Where is Kachemak Bay State Park
Kachemak Bay State Park sits in a remote part of southeastern Alaska, where the only way to enter the park is by boat or plane from the town of Homer. The nearest boat dock is about 4 miles to the park's shoreline. The drive from Anchorage to Homer is just over 4 hours across 222 miles of highway that cuts through some of the most picturesque landscapes Alaska has to offer. Otherwise you can take a plane which would get you to Homer in about 45 minutes.
How Big is Kachemak Bay State Park
Kachemak Bay US State Park is one of the largest state parks in the United States, coming in around at a staggering 400,000 acres there is a lot of space to be explored. Within the park there are more than 80 miles of trails that allow you to explore most of the park as there are no roads. Most of the park is forested mountains but there are also miles of streams throughout the park, and the massive shoreline surrounding the peninsula is available for you to explore.
Kachemak Bay State Park Weather
In the area of Alaska that Kachemak Bay State Park sits on, the weather can swing from one extreme to another quickly. The overall weather goes through multiple changes across the seasons, the main two are the warm season, which lasts about 3.3 months, and the cold season, about 4.3 months on average. Generally, the summers are cloudy and cool, the temperatures rarely reaching over 67 degrees. As the year progresses through to the winter months temperatures range from an average low of 21 degrees to an average high of 31 degrees. While it can rain throughout most of the year, the peak of the rainy season is around September. There is a potential for it to snow 6 months with December being the snowiest month.
When did Kachemak Bay become a state park
The original inhabitants of the area that encompasses Kachemak Bay State Park were the Chugach people, which remained here until European exploration took over Alaska. While there have been many types of public areas and lands established all around the United States since the late 1800s, Kachemak Bay State Park, established in 1970, is the first state park to be set aside in Alaska.
Things to do in Kachemak Bay State Park
In the section we'll discuss how Kachemak Bay State Park is a treasure grove for avid outdoor enthusiasts of any kind. From the striking and diverse landscape to the bounty of wildlife, it is difficult to visit the park and not leave satisfied.
Our State Park Visitors Guide suggests camping as the only way to stay in Kachemak Bay State Park, and there are many opportunities to do so across the 400,000 acres that make up the park. There are some fairly rugged facilities, such as firepits and tent platforms, but it is mostly primitive camping.
There are many opportunities to pursue a large variety of saltwater game fish, such as king salmon and massive halibut. There are also opportunities to harvest a number of species of clams along the shore. Nearby outfitters are available to help provide an easier experience.
Hiking happens to be one of the most popular activities on Kachemak Bay State Park. With over 80 miles of trails that wind through coastal forests and meadows, mountain scenery, and even glaciers, there is a picturesque scene for everyone that visits this state park.
Because of the fact that Kachemak Bay State Park is on a peninsula surrounded by the ocean, the boating opportunities can be rough depending on the weather but there are several local outfitters that can provide a safe and pleasurable experience with the opportunity to see some of the best views the park has to offer.
There are ample amounts of wildlife that walks, swims, and crawls across the state park. Some of the most prevalent land animals found around Kachemak Bay State Park are, black bears, coyotes, wolves, mountain goats, and even moose. Common marine animals include otters, seals, and whales.
When to go to Kachemak Bay State Park
Kachemak Bay State Park is a rugged and primitive park that is devoid of many of the normal creature comforts that we can expect from most state parks in the lower 48 states. Because of the intense weather and conditions that you face in the park, visiting the park is wholly dependent on what you can endure safely. Much of the peak fishing and hiking happens from around the months of May to July. Many hunting and trapping opportunities are available across most of the park as the seasons open. Outside of the main warm months special preparations will have to be made to account for the cold temperatures in the rugged landscape, but it is possible to have a good experience to enjoy the natural beauty that is found at the park.
Must-Have Things to Bring to Kachemak Bay State
The next section will briefly explain the kinds of equipment you will need to bring to fully enjoy your stay at the rugged Kachemak Bay State Park. While you don't need the most expensive equipment, List of Parks advises you should definitely consider the most durable options.
You cannot expect to have an enjoyable time when visiting the park without enough water to keep you hydrated. While it's possible to pack in enough water for the duration of your stay, you are going to need a way to purify any fresh water you find when and if you run out.
Rain is extremely common throughout most of the year, there is no guarantee that your stay will be dry and sunny. When visiting Kachemak Bay State Park you will want to remember to bring a quality set of durable rain gear to keep the moisture off you.
While it's possible to have a trip that you don't encounter any intense weather conditions, the potential for nasty weather to roll in requires visitors to have quality shelter and gear. Be sure to bring durable tents and other gear to ensure a safe and comfortable trip.
You will not have easy access to food when in the state park, everything you bring with you (or find) will have to last the duration of your trip without a boat ride to Homer, which may not always be available. Make sure to bring plenty of food and store it properly to ensure you don't run out of food.
First Aid Kit
Because of how remote Kachemak Bay State Park, even if you're able to contact emergency personnel, you are most likely going to have to handle any injury or emergency on your own for a significant portion of time. A quality first aid kit is an essential collection of gear to bring with you to ensure the safety of you and your group.
Things can go wrong quickly during your stay, whether you become lost, encounter an aggressive animal, or any other dire scenario. On top of needing a first aid kit, a collection of useful survival gear that will cover your needs for food, water, and shelter will help you make it home safe.
The waters that surround Kachemak Bay State Park are full of a plethora of fish species that you can fish for. There are several outfitters that will provide you with gear and supplies to catch these fish but there is room for you to bring your own gear if it can handle the conditions.
Clothing is your first line of defense against the elements, if you don't wear clothing that can both handle the weather and the activity you participate in you will not be comfortable or dry. Bring the warmest and most durable clothing with you when visiting Kachemak Bay State Park
Where to stay in Kachemak Bay State Park
Being so remote and rugged, there are no places to stay within Kachemak Bay State Park other than the areas where camping is allowed. There are only a handful of campsites within the park that offer fire rings, tent platforms, and picnic tables, otherwise primitive camping is allowed in most of the park. The nearest places to stay outside of the park are in the town of Homer which will require you to travel across the bay by boat.
Food Nearby Kachemak Bay State Park
Apart from the available restaurants in Homer beside the park, there is one restaurant next to Kachemak Bay State Park which sits on a piece of private land on the Northern side of the peninsula. When within the state park you will have to pack in any food and cooking supplies that you'll need during the length of your stay.
Airports near Kachemak Bay State Park
Because one of the many appeals of traveling to Alaska is how remote and wild the landscape is, there are few large airports. But there are many smaller airports and landing strips that allow various smaller aircraft, such as float planes, to fly people where they want to go. The largest airport is in Fairbanks Alaska which will require you to fly into either Anchorage and then drive to Homer or fly straight into Homer.