Welcome to Soldotna, Alaska!
Soldotna is located in the heart of the Kenai Peninsula -Alaska’s Playground.
Make Soldotna your home for business, exploration and adventure! We’re within easy driving distance of Seward, Kenai, and Homer, and we offer all of the modern services that you expect. Anchorage is a beautiful, scenic 3 hour drive or a quick 20 minute commuter flight away.
Incorporation Type: 1st Class City
Kenai Peninsula Borough
Elevation: 111.8 ft. above sea level
Population of Soldotna: 4,163
Population of Kenai Peninsula Borough: 55,400
City of Soldotna – City Hall
177 North Birch Street, Soldotna, AK 99669
Phone: (907) 262-9107 ~ Fax: (907) 262-1245
Why Do Business in Soldotna:
Soldotna is a small city that’s thriving and engaged. Located in the heart of the Kenai Peninsula, we anchor many of the services for a regional population of almost 30,000. The City supports our local arts and entertainment scene — and knows the value of having great parks, lifelong educational opportunities, and quality health care.Whether you’re a long-standing business, starting up or gathering information for the future, check out what’s involved to do business in Soldotna, Alaska. Find City Resources here!
1949 – Soldotna post office established
1950s – Construction of Sterling Highway from Anchorage and the Kenai Spur Highway
1957 – Oil discovered in the Swanson River area
1960 – City incorporated as fourth class city
1967 – City reorganized as first class city
The history of the City of Soldotna begins with homesteading that occurred in the late 1940s, although Native Alaskan Athabaskan peoples had lived and used the areas around the Kenai River for many thousands of years prior to the city’s establishment. After World War II, veterans were given priority in homesteading in this area and settlement began to grow. The construction of the Sterling Highway from Anchorage and the Kenai Spur Highway occurred in the 1950s, resulting in increased settlement in the area. A post office for Soldotna was established in 1949. Oil was discovered at the nearby Swanson River area in 1957, giving the population and economy of the area another major boost. Soldotna’s location at the junction of the Sterling and Kenai Spur Highways resulted in the area becoming a major location for retail trade, services and government on the Kenai Peninsula.
Our Community: Past, Present & Future
Many centuries ago, Athabascan hunters and gatherers migrated from west of the Alaska Range; recognized the richness of the natural resources of Cook Inlet and the Kenai Peninsula; and became the only Athabascans to adapt to a marine and coastal environment. The Athabascan peoples migrated throughout Alaska and North America. The Dena’ina is a branch of Athabascan Native Americans which established themselves on the shores of Cook Inlet. The Kenaitze are Dena’ina people many of which still reside in the area today.
Russian fur traders, in the 1700’s, settled along the shore of the Cook Inlet and the Gulf of Alaska, amassing a harvest of sea otters. By the turn of the 19th Century, miners looking for gold had journeyed north and founded several communities; and fisherman settled near the Cook Inlet to reap the harvest from the sea.
World War II veterans were among the very first Soldotna homesteaders. The area was opened for homestead filing in 1947 and veterans were granted a 90-day preference over non-veterans in choosing and filing for land. Transportation to the area was difficult; some flew or took a barge to Kenai, then hiked eleven miles inland to Soldotna, while others took a train to Moose Pass and sloshed seventy miles west through the mud.
The City of Soldotna took its name from the existing Soldotna Creek running through the community that empties into the Kenai River. Some say “Soldotna” came from the Russian word meaning, “soldier”. Others say it is from an Athabaskan Indian word meaning “the stream fork.” In 1949, Soldotna obtained its first post office. In 1952, residents formed a Community Club and in 1959 established the Greater Soldotna Chamber of Commerce. Soldotna became a fourth-class city in 1960 and, in 1967 obtained its current first-class status.
Today, Soldotna is the thriving heart of the Kenai Peninsula. It is located at the strategic junction of the Sterling Highway and the Kenai Spur Highway. Residents base their livelihood on the development of vast and diverse resources which continue to bring people to the area.
During the growth years of the 1970’s and 1980’s, Soldotna established itself as a service center for the Kenai Peninsula. Soldotna has also become an important administrative hub for the Central Peninsula. It is the site of Central Peninsula General Hospital, Kenai Peninsula College, Alaska State Trooper Headquarters, Kenai National Wildlife Refuge and the administrative headquarters for the Kenai Peninsula Borough.
The world famous Kenai River runs through the center of town, leading to its nickname, “Kenai River City.” The Kenai River is an important landmark and economic mainstay for the City. In addition, migratory birds and other waterfowl make the river and its surrounding wetlands their home. Soldotna is home to many other types of wildlife, including moose, bears, caribou, and migratory birds. Voted the #1 Fishing Hotspot in North America by Field & Stream Magazine in 2004, fishing the Kenai River in Soldotna offers world class Chinook (King), Sockeye (Red), Coho (Silver) and Pink Salmon fishing, not too mention some of world’s finest trout fishing as well. The river is famous for its trophy size king salmon and is home to the “World Record King Salmon” caught by Les Anderson in 1985.
The future of Soldotna looks as bright as the silver sides of the salmon that return every year. We are growing, we are keeping a sense of our past and we are enjoying all Soldotna has to offer today!