Welcome to Kenai National Wildlife Refuge

Highlights of the area include camping along Skilak Lake or canoeing through the Kenai National Wildlife Canoe Trail System. A massive forest fire burned more than 300 sq miles in the refuge in 2014, including much of the northern shore of Tustumena Lake, but signs of life are showing.

Top experiences in Kenai National Wildlife Refuge

Travel guides

Starting at $38.99

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Kenai National Wildlife Refuge activities

$265 Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Hiking Tour with Lake Cruise

Enjoy hiking and boating through the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, hiking through the forest and then above the tree-line as your knowledgeable guide explains some of the area’s history. Boat across a glacial lake in the midst of soaring cliffs as you journey deeper into the wilderness.Embark on a boating and hiking adventure to discover parts of the Kenai Peninsula that go unseen by most travelers. Journey across a turquoise glacial lake nestled in the Kenai Mountains as you head further into the Alaskan wilderness.Once you land on shore begin an exhilarating hike through the backcountry of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. Trek through the forest as your guide points out local wildlife, and then climb above the tree-line to marvel at spectacular mountain views. Eat a picnic lunch and admire the delicate wildflowers and berries before making your way back.HIGHLIGHTS • Epic Alaskan hiking terrain not accessible from a car • Unique views along with exclusive mountain discoveries • Tranquil boat ride on a glacial lake within the mountains • Backcountry hike throughout Kenai National Wildlife Refuge • One-of-a-kind photo opportunities present throughout tour

$105 Outdoor Activities

Guided Adventure Hiking in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge

Take a stroll through the Alaskan wilderness on this refreshing hike in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. As you follow your guide through forested trails, learn about local history and the lush nature of the area, and savor pristine views of mountains, lakes, and the alpine tundra.Accompanied by a guide, head to the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge located on the Kenai Peninsula, the beautiful preserve spans an impressive 1.92 million acres (7,770 square km) of diverse terrain. Your guide takes you out on a trail tailored to your group’s difficulty preferences that showcases the gorgeous nature of the wildlife refuge. You can get the chance to skirt above the tree line for breathtaking views of the Kenai Mountains, pristine lakes, and the emerald forests of the refuge.As you hike, learn about the local history and wildlife of the area. The refuge protects a number of large animals, including brown and black bears, Alaskan moose, lynx, and caribou. During a stop for a satisfying picnic lunch surrounded by lush landscapes, you can ask your guide about the myriad bird species that inhabit the refuge, as well as the fish that make the place a popular fishing destination.* This trip is operated in bear country.

$275 Outdoor Activities

Middle Kenai River Full-Day Fishing Trip

This trip focuses on the stretch of the Kenai river downstream from the outlet of Skilak Lake. Here, the river is wider than the upper stretch and encompasses portions of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. The wilderness sometimes rewards visitors with sightings of wildlife and waterfowl. The bigger water holds some true lunker Rainbow trout and Dolly Varden char. There are also seasonal opportunities for Sockeye and Silver Salmon. All trout and char are catch and release. Complimentary fish cleaning is provided for any Salmon you catch and choose to keep within the seasonal limit. Trips depart daily and all fishing tackle is provided.

$369 Outdoor Activities

Seward to Skilak - Backcountry Adventure Day Trip

Enjoy a complimentary pickup from Seward and begin a beautiful 2-hour scenic van tour to the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. Your destination is Skilak Lake, a massive, glacier-carved lake, with sparkling turquoise-colored waters. Before boarding the boat, take part in a short safety briefing. Then, you’ll be ready for your scenic boat tour around Skilak Lake while searching for wildlife and panoramic views that are absolutely breathtaking! Departing from Seward, you'll first head to Skilak Lake located within the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge to take in the stunning views of this serene, backcountry location. Your professional captain and wilderness guide will provide expert commentary along the way. Within a few short hours from Seward, you’ll be in a real, Alaska backcountry environment.  Be sure to keep an eye out for bald eagles, and bears! After exploring the lake and surrounding shore, enjoy the 2-hour road trip back to Seward, with scenic stops along the way to take pictures and stretch your legs. While on the road, look for wildlife and one of many amazing vistas of the Kenai and Chugach Mountains, and surrounding rivers and lakes. For those of you looking for a more vigorous, active experience, we offer a guided hiking tour up to the top of a mountain, accessed only by boat or plane. The views at the top of mountain stretch for hundreds of miles.

Kenai National Wildlife Refuge in detail