Anchorage: RV Butler Favorites
- Anchorage- Biking the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail to Kinkade Park
- Views and Hiking Flat Top Mountain
- Tour with the Anchorage Down Town Trolley
- Shopping and Reindeer Dogs on 4th St.
- Dining at The Glacier Brew House and Simon and Seaforts
- The Ulu Factory Store
- The Alaska Fur Exchange
Seward Highway Favorites (Between Anchorage and Girdwood)
- Bird Creek (Photo Stop)
- Potter’s Marsh (birding, wildlife and salmon spawning)
- Shopping for Exotic Meats at Indian Valley Meats
- Beluga Point (for Beluga Whale Sightings)
- Turnagain Gallery and Gifts
- Turnagain Arm
- Bird Point
- Mount Alyeska (Tram) and Deli Lunch
- Hiking Alyeska
- Crow Creek Mine (Historical, Concerts and Active Gold Mine)
- Canyoneering with Alaska Back Country Access
- Jet Boat Tours with Alaska Back Country AccessG
- Girdwood Forest Festival (One weekend per summer)
Portage Valley Area
- Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center (Moose, Bear, Eagle, Elk, Caribou, Wolves etc)
- Begich Boggs Visitors Center (30 minute movie)
- Portage Valley Cabins and RV Park (Best Campfire Ring in Alaska)
- Salmon Spawing Roadside Stops (Seasonal)
- Byron Glacier
- RV Camping
- Historical Building
- Restaurant and Bar
- Great Pink Salmon Fishing (seasonal)
- Berry Picking (August)
Seward Hwy Turnagain Pass to Summit Lake
- Turnagain Pass
- Canyon Creek (photo/historical stop)
- Jerome Lake (Trout Fishing)
- Summit Lake Lodge (Ice Cream, Coffee, Snacks, Trout Fishing, RV Camping)
- Tern Lake
- Tern Lake Lodge (B&B) for Romantic Getaway
- Glacier and Wildlife Float Plane Tours (Scenic Mountain Air)
- Fudge at Moose Drop-In Trading Post
- Pie at Trail Lake Lodge
Seward and Surrounding Area
- Grayling Lake (Grayling FishingI
- Lake Meridian (Trout Fishing)
- Berry Picking on Lake Meridian Trail
- Bear Lake (hiking, kayaking and bear viewing)
- The Weir (Salmon Spawning)
- Lost Lake (13.2 mile hike)
- Kenai Lake (fishing and picnicking)
- Seavey Dog Sled Tours (dryland)
- Stoney Creek Zip Line Adventure
- Major Marine Wildlife and Glacier Tours
- Ocean Fishing (call for preferred vendors)
- Exit Glacier (walk to glaicer and possible moose or bear sightings)
- Lowell Point Kayaking with Adventure 60 North
- Fish Processing w/Captain Jack’s Seafood Locker or J Dock
- Hotel Seward (Cabin on the Cliffs for Romantic Getaway
- Guided River or Shoreline Fishing Wes Oetinger/Hotel Seward
- Heli/Glacier Tour Snowmobile Tour – Alaska Back Country Access
- Heli/Dog Sled/Galcier Tour – Turning Heads Kennels
Sterling Highway (Cooper Landing to Homer)
Ah, more beauty awaits you on this drive. It starts with a great vista with Tern Lake. Then we Kenai Lake and cross a bridge that is the beginning of the Kenai River. On short duration trips, I really like staying around Cooper Landing, Russian River Campground and Quartz Creek Campground.
Things to do around Cooper Landing, Russian and Upper Kenai River
- Fishing…lots of fishing!
