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Thread: Hiking in to the Kenai Canyon

  1. #1
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Eagle River, AK

    Default Hiking in to the Kenai Canyon

    I've never hiked in to the Kenai Canyon off of Skilak Loop Road, but some friends, the wife, and I might try it tomorrow evening. I'm not quite sure on where to access the trail that goes along the canyon, or how the shore access is for sockeye/rainbow fishing down there. Any tips? We may end up just floating the upper Kenai instead, but I'd really like to check out the canyon sometime this summer. It's been years since I've floated it, and I recall the fishing being pretty spectacular.

  2. #2
    Member Danny Boy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006


    Brian ~ You can access the Canyon via a few different trails off Upper Skilak Loop Road. The Kenai River Trail will get you down to the Canyon. There are two access points for the Kenai River Trail; I don't know the distances from the highway turn off but both have signs. The first Kenai River Trail sign is a rather short walk down to the river and will take you to the bank just below Jim's Landing. There is a fork to the right a little ways down the trail that will take you to an area that overlooks the canyon. I've never hiked down to the river from this point as the last time I did it was in March and the river was frozen so I never sought out a trail. I did hike the Kenai River Trail from the second pull off as well. This trail has a modertate descent and takes a little while longer to get to the river but has some great fishing opportunities. I'm not sure, though, if you can head upriver when you get down to the river as the only time I've fished it was December last year and my buddy and I were fishing down towards the mouth. Take pepper spray and/or a hand cannon - we saw two mammoth bown bears in December last year that made the ol' butt pucker a wee bit. I may be floating the Upper this weekend myself with the possibility of hitting the Canyon. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask. Also, you can hike Hidden Creek Trail which will take you to where the Upper Kenai dumps into Skilak and fish up from there.

  3. #3


    Ditto on bear protection. I haven't been there this year yet, but a trusty fishing buddy of mine said there were a lot more bears in there this year then last. Be careful!!!


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