Drifter’s offers many non-fishing activity substitutions for those who want a break from fishing. See the list below for details. Some activities may require an upgrade.
Peaceful, scenic floats on the Upper Kenai River with mountain views and potential wildlife sightings including eagles, bears, sheep, coyotes and moose.
3-hour trip – Start at the lodge and float down through 12 miles of serene river. Several small rapids add excitement, and for the last hour you will enter Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. Here, the river becomes less crowded and your guide may lead you down secluded back channels.
6-hour trip – Continue down through the canyon and come out at Skilak Lake. Enjoy a snack on the beach before taking the Hidden Creek trail back to the shuttle vehicle.
Drifter’s Guided Hiking in the Chugach Mountains and Kenai National Wildlife Refuge – Trails of all lengths and difficulty levels. See stunning views and diverse berries, mushrooms, birds, animals and tree
Easy (half-day) – Shorter hikes with mild elevation gain.
Moderate – Spend a little more time on the trail and getting into the wilderness. Glacially carved valleys, forest paths, and alpine lakes await.
Difficult – Longer, steeper trails to ridge lines and summits. A full-day commitment, but with spectacular views to reward the effort.
Starting in 2017, Drifters will be hosting guided hiking trips as well! We will offer a variety of hiking opportunities ranging from easy half day trips, to more rigorous trips that are a little longer in length and more rigorous for those who want more of a challenge.
Easy – Half Day Trips
Ptarmigan Creek— If you enjoy forest hikes, you will love traveling through cottonwoods, spruce, and hemlock alongside silty Ptarmigan Creek. Catch a glimpse of a red salmon fighting its way upstream before gradually climbing high above to the shores of Ptarmigan Lake. This slender lake, surrounded by jagged mountain peaks, makes this a picturesque and peaceful destination.
Hidden Creek—This trail is very diverse, weaving through the scars of the 1996 Hidden Creek Fire, past the wetlands of Hidden Creek and finally to the beautiful blue waters of Skilak Lake. This hike is ideal for birders and is a great place to see a Bald Eagle perched in a tree or a Double-crested Cormorant skimming over the water’s surface. In spring and summer beautiful flower displays give way to blueberries and mushrooms as the seasons progress.
Russian River Falls—Watch as the salmon continue their struggle to their spawning grounds, fighting to make it up the rushing waters of the Russian River Falls. This hike offers opportunities to see wildlife, birds and a taste of the tangy Red Currant.
Rainbow Lakes—This is a short, easy hike to a high mountain lake. Separated by only a foot bridge, and surrounded by hemlocks, Rainbow Lakes has a magical feel. This trail offers beautiful views, great opportunities for photography, berries, mushrooms and the occasional Trumpeter Swan when the season is right.
Johnson Pass North– This is an ideal trail for splendid mountain views and birding as it traverses through forest and grasslands as it winds deeper into the mountains. From the tiny camouflaged Brown Creeper to the contentious Merlin, this trail offers glimpses at many of the birds of southcentral Alaska.
Palmer Creek—Watch for moose, caribou and hawks as you travel through forest and grassy mountain slopes above Palmer Creek. This hike begins in the tundra and leads to the abandoned Hirshey Mine. Pass blueberries, wildflowers and waterfalls as you climb towards the end of the valley and two alpine lakes.
Gull Rock– Watch the beauty and power of the ocean as the tides rush in and out of Turnagain Arm. This trail leads to a great spot to watch for Beluga Whales and soak in the view of mountains rising thousands of feet out of the ocean.
Skilak Lookout– Hike through the heart of the forest regenerated after the 1996 Hidden Creek Fire. From the alpine zone at the end of the trail, look down to Skilak Lake for a view of gull and cormorant rookeries on the lake’s rocky islands.
Summit Pass—Quickly climb into alpine tundra and travel through a series of glacially carved valleys. This trail offers spectacular views, the opportunity to see wildlife such as marmots and Dahl Sheep and is an ideal hike for the geology buff.
Crescent Lake—Follow Crescent Creek through birch and hemlock forest and grassy mountain meadows to Crescent Lake. This trail offers birding, blueberries, wildlife and spectacular fireweed displays.
Skyline– this is a difficult hike climbing quickly out of the trees but the reward is great. From the top you can see the volcanoes of the Kenai Peninsula climbing out of the ocean and on a clear day you can see the highest mountain peak in North America, Denali, hundreds of miles to the north.
Fuller Lakes-Round Mountain—Travel through birch then hemlock forest to visit two lakes snuggled between towering mountains.
Hope Point–This is a challenging but magnificent hike offering views of the Kenai Mountains, Cook Inlet and Turnagain Arm. Travel from birch forest, to alpine tundra, to the rocky summit for a well-earned rest and one of the best views on the Kenai Peninsula.
Slaughter Ridge– Quickly climb out of the forest to spectacular views of Kenai Lake and surrounding mountains. Although steep, every step is worth the effort on this hike as each one carries you higher. This hike awakens all the senses as it is lined with a beautiful assortment of wildflowers and a taste of blueberries, crowberries, high-bush cranberries, and service berries.
