crumbling icebergs and massive national parks to modern cities, gold rush towns and remote highways.
Lonely Planet: Roads Less Travelled Alaska itinerary
All roads lead from Anchorage, so start with the scenic train ride along Cook Inlet, and through the tunnel to Whittier, a bizarre relic of WWII. Afterwards, jump on an Alaska Maritime Highway ferry across Prince William Sound to Valdez for views and scenic grandeur more typical of a cruise than an inexpensive ferry trip.