A Local's Guide to Adventure on the Kenai Peninsula
Ariel Tweto, one of the stars of Discovery Channel’s Flying Wild Alaska, is a TV personality and producer. Ariel was a contestant on the ABC game show Wipeout in 2008 and 2009. She became a frequent guest on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and on the Late Show with David Letterman. She plays herself in the IMAX movie, Into America’s Wild, which premiered in February 2020 and is currently a voice on the new FOX animated series, The Great North. In addition to her television appearances, Ariel received her private pilot certificate and is also the founder and president of Popping Bubbles, a nonprofit that supports suicide prevention. Ariel is on a mission to help people “pop” their bubbles and live happier and healthier lives. As an avid cross-country runner who has run every day since 2001, she sets the example. She also loves mountain biking, hiking, paddle boarding, journaling, and is trying her hardest to meditate consistently. Ariel hails from Unalakleet, Alaska, and is of Inupiaq, Russian, and Norwegian decent. You can find her on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter at @arieltweto.
Hi everyone! I am so excited that you are interested in Alaska's Kenai Peninsula! It is the most wonderful place on earth in my opinion.
There are so many outdoor activities to take part in, fun places to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery, and amazing places to get lost (but don’t get too lost) and explore! My favorite thing to do in Alaska is to be with my friends outside mountain biking or skiing. I also like hanging out with my family at our cabin where we fish, berry pick, hike, and explore. My favorite season in Alaska is the summer because I love the endless days, the sun, and the happiness and joy that spills out of everyone when they are getting dirty outside.
Here are some of my favorite things to do in Southcentral Alaska — one for each season:
Winter: Ski tour Pastoral Peak in Turnagain Pass
The snow-covered mountains of Turnagain Pass are easy to access, approximately 1.5-hour drive from Anchorage on the Kenai Peninsula. When the snowpack reports are good, we grab our tele skis and park at the Magnum/Sunburst parking lot along the Seward Highway. After making our way through the Taylor Creek Pass, we head up to the mountain for the fantastic ski back down. On your way back to Anchorage, stop in Girdwood for a beer at the Girdwood Brewing Company.
Summer: Fly fish and float the upper Kenai River near Cooper Landing
The Kenai River is world-renowned for its salmon, but try fishing the Kenai in late summer! Rainbow trout are bulking up for the winter and they are biting. Cooper Landing is about 100 miles south of Anchorage and the raft trip down the Kenai’s brilliant blue water is worth the trip alone. End at Cooper Landing Brewing Company for a tasty post-fishing beverage.
Spring: Running and biking at Alyeska Resort
The Cirque series route (basically the head walk at Alyeska Resort) is a 5.9 miles, nearly 4,000-foot-elevation gain to high-mountain alpine and is not for the faint of heart! Alyeska also has a great bike park for mountain biking. Fortunately, you can take you bike up the mountain on a chair lift before racing back downhill. Or, take the scenic gondola up to the top of Mount Alyeska. The views of the area’s hanging glaciers and Turnagain Arm are amazing. Finish your day with well-deserved beers at Alyeska Resort’s Boretide or Seven Glaciers Restaurant.
Fall: Mountain bike Lost Lake outside of Seward
You’ll see forests, mountains, and tundra along Lost Lake Trail near Seward — it is so beautiful! This is a well-marked trail with some rough sections, but the climb is worth the views. You can do this route in the summer, too. Jump in the lake and have a blast coming down on the Primrose side...it’s technical and fast and so fun!
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