WESTBOUND

So far we’d enjoyed our time on the peninsula, so we were excited to see what the west side had in store for us. Our plan was to drive to Homer and stop along the way at spots that caught our eye.

The first place we stopped was Skilak Lake. We spent days here swimming and kayaking in the aquamarine water.

When the rain rolled in, we rolled out, and continued southwest towards Homer.

We stopped in Anchor Point that night, just short of Homer. The weather had not cleared up, so we spent time inside working and watching bald eagles fly over the field of cow parsnip.

HOMER

We’d lost track of the days, and didn’t realize when we arrived in Homer that it was 4th of July weekend. The town was packed with Alaskans and people from “the south” who’d come to celebrate for the long weekend. We were feeling a little uneasy about our chances of finding a camping spot, but luckily our new friends Jace and Giddy helped us find one on the Spit.

After finding a place to stay, we set off on foot exploring the spit. We watched local fishermen battle with sea otters for salmon, observed bald eagles flying and fishing, and treated ourselves to a fresh seafood dinner.

We spent that holiday weekend with Jace and Giddy, another nomadic couple. We shared stories of the ups and downs of road life and compared itineraries. It was great to meet fellow travelers.

After three days in Homer we hit the road again headed back the way we came. 

PORTAGE VALLEY

On the road, we heard that Portage Valley was beautiful and offered glaciers without the crowds, so we decided to detour here before leaving the peninsula.

Kayaking on Portage Lake was incredible. We floated alongside huge chunks of ice and paddled by glacier-fed waterfalls. 

Aside from the hiking and kayaking in the valley, we loved the free camping. We found several ideal spots along the river that were perfect for relaxing. Every once in a while a person in a canoe or raft would float past and give us a friendly wave. A perfect way to end our time on the peninsula.


FINAL THOUGHTS

Driving along the west side of the peninsula on our way to Homer was beautiful. We were glad we took our time and stopped in Anchor Point. It was cool to see how different the coastline here was in comparison to that of close by Homer.

The weather itself in Homer was pretty sporadic, and we always kept our raincoats close by. Luckily it was clear in the evening, including the 4th of July. We stayed up late to watch the fireworks, but they didn’t have quite the same effect in partial daylight.

Side note, if you’re in Homer and looking for a reasonably priced place to grab some fresh seafood, checkout La Baleine Café. The portions we large enough that we split a crab melt and both left feeling stuffed.

As for the Portage Valley, we are so glad we made this detour! Kayaking on Portage Lake is one of the highlights of our time in Alaska.

CAMPING

Anchor Point: Halibut Campground, $12
[59.7732, -151.86718]

Mariner Park Campground, $15
[59.62306, -151.46902]

Boondocking along Portage Glacier Rd., Free
[60.80566, -148.92766]
*From the Ranger:
You can camp on any unpaved side roads, as long as you're off the main road.

HIKING

Byron Glacier
1.4 miles RT
[60.74443, -148.85608]

KAYAKING

Portage Lake
[60.77469, -148.81646]