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Kenai Peninsula

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AK United States

The Kenai Peninsula is on the southern coast of Alaska. The name Kenai is probably derived from Kenayskaya, the Russian name for Cook Inlet, which borders the peninsula to the west. The Kenai Peninsula is separated from the mainland on the west by Cook Inlet and on the east by Prince William Sound. The glacier-covered Kenai Mountains (7,000 ft/2,130 m) run along the southeast spine of the peninsula along the coast of the Gulf of Alaska. Much of the range is within Kenai Fjords National Park. The northwest coast along the Cook Inlet is flatter and marshy, dotted with numerous small lakes. Several larger lakes extend through the interior of the peninsula, including Skilak Lake and Tustumena Lake. Rivers include the Kenai River, famous for its salmon population, as well as its tributary, the Russian River, the Kasilof River, and the Anchor River.  The Kenai River runs through the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge and Skilak Lake to the Cook Inlet. Kachemak Bay, a small inlet off the larger Cook Inlet, extends into the peninsula’s southwest end, much of which is part of Kachemak Bay State Park. The Kenai Peninsula has many glaciers in its eastern and southern areas, including the Sargent and Harding Icefields.

 

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