Dreaming Of A White Christmas? These 25 Stunning Photos Of The Kenai Will Fill Your Heart With Joy!

PC: Dan Logan, Flickr

PC: Dan Logan, Flickr

If you’re dreaming of a white Christmas and you aren’t as lucky as we are (since we get to actually live in this magical place!) we thought we’d spoil you with an abundance of snowy, wintery eye-candy. The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground is exceptionally special this time of year. Every direction you look will transport you directly into a winter wonderland paradise. From towering mountain views, to peaceful river beds and busy city streets – the magic of the holiday season is simply undeniable on the Kenai Peninsula. Just see for yourself… 🙂

PC: Leslie Richards

PC: Leslie Richards

1 – A picture perfect day gives way to the beautifully colored turquoise waters of the Kenai River at the Russian River confluence.

PC: Courtney Stanley

PC: Courtney Stanley

2 – Docked boats in Seward, Alaska look stunning against a snowy mountain backdrop.

PC: Dan Logan, Flickr

PC: Dan Logan, Flickr

3 – Riding the chair lift at Alyeska Resort up into the clouds and above the snowy mountain peaks.

PC: Alyeska Resort, Facebook

PC: Alyeska Resort, Facebook

4 – The upper Kenai River looks perfectly peaceful this time of year when all the anglers are hibernating for the winter.

PC: Courtney Stanley

PC: Courtney Stanley

5 – A musher takes his sled dog team across an open sea of snow on the Kenai Peninsula.

PC: Chris McLennan

PC: Chris McLennan

6 – Even rest stops on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground get transformed into a winter wonderland paradise this time of year.

PC: Steve Kocino, Flickr

PC: Steve Kocino, Flickr

7 – Driving on the Seward Highway can be dangerous any time of year, but during the winter months the magical snowy views make the trip totally worth the while.

PC: Courtney Stanley

PC: Courtney Stanley

8 – As the Kenai River freezes and thaws with changing winter temps, the fascinating views get elevated to a whole new level.

PC: Visit Soldotna, Facebook

PC: Visit Soldotna, Facebook

9 – A single tree lit up with Christmas lights turns this whole area near Summit Lake into a peaceful holiday paradise.

PC: The Alaska Life

PC: The Alaska Life

10 – On that same note, it’s impossible to deny that a Summit Lake Lodge cabin getaway is a picturesque experience this time of year. WOW!

PC: Summit Lake Lodge, Facebook

PC: Summit Lake Lodge, Facebook

11 – Solitude amongst the clouds can be found on the Lost Lake Trail near Seward.

PC: Dan Logan, Flickr

PC: Dan Logan, Flickr

12 – Frost heaves, crisp temps and cloudy skies make for a fierce winter photo-op on The Kenai.

PC: Shawn Biessel

PC: Shawn Biessel

13 – A group of seals take a break from swimming by resting on floating ice chunks off the Homer Spit in Kachemak Bay.

PC: Wonderlane, Flickr

PC: Wonderlane, Flickr

14 – The view from Slaughter Ridge above Kenai Lake takes the rewards of winter hiking on The Kenai to a whole new level.

PC: Rusty Muffin Meanderings

PC: Rusty Muffin Meanderings

15 – The Alaska Railroad knows how to ring in the holiday season in style, there is no denying that. WOW!

PC: Kirk Alkire

PC: Kirk Alkire

16 – Spotting an alpenglow is always a treat, but it’s exceptionally special when it happens while driving through the pass.

PC: Courtney Stanley

PC: Courtney Stanley

17 – Catching air in a magical mountain town such as Cooper Landing is an extreme way to celebrate the cheerfulness of the holiday season.

PC: Eric Teela, Flickr

PC: Eric Teela, Flickr

18 – Leave the big city of Anchorage and head towards The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground for a one way ticket to a winter wonderland paradise.

PC: Jennifer Robinson

PC: Jennifer Robinson

19 – The aerial views overlooking Resurrection Bay are like something straight out of a dream this time of year.

