Kenai (ˈkiːnaɪ, ) (Dena'ina: Shk'ituk't; Кенай, Kenay) is a city in the Kenai Peninsula Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. It is one hundred and fifty-eight miles by road southwest from Anchorage. The population was 7,424 as of the 2020 census, up from 7,100 in 2010, the fifteenth-most populated city in the state.
The city of Kenai is named after the local Dena'ina word 'ken' or 'kena', which means 'flat, meadow, open area with few trees; base, low ridge', according to the Dena'ina Topical Dictionary by James Kari, Ph.D., published in 2007. This describes the area along the mouth and portion of the Kenai River near the City of Kenai. Archaeological evidence suggests that the area was first occupied by the Kachemak people from 1000 B.C., until they were displaced by the Dena'ina Athabaskan people around 1000 A.D. Before the arrival of the Russians, Kenai was a Dena'ina village called Shk'ituk't, meaning "where we slide down." When Russian fur traders first arrived in