Best Smoked Salmon Chowder in Alaska (or on the Planet?)

Have we mentioned that our smoked salmon chowder is world-famous and award-winning? Made from Alaska smoked salmon from Trapper 's Creek, the hot and hearty chowder has satisfied many generations of fishers on the Kenai and Russian Rivers and travelers on the Sterling Highway. Come taste for yourself! Here are reviews from our fans:














Tomcat from Anchorage
Anyone who has fished the Russian River or at least passed through Cooper Landing while driving along the Sterling Highway has probably made a pitstop at Gwin's Lodge. The place is famous for its award-winning smoked salmon chowder and, after dining there on more than one occasion, I can personally vouch for its deliciousness.

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The final stop on the Magic Mile is a few miles down the track, just as you get out of that slow 35 mile zone into the racey 55 mile zone! And it is FANTASTIC. Gwin's Lodge. This place has been around for 57 years (you can see inside it above, the rustic log cabin pic), and is famous for its Salmon Chowder and its pies. And what do you think I had????? Yep, Salmon Chowder and pie!!! I managed to end up trying 3 of their pies (Fruits of the Forest, Strawberry & Rhubarb, and of course Blueberry) and their famous Apple Walnut Caramel Cake. OH MYYYYYYYYYYYYY. But, back to that Salmon Chowder.

I sat up at the counter (that's where singles sit), chit chatting with the waitress, I decided to go for it. She popped it down and front of me, and all I did was inhale. Oh those aromas, sooooo beautiful. And it was a really cold day outside, so perfect soup weather. I picked up my spoon, and dove in. Sportsfans, there are no words for the flavour blast in my mouth...not just the wonderful creamy texture on my tongue, but this heady, potent smoked salmon flavour, and not that raw orange smoked salmon aussie flavour, but rather a punch in the head, full blooded red smoked salmon flavour, smoked in a real smoker. I just looked up at the waitress and said "it's smoked salmon" she just smiled and nodded. "Do you smoke it yourself?", "Nope, we have a local guy do it". And yes, they use the "Reds" (Sockeye Salmon) straight out of the Kenai. Honestly, I sat there for the next 10 minutes and just spooned this heavenly velvet into my mouth, no words, just sighs between mouthfuls. Fresh parsley, dill, corn, carrots, really good smoked bacon, potatoes...all came together with that divine smoked salmon to produce a symphony of flavour. Sigh. Magical.

Alaska Speaks by Philip R. Gantt at Seasoned Cooking

This month I have included a bonus recipe from Gwin's Lodge in Alaska for Smoked Salmon Chowder! Gwin's Lodge is well known to the locals for having some of the best food on the Kenai Peninsula. The atmosphere is very quaint and definitely has that "Alaskan feeling." Gwin's offers some great desserts including home made pies with local berries in season. If you ever happen to be in Cooper Landing, be sure to stop at Gwin's to sample the food.

Denalicat from Montana

I am thrilled to see that Gwin's is re-opening! ... Well worth the stop. An Alaskan experience. They make the best smoked salmon chowder on the planet.

Gwin's Lodge

P.O. BOX 769




ALASKA  99572-0769


mo. 907-398-3987

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   907-595-1266 & mo. 907-398-3987  

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Welcome to Gwin's Lodge and Roadhouse!

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About Gwin's Lodge

Established by pioneers Pat and Helen Gwin, Gwin's Lodge first opened in January 1952, before Alaska was even a state.


They began harvesting logs from the surrounding Chugach National Forest in 1946. Gwin's Lodge is the oldest surviving roadside lodge on the Kenai Peninsula. 


Gwin's Lodge has been an iconic and historic landmark, well-known for delicious home cooking and comfortable lodging. 


Gwin's Lodge is under new ownership and management. The entire property has been renovated and remodeled.


Whether it's fishing, wildlife viewing, sightseeing, scenic or whitewater rafting, kayaking, horseback riding, or hiking...  make Gwin's Lodge your Kenai Peninsula recreation headquarters! 


The amazing turquoise blue waters of the Kenai River and the crystal clear waters of the Russian River are home to Sockeye Salmon, Silver Salmon, King Salmon, Dolly Varden, and Rainbow Trout.


This combined with the breathtaking forest, rivers, lakes, mountains, beaches, and abundant wildlife make the Kenai Peninsula a sportsman's paradise and perfect vacation getaway.

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