Drifters Lodge Located in the Heart of the Chugach National Forest and Bordering the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge
The Kenai Peninsula is a hiker’s dream come true. There are many wonderful hiking trails available from easy to challenging and trail heads are easily accessible from the lodge. Cooper Landing is located in the heart of the Chugach National Forest, borders the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, and is home to an amazing number of great hiking trails. Depending on which hike you choose, you will enjoy awesome views of the Kenai Lake, the Cooper Landing Valley, Russian River, Russian Lakes, Skilak Lake, Chugach Mountains, Crescent Lake, Cooper Lake, etc. We think that in order to fully enjoy Alaska, at least one back country hike should be part of your Alaskan Vacation while staying at Drifters Lodge.
For the convenience and safety of our guests, Kenai River Drifters Lodge has hiking maps of the Kenai Peninsula available in the main office. Alaskan hikes can be fun, beautiful and provide great exercise, but none of this will matter if you get lost in the mountains! So, make sure to take a map, consult a staff member and plan your trip before you leave the lodge. We also have bear mace in the office for our guests to take along on their hikes. Make Drifters Lodge your home base to explore the Kenai Peninsula on foot.
Kenai River Drifter’s Lodge is sure to be a favorite destination. Give us a call today, on our TOLL FREE number 1-866-595-5959 and let’s make arrangements for your stay at Kenai River Drifter’s Lodge.
Slaughter Ridge line hiking trail – This trail is a vigorous hike with rewarding views along the way. There are three outlooks along the hike which offer increasingly spectacular views as altitude is increased. Once the ridgeline is reached, one can continue to follow the ridge up to the Peak of Juno Mountain. Later in the season this hike has extra bounty along the way such as blue berries and raspberries. The columbine flower is one flower among many that is abundant and very beautiful along the way. This hike has an abundance of wildlife with a chance of seeing bear and moose along the way.
Russian River Trail – The Russian River Trail is one that anyone with a sense of adventure can do. This is a leisurely trail. This trail is a 2.3 mile hike that is handicap accessible, so if one wants to bring a 9 month old or older persons who want to see some salmon jump with a possibility of seeing bears fishing or on the trail, this is the hike. All along the trail there are an abundance of fauna and massive trees such as cottonwood. The trail is full of watermelon berries which an experienced guide will point out and enjoy with you.
Confluence trail – This is another trail that is easily accessible with a set of stairs that is at the start of the hike. The trail is about a half mile and brings you to the sanctuary where the Kenai River and the Russian river meet. The two rivers have unique appearances which can best be seen from this trail or on one of our scenic rafting trips. The Russian is a clear, snow pack fed river and the Kenai is a vibrant blue glacial fed river. Bears can also be seen fishing and wandering around on this hike, along with salmon in the clear waters of the Russian after the June run of Red salmon.
Fuller lakes trail – This is a hike that is a fairly strenuous hike for the first half, and then gradually flattens out for the second half. The trail head is right on the sterling highway and spruce trees litter the entrance. There are two major fuller lakes, with some ponds scattered in between. The lakes are beautiful and are nestled in between mountains that creates a picturesque scene.
Skyline Trail – This hike is a wonderful one. The hike is about one mile and is a rigorous one. The hike starts in a dense forest and has lush greenery for most of the hike. There is one or two spots that are worth stopping at to grab a snack or a drink and explore a little. One such spot consists of a dwarfed forest nearing the tree line. One can explore this mysterious place and enjoy the view. Once past this point there is only a small distance left until the tree line is reached. The top of the mountain has blueberries and lots of fluffy liken. The top of the mountain is spectacularly windy with one heck of a view, with a geo-catch at the top.
Bear Mountain Trail – This trail is about ¾ of a mile long with some beautiful geological features such as rock outcroppings and a mountain! The hike is moderate in difficulty, with a slight incline the entire way until the top. There are a few view points along the way that have a spectacular display of Skilak Lake. The name holds truth as there are lots of bears on and around the mountain. Overall, great hike to do with the family or friends.
Hidden Creek Trail – This trail is a very nice, leisurely hike. It is about 1.5 miles and it brings you through a heavily vegetated forest for the first leg of the journey. About a half mile in, the forest turns into a shrub land with many dead trees. This is the remnants of a forest that once stood there, but was burned down in a natural forest fire. This helps to demonstrate the natural cycle of how the Kenai Peninsula was meant to burn in order to maintain and replenish fertility of the soil. This trail also has bog like terrain with abundance of watermelon berries and fireweed, which both have edible components. The trail eventually leads to a fork, one path leads to Skilak lake beach and the other path leads to the mouth of hidden creek which flows into Skilak. The view is spectacular, with glaciers in the distance and a beautiful blue lake surrounded by mountains. This is also the hike out trail for our 20 mile rafting trip.
Kenai River Trail – This is a fairly long trail being about 2.5 miles long, but relatively flat. It follows the Kenai River through the refuge. This trail reveals a different, aerial perspective of the canyon, which is part of our 20 mile rafting trip that has class 1, 2, and 3 rapids. This hike is a lovely one which allows one to see just how much bedrock the Kenai River has carved out. From certain spots of the trail, one can also see the vibrant blue waters of Skilak Lake. Along the way there are usually clear indicators, such as bones, of spots where animals have brought back a treat from the river and enjoyed the scenic view of the river with a meal.