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Thread: Russian question

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    Default Russian question

    Who has experience with walking the Russian River (water and bank) from the falls down to the Kenai? Is the terrain the same as it is within the area of the boardwalk? Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Protrac View Post
    Who has experience with walking the Russian River (water and bank) from the falls down to the Kenai? Is the terrain the same as it is within the area of the boardwalk? Thanks.
    It turns into a fairly steep canyon about halfway to the falls and walking OUT of the water can be a little tough. Short answer is no, terrain is a little tougher in my opinion.

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    Terrain is a little tougher the farther up you go but there is a well worn trail next to the river that makes it fairly easy. You can easily start at one end and fish your way down or up stream. There are some very good spots closer to the falls. Lots of bears up there too...

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    There are two or three ~20 yard sections that can be a bit precarious for those not used to walking along cliffs with loose footing or wading in the water on slippery rocks. I wouldn't take a kid on their first hike along the river, but as others have mentioned, it's doable and provides access to some great fishing and thinner crowds. I never fish downstream of the white trail any longer - always upstream, never without shoulder room.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    There are two or three ~20 yard sections that can be a bit precarious for those not used to walking along cliffs with loose footing or wading in the water on slippery rocks. I wouldn't take a kid on their first hike along the river, but as others have mentioned, it's doable and provides access to some great fishing and thinner crowds. I never fish downstream of the white trail any longer - always upstream, never without shoulder room.
    By "White trail", you are talking the boardwalk. Correct?

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Sorry for the lack of clarity. The white trail is the trail from the red salmon campground upstream to the river - it's above the boardwalk, but not by a long ways.

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    Which side is easier to hike up stream? I will be up there in Sept. Will I be limited to the east side of the river only if the ferry is closed.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    The parking lot side of the river is easier for hiking upriver, but in September you shouldn't have a hard time at all crossing the river if you've got chest waders - that is, assuming we don't have a really rainy September, which is certainly possible.

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    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    There are plenty of spots to cross the Russian.
    I was still able to cross last September when the Kenai was closed due to the flooding.

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    Only seen a couple of post in regards to bears..but would really go prepared and know how to read them. You WILL see plenty.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texfish View Post
    Which side is easier to hike up stream? I will be up there in Sept. Will I be limited to the east side of the river only if the ferry is closed.
    Seems to be a little confusion here or maybe I am just reading it wrong. The ferry is not on the Russian river it is on the Kenai river and just takes you across from the Russian river ferry campground/ parking lot to the mouth(well pretty close) of the Russian river. The trails that are getting mentioned run along the Russian river itself and are more easily accessed from the Russian river campground which is sever miles north of the Russian river ferry campground. ... And crossing the Russian river itself is no biggie in lots of places but the main trail is as pointed out on the same side of the river you park on...

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    Since all the parking access is on the north side of the Russian the primary "trails" are all on the north bank. Even the not-a-trail path up to the falls is on the north bank. The south bank of the Russian is a wildlife refuge and there is not an established trail on that side. There are spots were people cross over to hit a hole better, but there is not a developed pathway along that bank.

    As long as the Russian is not flooding due to a high snow level the path on the north bank is passable with only a few dicy spots where you have to climb over rock ledges. Deep holes in the river so you are not wading around them.

    Every time I have been up in the canyon the black bears have worked the south bank pretty hard. Makes for a fun day until some tourist panics over seeing a bear being a bear.

    For you L48 visitors remember no felt soles up here anymore so bring your sticky rubber and spikes/studs/cleats. The aglee builds up really good after mid June and even the gravel can be slippery.

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    Premium Member Wyo2AK's Avatar
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    Okay... here's a map

    courtesy of http://susanstevenson.com/blog/2009/07/31/
    North is up.

    The ferry is downstream (west/left) of the Kenai-Russian confluence.
    The boardwalks and trails are between the ferry and the parking lots/campgrounds on the north side of the river.
    South of the campgrounds, going upstream, the fisherman's trail/path runs along the east side of the river.
    The white path is south/upstream of the campgrounds and runs a little way before turning into the trail.

    You shouldn't have any troubles crossing the Russian in September... that said, if the water is high the current will be ripping and you'll need to be more selective about where you cross.

    No joke about the bears.
    Up river (looking upstream): trail on left/east, bears in middle, concerned fishermen on right.


    Another photo up river (looking upstream):

    Walk up trail, catch fish, repeat.

    Between the campgrounds and ferry, accessed near from the boardwalks/trail (looking downstream):


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    Rich
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    Thanks Wyo! Great info....

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    With a set of chest waders and good boots (I prefer the studded korkers, others have different opinions) you'll be able to get all over that river with no trouble, well none from the river anyway. The bears may give you trouble!

  16. #16

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    Is there ferry open all year long? mid Sept?
    BTW, thank you very much for all your generous help.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texfish View Post
    Is there ferry open all year long? mid Sept?
    BTW, thank you very much for all your generous help.
    Definitely not all year long - our rivers freeze here, sir. I am fairly certain it's not open in September. My guess (having not used the ferry since I was a teenager) is that it closes when the sockeye fishery closes in August. Beyond that point the river becomes much less crowded and much more peaceful - and much less financially attractive for a business like the ferry operation.

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    Forest service makes them stay through labor day, then they leave when the people stop showing up, last year it was a few weeks after labor day I believe. By the time the ferry shuts down there is NO problem getting in the campground side.

  19. #19

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    +1 on the bears. But keep in mind they see people all the time so they are somewhat acclimated. Give them plenty of space, use common sense, and carry at least bear spray.

    I shot this on the Russian with my iPhone. Not that they are any less "wild" but I think in most other places, I would have been a lot more worried!!!

    http://youtu.be/um6WqQ3EVUI


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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