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Anchor Point, a welcoming rural community famous for being the most westerly point to which you can drive in North America rests between Ninilchik and Homer on the Sterling Highway. Overlooking Cook Inlet, Anchor Point has an abundance of wildlife and boasts dramatic views of the western Cook Inlet mountain range, volcanos (Mount Augustine, Mount Iliamna, and Mount Redoubt), and the world-renowned Anchor River.
The abundance of outdoor activities and wild life, as well as the hospitality of the locals and the tranquility of the area, attract visitors from all over Alaska, the US, and other countries to Anchor Point. Local activities include bait fishing and fly-fishing in the Anchor River, boating, charter fishing in the Cook Inlet, taking a local charter to the western side of Cook Inlet for clamming, watching the tractor boat-launch at the Anchor Point beach, beach combing, camping in and exploring the Anchor River State Recreation Area, bird and wildlife viewing (moose, bald eagles, sea otters, beluga whales, and more), hiking, horseback riding, and golfing. In the winter, locals and visitors also enjoy snow machining and cross-country skiing. Anchor Point is only 15 miles north of Homer, affording quick and easy access to all that Homer has to offer as well.
Visitors of all ages enjoy watching the boats being launched into the Cook Inlet via tractors from the Anchor Point beach. The tractor launch is located in the Anchor River State Recreation Area, which is also home to five pristine campgrounds, well-equipped and maintained RV parks, and of course a stretch of the Anchor River. The tractor launch runs from the last Saturday in April until Labor Day.
The Cook Inlet fishery provides choice fishing opportunities for halibut, salmon (king, sockeye, pink, and silver), and other varieties of fish. The inlet is easily accessed from Anchor Point - boats can be launched from the Anchor Point beach or the mouth of the Anchor River. The annual King Salmon Calcutta Tournament kicks off the summer fishing season in Anchor Point. The 2018 tournament will be held May 11th and 12th. Many locals fish year-round, and visitors to the area enjoy a bountiful summer fishing season. Anchor Point has several excellent local fishing charters. Between the
charters and the local fish processing business, visitors will not have any problems getting their catch of the day professionally processed, vacuum sealed, and even shipped to the destination of their choice. Visitors should familiarize themselves with the current year’s fishing restrictions and regulations before heading out on a fishing adventure.
The Anchor River is one of Alaska’s prime fishing streams because it is road-system accessible. Fishing season is open Memorial Day weekend until the river freezes. The river boasts Dolly Varden, steelhead trout, and salmon (king, pink, and silver). Anglers, both fly-fishing and bait fishing, flock to the river beginning in late May for its renowned king salmon run – the run begins in late May and peaks during the second week in June. The Anchor River is best known to fly-fisherman for its wild steelhead trout. They are a major draw for anglers both inside and outside Alaska. Steelhead run from mid-August through October, peaking in mid-September and are catch-and-release only. Whether a novice or experienced fisherman, the Anchor River welcomes all who want to try their hand at catching wild Alaskan fish. To read about and follow the local fishing regulations, visitors should pick up a guide book at the Anchor Point Chamber of Commerce.
What is known today as Anchor Point was once home to the semi-nomadic Kenaitze Indians. They referred to the area as Qasmatchin.
It has long been held that in May 1778 Captain James Cook was sailing aboard his ship the Resolution looking for the Northwest Passage. An incredible storm arose, so he anchored his ship in the Inlet. It was most likely the severity of the storm that caused the kedge anchor to be lost. The experience was note-worthy enough that Captain Cook marked the spot on his map where the anchor was lost as ‘Anchor Point’.
Various groups of European explorers, gold miners, and fur traders left their mark on the Anchor Point area in the 18th and 19th centuries, including a woman who arrived with a group of men in 1896 to sluice for gold along the seashore. One of the largest influences still found here today is the rich culture of the Russians and their descendants. However, it was the 1940s before Anchor Point was permanently settled. At least one of the original settlers, who arrived with his devout mother in Homer in 1943 and began homesteading in Anchor Point in 1945, still lives here today. The descendants of many of the original homesteading families still live in Anchor Point.
Early settlers combed the Anchor Point beach for pieces of coal to heat their dwellings. At least one of the original school houses of Anchor Point also used coal for its source of heat. Visitors can still see the occasional local resident collecting coal from the beach for the same purpose.
Before the Sterling Highway (a section of which is now the Old Sterling Highway) between Anchor Point and Homer was completed, homesteaders traveled to and from Homer mostly via the beach using horse-drawn wagons or carts, Jeeps, or on foot. The mail was also transported from Homer to Anchor Point via the beach until the completion of the highway between the two towns in December 1948.
Among Anchor Point’s historical structures is the Anchor Point bridge, a single-car steel truss bridge, which can be accessed via the Old Sterling Highway and spans the Anchor River. The bridge was completed in the winter of 1948 and is still used today.