The Kenai Peninsula in Alaska is wonderfully wild and offers an incredible adventure filled with natural wonders.

Stretching 150 miles south from Anchorage, many of the National Parks in the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska are the size of small countries. Bald eagles soar above pristine coastline and orcas and humpback whales cruise through Kenai Fjords National Park where the scale and beauty of the surrounding scenery will leave you in awe. Along with hiking through the pristine landscape and exploring the coastal towns of Anchorage and Seaward, you can get up close to epic glaciers and visit a family-run homestead to learn about sled dogs and the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. With a passionate local leader by your side, you’ll soon discover why the Kenai Peninsula is widely regarded as one of the country’s great wilderness areas.

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Things to do in the Kenai Peninsula

Anchorage at sunset

Explore the town of Anchorage

Dive into the contemporary and natural delights of Anchorage during a day tour with your leader, including downtown, Earthquake Park, Point Woronzof and the Alaska Native Heritage Center. For good food and great views, 49th State Brewing Co. is an excellent option, or you could go for pizza at Alaska’s most famous restaurant, the chilled-out Moose’s Tooth Pub and Pizzeria. If you’d like to get in more walking time, the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail is a perfect sunset activity and is easily accessible from downtown so you can enjoy a leisurely stroll with superb scenery.

Whale watching in Kenai Fjords National Park

Go whale watching

Discover some of the world’s most incredible wildlife on a boat cruise through Kenai Fjords National Park where you’ll go in search of orcas and humpback whales. Off in the distance, a humpback might launch its entire body out of the water, sending a massive plume of water into the air. Or perhaps an orca will swim towards the boat, turning its head to look at everyone taking photos before slipping under the water again. There’s plenty of wildlife to be seen overhead as well with bald eagles soaring through the skies. On shore, keep an eye out for puffins.

Hiking in Kenai Fjords National Park

See epic glaciers

Get up close and personal with the epic Exit Glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park which is just 15 minutes by car from Seward. It’s an easy walk to Exit Glacier which forms a natural ramp for those wanting to hike the Harding Icefield. The icefield is one of four major icecaps in the United States and is believed to be a remnant of the Pleistocene ice masses that once covered half of Alaska. Along with admiring craggy bedrock and mighty ice crevasses, you’ll be able to hear the ice crackle and shift as you marvel at this natural wonder.

Homer, Alaska

Enjoy a full day in Homer

When you join a Kenai Fjords National Park hiking trip with Intrepid, you get a full day for independent exploration in Homer to discover this picturesque town your way. Perhaps walk along the Homer Spit that juts out into Kachemak Bay, a unique geographical feature shaped by tidal swells, glaciers, and earthquakes, or browse the local shops. You could also explore the harbour or enjoy some local cuisine such as reindeer, caribou, king crab and, of course, halibut. Or book a bear viewing flight with a professional bear guide.

Alaska dog sledding team

Learn about Alaskan sled dog racing

It doesn’t get much more Alaskan than dog sled racing with a visit to a family-run homestead to learn about sled dogs and the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. This is one of the world’s oldest and best known racing kennels and it’s home to plenty of four-legged (and two-legged) champion racers. After the dogs are hitched up and ready to go, you’ll jump onboard a custom wheeled sled and go on a two mile race through the rainforest. After the ride, there’s time to cuddle some puppies as you learn about what it takes to win the famous Iditarod race.

A river in Chugach State Park

Visit Chugach State Park

Lace up your walking shoes and get ready for Anchorage's most famous day hike, Flattop Mountain in Chugach State Park. Flattop is famous for its distinct shape, well-maintained trails and sweeping mountain and city views. From one direction you can look out over the city of Anchorage and take in distant views of the Tordrillo, Talkeetna, Kenai, and Alaska mountain ranges. From the other, catch dramatic mountain views, from snow-capped peaks to deep mountain valleys. If you aren’t up for the climb to the summit, take a seat on the bench after the first set of stairs and enjoy superb views.

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Kenai Peninsula FAQs

Everyone travelling on an Intrepid trip must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of carriage. 

All travellers are required to produce:  

  • Proof of COVID-19 vaccination
  • All children aged 5 to 17 years old must provide proof of vaccination (if eligible), proof of recovery or a negative COVID-19 test.
  • If you are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons, you may apply for an exemption. Exemptions will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. To apply, you must provide a medical certificate from a medical professional. 

In all cases, you must be fully inoculated. This means you must receive the full dosage of the COVID-19 vaccine and allow enough time for immunity to take effect. Each COVID-19 vaccine has different dosages and timeframes for inoculation, so please check the relevant medical advice associated with your vaccine

Learn more about Intrepid's COVID-19 proof of vaccination policy

If you’re travelling from further afield you can fly into Anchorage Airport to reach the Kenai Peninsula. More than 200 flights arrive daily with direct flights from major cities in the US as well as European and Asian destinations. Major airlines include Delta, Alaska Airlines and American. The ferry is another option. The Alaska Marine Highway operates ferries to service 30 communities from Bellingham in Washington to Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Chain. 

If you’re coming from Canada you can drive via the Alaska Highway which runs 1300 miles from British Colombia to Alaska. If you’re travelling from the lower 48 states you can also get to Alaska via Dawson Creek in BC. 

Learn more about how to get from Anchorage to the Kenai Peninsula

The most convenient way to get around the Kenai Peninsula is by car. If you don’t have a car but want to explore further afield, you can catch a train with Alaska Railroad. Buses also travel between Seward, Anchorage and Denali. There is also a ferry service but stops on the Kenai Peninsula are limited. 

The coldest month is January with an average daily high of 32°F, but temperatures can dip much lower than this. There’s plenty of snowfall in winter and loads of opportunities for skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing. The summer sees average highs of 70°F and the days are long. Around the time of the summer solstice the sun sets for just a few hours which is a rather unusual experience but means you've got plenty of time to explore the great outdoors. 

Learn more about weather on the Kenai Peninsula

The best time to visit really depends on what you want to see and do. If you want to see the northern lights, it’s best to go between late fall and early spring, although winter gives you the best chance as it’s the darkest time of year. For snow sport enthusiasts, winter through early spring is prime time. Summer is a wonderful time to visit the lively beer gardens in Anchorage and Seward, spot wildlife and see the surrounding wilderness in full bloom with wildflowers. 

What to pack depends on what time of year you visit, but you can’t go wrong with lots of layers, a comfortable pair of walking shoes, a waterproof and windproof coat, a hat and gloves. Layering is key as you’ll be able to adjust if the sun comes out while you’re eating lunch outside or a cold wind blows in while you’re up the mountains. Another essential for all seasons is a decent pair of sunglasses as the sun glares brightly against the snow and there are over 20 hours of sunlight in the summer. If you’re continuing your adventure to Denali National Park, the Matanuska Valley or anywhere else where’ll you be hiking and doing lots of outdoor activities, don’t forget a sturdy pair of hiking boots and other essential gear for your trip. 

Intrepid is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have. We’re always happy to talk to travellers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them towards the most suitable itinerary for their needs and where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.

Learn more about Accessible Travel with Intrepid

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