PC: Dan Logan, Flickr

PC: Dan Logan, Flickr

20 – So you think all the bears are hibernating? Think again! This guy is showing off his best snow dancing skills for one lucky photographer to enjoy.

PC: NorthernLights Design

PC: NorthernLights Design

21 – Alyeska Resort looks like it belongs right on the front of a post card. This place sure knows how to make the snowy months look good!

PC: Renee Gilbert Photography

PC: Renee Gilbert Photography

22 – When you think about winter on The Kenai, this is the exact image that should come to your mind each and every time. Peaceful, serene and breathtakingly beautiful.

PC: Bing

PC: Bing

23 – The soft and serene views overlooking a wintery Kelly Lake are enough to fill your heart full of love and happiness.

PC: Mark Pierson Photography

PC: Mark Pierson Photography

24 – Another one of the historic Alaska Railroad because we just can’t get enough of those brilliant blue and yellow Alaska colors against a snow mountainous backdrop.

PC: Rmevet Photography

PC: Rmevet Photography

25 – Sixmile River Valley looking south towards the charming little town of Hope is a snowy, wintery dream this time of year.

PC: Wonderlane, Flickr

PC: Wonderlane, Flickr

Wishing all of our friends, fans and neighbors on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground a safe and happy holiday season!

Springtime KEEN-EYE Candy

Lowell Point Beach in Seward, Alaska. Photo from Kristie Stockton.

Lowell Point Beach in Seward, Alaska. Photo from Kristie Stockton.

March Madness on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground means something a whole lot more beautiful than what you’d find on the basketball court. As winter faded away and officially turned to spring and we moved our clocks forward an hour, we made sure to capture the magical moments that happened in our very own backyard.

Photo from Alyeska Resort.

Photo from Alyeska Resort.

Feast your eyes on some gorgeous eye candy that was captured throughout the month of March that will have you falling in love with the Kenai Peninsula all over again.

Photo from Elsie I-Hsin Lin at Exit Glacier in Seward, Alaska. ‎

Photo from Elsie I-Hsin Lin at Exit Glacier in Seward, Alaska. ‎

We’ll kick things off with this beautiful sunrise in Soldotna, Alaska with  Mt. Redoubt glowing in the distance.

Sunrise 3.3 Soldotna, AK

No day in Alaska (where the state sport is dog mushing) is complete without a snowy dog walk in the woods. Although, this guy might be a little too small to compete with the real mushing dogs. 😉

Loomie in snow 3.8.16

Skilak Lake in Cooper Landing, Alaska is beautiful this time of year. And due to some pretty comfortable temperatures, we were pleasantly surprised to find that the lake has already broken up completely. Great for anyone wanting to get out for a day on the water enjoying some Rainbow Trout fishing.

Skilak Lake Alaska 3.5.16Cunningham Park in Kenai, Alaska is a beautiful place to take a walk and soak in the warm sunshine and beautiful blue skies.

cunningham park soldotna

As we headed out for a day of exploring on the Kenai River, we couldn’t help but to stop and take a photo of the stunning spring view from Bings Landing in Sterling, Alaska. Check out those beautiful mountain beaks in the distance! Such a gorgeous contrast against the strikingly beautiful blue water of the Kenai River.

Bings Landing Doc

A hike in the woods that leads to a lush overlook of thick forest and Tustemena Lake in the distance… always a win!

tustemena overlook

A sunset is no ordinary sunset when you take it in from Captain Cook State Recreation Area in Nikiski, Alaska. It’s like a whole bag of skittles in the sky! 😉

Captain Cook State Park

Sometimes “easy like Sunday morning” means taking a peaceful walk into the woods with a warm cup of coffee. Always a joyous journey on a beautiful spring day.

Sun beaming through treeline

Taking in an icy sunrise with a beautiful horse pasture in the distance is quite simply, what dreams are made of.