- Kenai Lake
- Upper Kenai River
- Russian River
- River Bank Fishing
- Fly Fishing
- Trout Fishing
- Lake Fishing
- Drift Boat Fishing
- Bear Viewing
- Eagle Viewing
- Horseback Riding
- River Float Trips
- Gold Panning
- Native American Cultural Center
Further down the Highway, my next favorite spot is Soldotna. I either camp on the river in a forested area or in town next to the river but close to restaurants, grocery stores etc. You can even take stairs down to the river and fish of the bank. My favorite to do is catch Tallon Air charters to Wolverine Creek for Bear Viewing and Salmon fishing. This trip is generally under $400 per person and is a great experience and value. They even prepare one of your fresh caught salmon right on the boat in the lake.
Homer is the end of the Highway, there are a few small towns along the way that you can book a halibut charter or even go clamming. The “Spit” is a several miles long gravel bar with a road that takes you to RV Camping, Fishing Charters, Hiking, Horseback Riding, Float Plane Charters to Brooks Falls, Restaurants, Playhouse, Water Taxi’s, Kayaking and the famous “Spit”. Salmon are planted in the Spit and mother nature has them return when the tide is right. This super large pond becomes home of combat fishing as the salmon enter from the narrow channel feeding the pond. You are surrounded by beautiful mountains and have a lot of things to do. However, there are a lot of people as well.
Hiking anywhere is one of my personal favorites. In Alaska, I’ve hiked many trails on the Kenai Peninsula especially around Seward, the Upper Kenai River and Denali. You have a choice of me being your guide and taking pictures of your group or leaving me behind to prepare a great meal and have it ready the moment you return to the RV.
Here are my favorite Alaska hikes so far:
- Tonsina Beach
- Bear Lake
- Grayling and Meridian Lake
- Carter & Crescent Lake
- Lost Lake
- Exit Glacier & Harding Ice Fields
- Russian River Falls & Lower Russian Lake
- Eagle River Nature Conservation Center
- Flat Top Mountain
- Ranger Guided Hikes in Denali
Equipment provided at no extra charge:
- Light Back Packs
- Limited First Aid
- Bear Spray*
- Bear Bells*
- Hiking Poles
- Food, Snacks
- Lightweight rain ponchos
It is very important when hiking in Alaska to be alert of your surroundings. Bears and Moose are a reality. Making lots of noise to alert bears of your approach is generally enough for them to scurry off somewhere. I provide bear spray as an added defense. You should go online and read about hiking and bears in Alaska to be best prepared. Moose are more dangerous than bears. Please give them lot’s of space. You to carry firearms (unloaded in the RV) if that is your choice of protection, but I prefer bear spray.
I’ve fished in many places on the Kenai. Experienced Alaskan Fisherman tell me where they want to go. If it is your first time, you definitely want to hire a guide. I’ve used a few select charters for ocean fishing and recently added 1 more. Miller’s Landing, Pro Fish n Sea and Puffin Charters are my preferred ocean fishing vendors out of Seward. I’ve used the same shore fishing, river fishing and drift boat fishing guide for 9 years, Wes, from Hotel Seward Fishing Adventures. His passion for fishing matches my passion to share Alaska.
Do you have time to try the Big 8 Fishing opportunities on the Kenai Peninsula? Once you have fished the Big 8, you will have acquired the skill to fish at the 100’s of locations that await you.
- Shoreline Fishing in Seward for Salmon. My guide will teach you the best spots. After 1 or 2 days of learning the technique, you can probably go about it on your own. However, I hire Wes every year because he is a joy to be around and is passionate about taking care of his clients. In addition, he will change plans on the fly if that is what it takes to get you onto fish. He’s taken us out at 2 and 4 a.m. to catch the tides. Go Wes!
- Charter Boat Fishing: Seward and Home. I have 3 charter companies I use. They offer safe and comfortable fishing vessels for 6 guest up to 18 persons charter with bunks, galley, food, drink for overnight 2 day trips. (double limit). There are also several 10 passenger vessels in Seward.
- Fly Fishing the Kenai, Russian and Kasiloff– There are several great rivers to fish on the Kenai, however, none or more famous than the Kenai & Russian River. Special techniques and equipment are taught and supplied by my guide Wes to maximize your success.
