“Alaska’s Playground”

“Alaska’s Playground”

“Alaska’s Playground”

“Alaska’s Playground”

“Alaska’s Playground”

Kenai National Wildlife Refuge


The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge (KNWR) covers much of the western half of Alaska's Kenai Peninsula, almost 2 million acres of mountains, rivers, lakes, and forested plains. The Dena’ina traditional people of the Kenai call their birthplace “Yaghanen” - the “good land.” Nowadays, the locals refer to the Kenai Peninsula as "Alaska's Playground" because the Kenai is where they come to play in the outdoors. Alaskans and travelers alike flock to their special spots on "The Kenai" for world famous fishing, hiking and mushing trails, canoe and kayak trails, biking routes, camping, offshore boating, and more.


The first Natives set foot on the Kenai Peninsula somewhere around 6,000 BC. Around 1,000 AD the Dena'ina Athabascan Indians came to populate western side of the Peninsula. Gold was discovered in 1848, and homesteading spread the population (including Great Alaska's homestead at the confluence of the Kenai and Moose Rivers). Now the land supports Alaska's most diverse economy that includes agriculture, oil & gas, tourism, commercial & sport fishing, transportation, and service providers. In 1980 The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act re-designated the Kenai National Moose Range as the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.

Great Alaska Involvement

  • Our lodge is located within the Refuge borders, and is our base for much of our fishing, non fishing and family trips.
  • We are a limited entry permitted operator for sport fishing and scenic rafting within KNWR.
  • Much of Great Alaska's activities happen within 3 separate areas of the refuge: Upper Kenai River from Russian river to Skilak lake (rafting and fishing from motionless drift boats); Middle Kenai River from Skilak Lake to refuge border (3rd hole) (fishing drum drift and power boats); and the Swan Lakes Canoe Trail/Moose River (paddling from canoes, kayaks and paddle boards). We hike and bike in all these areas.
  • The refuge is a primary area for salmon and trout fishing for our fishing packages.
  • We once operated a tent camp at the border of the refuge on the Moose River.
  • We operated our "Adventure Camp" on the shores of Skilak Lake for 10 years.
  • We access the KNWR via rafts, Mackenzie River Drift boats, Canoes and Kayaks and paddleboards.

Our lodge is located within the boundaries of the Refuge for a reason: to give you more time playing. Most of our trips have activities in the KNWR, and here are some of our most popular itineraries.

  • Alaska lodge fishing trip
  • The Ultimate Combination
  • The Greatland Safari
  • The National Park Safari
  • The Premier Alaska Fishing trip

In Closing

Locals and travelers often spend their entire ALaska vacation within the boundaries of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. These savvy travelers know that Alaska is so large you can spend literally days driving to and from destinations. The Kenai offers a wealth of peak vacation experiences all packed together in one land area. And our lodge is located right in the middle of it all.

Frequently Asked Questions

​What can I do in the Refuge?

The refuge is one of Great Alaska's "core" destinations. Our trips main activity in the park is world class Rainbow Trout and Dolly Varden fishing, Salmon fishing (on both spin or fly tackle, focusing on Sockeye Salmon and Silver Salmon is also fantastic in the refuge at time, although Kings are not available to target in the refuge as they are in their spawning phase on that stretch of the river, so for a sustainable fishery they cannot be fished). Hiking, Mountain Biking and River Scenic River Rafting and Bald Eagle viewing are also primary activities for us.

​How's fishing in the Refuge?

The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge (KNWR) and surrounding ecosystem supports a magnificent population of native trophy rainbow trout in the Kenai River, which rivals the famed trout waters of Bristol Bay. The reason for the exceptional trout fishing is the KNWR's unspoiled large network of salmon-spawning lakes and streams that feed the Kenai River, including Upper and Lower Russian Lakes, Hidden Lake, Kenai Lake, Moose and Swanson River systems. Salmon thrive in these waters, creating a bounty of trout food that flows into the Kenai River.

​How do I get to the Refuge?

Just call our toll-free line and set up a stay at our lodge. We'll pick you up at the Anchorage airport (3 hours away) or at the cruise ship docks in Whittier or Seward (2 hours away) and bring you to the Refuge. Independent travelers can drive to our lodge. We offer all inclusive 3-7 day trips from our riverfront lodge at the confluence of the Moose and Kenai Rivers, as well as overnight stays at our renowned Bear viewing camp in Lake Clark National Park.

Our riverfront main lodge is only a 45 minute or so paddle up the Moose river to access the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, and to see Moose, Lynx, Beaver, Trumpeter Swans and Sandhill Cranes.

Not Ready to Book Yet?

Receive a copy of our exciting 2018 Legendary Adventures brochure in the mail and we’ll have our 40 page catalog in the sent to you right away. In the meantime, dive into the online version, and please let us know if you have any questions! Our office staff has a combined 100 years of Alaska and worldwide adventure travel experience, and we’d love to put that knowledge to work to assist your planning.