Sunrise over corrals 3.9.16

Because winter wonderland just feels like home (said every Alaskan, ever). ❤

Winterwonderland 3.9.16Swiftwater Park in Soldotna, Alaska offers breathtaking views all year long. Bonus fact: in the winter, you can usually have the whole place to yourself. EPIC.

swiftwater park

When the drive to work makes you pull over and have a photo-shoot, you know you live in the BEST PLACE IN THE WORLD. But um, we aren’t biased at all. 😉

Sunrise 3.8.16And when a sunset gives you goose-bumps and makes your heart dance with so much pure joy, you also know that you live in THE BEST PLACE IN THE WORLD. Like this one taken at the beginning of the month on Kasilof Beach.

Kasliof Beach Sunset 3.6.16

A day spent taking in the mountain views from the beach in Ninilchik, Alaska is always a good day. Especially when the sun is shining bright!

In addition to the beautiful beach, endless ocean and epic mountain peaks, the up close and personal Bald Eagle viewing is also a sight to behold when visiting Ninilchik.

bald eagle with mountains ninilchik ocean

And here’s the shot a little closer up. This Bald Eagle sure is a beauty! And by the looks of where it’s sitting, it looks like quite the dare devil. 😉 Or maybe just a smart fisherman!

eagle up close

The Kasilof River is such a special place to visit. During the wintertime when the snow still lines the banks, it’s like viewing something right out of a postcard. Simply incredible.

Kasilof

And move down a few miles to the mouth of the Kasilof River draining into the Pacific Ocean, this is a spectacular place to enjoy some soft sand and take in (yet another) epic sunset on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground.

Kasilof Beach Sunset 3.13

Watching both the mountains and the sun reflect onto the beautiful water via drift boat in the middle of Skilak Lake is always an enthralling experience.

sun reflecting off skilak lake 3.13

And it’s only fitting that after spending over 12 hours on the glistening Skilak Lake that we stay long enough to catch a sunset, Alaska’s Playground style.

skilak lake sunset 3.13

The launch to Tustemena Lake (or to float the Kasilof River) is a fabulous place to listen to wolves howl and to watch moose roam. It’s also a great place to have a campfire, go for a hike and enjoy being away from the crowds.

Secluded Spring Day at the Kasilof River - Tustemena Lake LaunchA sunset down Cannery Beach Road in Kenai is quite simply – what dreams are made of. ❤

Sunset down Cannery Beach Road overlooking Cook Inlet

Fishing the Kenai River near the Russian River confluence is way more fun without the crowds and with beautiful snow-capped mountains.

eric cooper landingThe Kenai River in Cooper Landing is STUNNING.

russian river confluence

There is no place like Homer. These views could suck you in for days.

stunning homer overlook 3.18

It was a magical night with calm, cool weather to watch boats in the bay as they got ready for the 2016 Winter King Tournament on 3.19.16.

homer mountains 3.18

And a sunset over Wasabi’s restaurant was sure to leave a lasting mark.

homer sunset from wasabis - 3.18.16

Swanson River Landing was beginning a serious breakup during late March. Soon enough we will be launching our kayaks for an epic float!

Swanson River

Fish Lake is a beautiful place fully submerge yourself in nature and not hear a single sound other than birds chirping and the occasional wolf howling.

Eric and Steve at Fish Lake 2

Remember, you have 365 changes to catch a sunrise and a sunset in each year. Get out there and make every day count. This beautiful sunrise was captured at Arc Lake in Soldotna, Alaska on March 9th.

Arc Lake

And on that note… We wish you love, safety and happiness with each and every day. Fall head over heels in love with The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground and never regret a second of this beautiful life!

Disclosure: With the exception of the first 3 photos featured above, all photos featured in this blog are copyright of Loomis Sage Marketing.

Happy Thanksgiving from The Kenai

PSkilak Lake. Photo from Becky Washington.

Skilak Lake. Photo from Becky Washington.

Happy Thanksgiving to our amazing friends, fans and fellow lovers of The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground! Living on the Kenai Peninsula, we undoubtedly have a million-and-one things to be thankful for each and every day. To start, it’s beyond-incredible that we live in a town that has these kind of mountain views right within the city (see below).

Photo from Greg Daniels shared from the Kenai Visitors & Cultural Center.

Photo from Greg Daniels shared from the Kenai Visitors & Cultural Center.

