Want to know what to do and see in the Kenai Peninsula?
Then this is a good overview of the Kenai Peninsula for you after I spent two weeks travelling the area and is what I recommend for you to do.
The Kenai Peninsula
Homer is a town at the bottom of the Kenai and is known for its Kenai Peninsula deep sea fishing and relaxed vibe.
The Homer Alaska Spit is where you will find fishing boats that you can go out on fishing (paid) trips and there’s restaurants, coffeeshops, and bars to relax at.
The Homer Alaska Spit sticks out from the main town.
The town itself has a bit of an arty feel to it and is worth hanging around for a night or 2 for local hikes and in order to arrange a visit to Kachemak Bay State Park.
View across to Homer from Kachemak Bay State Park.
Bishops Beach Park.
This is a beach right next to Homer.
It has cliffs with eagles perched in nests all along and they fly down from above to the beach and back.
Even though the beach is near Homer and has houses up on the cliff it does feel like being in nature. It’s peaceful enough and worth a few hours strolling.
Facing the sea turn to the right and just go for a hike on the beach.
Just be sure to check the tides so you don’t get stuck!
An eagle flying from a rock on the Bishop Beach Park by Homer.
Hiking in Kachemak Bay State Park
View onto Kachemak Bay State Park.
Kachemak Bay State Park is just across the water from Homer and makes an excellent place to go hiking on the Kenai Peninsula, if not Alaksa in general.
I was lucky to have a friend to stay with in Homer who loved hiking as he showed me around a bit and we had a great excursion for a few days to Kachemak Bay.
My friend hiking with me in Kachemak Bay.
The place is mountainous and full of pine trees but can be rough going in parts.
It is a remote place to get too and you will have to take a boat from Homer across the bay to reach the area.
The general rule is you tell the boatmen which trail you would like to hike and they will drop you there and arrange with you exactly what date you would like to picked up on and what time.
You can day trip and just do a short hike but it’s best to spend at least one night there, as long as you have camping gear of course.
Camping high up in Kachemak Bay State Park (tent used: Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2).
A really good book for hiking in the Kenai Peninsula is ‘50 hikes in Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula‘.
I must admit that the town of Seward itself is one of my least favourites in the Kenai as I enjoyed the more laid back vibe of Homer and Hope more, but it is an excellent place to base yourself for activities in the region.
Some highly recommended tours from Seward:
Hiking Near Seward Alaska
There is lots of good hiking in the Kenai Peninsula and Seward makes a great base to get out to some of them for long day hikes.
The Exit Glacier Hike
The Exit Glacier is the ‘must do hike‘ near Seward if not the whole peninsula.
It’s not far from Seward, around a 30 minute drive and is a beautiful hike alongside the glacier until you reach the top for stunning views across it.
It can get busy on this hike as it’s so popular so don’t expect to have ‘peace with nature’ all to yourself, so to speak.
Hiking up to Exit Glacier.
Exit Glacier near Seward.
On top of Exit Glacier.
The Primrose Trail Hike
The Primrose Trail was actually my favourite hike near Seward, more than Exit Glacier.
It was far less busy andI only met one other person on the whole 7 hours on it.
At the lake at the half way point of the Primrose Trail.
The trail takes you through forest for the first few hours that breaks into mountain views at the top with a small lake before depending at the end through forest again for the last 1-2 hours.
The forested part at the end part of the Primrose Trail (from the Seward direction).
Caines Head State Recreation Area
The fun thing about heading to Caines Head State Recreation Area is that you can reach it by kayaking from Seward.
Along the way playful seals will most likely come and join you for a bit until you reach the starting point for the short hike through forest trails up to a viewpoint of the area.
Kayaking to the hiking area.
View from the top.
Some great info for more information on other trails near Seward if you want more hiking ideas.
Hope Town Kenai Peninsula
Hope is a small funky little town and makes a great ending for the Kenai Peninsula on your way back to Anchorage (or wherever you go).
It’s the kind of place that people from Anchorage come to for the weekend to camp under the stars, enjoy some live music at the lively bar by the waterfront, and go for short hikes along the coast.
Hope is where I personally had my first wild bear encounter in Alaska when on one of these short hikes by the coast I came around a corner to a mother bear and 2 cubs with a few other hikers trapped on the other side.
Thankfully we all slowly backed away giving the mother bear and cubs space to get away which they then did.
Wildlife on The Kenai Peninsula
The Kenai Peninsula has your standard Alaskan wildlife.
You will find plenty of brown and black bear (during the bear season), moose, eagles, and more.
Bears can be dangerous but during the salmon run they are mostly preoccupied and distracted with the catching and eating of the fish.
But you never know so definitely be careful and never get close. A mother bear with her cubs is the most dangerous as she will be protective of them.
Brown bear catching a salmon during the summer season.
Although moose look relatively harmless they can be dangerous so stay a reasonable distance away if you see any, don’t try to pet them.
Moose in the bushes.
And as you have seen earlier you will see lots and lots of eagles when there.
Kenai Peninsula Itinerary
There are a lot of options for the Kenai Peninsula for things to do there and it really depends on your interests, but if you’re visiting for say 1-2 weeks then the places mentioned here are some of the best things to do near Anchorage and some of the best things to do in Alaska for that matter.
Around 4 days in Homer and Kachemak Bay State Park followed by around the same time in the Seward area and a night in Hope at the end.
In-between all that there are so many more options for hiking, fishing, and other outdoor activities in Alsaka that you can do.
Visit The Kenai Peninsula in Alaska
The Kenai Peninsula as stated is one of the best places for easy accessibility to go for day hikes and nature near Anchorage.
It makes sense though to spend your time there in the towns of Homer, Seward, and Hope, to get the best out of the area.
For more great Alaska travel inspiration check out my friends post who lived in Homer for a number of years. He did various road and hiking trips all over Alaska and photographed it all.
As mentioned before a really good book for hiking in the Kenai Peninsula is ‘50 hikes in Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula‘. It will help out a lot for planning your hikes in the area.
The United States is an expensive place for medical treatment so be sure to take out travel insurance for your trip just in case.
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