Alaska - Homer

Introduction:

What? : Homer is a small touristic town located in the ocean opening of Kachemak Bay at the end of Kenai Peninsula. The town is known for its Homer Spit, a 4-mile-long land narrow strip getting into the bay, outdoor adventures and fishing activities.





 

Where? : The town of Homer is located at the south end of hwy 1, 220 miles south of Anchorage (around 5 hr drive, depending on road conditions).

Google Map Link

 

My thoughts: I really like our stay at Homer. Although it is located half a day drive south from Seward area on hwy 1, the visit there is worth it. There are interesting things to see in Homer, along the spit and at Kachemak Bay State Park (need a boat Taxi).

 

RV Park: We stayed 2 nights at Heritage RV Park (made a reservation in advance although we had to delay it by one-night at last minute, road blocked).

I highly recommend staying in this place, prime oceanfront location, walking distance from restaurants, shops, pub and the harbor (water Taxi) so you do not need to move your RV when doing day trip across the bay.

https://alaskanheritagervpark.com/


 

The visit:

We stayed for 2 nights at Homer, the town and the surrounding have a lot to offer.

The town is known as the "Halibut Fishing Capital of the World" or by the nicknamed "the end of the road".

If you are a fishing enthusiast the is the place to be, fishing from the shore or take a fishing boat tour.

 

Overlock viewing point: when you are approaching Homer from the north on hwy 1 you will find on your right the Homer Overlook point. Excellent viewing point overlooking the ocean to the north and Homer Spit on the left side.

 

Homer Spit:

It is 4.5 miles of narrow land penetrating into Kachemak Bay, the mountains of the Kenai chain on the other side of the bay stand before you and the waters of the bay surrounding you.

At the end of the Homer Spit you can find many shops, art galleries, seafood restaurants as well as the main harbor for fishing and tourist boats.




Visit the Salty Dawg Saloon: When people visit the historic Salty Dawg Saloon, they grab a dollar bill, write a message on it, and tack it up on the wall among the thousands of other dollar bills.

The Homer tides are usually remarkable, during low tide you can explore and discover all sorts of marine life at the exposed beaches. The Homer beaches are a excellent place for stretching your legs with long afternoon walk.

There is a paved bike/walking trail along the side of the road. Midway in the spit you can find a large tide marshland and few small harbors, you can also visit a large Fishing Hole near the RV park.

Wild bald eagles can usually be seen here, flying overhead or walking on the beaches, typically fed of dead fishes they manage to find on the shores or at nearby fishing boats.



 

Kachemak Bay State Park:

The first Alaska state park cover 400,000 acres of mountains, glaciers, forests and ocean shorelines and is located on the other side of the Kachemak Bay.

The park's has outstanding scenery and wilderness experience, Park visitors will find opportunities for fishing, boating, kayaking, hiking, camping and other outdoor activities.

Kachemak Bay is an important marine life habitat area, supporting many species of marine life. Visitors frequently observe sea otters, seals and whales. On land, you can see large mammals include moose, black bear, mountain goats, coyotes and wolves.

Boat Taxi service:

Except flying, the only other way and the most popular one, to reach the park is by “boat taxi”. There are many companies that provides water taxi services from the main harbor.

We use the water Taxi service of ColdwaterAK family-owned company with several boats and where pleased from their service.

https://coldwaterak.com/


Before making the taxi reservation you need to decide what you want to do at Kachemak Bay park. Once you chose your hike you need to decide your departure time (usually it take ~30 min to cross the bay) and destination and set the pickup location and time (in our case dropping and pickup were not at the same location).

The small taxi boat crosses the large bay open water so it may have waves and can probably be ruff, for us the ride conditions were good.

 

Our hike: Glacier Lake Trail

This is all-family hike that will take you to a nice small lake at the end of the glacier. This hike can easily be accomplished in few hours visit so it is relatively popular trail destination.

 

Distance (total of 4.2 miles): 3.2 miles one way to Grewingk Glacier Lake from Glacier Spit Trailhead and from there additional one-mile hiking Saddle Trail will take you to the pickup point at Halibut Cove lagoon.

We planned for around 4 hr hiking, this will give us plenty of time for the hike and allow us to have long stops for lunch and exploring the surrounding.

 

Our starting point was at Glacier Spit Trailhead, the boat will drop you on the TH. After registration you will hike into the forest section of the trail, later the landscape transform to be more open retrieving glacier gravel land with open vegetation.


At some point after walking for 2.5 miles you will reach trail junction, turn left into the trail heading to the lake, this trail will take you to the lake open beach.

From the lake shore you can enjoy the views of the glacier on the far side of the lake and its surrounding mountain peaks.

When we visit the lake during June there were many bluish icebergs floating near the beach, this adds to the overall beauty of this place.


After enjoying our lunch near the lake and exploring the beaches in both sides, head back the short trail that took you to the lake and turn left. The Saddle Trail will climb the moderate hill and will drop down on the other side, after short hike it will take you to the small bay, this was our pickup location.



 

4 hr is more than enough time for this hike so we took it easy and just enjoy the warm weather day, if it is cold rainy day it is less fun to be at the lake or wait in the rain for the boat to pick you up.

http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/aspunits/kenai/kachemakbaysp.htm

http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/brochures/kachemakbaybrochure.pdf

http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/maps/KachemakBaySPMap2016.pdf

 

 

Additional thing to do in Homer:

- Many additional hiking options including overnight back camping at Kachemak Bay State Park

- Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center

- Boat fishing trip

- Whale-Watching Tours (during the months of July and August)

- Airplane trip to bear watching at Katmai National Park or Lake Clark National Preserve.

 

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