This is Alaska's first and largest park including 400,000 acres (160,000 hectares) of park and wilderness areas.
A collection of dramatic bays and steep rocky fjords in a mild maritime climate. A small annual rainfall of 30 inches and average summer temperatures in the 70's (°F) gave this lovely place the nickname "summerland" by the first Russians to arrive on her shores in the 1800s.
Flora and fauna
Inhabited by wildlife on land, in the air, and in the ocean, there is so much to see and do here that one could spend a lifetime exploring around. Mountain goats grace the cliffs of remote and beautiful Sadie Cove from the entrance and up to the wilderness lodge of the same name on the south facing shore. Black bears live high in the mountains and can also be seen in the springtime on the shores of the park searching for the first foods of the new season. Bald eagles fly above and in the ocean there are seals, sea lions, humpback whales, orcas, sea otters and sea birds.
To get to most areas of the park one needs to hire a water taxi from the town of Homer.
- Red Mountain Marine, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. One of the first water taxi services. Owned by Tom Hopkins of Homer. Adults $75, Children (2-11) $40, round trip. Infants free.
Fees and permits
The park has a plethora of well maintained hiking trails for the novice as well as the experienced hiker.
The hiking trails, the glaciers, the Native villages of Seldovia, Port Graham, and Nanwallek, the artist community of Halibut Cove, the dramatically beautiful and remote Sadie Cove, and the head of Kachemak Bay.
- Trails End Horse Adventures, ☏ . Offers tours of the head of the bay on horseback. Owned by Mark Marette of Homer.
You’ll probably want to do your shopping in Homer before you depart. Although there are several small villages in or near the park, retail prices are exceptionally high and variety exceptionally small, although Halibut Cove is known for its thriving arts scene and has several galleries.
The village of Seldovia has a couple of nice places to dine, and Halibut Cove has the famous Saltry restaurant, and Jim Nardelli's floating Espresso stand.
- Alaska's Ridgewood Wilderness Lodge, Halibut Cove (adjoining the state park), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 10AM. A Kachemak Bay wilderness lodge capable of housing up to ten people in Halibut Cove with an on-site oyster farm. Rooms have private baths, WiFi, housekeeping, and free laundry services. Hosts can arrange activities such as brown bear photography, trophy salmon and halibut charters, fly-fishing for rainbow trout, hiking, and bird-watching. $650 per person per night, with a 2-night-minimum. Rates are based on double occupancy and include three gourmet meals each day.
- Sadie Cove Wilderness Lodge, ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Eco-sustainable lodging and home built from driftwood by Alaska pioneer Keith Iverson and open as a full-service wilderness lodge since 1981.
Permits for camping can be obtained through the Alaska State Parks website. Book early. Yurts are available for nightly rentals through Nomad Shelters in Homer.
This is a wilderness park. Visitor facilities are extremely limited. Bring extra food in case the unpredictable coastal weather delays you. Cell phones may not work in some areas. As always in Alaska, be mindful that you are in bear country and take appropriate precautions, including securing food and water at all times when not in immediate use.
- Homer - The "halibut fishing capital of the world" is located just across the bay.