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The Kenai Peninsula
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The Kenai Peninsula


Kenai National Wildlife Refuge & Chugach National Forest

Seward Highway (AK1/AK9)--Seward to Portage



Kenai Fjords National Park

Sterling Highway (AK1)--Seward Highway Junction to Homer

Northwest Kenai





Kachemak Bay State Park and State Wilderness Area



Location/Climate: South shore of Turnagain Arm of Cook Inlet, at the top of the Kenai Peninsula. 20"/yr. precip., 14°F–60°F.

Population: 170 (3.1 percent native).

Travel Attractions: Historic mining community.

Getting There: Vehicle access via Hope Highway from the Seward Highway (AK 1).

Information: Inquire locally, www.advenalaska.com/hope.

Like so many Alaskan towns, Hope grew from gold. Prospectors were at work here as early as 1889, a decade before the Klondike and Nome strikes. Hope was named arbitrarily when early residents decided to honor the youngest arrivee on the next boat to land—one Fred Hope. The town population reached 3,000, but as the gold supply ran out the town declined and never recovered.

Today, 200 people live in the area, including a number of independent prospectors who still work claims. Visits to local gold and jewelry shops offer the chance to talk with folks about the mining life.

Located at the mouth of Resurrection Creek on Turnagain Arm, Hope is reached via the Hope Highway, which intersects the Seward Highway about 20 miles from town. It’s a great place to escape the Kenai summer crowds to enjoy a bit of quiet history and charm. The general store has been serving customers since 1896 and several other vintage buildings still stand. You can walk to the old townsite and grab a bite at the local cafe.

Hope offers access to the north end of the Resurrection Pass Trail (see Kenai National Wildlife Refuge and Chugach National Forest Trails, above). A couple of smaller local trails also offer good hiking options. One of the best is the Gull Rock Trail (4.5 miles). From the trailhead at the end of the loop in Porcupine Campground (end of Hope Highway), the trail follows the shores of Turnagain Arm west to Gull Rock. There are good views across the inlet, as well as a chance to see the Turnagain Arm tidal bore (see Turnagain Arm, above). RT—6–8 hrs.

Where to Stay and Eat in Hope

Bear Creek Lodge, Hope Highway, 782-3141. $80 summer, $50 winter. Very nice cabins in quiet wooded setting on Bear Creek.

Coeur D’Alene Campground, Chugach National Forest, Palmer Creek Road (12 miles from Hope Highway). Nice valley, near mine sites.

Discovery Cafe, Mile 16.5 Hope Highway, 782-3282. "Where the Gold Miners Meet"—if it’s rebuilt after burning in 1999.

Henry’s One Stop, Hope Highway, 782-3222. $50 double, $16.50 RV site. Laundry, showers, groceries, propane, rooms, trailer hook-ups and discharge. No credit cards.

Porcupine Campground, Chugach National Forest, Hope Highway (end). Good sites, trailheads.

Seaview Cafe and Motel, Main and B Streets, 782-3364. Turn-of-the-century building. Bar, motel, gift shop.