Remote Fishing Lodge Along the Kenai River
All five species of Alaskan salmon call the Kenai River home between the months of May and October, including rosy-hued sockeyes and massive king salmon. The river, which wends its way across the Kenai Peninsula en route to the Cook Inlet, flows right alongside the Orca Lodge. Guests of the lodge can borrow equipment and hip boots from the front desk and cast their fishing lines directly from the riverbanks. The lodge can also arrange halibut charters in nearby Katchemak Bay, helmed by experienced local guides. At the end of the day, lug your catch back to Orca Lodge and you can barbecue it on outdoor grills.
All of the cabins at Orca Lodge look out onto the Kenai River from large windows and open-air porches. Built by hand from Alaskan spruce, the cabins feature full kitchens and cathedral ceilings with lofts, where you can hide honey pots from thieving cartoon bears. No wilderness retreat is complete without sitting next to a crackling campfire, and the lodge sets one up every night so guests can gather to swap stories amid the secluded birch groves.
Soldotna, Alaska: Angler’s Paradise on the Kenai Peninsula
A massive 97-pound king salmon hangs on the wall of the Soldotna Visitor Information Center. It’s the world’s largest sport-caught king salmon and an ode to the town’s reputation as the most fish-crazy place in Alaska during the summer. Each year, between the months of May and October, all five species of Alaskan salmon swim through the chilly Kenai River, which flows right through town. There are many local charters on hand that can help you find the best fishing spots, but you can also head to one of the town’s free, public fish walks and cast off directly from the riverbanks.
Soldotna backs up to the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, which is considered to be a microcosm of the Alaskan wilderness. It spans nearly two million acres and dozens of habitats ranging from high-altitude ice fields to low-lying rivers, and it’s home to hundreds of native species including moose, brown and black bears, and trumpeter swans. There are plenty of year-round activities here, too: Hiking, canoeing, and camping are popular pastimes in the summer; come winter, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling take over.
Read the Fine Print for important info on travel dates and other restrictions.