Upper Kenai River Trail

Cooper Landing, AK
Length: 5.60 mi.
Type: Out & Back

About This Trail

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This trail provides access to the Kenai River and is divided into upper and lower sections.
SCENIC VIEWS: Excellent views of the Kenai River canyon can be obtained within the first half mile of the (eastern) upper section.
CAMPING: There are several areas suitable for camping along the Kenai River; most are in the lower section. Firewood is fairly abundant, but backpacking
stoves are recommended to reduce impact.
FISHING: Trout, Dolly Varden, and salmon can be caught in the Kenai River. Check the current fishing regulation before you go.
OTHER ACTIVITIES: Flowers are abundant in the spring and summer. Berry picking can be good during late summer. Look for eagles, mergansers,
moose, river otter, beaver, and other animals.
WINTER ACTIVITIES: The Upper Kenai River remains open in winter. Though the trail is not well suited for cross-country skiing, it is suitable for
snowshoeing. Near the river the trail is often steep and slippery, and caution is advised. Animals needing open water can sometimes be seen in this
area. Look for wintering bald eagles and other birds.

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Trail Features

Surface type Dirt
Elevation gain 260 ft.
Stroller friendly No
ADA accessible No
Water fountains No
Bathrooms No
Cell reception None
Pet friendly Yes
Nearby convenience store No
Camping Nearby No
Emergency support
within 5 miles

Trail highlights

Creek / River, Mud Puddles, Shaded Hike, Viewpoint, and Wildlife Viewing

Trail Contributor

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Lacey Stock is the Kenai Peninsula Branch Ambassador (16,000 square miles) in Alaska for Hike it Baby. She is also a volunteer on the Technical Support Team and Calendar Team for Hike it Baby. She has visited 49 out of the 50 United States and hopes to hit Hawaii in the near future. She has enjoyed hiking all her life and hopes to instill that same value and love in her three daughters (Rebekah (6), Hannah (4), and Esther (2).) Originally from Katy Texas (Near Houston), she now resides in Nikiski Alaska. Lacey owns her own yoga studio and volunteers on two local boards (Kenai Little League and Nikiski Senior Service Area). She also is a fulltime college student currently with a Associates of Technology in Process Technology and pursuing a Bachelors of Arts in Social Sciences with concentrations in Anthropology, Government & Political Science, and Economics. She is a homeschooling mom as well and loves to take her kiddos on “fieldtrips” around the country where you can almost always find them hiking during the trip.


Trail Map

Getting There

The Upper trailhead starts at mile 0.6 of Skilak Lake Rd. These mile markers are from the east entrance of Skilak Lake Road junction with the Sterling Highway.