Rates at many hotels are on seasonal schedules with three, four, or even more levels linked to the salmon runs. I've listed the highest and lowest. One unique lodging choice, worth an exploratory visit if you don't stay, is the Historic Kenai Landing (www.kenailanding.com; tel. 907/335-2500), where a complex of cannery buildings dating from 1912 has been remodeled into simple rooms, a restaurant, and shops. The inexpensive but rather spartan lodgings appeal most to single-minded fishermen, but the restaurant is well equipped and has live music, and the buildings on a long river dock are interesting and atmospheric. This scenic spot is out of the way, on the opposite side of the river mouth from Kenai: After crossing the bridge, turn right on Kalifornsky Beach Road and right again on Cannery Road.
Soldotna's appealing Centennial Park Campground extends along a long section of the Kenai River bluff among thick spruce and birch trees with ramps down to fishing spots on the river, next door to the visitor center and close to stores. Turn right on Kalifornsky Beach Road just after the bridge on the Sterling Highway. Camping fees are $17 a night and day use is $6, payable at a staffed entrance booth (plus tax). The park is open May 1 to October 1. A dump station is usable for an $11 fee. Swiftwater Park is a similar city-operated riverside campground near a Fred Meyer grocery store and Taco Bell as you enter town from the north. For a quieter, oceanfront public campground, see Captain Cook State Recreation Area.
RV parks are scattered about. Beluga Lookout Lodge and RV Park, 929 Mission Ave. (www.belugalookout.com; tel. 907/283-5999), has the best location. It's in Kenai's Old Town, at bluff's edge over Cook Inlet at the mouth of the Kenai River. Full hookups are $35 to $60 a night. They offer bike rentals and charters for salmon and halibut fishing, and bear- or beluga-watching.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.