Soldotna is the central hub of the Kenai Peninsula and is located just 150 miles from Anchorage via the Seward Highway and Sterling Highway. Unlike most towns in Alaska, which were founded during the gold rushes, Soldotna wasn’t settled until about 1947 by Homesteaders.
The world famous Kenai River is one of Soldotna’s main attractions. You may fish from the river bank or launch a boat and take to the waterways. Soldotna is home to many top notch-fishing guides who have a reputation for helping visitors find and catch trophy Kings as well as smaller Silver Salmon, Dollies and Rainbow trout.
A King Salmon world-record was caught here in Soldotna on the Kenai River by Soldotna resident Les Anderson in 1985. The record setting catch weighed in at 97 lbs. 4 oz. This enormous fish is still on display at the Soldotna Visitor Center.
While visiting Soldotna, stop by one of three open air markets to get a taste of life on the Kenai Peninsula. Tuesday is the Farmers Fresh Market, 3-6 at 33955 Community College Dr. Soldotna’s Wednesday Market is 11-9 at Soldotna Creek Park, with a FREE concert in the park from 6-9. Saturday is the Central Kenai Peninsula Farmers Market from 10-2 at the corner of the Spur Highway and Corral Street.
Of course Soldotna is famous for first class fishing and great accommodations, but there is endless list of other activities to enjoy in Soldotna, including;
Soldotna Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center is just south of the Kenai River Bridge. Home to the world record sport caught king salmon mount and other wildlife displays. You will also find brochures, maps and information on local activities and events. The visitor center offers a fishing rod & binocular loan program. Open 9-7, daily in the summer. Also located within the visitor center is the Logo Shop with souvenirs, Soldotna logo apparel and more. 907-262-9814. VisitSoldotna
Located in the heart of Soldotna Alaska, The Soldotna Inn is known for its clean and comfortable rooms. They offer free Wi-Fi, Continental Breakfast, Satellite TV, microwave, mini-fridge, and USB charging stations. It is also home to the Mykel’s Restaurant.
Camping in Soldotna
There are a number of campgrounds in Soldotna as well as RV Parks. Camping in Soldotna can be very busy during the summer months. Especially when the fish are running, so it’s best to book ahead.
Diamond M Ranch Resort is much more than just a campground or RV Park. It is a Resort with an Alaskan twist. You will find tent camping sites, full-service lodging, full hookup RV sites, and cabins. Located between Soldotna and Kenai, it is the perfect destination for exploring the Kenai Peninsula.
Centennial Park is one of the best campgrounds in Soldotna Alaska. It has 220 campsites, restrooms, a boat launch, and fish cleaning tables. The trails connect to the nearby Soldotna Visitor Center. You can walk to the Kenai River and catch red and silver and king salmon from the banks of the river.
Soldotna Swiftwater Park is at the east end of town, and is situated next to the Kenai River. They have picnic tables and fire pits and a boat launch.
Things to Do in Soldotna Alaska
As the central hub of the Kenai Peninsula, Soldotna is a wonderful place to base yourself for Kenai Peninsula adventures. It is a haven for anglers and those looking to spot some of Alaska’s amazing Wildlife.
Here are some of the best things to do in Soldotna Alaska.
Kenai National Wildlife is often called “Alaska in miniature” for it encompasses everything from ice fields and glaciers, to forests, tundra, and coastal wetlands. It is a 1.92-million-acre wildlife habitat that is home to moose, lynx, brown and black bears, trumpeter swans, wolves, and more.
There are lots of amazing outdoor activities you can do while staying in Soldotna apart from wildlife viewing and fishing. You can also enjoy:
The Centennial and Keen Eye trail system in Soldotna is a 3-mile loop with interpretive signs along the trail and a viewing deck on Headquarters Lake. From Sterling Hwy, turn east on Funny River Road and then right on Ski Hill Road to the parking area at the Headquarters of the Kenai Wild Life Refuge.
Soldotna proudly hosts the Annual Progress Days. It occurs during the fourth weekend of July and includes a parade, rodeo, a street fair, all day entertainment. Vendors, air show, community barbecue, dance, arts and crafts show, and other events. This is the largest event of the year of the Soldotna community.
Map of Soldotna Alaska
This map of Soldotna shows the main downtown area. The Sterling Highway is the main street in town. The Kenai Spur Highway leads to the City of Kenai. You can also take Kalifornsky Beach Road at the west end of town to reach the City of Kenai.
Soldotna Alaska FAQS
Where is Soldotna located in Alaska?
Soldotna is the central hub of the Kenai Peninsula and is located 150 miles from Anchorage via the Seward Highway and Sterling Highway.
What is Soldotna Alaska Known For?
Fishing in the Kenai River, the Headquarters of the Kenai Wildlife Refuge, Hiking, boating and camping, Canoe trails, and Hunting with some restrictions.
How long does it take to drive from Soldotna to its surrounding cities?
Sterling 10 miles (approx: 15 min)
Kenai 10 miles (approx: 15 min)
Ninilchik 40 miles (approx: 46 min)
Homer 78 miles (approx: 1.5 hr)
Cooper Landing 52 miles (approx: 45min)
Seward 95 miles (approx: 2 hr)
Anchorage 148 miles (approx: 2hr 46 min)
Where can I see moose in Soldotna?
There is a good chance of spotting moose in Soldotna Alaska on Swanson River Road, Ski Hill Road, Skilak Loop Road, and Swan Lake Road. But it’s not uncommon to see them in many places around town and on the side of the Sterling Highway leading to and from Soldotna.
Where can I see bears in Soldotna?
Your best chance to spot bears in Soldotna Alaska will be at the USFS Russian Lakes Trail, Fuller Lakes Trail, and USFS Resurrection Trail. These trails are near the rivers that bears will fish in for food. Always be be aware and stay far back from any bears you encounter.
Are there wolves in Soldotna Alaska?
Yes, it is possible to see wolves in Soldotna Alaska on Kenai National Wildlife Refuge (KNWR). This has a wide variety of wildlife including moose, lynx, brown and black bears, trumpeter swans, wolves, and more. Wolves are very elusive, and you’ll have to have a bit of luck on your side if you do spot one. Good luck!
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