Alaskan Road to Nowhere

Take it to Alaska's Kenai Peninsula and find some of the best fishing, paddling, and moonshine-sampling of your life.

There aren't many places in America where you can paddleboard amongst glaciers, but Seward is one of them (pictured here: Bear Glacier). (Photo: Robert Zaleski)

Throughout the pandemic, we'll keep publishing news to help you navigate the state of travel today (like whether travel insurance covers the coronavirus), as well as stories about places for you to put on your bucket list once it's safe to start going more far-flung.

Forge your way through 495,000-acre Chugach State Park and the 1.9-million-acre Kenai National Wildlife Refuge on a 500-mile pilgrimage through the Last Frontier.

Packing List: Rubber boots and rain jacket, fly rod, bug spray

Highlights: Acclimate to your moose-heavy surroundings in Anchorage with an 11-mile run or hike along the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail. Then head south in a high-clearance vehicle. (Most of the roads are good, but the best side trips will require something rugged.) An hour away you’ll find the Alyeska Resort and its 50-mile maze of mountain-biking trails (full-suspension bike rental with pads and helmet, $100).

In Seward, stay at the Exit Glacier Lodge, where the staff packs bag lunches for early-rising fishermen and stores their catch in a giant freezer (from $159). If you want to go for the big boys—halibut and king salmon—head out with Crackerjack Sport Fishing Charters ($350); if fishing isn’t your thing, go for an all-day ice-climbing lesson on four-mile-long Exit Glacier ($185).

(Photo: Chris Burkard)

On the way to Homer, pitch a tent along the Sterling Highway at one of 45 sites at Quartz Creek Campground. Bank-fish for rainbow and Dolly Varden trout, or drive four miles east to Cooper Landing and sight-fish in the Russian River for sockeye salmon. In Sterling, stop to test the Blind Cat moonshine at Highmark Distillery.

At the end of the road in Homer, hop a water taxi across Kachemak Bay to your own remote cabin—complete with woodstove and minimal kitchen—and set up camp for the 
next two nights. From there, launch a kayak to paddle among orcas, sea lions, and humpback whales ($395 per person for two nights). 

Detour: Hop on a quick one-hour flight from Homer to Katmai National Park and Preserve for a guided tour and watch brown bears congregate on the tidal flaps to feast on running salmon ($675).

The route.