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Kenai Day Off Guide

by ATJ Posted in Off the Clock |

Make the most of your next day off in Kenai

Are you ready to explore the real Alaska? Imagine your heart pounding with the strike of a Sockeye Salmon on the end of your fishing line, or your adrenaline rushing at the sight of a Grizzly across the river. Try to picture the awe-inspiring sight of a glacier calving thunderously into the ocean. All of this is just par for the course during a typical summer at Kenai Princess Lodge.

An Angler’s Paradise

The Kenai Princess Lodge sits on a bluff overlooking the Kenai River – one of the best fishing rivers in America. Strap up your waders and let the cool water rush past your legs as you wrestle with a trophy salmon!

Drift Boat Fishing: It’s the way to get away from the crowds while fishing for the abundant salmon that run throughout the summer. Revel in the excellent fly fishing opportunities for Rainbow Trout and Dolly Varden as well.

Combat Fishing: Due to the sheer number of trophy Sockeye Salmon in the river, anglers stand shoulder to shoulder along the banks as they seek that perfect catch. It’s a great way to make a friend (or foe) during your day on the river!

Stream Fishing: For those seeking privacy, try fishing the less crowded Crescent and Quartz Creeks. Discover the technical side of fishing with egg-pattern beads… Or if this sounds like a different language to you, have a local show you the ropes and discover a hobby that can last a lifetime.

Hike your Heart Out!

Get those calf muscles a-burnin’ with some breathtaking hikes around the Kenai area. You’ll never know what will be around the trail bend in Alaska, and everyone has their own favorite hike (or three) for their days off.

Russian River Falls: The 2 mile trail ends at viewing decks, where if the season is right, salmon jump out of the water as they make their way up the falls.

“Seeing the salmon struggle up the Russian River Falls is an amazing sight!” – Barbara

Cecil Rhodes Mountain: The trail is challenging, but the views from the top are worth the climb. Get a birds-eye view of the Lodge, Kenai Lake and surrounding areas.

Slaughter Ridge: Despite its intimidating name, a trek up Slaughter ridge can be a delightful way to spend an afternoon. After a quick vertical hike, you’ll be treated with panoramic views of Kenai Lake and the surrounding country. The trail starts right next to the lodge!

“It was an incredible day trip; it is a must for any avid hiker.” – Jack

Resurrection Pass Trail: The 38-mile trail slices through the Kenai Mountains near Cooper Landing, amidst some truly stunning scenery. The majestic Juneau Falls is a definite highlight, as rushing water plummets through a narrow gorge along the Trail. The trailhead for Juneau Falls can be easily reached from the lodge, just give yourself a few days to enjoy this incredible hike!

“Camping next to Juneau falls is awesome, with the sound of the falls from the gorge”. – Joe

A River Runs Through It

Maybe you don’t have the patience for fishing… That’s ok! The rivers surrounding the Kenai Peninsula provide the perfect avenue for some leisurely drifting. For thrill seekers, dare to try one of the whitewater rafting experiences the Kenai Peninsula is known for.

Kenai River: Rafting the Kenai River is an exhilarating way to enjoy the awesome beauty and to spot wildlife like bears and moose in their natural environment.

Six Mile Creek: Alaska’s most challenging Class V whitewater rafting trip takes you through three canyons of adrenaline pumping rapids. Get ready to get wet.

Nearby Towns

Despite the word “Kenai” in the lodge’s name, it’s actually located in the blink-and-you-miss-it town of Cooper Landing. If you’re itching for a change of scenery or to meet some new people, take the short drive to these nearby towns.

Seward

The town of Seward is 50 miles from the lodge and is renowned for sport fishing, wildlife and glacier cruises, flight seeing and hiking. It’s the perfect spot to spend a quiet day in a quaint town, and there’s plenty to do if you know where to look!

Kenai Fjords Cruise: See massive calving glaciers and an abundance of marine wildlife – puffins, humpback and orca whales, sea otters and more!

Exit Glacier: Experience a majestic glacier from up close. Hike the short trail to the glacier face or take one of the many ranger led walks.

Alaska SeaLife Center: Spend an afternoon in Seward’s famous aquarium where you can view puffins, harbor seals and sea lions in underwater viewing tanks.

Kenai

There’s a reason why they named the entire peninsula after this town. With day spas, microbreweries and activities galore, this friendly city beckons visitors from all over Alaska. Located just an hour away from the lodge!

Kenai Golf Course: Are you a master of the links? You’ll find what you need to maintain your swing at this 18 hole USGA rated course.

Kenai Glacier

Karlene’s Day Spa: If you really want to unwind on your time off, pamper yourself at Karlene’s Day Spa. Anything from massages to acupuncture are offered at this great establishment.

Glacier Cruise: Explore the stunning scenery in Prince William Sound by booking an unforgettable glacier cruise. Your friends will be so jealous when you show them the pictures!

What else can you do? The possibilities are endless!

Fishing in Kenai

There is never a shortage of things to do on the Kenai Peninsula. It may be remote, but it’s bustling with incredible opportunities around every corner.

King Salmon Fishing: Head to the lower Kenai River for a chance to catch His Royal Majesty, the King Salmon. These magnificent fish average 45 pounds and make for a delicious dinner!

Halibut Fishing: Dish up the finest white fish available. Halibut is available in Seward, Homer or Ninilchik. The average halibut is around 20 to 40 lbs, but can be as large as 200 lbs or more!

Take a Day Trip: Fun, historic towns like Hope, Moose Pass, and Homer are all within 3 hours of the lodge. Explore these quaint towns and get a real taste of what Alaska is all about.

Other Day Off Possibilities: Sea and lake kayaking, camping, backpacking, mountain biking, clamming, gold panning and much more.

Where the Wild Things Are

Nothing is more awe-inspiring then encountering a Grizzly Bear or a moose in their natural habitat. Bring your camera to capture the picture of a lifetime! Just resist the urge to hug those cuddly bear cubs.

Best Places to Kick Back and Wind Down

Best grub and music in Cooper Landing:

  • Sackett’s Grill: Quaint little restaurant with great local food. Make sure to try the Philly Cheesesteak!
  • The Kingfisher: Upscale, tuck-in-your-shirt eatery with an open mic and live music most nights
  • Sunrise Inn: Restaurant and bar with pool tables and live music. Bottoms up!
  • Wildman’s: Craving an ice cream or shakes? Wildman’s have the best selection.

Rest & Relaxation

Downtown Kenai

Don’t have the whole day off? These quick activities are perfect for your downtime on work days.

  • Take a walk to the Kenai River or stroll the nature trails at the lodge
  • Surf the web, watch a movie, play ping pong in the employee recreation room
  • Head to Kenai Lake for a short walk, take pictures, skip rocks or doze off
  • Drive Skilak Lake road to catch a glimpse of bears, moose or other wildlife

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