Anchor River State Recreation Area

Two eagles sit side by side on a log

This jewel in the Kenai Peninsula offers rich sportfishing for anglers all summer long

Anchor River State Recreation Area is one of Alaska's premier fishing destinations.  The 213-acre recreation area can be reached from the Sterling Highway on the Kenai Peninsula, 16 miles north of Homer and 62 miles south of Soldotna.  Anchor Point, where Anchor River State Recreation Area is located, is the most westerly point on the U.S. Highway System. 

History

The first written descriptions of the land and people of the Kenai Peninsula are found in the 1778 journals from the British sponsored expedition of Captain James Cook. According to legend, Anchor Point got its name when Captain Cook lost an anchor near the mouth of the river.

Homesteaders began to settle in the Anchor River area in the early 1900's. They came from Homer, to the South, and Kenai and Ninilchik, to the North, and survived by hunting, fishing, and farming. They were a hardy lot and many of them and their descendants still live in the area.

Ecosystem

The Anchor River passes through a mixed spruce-cottonwood forest with a lush riparian zone, then emerges into a broad estuary and marsh filled with salt-tolerant sedges and grasses, offering ideal habitat for the diverse species residing and migrating through the area.

Wildlife

Anchor River is Alaska's only major steelhead stream accessible by road with steelhead runs occurring from late August to November. King salmon is the river's most popular fishery with the run beginning in late May and peaking in the second week in June. Other species include silver salmon that move into the river from the end of July until the beginning of September and pink salmon from mid-July to early August on even numbered years.

Wildlife abounds around the Anchor River, with moose, beaver, mink, bald eagles, a variety of ducks along the river, harbor seals, sea otters and beluga whales near shore in the Cook Inlet.

Activities

Salmon runs and catch-and-release steelhead fishing are the main attractions at this recreational area.  Other activities available include camping, hiking and picnicking.

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