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Thread: Kenai Winter Camping

  1. #1
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    Default Kenai Winter Camping

    Ok, here goes, my first post. I have been watching for a while but could not find the answer to this question in the old posts. I just got a new 4 season tent and would like to try it out this weekend and maybe catch some rainbow as well. Does anyone know of a campground open during the winter near the Kenai lake outlet? Or any other open water this time of year in the same general area? I live in anchorage and am willing to drive just to get out of the house. Thanks in advance for everyones help.

    Adam

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Most campgrounds are open Memorial Day to Labor Day. But being this is Alaska, you can set up your tent in the off season most anywhere (respect private property) We try and make our first camping trip of the year to Hope on Mother's day, the campground is technically closed, but typically the snow is gone and there are plenty of people out camping.

    So long as the snow is clear enough for you to pull off the road, you shouldn't have much of a problem setting up a camp.

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    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default Cool...

    so to speak - that you're going in winter. At some point, it comes down to "Just go" doesn't it?

    Your location is pretty specific. Maybe call ADF&G/ area wildlife biologist?

    Good luck.

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    Member LItoAK's Avatar
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    Default Conditions

    Anyone know how the river is looking right now after last weeks warm weather?

    Adm135 try the camp ground near the Sunrise diner in Cooper Landing. Turn left after the diner and go down the road it should be on the right. Sorry I can't remember what the name of it is. I also don't know if it is open but it is worth a shot. Let us know how it turns out.

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    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LItoAK View Post
    Anyone know how the river is looking right now after last weeks warm weather?

    Adm135 try the camp ground near the Sunrise diner in Cooper Landing. Turn left after the diner and go down the road it should be on the right. Sorry I can't remember what the name of it is. I also don't know if it is open but it is worth a shot. Let us know how it turns out.

    That is quartz creek and it is closed now. If you keep going down the road though there are several pullout that could be used in the winter if there are not huge berms. You can also go down to Watson lake on the right side and that campground is open. 3 sites and restrooms. I usually stay there in the spring when im floating. It is about 15 miles past the russian
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

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    Kenai River is fishable from Kenai Lake to right were the ferry cable crosses the river. Ice for a little ways and then some open water then ice again below this point. Bathrooms at Kenai Lake are open. Might be able to camp here as well but I do not know for sure.
    I would camp at the Ferry Crossing on the Kenai as it is not locked up or at the last pull out on the right just before you hit Lower Skilak Lake Road.

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    Default Thanks

    Thanks for all of the great advice. I will try to find a spot near the open water. It is good to know that I don't have to find an open campground. If I don't feel comfortable camping in by a pullout I will go the the Watson lake campground. I also found the city of Soldotna Centennial campground on the internet. It looks like they have a self pay station so they may be open. Thanks again, I will let you know how it goes.

  8. #8

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    centennial is closed, and the river in town is frozen

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    Jims landing should be unlocked. I'm pretty sure you would be the only one there. It's not a campground, but it is a boat launch and I doubt anyone would care this time of year. Skilak lake has campgrounds that I believe stay unlocked all year, but it is a washboard gravel road and doubt it is plowed. Several pull-outs along the highway paralleling the river, but then you have to deal with road noise. Post the river conditions when you get back. Good luck.

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    Default Work!?

    I found out today that I have to work Saturday and possibly Sunday .There will be no camping this weekend. Thanks for all of the advice. If the weather stays relativley warm I will get out there soon. The new tent will have to wait. Again, thanks for taking the time to help.

  11. #11
    Member wildwill's Avatar
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    Default Upper is Partially Open

    Wife and I were in Cooper Landing on Saturday--hiked a bit on Fuller lakes and scoped the water levels with hopes of wetting a line next weekend.

    River is all open from the Kenai Lake bridge down well below Sportsmans, but is mostly closed well above Jims with just some overflow and a small few feet wide open area. Saw a couple folks fishing, but did not stay around long enough to see how well they were doing. It was strangely warm in Cooper. It was 22 in Kenai when we headed out and still in the 20's when we returned, but it was up 37 degrees in Cooper. The warm air started around Skyline trailhead and was warm all the way to the Lake--Just mentioning since the river may in fact open back up all the way to Jims soon.

    As for winter camping, you should be able to camp at any of the state sights. Last year I called up parks and asked about camping in one of the closed campgrounds, and was told it was fine to do, no charge, but to be aware there would be no amenities--including toilet paper if the bathroom was even unlocked. A few of us camped and didn't get any grief from anyone--the bathroom was even unlocked, but didn't look like it had been attended to in quite som time.

    Hope that helps.

    Will
    Since the World is 2/3 Water and Only 1/3 Land, Figures the Good Lord Intended I Fish More Than I Plow.

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