Oldest Log Roadhouse on the Kenai Peninsula
Gwin's Lodge first opened in January 1952 before Alaska was even a state. Gwin's Lodge has been an iconic landmark well-known for delicious home cooking and comfortable lodging.The 1952 spruce log structure that is the signature of Gwin’s Lodge is the restaurant.
According to a March 1, 2001 article in the Peninsula Clarion, it all began in 1946, when Pat and Helen Gwin arrived in Cooper Landing from Colorado. The tiny town had about 100 residents then. The Gwins eked out a living by operating a small packaged goods store out of a tent. (A tent! In Alaska! Where there are bears and frigid winters!) That same year, construction began on the highway from Cooper Landing to Homer. The Sterling Highway, the road that is the artery of the Kenai Peninsula, opened in 1950 and subsequently the Seward Highway opened in 1951. The main lodge building was built from spruce logs harvested from the surrounding Chugach National Forest. Cutting, hauling and hand-peeling the logs in true pioneer fashion, Pat and Helen Gwin completed and opened the lodge on January 1, 1952 (according to another article it opened on New Year’s Eve in 1952) to wary travelers and fishermen eager to hook the big one. The kitchen was put in during 1953, and the restaurant-bar opened July 4, 1954, and Helen did the cooking and cleaning. Pat and Helen parted ways in 1959, but Helen stayed to run the lodge. Helen finally retired in 1976 and sold the Lodge. Today it has been totally revamped and remodeled under new ownership and management. Gwin's Lodge is ready for more generations of travelers and vacationers who will love the smoked salmon chowder and other delicious foods.
The beauty and history of Gwin's Lodge, combined with its central location on the Kenai Peninsula, makes Gwin's Lodge one of the best fishing lodges in Alaska.
Gwin's Lodge is inside the Chugach National Forest, surrounded by spruce trees, and is located near the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. The property sits at the foot of Cooper Mountain by the turquoise blue Kenai River. Near by is the crystal clear Russian River, Kenai Lake, and Skilak Lake, each with its unique beauty. Cooper Landing on the Kenai Peninsula is a photographer's paradise.
Convenient Central Location
Gwin's Lodge is located in Cooper Landing, which is a central location on the Kenai Peninsula. Gwin's Lodge is a short two-hour drive from Anchorage. Because of its central location, Gwin's Lodge can be your home base from which you explore all the fun activities on the Kenai Peninsula - Kenai Fjords cruises out of Seward at one end of the Peninsula, saltwater fishing and fly-out bear viewing trips out of Homer, at the other end. For fishers, Gwin's Lodge couldn't be at a more ideal location. It is the closest establishment to the confluence of the Kenai River and the Russian River, two world-class salmon fisheries. The close proximity means you can spend all of your waking time on the river taking advantage of virtually 24 hours of daylight.
Gwin's Lodge is all-in-one restaurant, store, and lodging. The full-service restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner featuring world famous smoked salmon chowder, hamburgers, and carrot cake. The store is stocked with fishing tackle, equipment, and licenses. The store also has abundant souvenir shirts, jackets, caps, mugs, postcards, posters, etc. that feature Alaska, Russian River, and Kenai River subject matter. Snacks, drinks, bear spray, insect spray, and other convenient items are also available.
Gwin's Lodge is a log roadhouse constructed of hand-peeled spruce logs cut from the surrounding forest by Pat and Helen Gwin in 1952 before Alaska was a state. The logs have achieved a beautiful patina that give the roadhouse a warm glow that cannot be faked. Combine this with a modern kitchen and dinning room that were totally remodeled last year, the authentic rustic Alaska frontier ambiance cannot be rivaled.
Comfort and Cleanliness
All of the chalets and cabins at Gwin's Lodge received a fresh remodel along with new Sealy President pillow top matresses , bedding, new sofas, and new hardwood flooring. Everything looks, smells, and feels fresh, clean, and beautiful.