With panoramic views of Mounts Iliamna and Redoubt, this park is known for legendary salmon runs, Deep Creek, and the State Park tractor assisted boat launch, which provides access to the waters of Cook Inlet for charter and private watercraft.
Halibut and king salmon make Deep Creek State Recreation Area a popular destination for anglers. With two scenic overlooks, a beach-side campground and day use area, and an exciting array of wildlife in the area.
The recreation area is located near the town of Ninilchik. Historically an area used by Dena'ina Indians 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 charter and private anglers.
Located off the Sterling Highway on the south side of Ninilchik, the recreation area encompasses the lower mile of the river and the beach frontage north from the access to the mouth of the river. It includes a large campground and day use area along the beach and adjacent to the river bank. Along the highway just north of Deep Creek is Deep Creek North Scenic Overlook, which also provides access to salmon fishing along Deep 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 warmer months.
Halibut fishing in Cook Inlet and the king and silver salmon runs at Deep Creek are legendary, making the campsites in the park very much in demand in the summer. The beaches along Cook Inlet are popular areas to ride ATVs. 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.
For more information, visit the State of Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation Website: http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/
A gravel parking area provides 189 overnight campsites at Deep Creek State Recreation Area and includes water, picnic tables, dumpsters, restrooms, pay phones and fire pits. 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 overlooks there are restrooms, interpretive kiosks, picnic tables and fire rings.
There is a daily parking fee at Deep Creek State Recreation Area as well as a fee to launch a boat and a nightly fee for those staying in the campground. A sport fishing license is required for clamming.
Deep Creek State Recreation Area is at Mile 137.3 of the Sterling Highway just south of Ninilchik or 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 off of Mile 136.9.
For more information contact the Alaska State Parks office (907-262-5581) in Soldotna.