Local Trails & Difficulty

Here are a few popular area for hiking and mountain biking in the area.  Please consider the difficulty rating, distance and elevation when planning an expedition. Research the trails you choose carefully, and be aware of seasonal closures, including any prohibition of motorized vehicles, horses and other pack animals, etc. Read all notices posted at each trailhead carefully before beginning your adventure!

Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center

Rated: EASY
Distance 2.5 miles round trip

» Read more...

An excellent family hike.  Cleared trail offers easy walking.  Decking and viewing at the Lake, interpretive signage and a bonus of the visitors’ center rounds out the experience.

How to find this trail:
Trail head is at the paved parking area of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center located in Soldotna off Funny River Road from the Sterling Highway.

» See less

Tsalteshi Trails

Rated: EASY
Distance: Varies

» Read more...

This series of intermingled trails is a great area for hikers and Mountain bikers who’d like to stay closer to town.  These trails are popular throughout the year with area residents, and are maintained by the Tsalteshi Trail Association.  Woodland setting with rolling hills. Visit www.tsalteshi.org for more information.

How to find this trail:
Just south of Soldotna, behind Skyview High School. Also Kalifornsky Beach access across from Soldotna Sports Center.

» See less

Nikiski Community Trail

Rated: EASY
Distance: 1.5 miles round trip

» Read more...

Fitness stations are located along the first loop of this multi-use trail for those who are serious about getting into and staying in shape.  Nature enthusiasts can find plenty to look at along the trail.  If solitude is what you seek, the trail leads to a gazebo and picnic area located on the banks of Bailey Lake.   In the winter, the trails are used for cross country skiing, skijoring and snow-shoeing.

How to find this trail:
Trail head is located adjacent to Nikiski High School off Old Nikiski Beach Road in Nikiski, just north of Kenai.

» See less

Captain Cook State Recreation Area

Rated: EASY
Distance: 2.5 miles round trip

» Read more...

Features:  The beach trail offers great views of the Cook Inlet and the Alaska Range.  Stay on the beach proper, as the tides are fast-moving.  The array of geological deposits in the form of many shapes and types of stones on this beach make it an interesting adventure.  The beach is especially popular with agate hunters.

How to find this trail:
25 miles north of Kenai.  The beach is just below the Discovery Picnic and Campground area.

» See less

Russian Lakes Trail

Rated: MODERATE
Distance: 6 miles round trip

» Read more...

A multi-use trail for hikers and Mountain bikers, the first three miles to Lower Russian River Campground Road, at Mile 52 of the Sterling Highway near Cooper Landing is a good family trail that follows along the Russian River.  See the Russian River Falls, where sockeye salmon are making their upstream battle to spawn.   It is especially important to make noise and watch for bears on this particular trail!

How to find this trail:
Trail head is one mile down Russian River Campground Road, at Mile 52 of the Sterling Highway near Cooper Landing.

» See less

Resurrection Pass Trail

Rated: EASY to MODERATE
Distance: 39 miles long
Elevation gain: 2600 feet

» Read more...

This multi-sse trail for hiking, Mountain biking, cross Country skiing and snowmobiling, is popular in all of our seasons. Ideal for lake fishing, day hikes and  viewing waterfalls, scenic vistas & wildlife. Well-spaced public-use cabins and campsites make this an idea choice for a multi-day hike. Trail also connects with Devils Pass trailhead.

How to find this trail:
Cooper Landing trailhead begins at MP 52 of the Sterling Highway or you can access the Hope side trailhead by following the Hope turnoff to Resurrection Creek Road.

» See less

Fuller Lakes Trail

Rated: MODERATE to DIFFICULT
Distance: Varies

» Read more...

Upper and Lower Fuller Lake offer one of the few waters on the Kenai Peninsula which contain Arctic Grayling.  The trail between the two lakes has little elevation change, but can be muddy.  Once on top of the higher elevations past Upper Fuller Lake (this lake contains Dolly Varden trout)  hikers are afforded extensive views of the Kenai Mountains.  Look for Dall Sheep on these ridges.  Excellent berry picking opportunities in the fall.

How to find this trail:
Look for a pull-out parking area located at Mile 57.1 on the Sterling Highway in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge just outside of Cooper Landing if heading towards Kenai.  Follow the steps up the short bank to access the trail.

» See less

Skilak Lookout Trail

Rated: MODERATE to DIFFICULT
Distance: 2.5 miles round trip
Elevation gain: 750 feet

» Read more...

A good way to stretch out and work up a sweat, with several steep sections along this trail.  It ends on an overlook with spectacular views of Skilak Lake.

How to find this trail:
Located along Skilak Loop Road, the trail head is approximately two miles past Hidden Lake Campground. Skilak Lake Road is accessible just south west of Cooper Landing and north east of Sterling.

» See less

Kenai River Trail

Rated: EASY
Distance: 2.5 miles round trip

» Read more...

A meandering trail through forest meadows. Wildflowers, berries and the only trail that actually takes you along the famous Kenai River.  Fantastic views! Check out the nearby interpretive panels on Skilak Loop Road to learn more about the Pothole Lake forest fire that impacted this area in 1991.

How to find this trail:
At Mile 58 of the Sterling Highway, turn onto Skilak Loop Road.  The trail head is a half mile in on the left.

» See less

Johnson Pass Trail

Rated: EASY to MODERATE
Distance: 23 miles one way

» Read more...

 This trail is a favorite for mountain bikers as well as hikers.  Accessing from the north side, you will encounter beautiful alpine scenery.   Lakes and streams can be found along the trail.  Be sure to filter any water you pull from natural Alaskan sources.  This is usually a longer backpacking trip, but offers a peaceful break on your drive through the Chugach National Forest.

How to find this trail:
North Trailhead is located at Mile 64, Seward Highway, east of Granite Creek Campground – turn south on Forest Service road. South Trailhead is located at Mile 32.5 Seward Highway, pull into Forest Service signed pullout west of Upper Trail Lake.

» See less