One of the cabins at the Kenai Backcountry Lodge in Alaska is just barely visible through dense forest under mountains and beyond the lake
Dining room at Kenai Backcountry Lodge in Alaska with wood table set for 6, log cabin walls & dark green curio cabinet,
Blue coffee pot with flowers sits by wood walkway to guest cabin at Kenai Backcountry Lodge with wood panels & front porch.
Interior of guest cabin at Kenai Backcountry Lodge with 1 double & 1 single bed, light wood bead board, skylights & table.
View Photos

Kenai Backcountry Lodge

The boat-in-only Kenai Backcountry Lodge offers an intimate experience of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge by accommodating only 16 to 18 guests at one time and making great efforts in off-the-grid sustainability that help preserve and protect the natural environment. Originally a 1930s hunting lodge, Kenai Backcountry Lodge is now a nature and wildlife destination from which to explore the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. Rustically elegant and heated by wood stove, the lodge is a gathering place for guests from around the world.

Kenai Backcountry Lodge Review

AdventureSmith Explorations’ Kenai Backcountry Lodge review includes a detailed description and photo gallery. Our Alaska experts have stayed at the Kenai Backcountry Lodge firsthand. Please read our lodge review below then contact our experts to compare the Kenai Backcountry Lodge with other adventure lodging packaged with Alaska national park tours and Alaska land tours.

Choose the Kenai Backcountry Lodge for its remote setting on the shore of Skilak Lake surrounded by miles of wilderness, exemplifying what a backcountry lodge should be. This truly authentic Alaskan wilderness experience is accessibly only by boat and though the lodge is ecologically managed with modern day amenities, it feels like you’re stepping back in time. The staff at Kenai Backcountry Lodge is remarkable and many of them love the location so much, they return summer after summer. The guides are top notch and may offer after-dinner paddling by kayak, based on weather and lake conditions. Exploring by water is truly a highlight of any visit to the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska.

Sustainability at Kenai Backcountry Lodge

The strategic construction of a hydro-electric system utilizes the power of nearby Cottonwood Creek to lessen dependence on generators at Kenai Backcountry Lodge. The water from the creek moves through a series of pipes and through a turbine to eventually charge the lodge’s battery bank. Following its natural path, all creek water flows into Skilak Lake. The energy stored in the battery bank runs all lights and water in the kitchen, main lodge and bathhouse as well as the lodge’s laundry facilities. The hydro-system, combined with enhanced solar panels on the property, means this deluxe wilderness lodge can operate with virtually no fossil fuel. This also means a lack of generator noise common to most other backcountry lodges.

Dining at Kenai Backcountry Lodge

Adventurous chefs return year after year and take great pride in the food they serve. All meals in the main cabin are served family style. The daily hot breakfast offers delights like blueberry pancakes, bacon, fresh fruit, coffee and tea. Lunch includes a beautiful array of sandwich fixings and sides like fresh fruit, homemade cookies and snacks available to pack a bag lunch to take on the day’s activity. Upon return, retrieve a cold soda or beers from the creek and head to the beach to take in the view. In the evening, a four-course meal is served family style in the main lodge, to be enjoyed with a glass of wine or Alaskan micro-brew beer. After dinner, relax by the bonfire, in the wood-fired sauna or take a tipple to the beach and watch the evening sky. Kenai backcountry Lodge can accommodate specific dietary needs and food allergies with advanced notice.

Activities at Kenai Backcountry Lodge

On guided hikes along the magnificent Cottonwood Trail, explore the ecosystems, identify native plants, climb to breathtaking views or take a more leisurely pace. Kayaking is available, including after-dinner, guided paddles when the weather is calm. When not outside enjoying a guided activity, make a visit to the wood-fired sauna (bring your suit and some courage to dip in the lake!). Evening bonfires and ping-pong under a canopy offer easy relaxation and camaraderie among guests. If there is something you need, just ask, as the staff strives to make your Alaska vacation the trip of a lifetime.

Accommodations at Kenai Backcountry Lodge

Guest cabins are just a short walk to the main lodge, outdoor gazebo, wood-fired sauna and, of course, the beautiful beachfront on Skilak Lake. Nine cabins in a wooded setting are connected by gravel pathways and boardwalks that protect the delicate ground below. A strong emphasis has been made to keep the lodge grounds as natural as possible. Each cabin features heated interiors, a minimum of two beds, simple furnishings, a private ensuite bathroom and shower, a private porch and propane light. Electrical outlets for recharging electronics are available in the main lodge and other public spaces on the property. Please note, some cabins are unable to support CPAP machines.

Book with the confidence that comes from experience.

100+ combined years of experience, 7 continents explored, decades of expedition cruising around the world & here to help you find & book your dream trip.

test message
View Wishlist