More times than not, we are blessed with some of the most magical sunrises. Like this one below in Seward, Alaska over the small boat harbor.

Photo from Derrick Miskinis Photography.

Photo from Derrick Miskinis Photography.

And the sunsets, those aren’t too shabby either. 😉 This one below in Cook Inlet titled “one last haul” is hard to beat!

Photo from Daniel Woeste.

Photo from Daniel Woeste.

We are thankful to live in an area where we can enjoy world-class river fishing right out front door.

Photo from kenaicache.com.

Photo from kenaicache.com.

And just-for-the-halibut, we must mention that the salt fishing is worthy of “writing home about” as well. 😉

Photo from halibutchronicles.com.

Photo from halibutchronicles.com.

We are thankful for the many awesome adrenaline rushes that Alyeska Resort provides us every season. By the way, today is opening day! Woohoo!

Photo from Alyeska Resort Facebook page.

Photo from Alyeska Resort Facebook page.

And for living in a state the provides so many opportunities to enjoy snow days with the kiddos. Alaska kids love the snow and are raised to be tough little outdoorsmen and women from the time they can walk. 🙂

Photo from Chris Hall via The Alaska Life.

Photo from Chris Hall via The Alaska Life.

We are thankful to have so many wildlife viewing opportunities. Nothing beats spotting a mama bear with three of her cubs.

Photo from stellerair.com.

Photo from stellerair.com.

Except maybe the opportunity to see amazing wildlife displaying their true “survival of the fittest” instincts in the wild. Talk about up close and personal!

Photo from the Peninsula Clarion.

Photo from the Peninsula Clarion.

The way that the sun breaks through the clouds and shines upon the ocean in Homer, Alaska is enough to leave us breathless every time.

Photo from The Kenai, Alaska's Playground Facebook page.

Photo from The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground Facebook page.

We are thankful for date nights and family outings that are above it all and simply over-the-top.

Photo from Alyeska Resort.

Photo from Alyeska Resort.

We are thankful to live amongst this beautiful, vast land where we regularly have the opportunity to view the Aurora Borealis right out our back door.

And for the opportunity to see marine animals in their natural habitat.

Photo from the Travel Channel.

Photo from the Travel Channel.

We are thankful to live in an area where the hiking trails offer some of the most epic, jaw-dropping views.

And where “pitching a tent” isn’t just your everyday, average camping experience.

Photo from greetingsfromstrangers.wordpress.com.

Photo from greetingsfromstrangers.wordpress.com.

What are thankful to live in an area where an everyday, average kayaking experience can change to totally-monumental and profoundly life changing  once you paddle upon a huge glacier sticking out of the ocean.

Photo from National Geographic.

Photo from National Geographic.

And for SUP (Stand Up Paddleboarding) adventures that offer that same sort of feeling. Only in Alaska! Only on the Kenai Peninsula!

Photo from Liquid Adventures.

Photo from Liquid Adventures.

And although we could go on and on for many hours, at the end of the day we are most thankful for having the opportunity to share The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground with our friends, family and loved ones. Whether you live here full time or you are a visitor to this beautiful area, it is an undeniably special place that is best experienced with those closest to your heart.

Because at the end of the day its not about where you are, its about who you’re with.

Photo from mowryjournal.com.

Photo from mowryjournal.com.

So today be sure to eat, drink, laugh and enjoy each others company. Happy Thanksgiving from The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground!

Bald eagles in Homer, Alaska. Photo from www.jimcoda.com.

Bald eagles in Homer, Alaska. Photo from http://www.jimcoda.com.

150 Million Acres of Magic in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge

Photo from O'Dell Fowles shared by High Adventure Air Charter, Guides & Outfitters.

Photo from O’Dell Fowles shared by High Adventure Air Charter, Guides & Outfitters.

The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge is one of over 500 unites in the National Wildlife Refuge System. This is a 150-million acre network of lands and waters that is set aside to help conserve out nation’s fish and wildlife heritage.

Photo from the Cooper Landing Chamber of Commerce & Visitor's Center and Tracy Curtin.

