Soldotna, Alaska is home of the only Dairy Queen in Alaska.
Location / Coordinates: Soldotna, Alaska sprawls along the Sterling Highway on the western side of the Kenai Peninsula. The Kenai Spur Highway is just to the northwest of the Soldotna. Soldotna, Alaska is just under 150 miles southeast of Anchorage.
Coordinates: Latitude N60.49 & Longitude W151.06
Population / Elevation: Soldotna has over 4,000 residents. Soldotna, Alaska’s elevation is just above sea level, at 115 feet.
Description: Soldotna, Alaska has grown from a homesteader’s cabin in the 1940s to the current sprawling town around the Sterling and Kenai Spur Highways. Soldotna, Alaska is geared to accommodate fishermen. Some of the best fishing in the world is on the Kenai Peninsula in and around Soldotna, Alaska.
What to do there: Soldotna, Alaska is “base camp” for many fishing adventures. The Kasilof River, and the Kenai River are very popular fishing spots, not too far from town, and easily accessible. For the more adventuresome fisherman, there are many remote fishing spots that local outfitters know about. Book a fly-in fishing trip and get wildlife and glacier viewing as a bonus. Come home with world-class Chinook (king) Salmon, Sockeye (red) Salmon, Coho (silver) Salmon, as well as Pink Salmon, Rainbow Trout, Grayling, and Dolly Varden in your ice chests.
Many fishermen want to take their catch home to the Lower 48. Most mailing and shipping services (UPS, FedEx, etc.) will ship frozen fish. There are special boxes and packing requirements, but this isn’t a problem, as tons of fish are mailed / shipped all the time.
There are some very scenic vistas of the volcanic mountains across Cook Inlet from Soldotna, Alaska. Bring your camera and shoot Mount Spurr at over 11,000 feet high, Mount Iliamna and Mount Redoubt both just over 10,000 feet high. Mount Spurr last erupted in 1992, and Mount Redoubt last erupted in 1989.
The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Visitors’ center has helpful information about local wildlife and where to see them, canoeing, hiking and camping. There are a couple of trails to hike in the summer season and cross-country ski in the winter season here. The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge was established when President Franklin d. Roosevelt set aside over a million and a half acres of land so large numbers of moose, and other wild game would be around for future generations.
Most towns have sidewalks, Soldotna, Alaska also has fishwalks. Fishwalks have been constructed to give the public access to riverbanks for fishing or viewing the river. The Kenai River is swift and the banks are steep. The fishwalks gives people the opportunity to enjoy the Kenai River. Another way to enjoy the rivers in Soldotna, Alaska is to take a river excursion, or see Soldotna and the Kenai penensula from the air on a flight seeing trip—there are specific trips to see bears.
There are other things to do in Soldotna besides fishing. The Soldotna Historical Society Museum has a nice display of wildlife and cabins of early homesteaders of the area. There are several historic buildings on the grounds as well.
For those who aren’t into fishing, there is plenty to keep you occupied. Antique shops, book stores, and an Alaskan staple—a quilt shop.
History: Soldotna, Alaska is one of the few cities in Alaska not associated with gold mining. Soldotna got its start after the Second World War. Under the Homestead Act the U.S. government gave veterans a 90-day preference over non-veterans in selecting and filing for homestead property in the Soldotna area. Shortly there after, the Sterling Highway was cleared from Cooper Landing to Kenai. The bridge over the Kenai River was built in Soldotna, improving development options.
By the late 1950’s oil was discovered in the Swanson River region. Soldotna grew to over 300 residents. By the late 1960’s Soldotna had a new water and sewer system. By the 1980’s Soldotna was the place to go with a General Hospital, the Kenai Peninsula college, and Alaska State roper headquarters, the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, and the Administrative headquarters for the Kenai Peninsula Borough.
How to get there: To drive to Soldotna, Alaska from Anchorage, take the Seward Highway east to the Sterling Highway at Tern Lake Junction and head west to Soldotna. Private aircraft can land at the unattended Soldotna Airstrip. The asphalt runway is 5,000 feet; fuel is available.
Facilities: Soldotna, Alaska has all the amenities needed for travelers, fishermen, and other visitors to the Kenai Peninsula. Soldotna offers several supermarkets, hotels, motels, B&Bs, cabins, lodges and campgrounds; a veterinarian, hospital, museums, tire and auto services, shopping, and dining.
RV info: There are RV parks in and around Soldotna with full hookups, showers, laundry, and fish cleaning facilities.