Kenai Peninsula

Geographical location

The Kenai Peninsula (English Kenai Peninsula ) is a peninsula in Alaska ( USA) south of Anchorage.


To the north are the Chugach Mountains, which separates the bay of the Turnagain Arm of the peninsula, and to the west the average of 30 km wide Cook Inlet, a bay of the Gulf of Alaska, with the volcanoes of the Alaska Range on the opposite side. To the east lies the Prince William Sound and south eventually the Pacific Ocean. Kenai is connected by the isthmus at Portage Glacier to the mainland.

In the eastern part of the Kenai Peninsula are the Kenai Mountains, which accommodate three ice caps, the Harding Icefield is North America's second largest. To the southeast is the Kenai Fjords National Park, in the northeast of the Chugach National Forest. The western part is characterized by a low level, in the southeast rather hilly, in the north- east by a shaped by prehistoric glaciers lakes. The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge and the Kachemak State Park make up a large part of the western Kenai. The landscape consists mostly of mixed forests.

Alaska's only Scenic Highway, Seward Highway, leading from Anchorage along the Turnagain Arm, then through the Kenai Mountains to Seward, the point of entry to the Kenai Fjords National Park. At Tern Lake in the mountains of the Sterling Highway branches off to the west, along the Kenai River, Kenai Lake and Skilak Lake in the past, eventually to the south, along the Cook Inlets and Tustumena Lakes, Alaska's fourth largest lake.


Places with about 3,000 to 6,000 residents are in the eastern Seward, Kenai and Soldotna Homer in the west and the southwest. Smaller settlements are, inter alia, Hope, Moose Pass, Cooper Landing, Sterling, Nikiski, Kasilof, Ninilchik, Anchor Point and Nikolaevsk.


The Kenai Peninsula was originally inhabited by the Dena'ina Indians, a tribe of Athabascan. Russian fur traders settled here first end of the 18th century ( for a critical view see also Russian America ).

Economy, tourism

Tourism and the oil industry are among the main sources of income of the peninsula. Because of its diversified landscapes - mountains, glaciers, lakes, rivers, beaches - draws the Kenai each year thousands of tourists from around the world who come here for recreation as well as for salmon and halibut fishing.

Visitors will see most likely moose. Many black and brown bears ( grizzly ) live on the Kenai Peninsula. The confluence of the Russian River and Kenai River is a magnet for fly anglers who fish here shoulder to shoulder, each year thousands of sockeye salmon. Near the mouth of the Kenai River to the Cook Inlet in 1985, a world record in the sport fishing for king salmon achieved (97 pounds, ≈ 44 kg ). On the beach near Clam Gulch you can go to dig razor clams.