Winter activities in Homer, Alaska

  • While Homer is most noted for its beautiful summer months, the winter months also offer many activities. As the shorter days come to the Homer area people try to escape "cabin-fever" and get outside as much as possible. As a result, winter activities are as diverse and enjoyable as their summer counterparts.
  • Snow machines are a big part of the winter fun for Homer residents and many own their own "sleds" with which they explore the back country. Caribou Lake trips into the back-country are prominent and races are also held for the speed-demons. The Poker-Run is an annual event sponsored by local businesses and offers cash prizes for those building the best poker hand from cards picked up at various check-points. This event is held in the month of January and does have an entry fee which is converted into the cash prizes. Snow machine and stock car races are also held on Beluga Lake (weather and ice-thickness permitting) with outside racers coming to town to compete on the tricky surface.
  • Crosscountry skiing is another popular winter sport which attracts many people. Homer has many trails that should appeal to a wide range of abilities. For those seeking groomed trails there are three main choices offering many kilometers of skiing. The Baycrest-Diamond Ridge trails are maintained throughout the year and offer the skier views of Kachemak Bay. Ohlson Mountain features the trail system where local races are held and McNeil Canyon is the out-of-town alternative. There is also plenty of wide open space for the backcountry adventurers to find their own favorite place.
  • Alpine skiing is also available at Ohlson Mountain past the cross-country trail. An 800-foot rope-tow services the ski hill and daily or season passes are available. The tow is run by the Kachemak Ski Club.
  • Homer also offers two main ice skating areas, the Homer Skating rink behind the Junior High and Beluga Lake. The rink is used for both free skating and hockey.
  • Finally, for those who didn't get enough sport fishing during the summer months, angling is still an option in the snowy months. Winter king salmon trolling and ice fishing can be an angler's delight. Local charters now offer winter-trolling day trips and the sport has grown in popularity during the last few years. Bring warm clothing and a strong arm for playing the fiesty feeder kings. Ice fishing requires some special gear, notably an auger and ice skimmer, however rods are short and simple and bait can be anything from corn to eggs. Caribou Lake is a local hotspot for kokanee (land-locked red salmon) but be prepared for standing on the ice for long periods of time.

This guide brought to you by The Homer Tribune. Publisher: Jane M. Pascall. Voice (907)235-3714, Fax (907)235-3716 E-mail:, 601 E. Pioneer Ave., Suite 109, Homer, AK 99603.

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