Raft, fish, hike and explore in the 1.92-million-acre refuge.
The Kenai (pronounced “keen-eye”) National Wildlife Refuge consists of the western slopes of the Kenai Mountains and forested lowlands bordering Cook Inlet. The lowlands include spruce and birch forests intermingled with hundreds of glacier-fed lakes. The Kenai Mountains rise to more than 6,000 feet, creating the southeastern boundary of the refuge. The wildlife refuge is a microcosm of Alaska, with a diverse range of habitat types ranging from the mountains and treeless alpine areas to boreal forests, wetlands and lakes.
The refuge was established to protect moose populations, Dall sheep, mountain goats, wolves, bald eagles and both brown and black bears. It is also home to a small, but thriving caribou herd and numerous undisturbed spawning grounds for the prolific salmon runs of the Kenai Peninsula. The turquoise waters of the Kenai River serve as our pathway for exploring these wild lands at the river’s pace – whether rafting or fishing.
Several of our Alaska Adventures include opportunities to explore within the boundaries of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. Our top-rated Kenai Backcountry Lodge, situated along the shoreline of glacier-carved Skilak Lake and accessible only by boat, offers an ideal wilderness experience deep within these protected lands.