One of the best kept secrets of Alaska is the wildflower that blazes across the fields and roadsides called fireweed.

Fireweed flower stalks sport a column of buds that open from the bottom up. As the Summer wears on, the bottom blooms turns into seed pods and towards late Summer and early Fall, the entire flower stalk sports white floss attached to the seeds. Alaskans mark time with fireweed. An Alaska saying goes "when the fireweed turns to cotton, Summer is soon forgotten."

The Fireweed gets its name because it grows very well especially in areas after a fire has cleared away the vegetation. Fireweed is therefore a pioneer species because it is often the first to colonize clear areas where competition is low.

The first time I saw fireweed I was dumbfounded. Vast fields were blanketed with bright fuchsia spikes greeted us along the drive from Anchorage to Cooper Landing. Wherever we could, we stopped to take pictures. Some say the fireweed should be Alaska's state flower. I wholeheartedly agree!

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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.