For camping enthusiasts, the Kenai Peninsula is a virtual playground from Seward to Homer.
Campers can pick from accommodations ranging from RV parking overlooking Cook Inlet, cabins, kayak trips or hiking and camping in the wilderness of Alaska.
The numerous public and private campgrounds offer both tent areas or space to park an RV. RV spaces range from basic lots to campgrounds boasting electrical, water and waste hookups. With the campgrounds filling rapidly, especially during the peak of fishing season in July, reservations are not only recommended, they are a must.
For those who camp but are looking for a little more out of the outdoors scene, salmon and trout fishing are available around many campsites. Salmon anglers can get their lines wet at one of many campgrounds along the Kenai, Russian, Ninilchik and Anchor rivers as well as Deep Creek and Crooked Creek, among others. Those looking to pan-fry a tasty trout can drop their hooks along the Swanson River-Swan Lake canoeing system.
For campers looking to take a hike, the adventure of backpacking through Kachemak Bay State Park will offer more than a breathtaking view. There, hikers will find glaciers, soft sandy beaches and, for those willing to go to new levels, climbing can bring views of alpine meadows. Chugach National Forest and the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge offer trails along the Sterling and Seward highways for those looking to take a stroll.
For the boater, there is more than ample opportunity to take boating and kayak camping trips in Kachemak Bay State Park along with the Kenai Fjords National Park. The Kenai refuge is open to wilderness camping along the Swanson River-Swan Lake canoe trails.
For the adventurous boating soul, there is wilderness camping on Skilak and Tustumena lakes -- beware though, Skilak and Tustumena can be dangerous and offer big waves when the wind picks up.
Rules to remember when camping anywhere: Campers and hikers need to take trash with them in order to leave trails, beaches and campsites as clean as when they arrived.
When going out on their own, campers should be cautious to bring adequate food, clothing, rain gear, a map and compass, first-aid kit, matches and bug repellent. Boaters should being adequate safety gear, charts and a tide book and make sure to check marine weather forecasts before heading out.
Everyone should be careful and practice bear safety. Store and cook all food away from tents and sleeping bags.
When traveling on foot, make plenty of noise when in foliage areas and be careful to not travel where bears feed -- such as streams filled with spawning salmon, carcasses and large berry patches. If faced with a bear, individuals should talk in a normal voice and waive their arms to identify to the bear that they are human before backing away slowly and making certain not to run.
Alaska State parks
* Bing's Landing, Mile 79 Sterling Highway, boat launch
* Izaak Walton, Mile 81 Sterling Highway, boat launch
* Morgan's Landing, Mile 85 Sterling Highway, bank fishing
* Scout Lake, Mile 85 Sterling Highway, picnic shelter, trout fishing
* Funny River, Mile 10 Funny River Road, dock, bank fishing
North of Kenai:
* Captain Cook, Mile 36-39 Kenai Spur Highway, boating, swimming, fishing, hiking, picnic shelter
* Crooked Creek, off Coho Loop in Kasilof, fishing
* Johnson Lake, off Mile 110 Sterling Highway, fishing, boat launch
* Clam Gulch, off Mile 117 Sterling Highway, clamming
* Ninilchik, Mile 135 Sterling Highway, fishing
* Deep Creek, Mile 138 Sterling Highway, fishing, boat launch
* Stariski, Mile 151 Sterling Highway, picnic shelter
* Anchor River, off Mile 157 Sterling Highway, fishing
* Kachemak Bay State Park, boat access only, camping, hiking, fishing, beachcombing, cabins
* Caines Head, boat or trail access only, abandoned World War II fort, hiking, picnic shelter, camping, cabins.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
There are several developed campgrounds along the Swanson River road system. There are three between Sterling and Cooper Landing on Skilak Lake Road: two on Skilak Lake and one on Hidden Lake. All have boat ramps.
There are a number of campgrounds along the Sterling Highway between Sterling and Cooper Landing. The largest is the Kenai-Russian River at Mile 55 of the Sterling Highway.
U.S. Forest Service
For reservations at Forest Service campgrounds, call toll free (877) 444-6777.
* Bertha Creek Campground, Mile 65.5 Seward Highway
* Granite Creek Campground, Mile 63 Seward Highway
* Porcupine Campground in Hope, Mile 17.8 Hope Highway
* Coeur d'Alene Campground, Mile 16.2 Palmer Creek Road
* Tenderfoot Campground, Mile 46 Seward Highway
* Trail River Campground, Mile 24.4 Seward Highway
* Ptarmigan Campground, Mile 23.1 Seward Highway
* Primrose Campground, take Primrose Road from Mile 17 Seward Highway
* Crescent Creek Campground, take Quartz Creek Road from Mile 45 Sterling Highway
* Quartz Creek Campground, take Quartz Creek Road from Mile 45 Sterling Highway
* Cooper Creek Campground, Mile 50.7 Sterling Highway
* Russian River Campground, Mile 52.8 Sterling Highway
City and Private
* Gwin's Lodge, Restaurant and Bar, 595-1266
* Hamilton's Place, 595-1260
* Kenai Princess Lodge, 595-1425
* Miller Homestead Inc., 595-1406
* Sunrise Inn and RV Park, 595-1222
* Best Western King Salmon Motel, 262-5857
* Soldotna Sports Center (city), 262-3151
* Centennial Campground (city), 262-3151
* Swiftwater Campground (city), 262-3151
* Edgewater RV resort, 262-7733
* Kenai River Bend Campground and Resort, 283-9489
* Kenai Wilderness Lodge, 262-4390
* Knowlton's Kenai River Camp, 262-7765
* River Quest RV Resort, 283-4991
* River Terrace RV Park, 262-5593
* Riverside House, 262-0500
* Castaway Riverside RV Park, 262-7219
* Sterling Gifts and Campgrounds, 262-3583
* Fish On Inn and RV Park, 262-5297
* Beluga Lookout RV Park, 283-5999
* Betty's RV Park, 283-9351
* Diamond M Ranch, B&B, cabins, RV spaces, 283-9424
* Eagle Rock Enterprises, 283-7717
* Kenai RV Park, 398-3382
* Overland RV Park, 283-4512
* The Place, 283-9915
* Robinson's Mini-Mall, RV Park and Storage, 283-9384
* Sunset Beach Campgrounds, 283-1000
* Coho Cove, 262-1939
* Crooked Creek RV Park, 262-1299
* Kasilof RV Park, 262-0418 or (800) 264-0418
* Falls Creek Cabins and Camping, 262-8796
* Alaskan Angler RV Resort, 567-3393
* Country Boy Campground, 567-3396
* D&M Charters and RV Park, 567-4368
* Flying Bear Charters, B&B, cabins and RV, 567-3356
* Black Goat's Bluff RV Camp, 567-7395
* Ninilchik Point Overnighter, 567-3423
* Reel 'Em Inn, 567-7335
* Eaglecrest RV Park, 235-6851
* Kyllonen RV Park, 235-7762
* Short Stop Storage and Camping, 235-5327
* Driftwood Inn RV Park, 235-8019
* Fishing Hole RV Park, 235-4971
* Homer Spit Campground (city), 235-3170
* Hornaday Campground (city), 235-3170
* Ocean View RV Park, 235-3951
* Seaside Farm Accommodations, 235-7850
* Village Barabara Texaco and RV Park, 235-6404
* A Creekside RV Park, 224-3467
* Bear Creek Mobile Home and RV Park, 224-5725
* Miller's Landing, 224-5739
* Waterfront Park (city), 224-4055
* Spring Creek Campground (city), 224-4055
* Henry's One-Stop, 782-3222
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