Kenai Peninsula: Wikis

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Kenai Peninsula in Alaska
Kenai Peninsula Outer Coast
Kenai River
Kenai Peninsula Bear Glacier Lake and Pacific Ocean
The Kenai River & Mountains, August 2003.

The Kenai Peninsula is a large peninsula jutting from the southern coast of Alaska in the United States. The name Kenai is possibly derived from Kenayskaya, the Russian name for Cook Inlet, which borders the peninsula to the west.

Contents

Geography

Lakes and mountains on the Kenai Peninsula

The peninsula extends approximately 150 miles (240 km) southwest from the Chugach Mountains, south of Anchorage. It is separated from the mainland on the west by Cook Inlet and on the east by Prince William Sound. Most of the peninsula is part of the Kenai Peninsula Borough. Gerasim Izmailov was the first to explore and map the peninsula in 1789.

The glacier-covered Kenai Mountains (7,000 ft/2,130 m) run along the southeast spine of the peninsula along the coast of the Gulf of Alaska. Much of the range is within Kenai Fjords National Park. The northwest coast along the Cook Inlet is flatter and marshy, dotted with numerous small lakes. Several larger lakes extend through the interior of the peninsula, including Skilak Lake and Tustumena Lake. Rivers include the Kenai River, famous for its salmon population, as well as the Russian River, the Kasilof River, and the Anchor River. Kachemak Bay, a small inlet off the larger Cook Inlet, extends into the peninsula's southwest end, much of which is part of Kachemak Bay State Park

The Kenai Peninsula has many glaciers in its eastern and southern areas. It is home to both the Sargent Icefield and Harding Icefields and numerous glaciers that spawn off them.

Towns and cities

The peninsula includes several of the most populous towns in southern Alaska, including Seward on the Gulf of Alaska Coast, Soldotna and Kenai along the Cook Inlet, and Homer, along Kachemak Bay in the south. Across Kachemak Bay from Homer, on the more mountainous and remote end of the peninsula are the villages of Seldovia, Nanwalek, and Port Graham.

Transportation

Homer famously marks the terminus of the paved highway system of North America and is a popular destination for travelers who have driven to Alaska from the lower 48 states. Seward is the southern terminus of the Alaska Railroad.

Climate

The peninsula has a coastal climate that is relatively mild, with abundant rainfall. It is one of the few areas in Alaska that allows for agriculture, with a growing season adequate for producing hay and several other crops.

Natural resources and economy

The peninsula also has natural gas, petroleum, and coal deposits, as well as abundant commercial and personal-use fisheries. Tourism is a major industry, along with outfitting and guiding services for hunters and fishers.

Coordinates: 60°20′N 150°30′W / 60.333°N 150.5°W / 60.333; -150.5

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Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

The Kenai Peninsula [1] is south of Anchorage, surrounded by the Cook Inlet to the west and Prince William Sound to the east. It is one of the most visited tourist regions in Alaska, especially popular with anglers lured by its excellent salmon and halibut fishing.

Many of the communities of the peninsula were severely affected by the 1964 earthquake.

  • Anchor Point -- Just north of more famous Homer. The mouth of the the famous Anchor River is here.
  • Girdwood -- Home to Alyeska, generally known for its skiing.
  • Homer -- Jewel's hometown, known for its halibut fishing.
  • Hope -- Tiny (pop. 200 or so) town on Turnagain Arm.
  • Kenai -- The largest town on the peninsula, 2003 population 7166.
  • Ninilchik -- Home of a lovely Russian Orthodox Church and excellent clamdigging.
  • Nikiski -- Unincorporated small town north of Kenai, oil and fishing resources.
  • Seldovia -- Small town across Kachemak Bay from Homer.
  • Seward -- On Resurrection Bay, home of the Alaska SeaLife Center.
  • Soldotna -- King Salmon Capitol of the World
  • Sterling

Get in

The Kenai Peninsula can be reached by car by taking the Seward Highway roughly 40 miles south from Anchorage. Sterling Highway branches west towards Kenai, Seldovia, Ninilchik, and ultimately Homer. These are the only two major roads on the peninsula.

The road system is generally good and four-wheel drive is not needed in the summer.

ERA Aviation [2] and Grant Air offer flights from Anchorage to Kenai or Homer.

It is also possible to take the ferries of the Alaska Marine Highway [3] to and from Homer, Seldovia, and Seward.

Get around

Seward Highway - this 127-mile road, linking Anchorage with Seward, passes through some of the most spectacular scenery in the country. Seward Highway ties Alaska's metropolitan center, Anchorage, with the port of Seward on Resurrection Bay. From Anchorage to Girdwood, the highway borders Turnagain Arm and Chugach State Park. From Girdwood to Seward, it carries visitors through the Chugach National Forest. The diversity of landscape and wildlife found along the route is the hallmark of the highway corridor. The Highway has been recognized for its natural beauty as a designated All-American Road.

Stay safe

Both Cook Inlet and Turnagain Arm exhibit extreme tides. The only place in the world with a wider tidal range is the Bay of Fundy. Because of the swift tidal currents and the very soft clay of the tidal flats, it can be extremely dangerous to walk or drive on the tidal flats.

Brown bears and moose are quite common on the peninsula. Both can be aggressive towards humans. Moose are a major hazard on the peninsula's roadways, especially in winter.

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Simple English

The Kenai Peninsula is a large peninsula jutting from the southern coast of Alaska in the United States. The name Kenai is probably derived from Kenayskaya, the Russian name for Cook Inlet, which borders the peninsula to the west.[1] The peninsula sticks out about 150 miles (240 km) from the mainland of Alaska. Several towns and cites are there, including Soldotna, Kenai, Seward, and Homer. The pennsula has its own local government. There is also a lot of wilderness, a lot of it is in protected areas such as the Chugach National Forest and the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.

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References

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