Deep Creek State Recreation Area Alaska
Photo Credit: ATIA, Brian Adams

Deep Creek State Recreation Area

Deep Creek State Recreation Area

With panoramic views of Mount Iliamna and Mount Redoubt, this Kenai Peninsula park is known for legendary salmon runs, Deep Creek, and the tractor-assisted boat launch, which provides access to the waters of Cook Inlet for fishing charters and private boats.

Halibut and king salmon make Deep Creek State Recreation Area a popular destination for anglers. For those who aren’t fishing, two scenic overlooks, a beach-side campground and day use area, and an exciting array of wildlife are other highlights of the area.


Halibut fishing in Cook Inlet and the king and silver salmon runs at Deep Creek are legendary, making this a bustling area for both freshwater and saltwater fishing. Be sure to catch the excitement of the tractor-assisted boat launch, busily launching and retrieving boats from Cook Inlet on every tide of the day during the summer season. Several fishing charter companies located in Ninilchik offer fishing trips from the recreation area. The beaches along Cook Inlet are also popular for ATV riding and clamming.

The recreation area includes a large campground and day use area along the beach, adjacent to the riverbank. Along the highway just north of Deep Creek is Deep Creek North Scenic Overlook, which also provides access to salmon fishing on the creek. Just to the south is Deep Creek South Scenic Overlook, a day-use area with great views of Mount Iliamna and Mount Redoubt across Cook Inlet.


Eagles congregate at Deep Creek year-round, and the site is a seasonal birding hot spot for migratory waterfowl and shorebirds. In May, keep an eye out for sandhill cranes in the area’s saltwater marsh. Whales, seals, and otters can also be seen offshore in Cook Inlet.


The recreation area is located near the town of Ninilchik. Historically an area used by Dena'ina Athabascans for fishing, Ninilchik is also one of the oldest Russian settlements on the Kenai Peninsula. Established in 1990, the tractor assisted State Park boat launch concession at Deep Creek began offering access to world class saltwater fishing for larger boats, serving both fishing charters and private anglers. 


A gravel parking area along the beach provides 100 overnight campsites at Deep Creek State Recreation Area and includes water, picnic tables, restrooms, and fire pits. The campsites are not reservable in advance and fill up quickly in the summer. Additional lodging and campgrounds can be found in Ninilchik. A private boat launch service operates here and uses a tractor to launch boats into Cook Inlet for recreational boaters and charter operators. At the two Scenic Overlooks there are restrooms, interpretive kiosks, picnic tables, and fire rings.


Deep Creek State Recreation Area is located at Mile 137.3 of the Sterling Highway, just south of Ninilchik and 42 miles north of Homer. Deep Creek North Scenic Overlook is accessible from Mile 137 of the Sterling Highway and Deep Creek South Scenic Overlook is located off of Mile 136.9.

Learn more about fishing in Alaska.

For more information, visit the Deep Creek State Recreation Area website.

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