Chugach National Forest

Exlore our backyard, the beautiful and wild Chugach National Forest.

The Chugach (pronounced "chew-gatch") National Forest is home to many well-known Alaskan adventure destinations and spans over 5.4 million acres. The Chugach National Forest is the nation's second-largest national forest and the largest contiguous wetland area on the U.S. West Coast.

Kenai Riverside Lodge, home of Kenai River Trips, is situated along the shoreline of the famous Kenai River. The Kenai (pronounced keen-eye) draws strength from many tributaries in the Chugach National Forest and boasts an unusually productive watershed that has produced several world record king salmon, as well as huge runs of sockeye salmon, large rainbow trout, and Dolly Varden. This glacier fed river is a unique shade of turquoise-green; its beauty adds to the magic of this diverse ecosystem. The Kenai flows from the Chugach National Forest into the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge just downstream from our Kenai Riverside Lodge, Alaska Wildland Adventures' homebase for many of our Alaska Adventures, Lodge Packages and Kenai Riverside Fishing trips.

Kenai National Wildlife Refuge

Raft, fish and hike in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.

The Kenai 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 vacations include opportunities to explore within the boundaries of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge; our top-rated Kenai Backcountry Lodge, situated along the shoreline of a glacier-carved lake and accessible only by boat, offers an ideal wilderness experience deep within these protected lands.