Located in the heart of Kenai National Wildlife Refuge on the shores of glacier-carved Skilak Lake, Kenai Backcountry Lodge is a remote wilderness retreat. Accessible only by boat, this historic property offers a chance to relax and reconnect with nature far from busy tourist areas. Activities are designed to highlight the stunning landscape, including the magnificent Cottonwood Trail overlooking the surrounding mountains and Skilak Lake below.
Cozy guest cabins are nestled into the forest and just steps away from the outdoor gazebo, wood-fired sauna and main lodge. Fresh and Alaskan-sourced gourmet meals are always a highlight of Alaska Wildland trips, and ask about the custom hydro-electric system, which utilizes the power of a nearby creek to lessen the dependence on generators.
Lodge: Originally built in the 1930s as a remote hunting lodge, Kenai Backcountry Lodge was lovingly restored and renovated to preserve its historic character; Rustically elegant lounge and dining room heated by a wood stove; Pour yourself a glass of wine or enjoy a creek-cooled beer.
Cabins: Nine guest cabins tucked into the surrounding forest near the main lodge and connected via gravel pathways and boardwalks; Cozy ambience with lodge-style furnishings, linens, comforters, propane heaters and lights; Each cabin has at least two beds, a private en suite bathroom and shower and a private porch; Off the grid (electrical outlets for charging electronics are available in the main lodge); We can support CPAP machines in certain cabins.
Grounds: Wood-fired sauna (and a quick plunge into the lake afterwards if you dare!); Canopy-covered ping-pong table; Lakeside chairs and campfire area; Screened-in gazebo set in the woods.
Start your trip with a drive south from Anchorage along Turnagain Arm to the town of Cooper Landing and our Kenai Riverside Lodge. Enjoy a hearty, freshly-prepared dinner and settle into your cozy cabin. The next day, gear up for a full day raft trip down the Kenai River and through Kenai Canyon, enjoying the beautiful turquoise water and the mild Class II+ rapids! Finish this adventure with a scenic exploration on Skilak Lake before arriving at Kenai Backcountry Lodge. Enjoy another day and night at this historic eco-lodge, relaxing on the screened-in gazebo or wood-fired sauna and hiking up to stunning panoramic views. On your final day, return to Kenai Riverside Lodge and then enjoy comfortable transportation back to Anchorage.
The sample itinerary below shows a 4 day/3 night stay. Contact us for other trip length options and pricing. For longer Packages that include a stay at this lodge, please click the “Packages” tab above.
Self-Drive Option: For independent travelers, we have two self-drive options:
- Arrive at Kenai Riverside Lodge between 4 and 6 p.m. on Day 1 to check in before dinner is served at 6:45 p.m.
- Arrive at Kenai Riverside Lodge by 9 a.m. on Day 2 for rafting to Kenai Backcountry Lodge. Otherwise, you’ll enjoy the same 3 day/2 night experience as our all-inclusive guests. Please get in touch with any questions!
Arrival: Arrive in Alaska with enough time to ensure you can meet your Alaska Wildland Adventures representative at your downtown hotel between 2:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. or at the Anchorage Airport at 3:00 p.m.
Day One: Travel to Kenai Riverside Lodge
Shuttle by small passenger van along Turnagain Arm to Cooper Landing, home of our Kenai Riverside Lodge. Upon arrival, settle into your cabin, enjoy dinner in the lodge and discuss your upcoming activity days with our knowledgeable staff. Overnight at Kenai Riverside Lodge.
Day Two: Raft the Kenai River
Gear up for a rafting adventure into the heart of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge and explore at the river’s pace! Watch for moose, bears, bald eagles and other bird species and enjoy a delicious picnic lunch along the river or on the shores of Skilak Lake before arriving at Kenai Backcountry Lodge in the late afternoon to settle into your cabin and enjoy a freshly-prepared dinner served by candlelight. Overnight at Kenai Backcountry Lodge.
Day Three: Explore Kenai National Wildlife Refuge
Spend a full day exploring the remote wilderness of Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. Hike a secluded trail and at the top, explore the tundra and enjoy captivating views of the lake and surrounding wilderness. Return to the lodge in the afternoon and enjoy the wood-fired sauna or simply relax at the lodge. Depending on the weather, options for the evening may include an exploration of the lake by sturdy touring kayak or fireside natural history presentation by one of the lodge’s guides. Overnight at Kenai Backcountry Lodge.
Day Four: Return to Anchorage
Bid farewell to Kenai Backcountry Lodge after a hearty breakfast this morning and travel by van back to Anchorage, enjoying the beautiful Chugach Mountains and views of Cook Inlet, arriving at approximately noon.