– Get a bird’s eye view of the Kenai River with this challenging and stunning hike. Peer over the edge of a three-thousand-foot rock face as Dahl sheep look on. This hike offers beautiful views and great opportunities to see wildlife.
Full day road trips to nearby communities
Explore one of Alaska’s oldest communities. See glaciers, visit Alaska’s premier aquarium/marine research center, and enjoy a bustling downtown with great food.
Seward Day Trip
Venture down to Seward, one of Alaska’s oldest communities. From an impressive national park to Alaska’s premier aquarium/research center this picturesque little town offers some great opportunities to view and learn about local flora and fauna. Afterwards you can spend time exploring the bustling downtown and grab a bite to eat at a local restaurant.
Schedule and further descriptions below:
Depart Cooper Landing at 8:00 am
Exit glacier is the only part of the Kenai Fjords National Park that is accessible by road. This glacier is part of the impressive Harding Icefield, which contains over 30 glaciers of different sizes and types. Take a look around the visitor center and then enjoy a 1 ½ hour guided ranger hike to the edge of the glacier.
Alaska Sea Life Center
This is the only facility in Alaska to combine a public aquarium with marine research, education and wildlife response. Spend some time observing and learning about the diverse marine animals that are native to Alaska’s coastal ecosystems.
Seward’s historic downtown is brimming with quaint shops and art galleries. This offers a great chance to pick up some authentic Alaskan gifts and souvenirs.
Return by 5:00 pm
Take a trip to the resort town at the base of Alyeska Mountain. The Turnagain Gallery, tram ride, and wildlife conservation center are not to be missed.
Girdwood Day Trip
Take a trip up to Girdwood, the resort town at the base of Alyeska Mountain. Check out local crafts, get a birds-eye view on the aerial tram and then get an up-close look at some of Alaska’s iconic animals at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. Schedule and detailed descriptions below.
Visit the famed Norman Lowell Gallery on your way to Homer, where you can enjoy wine tasting and local culture in the “Halibut capital of the world.” The Homer spit is packed with great restaurants and local artists to visit before you reach the end of the highway.
Day trip to Homer
Come with us and enjoy a day of art-viewing, wine-sipping and exploring local culture in Homer. We will chauffer you around to some of our favorite spots, grab lunch on the iconic Homer spit, and take in all the sights that Kachemak Bay has to offer. Below you will find descriptions of the activities included.
Norman Lowell moved to Alaska 50 years ago to “paint the wild north country”. His gallery offers a very personal look into the experience of the artist. Lowell designed the gallery in exact detail so we can see what Alaska looks like through his eyes. Some of his most famous collections are for sale in the show room.
Glacier Discovery Train
A 9-hour train ride through idyllic mountain and glacier scenery. Starts in Anchorage, then heads south with options to see the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center and Whittier.
Alaska Railroad Day Trip
Take a 9-hour journey winding through the mountains and wilds of the Kenai Peninsula. The trip begins in Anchorage and ventures south, stopping briefly in Girdwood and then continuing on to Portage. Here you will disembark for lunch and a guided tour of the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, home to black and brown bears, moose, caribou, wood bison and more. You will then hop back on the train and continue south to Grandview, enjoying spectacular views of alpine meadows and both Bartlett and Trail Glacier along the way. In Grandview the train will turn around and head back towards Anchorage. A lodge employee will shuttle you to Anchorage in the morning and then pick you up again in Portage at the end of the day.
A six-hour cruise departing from Seward. Delve into the glaciers and wildlife in Kenai Fjords National Park on this Ranger-narrated tour.
Bear Viewing Flight
A spectacular 30-minute float plane ride takes you across Cook Inlet to view bears fishing for salmon on the glacier runoff rivers and streams.
Whitewater Rafting at 6 Mile Creek
A thrilling ride on the toughest white water commercially rafted in Alaska. Class 3, 4 and 5 rapids.
The Pratt Museum
Bear Creek opened in 2003 and has quickly become very popular throughout Alaska. They have grown in popularity due to their experimentation with all kinds of fruits, they provide a wide variety of wines ranging from Blueberry Mirlo to their ever-popular Strawberry-Rhubarb. After you choose your favorite wine from the tasting room, enjoy a glass (or two) in the garden where they grow their famous rhubarb. The winery also prides itself on their eco-friendly and buy-local policies.
This is a family-owned and operated gallery specializing in jewelry and chainsaw carvings. They feature pieces that were masterfully crafted by the family themselves, all of whom are talented artists.
Alyeska Aerial Tram
Enjoy a scenic ride to the top of Mt. Alyeska you will climb 2,300 ft. As you gain altitude the mountains, hanging glaciers, sparkling streams, and vast expanses of forest all form a breathtaking landscape. Enjoy some lunch at the Bore Tide Deli at the top. There are many observation decks and trails to explore to take in the sights.
Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center
The conservation center has a variety of native Alaskan animals. The goal of the center is to conserve Alaska’s diverse wildlife, and most of the animals they have in their care were orphaned or injured. This provides a great opportunity to safely observe some of our native wildlife.