Welcome to Soldotna! Located just 140 miles via scenic, paved highway from Anchorage, Soldotna is the Central hub of the Kenai Peninsula. Soldotna borders the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge and other nearby state park lands that are rich in wildlife, home to moose, caribou, brown and black bear, wolves, dall sheep, mountain goats, eagles, swans, ducks, geese, birds, and of course home to one of the best salmon fisheries in the world!
Quick History: World War II veterans were among the very first Soldotna homesteaders. The area was opened for homestead filing in 1947 and veterans were granted a 90-day preference over non-veterans in choosing and filing for land. Transportation to the area was difficult; some flew or took a barge to Kenai, then hiked eleven miles to Soldotna, while others took a train to Moose Pass and sloshed seventy miles through the mud. The city of Soldotna took its name from the existing Soldotna Creek that empties into the Kenai River. Some say “Soldotna” came from the Russian word meaning, “soldier.” Others say it is from an Athabascan Indian word meaning “the stream fork”. In 1949, Soldotna obtained its first post office. In 1952, residents formed a Community Club and in 1959 established the Greater Soldotna Chamber of Commerce. Soldotna became a fourth-class city in 1960 and, in 1967 obtained its current first-class status. The city of Soldotna developed ten miles east of Kenai, and the two cities share an integrated economy while maintaining their unique independent characters. The two are often referred to as the “Twin Cities”. Today, Soldotna is the thriving hub of the Kenai Peninsula. Located 140 road miles south of Anchorage at the strategic junction of the Sterling Highway and the Kenai Spur Highway, Soldotna holds the administrative headquarters of the Kenai Peninsula Borough and the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District.
Recreation: The world famous Kenai River is one of Soldotna’s big attractions. You can fish from the bank (there are several areas equipped with handicapped access fish walks) or launch a boat and take to the waterways. Everything you need to make your trip a once-in-a-lifetime experience, from the most basic gear to a full-blown guide service can be found in the local area. King, silver, red and pink salmon, rainbow, steelhead, lake trout, Dolly Varden and several other species of fish are present in abundance in either the Kenai River or other nearby lakes, rivers and tributaries. The Peninsula’s ample beaches offer an abundance of razor clams just a short distance from town and excellent halibut fishing is available in Cook Inlet. In 1985, Soldotna resident Les Anderson caught the world-record King salmon, weighing 97 lbs. 4 oz. in the Kenai River. His amazing record catch is on display at the Soldotna Visitor Information Center. There are many outdoor adventures, camping, hiking, canoeing, berry picking, cross country skiing, raft trips, snow machining, dog sledding, hunting photography, flight seeing. There is an abundance of relaxing activities in Soldotna. Tee off at a local golf or mini golf course, enjoy a leisurely afternoon at one of the cities many parks. Take the family to one of the children’s parks, ball fields or to a movie at the cinema. Tennis, racquetball, swimming, exercising at a fitness center and ice-skating are just to name few.
World record king salmon
How to Get Here: By Road: 140 miles from Anchorage. Rent a vehicle for this scenic drive. By Air: 25 minute from Anchorage (flights arrive in Kenai –located 10 miles from Soldotna)