Located at the mouth of the Kenai River in the City of Kenai is a beach unlike any other. What Kenai Beach lacks in white sand, ideal water temperatures, and surfable waves, it vastly makes up for in picturesque sights, unparalleled landscapes, and some of the most stunning sunsets you’ll ever see.
Kenai Beach is commonly referred to by locals as North Beach or South Beach depending on which side of the Kenai River you’re on. It offers visitors a space to relax, explore, and observe rare sceneries. From wildlife to land composition, here are some characteristics of Kenai Beach that make it so unique.
Personal Use Fishery
The fishing regulations on Kenai Beach are legally defined as “personal use,” allowing beach go-ers the opportunity to freely fish for marine life. Open only to Alaskan residents in July, you can watch hundreds of dip-netters frantically fish for world-class Alaskan salmon while enjoying the gorgeous sights around you.
As you enter Kenai Beach, you’ll probably notice a darker-tinted sand than what you’ll find in the tropics. The handsome brown sand gets its darker color from heavy minerals derived from former proglacial lakes and glaciers both present and extinct.
As you approach the water, the sand transforms into a rugged terrain of pebbles and rocks. These unexpected coastal sediments consisting of colorful, smooth rocks are one part of Kenai Beach that makes it so memorable. While it may be too cool to sunbathe in Kenai, the unique foundation Kenai Beach makes it an exceptional rock collecting spot for nature lovers.
At low tide, the coastline opens up additional space of thick, compact sand for further exploration. This consistency creates an ideal place to stroll and view the rock pools and coastline.
More Than Ocean Views
The captivating views on Kenai Beach are both vast in options and striking in appearance. Located on the lower Cook Inlet, Kenai Beach boasts dramatic views of the inlet itself and across the way, the Aleutian Mountain Range. On a clear day, the Aleutian Range reveals three visible active volcanoes: Mt. Redoubt, Mt. Spur, and Mt. Iliamna.
With a viewpoint as special as this, it should come as no surprise that sunsets on Kenai Beach are among the best. Take some time to unwind at the end of the day as you watch the sun slowly set across the water while listening to soft waves crashing against the shoreline.
In addition to these unforgettable Alaskan landscapes, you’re almost guaranteed a spectacular wildlife viewing. Be on the lookout for beluga whales, seals, seagulls, bald eagles, fish, and more!
Scenic Access Options
While Kenai Beach provides a large parking lot from South Spruce Street off the Kenai Spur Highway, there is a more scenic option available for beach access by foot instead. Kenai Beach Access Trail meanders through a park and along a beautiful gulley that leads straight to the beach access. Accessible all year long, you’ll see signs with poems on them written by local school kids about nature along the way. Don’t be surprised if you also spot a moose in the gulley!
To learn more about Kenai and its unique surroundings, visit I Love Kenai.