Photo from the Cooper Landing Chamber of Commerce & Visitor’s Center and Tracy Curtin.

The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, often call “Alaska in miniature,” is home to a wide diversity of wildlife including moose, eagles, brown and black bears, lynx, wolves and trumpeter swans.

Bald eagles in Homer, Alaska from freenaturepictures.blogspot.com.

Bald eagles in Homer, Alaska from freenaturepictures.blogspot.com.

For a complete list of species, visit the official U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service link HERE.

Lynx enjoying the fresh snowfall on the Kenai Peninsula.

Lynx enjoying the fresh snowfall on the Kenai Peninsula.

The eastern portion of the refuge descends from the 6,500 Harding Ice Field to 2,000 to 4,000 ft. peaks in the western Kenai Mountains.

Photo of the Harding Ice Field from www.photosbymartin.com.

Photo of the Harding Ice Field from http://www.photosbymartin.com.

Ice fields and glaciers are vital sources of fresh water for wildlife and people. Mountain goats, brown bears and ravens have been sighted crossing glaciers by many locals and visitors alike.

Photo from Mark Johnson.

Photo from Mark Johnson.

A wildlife sighting in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge is always a special treat. And it happens quite frequently, so be sure to always keep a look out. After all, this is their backyard, we just get to play in it. 😉

Photo from the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Facebook page.

Photo from the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Facebook page.

In the refuge you will find Mountain Tundra. This is where the tree line ends at 1,500 to 2,000 ft. with low growing tundra plants and shrubs continuing in elevation to snow and rock fields at 4,000 ft. Dall sheep, mountain goats, and caribou roam this rugged country. Hoary marmots form colonies on talus slopes.

Brown bears graze for berries and occasionally take marmots and sheep. Wolves and golden eagles have been known to be successful hunters of young sheep. Wolverines scavenge the carcasses of dead sheep and goats.

Photo of brown bears searching for berries.

Photo of brown bears searching for berries.

From sea level to 2,000 ft., the northern boreal forest is found on the refuge. This forest is composed predominately of white and black spruce, birch, aspen, and cottonwood trees in various stages of succession. This forest is an important source of food and shelter for moose, black and brown bears, lynx, wolves, coyotes, porcupine, weasels, red squirrels and snowshoe hares.

Northern Boreal Forest in Alaska.

Northern Boreal Forest in Alaska.

The lakes & wetlands in the refuge are something extra special! The northeastern portion of the refuge is dotted with hundreds of small lakes surrounded by wetland tundra or spruce/hardwood forest hills. This large wetland habitat supports migratory breeding birds including common and pacific loons, grebes, trumpeter swans, sandhill cranes, ducks, and shorebirds.

Photo from the Redoubt Reporter.

Photo from the Redoubt Reporter.

Mammals found within this lake & wetland habitat include caribou, moose, beaver, muskrat, and mink. The lakes support a variety of fish species, such as rainbow trout, arctic char, red and silver salmon, and sticklebacks.

Photo from Alaska.org.

Photo from Alaska.org.

Also within this habitat, the Chickaloon River Flats remains the last pristine major saltwater estuary on the Kenai Peninsula. The Flats serves as a staging area for thousands of shorebirds and waterfowl.

Photo at the Chickaloon River Flats from the Redoubt Reporter.

Photo at the Chickaloon River Flats from the Redoubt Reporter.

And the Rivers in the refuge can be described as “what dreams are made of” with some being world renowned.

Photo from the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Facebook page.

Photo from the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Facebook page.

The refuge is drained by nine river systems, including the world famous Kenai River, renowned for its wide variety of sport fish including Chinook (king), sockeye (red), and coho (silver) salmon, and Dolly Varden and rainbow trout.

Photo from the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Facebook Page.

Photo from the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Facebook Page.

Bald eagles are often sighted perched in tall cottonwoods along the riverbanks. Brown and black bears are attracted to the rich fish resources in summer and fall. Moose, beaver, and mergansers are commonly seen wildlife along refuge river systems.

Photo from the Upper Kenai River Trail at the Russian River Ferry, from USFWS/Berkley Bedell.

