Wildlife is all around Soldotna! You can see moose frequently in the city, and there are even occasional reports of lynx, caribou, bear, and other fauna. With a variety of geographic features, including wetlands, kettle lakes, beaches and mountains, our visitors are always on the lookout for seabirds, shorebirds, landbirds and waterfowl!
A caribou explores Soldotna Memorial Park on East Redoubt Avenue.
The Kenai Peninsula is a hot spot for birdwatching, from the Kenai Fjords to Kachemak Bay - including Soldotna! The Kenai Peninsula Birding Festival occurs each May in Soldotna/Kenai/Sterling, with guided float trips, talks, and even a 24 hour Midnight Sun Big Sit! Or, if you're not here in May, you can always strike out on your own with the Kenai Peninsula Wildlife Guide, including a birding checklist. Also check out the Alaska Department of Fish & Game Bird Viewing Website.
Kenai National Wildlife Refuge
The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge (KNWR) is a 1.9 million acre jewel in the heart of the Kenai Peninsula and is home to a wide diversity of wildlife including caribou, mountain goats, Dall sheep, moose, eagles, brown and black bears, lynx, wolves, and trumpeter swans. The geography of the KNWR varies from ice fields/glaciers, to mountain tundra, to boreal forests, and includes lakes, wetlands, and nine river systems.
This mostly untouched wilderness offers great exploration opportunities for adventurous travelers! Activities include fishing, hunting, hiking, cross-country skiing, canoeing, camping, river floating... Check in with the KNWR headquarters on Ski Hill Road (above one mile south of downtown Soldotna) to plan your visit.
Flightseeing @ Soldotna Airport
Several air operators are based out of the Soldotna Municipal Airport (SXQ) for flightseeing over the Peninsula, Cook Inlet, volcanos on the western coast of the Inlet, and more! For a listing of these services, contact the airport or the Visitor Center's list of guides.