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Alaska Department of Natural Resources

Division of Parks & Outdoor Recreation

Kenai River

Kenai Region

South Esther Island State Marine Park

South Esther Island State Marine Park


★ ADA Facility - No
★ 3,360 Acres
★ Campsites
★ Toilets


★ Trails
★ Limited Fishing

This marine park is located on the southern end of Esther Island, including Lake and Quillian Bays. Lake Bay houses one of the world's largest fish hatcheries while Quillian Bay remains relatively undisturbed. Quillian Bay provides anchorages behind the larger island. You can also carefully navigate to the head of the bay for an anchorage. A hike along the eastern edge of the lagoon and through a low, forested pass brings you to Esther Lake. Tent platforms provide a flat & elevated surface to camp along the muskegs and forested areas.

The park offers not only a protected anchorage but two easily accessible scenic overlooks. Esther Lake and the Esther Falls Overlook are two of the outstanding features of the Lake Bay area. Fishing is good but sport fishermen should avoid getting in the way of the daily operations of the hatchery. Sport fish regulations prohibit fishing within 300 feet of the holding pens. During commercial openings the fishing fleet crowds the area and you are advised to stay clear of the nets and boat traffic. During the height of the fish run, black bears can be seen near the hatchery.

No road access

Driving Directions:
Take Seward Hwy south, Left on Portage Glacier Road, stop at toll booth. Proceed through Anton Anderson Tunnel to Whittier. No Road access from Whittier to Esther Island. Boat access only.

Mission Statement

"The Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation provides outdoor recreation opportunities and conserves and interprets natural, cultural, and historic resources for the use, enjoyment, and welfare of the people."

Accessibility Notice

Division of Parks & Outdoor Recreation

Atwood Building
550 West 7th Avenue
Suite 1380
Anchorage, AK 99501
DNR Public Information Center:
(907) 269-8400
DPOR Director's Office:
(907) 269-8700