Great Land of Alaska

Kenai Peninsula Towns

Most of the Kenai Peninsula is uninhabited due to the terrain--mountains or marsh. The small areas accessible by the Seward Highway and Sterling highway have several small towns along them.

Cooper Landing

Cooper Landing Cooper Landing Cooper Landing Cooper Landing Town and mountains

Cooper Landing is a small town located in the Kenai River valley of the Kenai Mountains. It is built on the banks of the Kenai River and the base of the mountains that line the valley. The famous Russian River is a short drive west of Cooper Landing. Due to the large numbers of Sockeye Salmon that migrate up the Kenai River in the fall, Cooper Landing is a popular destination for fishermen. Many fishing charters will take customers on a float trip down the river, either for sightseeing or fishing. Many hotels, lodges, and bed & breakfasts in Cooper Landing give visitors a place to spend the night.


Homer Docked ferry Homer Spit Crowded Homer Spit Roadside parking Barge sitting by dock Downtown Homer Downtown Homer Gift shops and fishing charters Salty Dawg saloon

Homer lies at the end of the Sterling Highway, on the northern shores of Kachemak Bay. It is a culturally diverse town, with a large population of Alaskan Natives as well as Russians. The Homer Spit is a crowded place during the summer months, with both tourists and fishermen adding to the crowds. Hotels, restaurants, gift shops, fishing charters, and the Salty Dawg Saloon are all to be found on the spit.


Grassy marsh House and cafe House and social hall Old cabin Old house Another old house RV park Seaview Bar Seaview Cafe Social hall

Hope is a small down on the northern shore of the Kenai Peninsula. It started as a small mining town in the 1890's, and today there is still a small amount of commercial mining, in addition to recreational gold prospecting.


Russian Orthodox church Russian Orthodox chapel Peninsula's oldest building Building on Kenai River edge Shut down Kenai Joe's

Kenai is a historically significant area of the Kenai Peninsula. It was a home to the Kenaitze, a Dena'ina tribe. Early Russian settlers lived in this area so Kenai has a lot of historical significance for both the Kenaitze Indians and for early European settlement. Modern-day Kenai is much like any other small town, with restaurants, grocery stores, and movie theaters.

Moose Pass

Train crossing bridge Railroad trestle over highway Moose Pass Moose Pass Downtown Moose Pass

Moose Pass is located on the western shore of the narrow strait where Upper Trail Lake and Lower Trail Lake join together. It's more of a town where people pass through rather than a tourist destination. However, it does have several bed & breakfasts for those who wish to spend the night.


Sterling highway through Ninilchik Fishing charters alongside highway Ninilchik village Old houses in Ninilchik Village Downtown Ninilchik Village Old house in Ninilchik Old house on hillside Old shed on hillside House in hillside

Ninilchik is one of the many small towns along the Sterling Highway between Soldotna and Homer. The part easily visible from the highway looks like any modern small town, with gas stations and stores and several fishing charters, while the older portion of the town away from the highway has the look of an older town, with abandoned houses and old-looking buildings.


Seward Seward Harbor Cruise Ship Myriad boats Boats and processing plant Tourist section Crowd on pier Downtown Seward Seward Seward sunset

Seward is perhaps the most scenic of the Kenai Peninsula towns. It is built on the northwestern shores of Resurrection Bay on a narrow strip of land between the water and the Kenai Mountains. It is an important port town where many cargo ships dock and transfer their cargo to the Alaska Railroad which then hauls it to Anchorage and beyond. Many cruise ships and ferries also dock in Seward on a regular basis. With the open ocean just beyond Resurrection Bay, many saltwater fishing charters are based in this town. The Alaska Sea Life Center is located in Seward and is a good way to see some of the area's marine life without getting wet.


Downtown Soldotna Downtown Soldotna

Located a stone's throw away from Kenai, Soldotna is perhaps the more visited of the two towns due to its lying directly on the Sterling Highway, requiring anybody on their way to Homer to pass through town. It's a very busy town during the summer months with tourists and fishermen passing through or spending a few days here.

Construction of bridge in Soldotna Construction of bridge in Soldotna Crane near river Pile driver

A major project for the Sterling Highway in Soldotna was widening the two-lane bridge into four lanes to acommodate the high volumes of summer traffic. First, a temporary two-lane bridge was constructed beside the highway bridge, then the highway bridge was torn down and rebuilt. Construction of the approximately 200-foot bridge took about three years. These pictures show some of the construction; I've not yet taken any pictures of the bridge that was finally completed in the summer of 2007 after three summers of contruction.


Whittier Whittier Whittier Whittier shore Whittier boat harbour Whittier boat launch Train in tunnel

Whittier was originally built as a port to unload supplies during World War II. Modern day Whittier is still a port town, with several cargo ships docking here as well as the occasional cruise ship. Fishing charters and sightseeing charters are both available to visitors.

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