Photo from the Upper Kenai River Trail at the Russian River Ferry, USFWS/Berkley Bedell.

If you haven’t yet visited, you simply MUST. Be sure to make time to catch a good reflection (double the pleasure, double the memories).

Photo from Aren Kert at Tern Lake.

Photo from Aren Kert at Tern Lake.

And a beautiful rainbow won’t hurt your eyes too bad either… 😉

Photo from Sara Moore via the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Facebook page.

Photo from Sara Moore via the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Facebook page.

If you prefer to get your body moving and enjoy an active lifestyle, we recommend a hike in the refuge. So many incredible options to choose from.

Photo from the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Facebook page.

Photo from the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Facebook page.

Be sure to get up early enough (at least one day) to enjoy a sunrise. Worth it? We think so!

Photo from the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Facebook page.

Photo from the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Facebook page.

And of course, it’s always a good idea to take a load off and enjoy a good sunset. Happy travels, friends. 🙂

Sunset over Mt. Iliamna. What dreams are made of.

Sunset over Mt. Iliamna. What dreams are made of.

 

Five Things Friday

Photo Credit: Chuck Ashley‎

Photo Credit: Chuck Ashley‎

Because we believe that every Friday should be celebrated (or every single day for that matter), we collected five fun photos to make you smile today and through the weekend.

Photo from Alaska Outdoors Television Facebook Page

Photo from Alaska Outdoors Television Facebook Page

No matter what is going on in your life or how stressful your week was, there are always a lot of reasons to celebrate life and to be grateful for the things around you.

Photo Credit: Phil Pringle

Photo Credit: Phil Pringle

Living on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground we certainly do not have a shortage of beautiful things to experience, amazing wildlife to view in their natural environment or great people offering warm hospitality to keep us feeling incredibly appreciative.

Photo Credit: Frank Keller‎

Photo Credit: Frank Keller‎

#1: Amazing sunrises. Living on Alaska’s Playground makes it easy for us to get up early and soak life in. This, dear friends, is hard to resist. ❤

Photo Credit: Cole Chase Photography

Photo Credit: Cole Chase Photography

#1(.5): Amazing sunsets. A plane, a mountain and the perfect blend of soft and vibrant colors. Alaska… take me away!

Photo Credit: Sue Heazlett‎

Photo Credit: Sue Heazlett captures Mt. Redoubt at sunset perfectly from Nikiski, AK‎

#2: Incredible wildlife right out our backdoor (literally). Apparently this active moose thinks the grass is greener on the other side of the fence… 😉

Photo Credit: Phil Pringle

Photo Credit: Phil Pringle

#3: Incredible wildlife wandering all throughout the town. Not to mention the beautiful fall colors. Now c’mon, this is is pretty epic. This stoic caribou was passing by Kenai River Brewing Company in Soldotna, AK. Apparently a little too early in the morning to grab a brew. 😉

Photo Credit: Kenai River Brewing Company

Photo Credit: Kenai River Brewing Company

#4: Your everyday hike, elevated. Experiencing a beautiful waterfall just outside of Anchor Point, AK is so much MORE with the crisp fall air and the lasting colors of the season in the background. Need an excuse to get outside this weekend? Here you go.

Photo Credit: Carrie Kegler‎

Photo Credit: Carrie Kegler‎

#5: Seeing proof that you can weather the storm and that if you make it through the rain, there will be rainbows and sunnier skies. A great metaphor for life, especially on a Friday! The picture below captures this perfectly. It is also very representative of fall in Alaska. It can be raining and stormy and then sun-shining with beautiful skies all within a few hours. Tip: always wear layers.

Photo Credit: Jim Deuter taken on Skilak Lake Road‎

Photo Credit: Jim Deuter taken on Skilak Lake Road‎

And because we are pretty much obsessed with the crystal clear blue water, fall colors and snow on the mountains… we leave you with this stunning photo below. If that doesn’t inspire you to get outside and explore, we don’t know what will. 🙂 Have a great weekend, friends!

Photo Credit: Dwayne Parton

Photo Credit: Dwayne Parton