by Phil Corless
This family-owned lodge is a paradise for fishing on the Kenai River. In addition to luxury log cabins and lodge rooms, it offers a full range of charters on the river, at sea, and to remote mountain lakes. The handcrafted cabins are ideal for families, with room for up to six guests. They feature full kitchens, comfy beds, satellite TV, sitting room and a large deck overlooking the river. A free breakfast is served in the lodge each morning, but other meals are up to you. Grocery stores are not far, as well as restaurants of every variety. Every cabin comes with a gas BBQ so you can grill up the fish you caught that day. If you’re taking your catch home, the resort will freeze and package the fish for the plane ride home.
The Kenai Riverbend Resort is located on a secluded section of the Kenai River eight miles north of downtown Soldotna. In fact, it’s also 8 miles to the town of Kenai. Both towns have a nice selection of fine-dining and casual restaurants, or you can try out The Duck Inn, a local favorite that specializes in gourmet burgers and, of course, seafood. It’s only 4 miles from the resort. The Kenai River is the most popular sport fishing destination in Alaska, so you’ve come the right place if you want to catch your limit of salmon and halibut each day. If you have time, visit the nearby Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. You can start your adventure at the brand new visitors center a mile south of downtown Soldotna. With its secluded riverside cabins and custom fishing charters, the Kenai Riverbend Resort is the perfect choice for your family vacation to Alaska.
Our Editor Loves
- Custom fishing charters
- Spacious log cabins
- Free breakfast
- Horse Back Riding
- Water Parks
- Water Sports
- Family Room 5+
- Free Wi-Fi
by Jan S
First time here and would go back. Nice cabins and we really appreciated the staff and all the planning and coordinating they do to make the most of your vacation. They setup everything for our Halibut fishing, Fly-in salmon/bear viewing, cruise out of seward and of course King salmon fishing right out the front door. I would definitely recommend them. Staff does all the fish cleaning, vacuum packaging and freezing for you and boxes it for the plane ride home. A+
by Jennifer w
My brother and his wife were at KRR in September of 2017 for the silver salmon run. We returned with them in June of 2019 for halibut, king salmon and sockeye salmon fishing. Of course, the time of year will dictate the type of salmon runs ongoing, so plan your trip according to what you want to catch!
Package Deal: We booked a six night, five days of fishing package which included lodging, breakfast, two halibut trips, two king salmon trips and one ‘fly out” float plane trip for sockeye salmon. With the package deal each person gets 50 lbs of fish processing, vacuum packaging, freezing and boxing in an airline approved insulated container.
Personnel: Everyone in the office, Dohn, Bernie, Gary and others were always very helpful about planning the next day’s activities and accommodating our wishes and desires. There are many young summer workers around who also were very accommodating and helpful, for example, the fish processing group. The provided guides on each trip were consistently excellent.
Lodging: We stayed in cabin number 1, right on the river. My brother and his wife stayed in the lodge. The cabin was an authentic log cabin made from huge logs. It was basically what we expected, i.e., rustic, but with all the facilities. On the main level was the kitchen including a refrigerator, coffee pot, toaster, microwave, a hot plate and a table that would seat four. On this level there is also a bedroom with a double bed, the bathroom, with shower, and plenty of hot water. There is also a small TV and a couch. Upstairs there was a loft with 4 single beds. Each cabin is configured a little differently. There was also a deck with a gas grill, sitting, and a great view!
Meals: The cabins are all connected to the main lodge with a slightly elevated boardwalk. Downstairs in the lodge is where the included breakfast is served. Good strong coffee, various breads and bagels, muffins, juices, and an assortment of cereals. It is available as early as 4:30 AM and if you want it earlier (one day we had breakfast at 3:00 AM) just let the office know and “ma ma”, Dohn’s mother will be there ready to go. She is a delightful person so make sure you cross paths with her. We made peanut butter and jelly sandwich every day from the breakfast spread to take with us for lunch. A visit to Walmart the day before got us lots of snacks and water to bring along on the fishing trips. We went into town every night for dinner, our favorites being Louie’s and the Flats.
Fishing trips: We did two halibut trips and everyone aboard caught the limit of one under 28 inches and one over 28 inches. On the first trip with captain Matt and Nat, there were 6 people aboard, the second trip with the same crew, there were four people aboard. The first trip, Cook Inlet was perfectly flat and there was very little boat motion. The second trip was somewhat rough with a lot of boat motion. The location of the boat launch (an experience by itself) is about a 60-minute drive from KRR, so the first morning we departed KRR at 4:45 AM, we departed KRR at 3:45 AM for the second halibut trip. We also did two king salmon fishing trips on the Kasilof River with Jeremy as our guide. These are drift boat trips and are very relaxing. The launch site for these was about a 30- minute drive from KRR, so again fairly early departures. Just the four of us in the boat both times. We did not have much luck, one king salmon caught on each trip, by one person. You can also go king salmon fishing on the Kenai river right by the resort but when we were there it was catch and release only, so we decided to go over to the Kasilof so we could keep the fish. This may have been a mistake since we only caught two fish. Maybe the catch and release on the Kenai river may have had more action? The last day was a “fly out” across the Cook Inlet for sockeye salmon fishing. A 6 AM departure from KRR got us to the seaplane dock in about 20 minutes. The flight was delayed because of fog at the landing site. When we did get to the other side of the inlet, we had to circle around for about 15 minutes. This was exciting because the pilot was flying low (80 to 100 feet) and circling back and forth. As we waited for the fog to lift, we saw a black bear, several moose, and various birds. When the plane landed the boat pulled right up to the pontoons and off the four of us went with Mark as our guide. The limit for sockeye is three per person, and in about an hour or so, we had 12 fish aboard and one for lunch, which Mark cooked for us on a small island. Before heading back to the plane, we saw two brown bears and some amazing scenery. The flight back took us along mountains and over a glacier. What a ride!!
Bottom Line: Super good time, great people, and we highly recommend it. It is tiring, because of the early departures, so it is not your typical totally relaxing sleep late vacation. We each came home with a 50 lb box of fish, so that is 100 lbs per couple. We checked as luggage on the plane and it arrived home with us frozen solid. Clean out your freezer before you go! A final recommendation would be that after each day’s fishing you go to the office and talk with Bernie or Gary about the strategy for the next day. They will give you choices and great recommendations about what to expect.