Departure: You will arrive back in Anchorage by approximately 12:00 p.m. on the last day of your journey. See the “Alaska Travel Information” section of your Trip Planning Booklet for recommended lodging. If you choose to fly home today, we suggest you book a flight that departs after 3:00 p.m. in case of possible transportation delays.
Whether you plan to visit one of our lodges for a short stay or enjoy a lodge-to-lodge package, we’ll help find the perfect trip for you! Explore our most popular lodge packages below to review itinerary details, activity inclusions and pricing - or, get in touch to discuss customizable options!
If you'd like a vacation focused only at Kenai Backcountry Lodge, you can find the itinerary options, trip length and pricing details here.
We’ve taken our classic week-long Alaska Wildland Collection and made it even better by adding an additional day at our coastal paradise, Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge – the only wilderness lodge located deep inside Kenai Fjords National Park! This trip includes stays at all three of our wilderness lodges for a river, backcountry and seacoast experience in wild Alaska.Read More > Learn More >
4 days/3 nights – Adult $2400; Youth $2000
Please inquire about rates for longer stays.
Trip prices are in U.S. dollars excluding taxes and fuel surcharges, when applicable. Prices are per person, based on double occupancy; solo traveler rates apply. Youth rates apply to ages 7 – 18. Please ask about discounts for triple/quadruple occupancy, when available. Trip price includes all meals, accommodations and activities as noted. Optional special interest activities may be offered at the lodge for an additional fee. Trip price does not include tax, applicable fuel surcharge(s), alcoholic beverages, gratuities to staff, or items of a personal nature.
All trip prices are based on double occupancy. Taxes and seasonal fuel surcharges, when applicable, are not included in trip price and are subject to change prior to trip departure. We accept checks, MasterCard, Visa and Discover.
|Payment Schedule:||Amount Due per Person:|
|121+ days prior to departure:||$1,000 or 50% of trip total, whichever is less|
|120 to 61 days:||50% of total|
|Within 60 days:||100% of total|
Reservations made within 60 days must be guaranteed with MasterCard, Visa or Discover. Late payments may result in releasing your reservation and rebooking will be subject to availability. Cancellation fees will apply.
Upon receipt of your initial deposit, we will send you written confirmation, trip planning materials and a travel insurance application. We recommend that you purchase travel insurance.
Our policies go into effect at the time of book and upon receipt of deposit. Written cancellations and changes must be received in our reservations office to be valid. Non-appearance for program will result in no refund. We strongly recommend that you purchase travel insurance.
If the cancellation or change occurs:
|121+ days prior to departure:||The fee is $300 or 10% of trip total, per person, whichever is less|
|120 to 91 days:||The fee is $600 or 20% of trip total, per person, whichever is less|
|90 to 46 days:||50% of total trip cost, per person|
|Within 45 days:||100% of total trip cost, per person|
No refunds will be made on individual features, transfers or sightseeing voluntarily omitted by the participant. No refunds for unused services will be issued. Our tours operate rain or shine. Refunds for cancelled flights or any services reserved outside of Alaska Wildland Adventures will be made in accordance with the rules of the carrier.
We recommend that you purchase a travel protection plan to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. Travel protection plans can include coverage for Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Emergency Medical and Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation, Trip Delay, Baggage Delay and more.
A Note About Occupancy
In addition to our standard double occupancy, we also offer solo supplement, triple and quad pricing options for our Alaska adventure vacations. Requested solo accommodations, when available, are subject to a solo supplement fee; however, for a solo traveler interested in sharing accommodations with another same sex traveler, we will make every effort to pair you, and the solo supplement fee will be waived. Occasionally, pairing is not possible and a “forced solo” rate will apply during the Alaska vacation. If you are a solo traveler and you’d like to experience an Alaska vacation with Alaska Wildland Adventures, we will do all we can to have you join us!
Please visit Our Policies for additional information.
Kenai Backcountry Lodge is located on glacier-carved Skilak Lake and is accessible only by boat from Kenai Riverside Lodge. Located at Milepost 50.1 on the Sterling Highway, Kenai Riverside Lodge is an easy two-hour drive from Anchorage or one-hour drive from Seward. The Seward Highway is one of the most beautiful drives in the United States, unspoiled by billboards or fast food chains and boasting plenty of pull-outs and view points along the way. Mountain passes, Turnagain Arm, and evidence of the 1964 earthquake near Portage are all popular places to stop and take in the vistas with your eyes and camera on the journey south.