- Drift Boat Fishing on the Kenai- My guide Wes is also a drift boat guide. While you are trying to snatch a salmon or trophy rainbow, you might see bears, eagles and a variety of bird life. This trip doubles as both scenic and fishing.
- Lake Fishing– The forgotten gem of Alaska. Not many people will seek a 4 lb rainbow trout or small grayling when 35lb Kings, 12lb Silvers or 15lb sockeyes are running. However, I love to fish lakes. I am not there for the meat, I am there for the experience, nature, beauty and wildlife encounters.
- The “Spit” is an inlet in Homer that attracts fisherman when salmon return for spawning. It can be shoulder to shoulder fishing aka “combat fishing” There are numerous charters for halibut out of Homer as well.
- Fly-out Fishing– Oh, my favorite is with a company called Tallon Air out of Soldotna. They do a combo trip that includes going to Wolverine Creek via float plane. They position you to catch salmon while bears are targeting fish from shore about 50 feet away. Assuming you land some fish (always caught limit) they bring a small BBQ and filet one fish and cook it for you. Tip: I bring foil, seasoning, veggies, lemon and salad dressing and have them make it to my recipe. This trip is around $400 with a gratuity. RV BUTLER OPINION… BEST VALUE BEAR VIEWING ON THE KENAI!
- River/Resurrection Bay Fishing- The is a very hidden spot where we go fishing during low tide. We actual fish at the mouth of Resurrection River where it meets the Bay. You don’t even have to fish to enjoy this spot. Eagles are commonly scene here and you can get fairly close.
If you want to bring home fish, I suggest an ocean charter on day 2. This takes the pressure off catching and gives plenty of time to process and or smoke the fish while in Seward. We can also eat your fish while fresh in the RV. I have 3 vendors. TNT Custom Smoke and Processing, J Dock and Captain Jack’s Seafood Locker. Some provide exclusive discounts to RV Butler clients. Halibut, Ling Cod (seasonal), Salmon, Yellow Eye, Black Sea Bass and Pacific Cod are all frequently caught. If you want to make sure you take home fish, we may book 2 days ocean to account for bad weather and trip cancellation. Regardless, you can add shore fishing in Seward to increase your take on salmon. For those that don’t like 2+ hour boat rides to fishing grounds, Miller’s Landing has half day charters for salmon and rock fish in the Bay. They also have full day charters as well.
When we fish the rivers, you do what you want (within fishing regulations) but I suggest catch and release. These fish have come dozens of miles upstream and giving them a chance to spawn helps insure our future.
Taking Fish Home. Each Airline approved box holds about 44 lbs of fish. The remaining 6lbs makes up your box, styrofoam and ice packs. 44lbs of fish is enough for virtually a year for a couple and 6 months for a family. Check your airlines to find out how much each successive “suitcase” of fish will cost you so you are aware of cost. Typically $25 to $100 per box depending on your airline and total amount of suitcases. Figure about $120 for every 50lb box you take home just for processing.
Alaska wildlife is amazing. I have had countless unique and memorable encounters. Many times, we see wildlife while doing other activities. For example, I witnessed two sea lions leaping frogging over a whale like circus acrobats while on a fishing trip. Last summer, I came within 6 feet of a moose while on a bike ride along the Coastal Trail in Anchorage. At Resurrection Bay, an eagle swooped down and stole my daughters salmon. It only flew 15 meters away and anchored it’s talon’s onto the fish. However, wildlife doesn’t have a work schedule that always coincides with our travel schedule. The amount of wildlife you see depends on many factors. The best way to enhance your chances is to take tours targeting wildlife. I recommend marine tours and whale watching out of Seward or Whittier. I like the Talon Air trip to Wolverine Creek (based out of Soldotna) and the Denali Bus Tour for wildlife. For Bears, I highly recommend Brooks Falls at Katmai National Park.