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Thread: Good lakes on the road system for canoeing, remote camping, and fishing? Eklutna Lk?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Anchorage, AK

    Default Good lakes on the road system for canoeing, remote camping, and fishing? Eklutna Lk?

    I'm not a fan of campground camping and I would like to get out with my wife, our dog, and our new canoe for some camping and fishing next Thursday to Friday.

    I was thinking about Eklutna Lake but I'm not sure what the backcountry camping situation is like? I know about the two official backcountry campgrounds, but I think they might be a bit too far to paddle since I'm going to be doing ALL the paddling while my wife will be tasked with ensuring that our 10 month golden retriever doesn't tip our !@#$ over in the middle of the lake! Does anyone know if there are any good places to camp on the South shore of Eklutna Lake (the side opposite of the trail) within a few miles paddle of the parking lot??

    I was also thinking about the Nancy Lake rec area, but we just did Red Shirt Lake for 2 nights last month, so I kinda want to try somewhere new.

    Any there any other nice lakes accessed via the road system in the Mat-Su Valley or on the Kenai Peninsula that offer good remote camping and fishing?


  2. #2


    Swan Lake/Swanson River canoe system in the Kenai Natl. Wildlife Refuge is spectacular. My wife an I favor going in on Canoe Lake ie; the West Passage.

    It may be a bit of a drive for a 1 nighter though, if that is all the time you have. There are maps available in many stores showing the portages and routes.

    A golden retriever I once had,before she passed, jumped out of our canoe once. Fortunately she did so straight off the bottom of the canoe without touching the sides, so the canoe did'nt move an inch. We cured her in that one instance by making her swim the rest of the way across the lake while the canoe was just out of her reach. She never jumped from the canoe again in the 13 years of her life. I guess the thought of being left behind was enough incentive for her to stay put.

  3. #3
    Member garnede's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    soon to be back in Alaska


    About mid way of Eklutna lake, on the side opposite of the trail, there is a point that has a decent place to set up camp. The camp spot was 30-50' abofe the waterline, but was a nice big gravel point. Most of the rest of the shore line is steep with few good camping spots.

    I would not recomend the Kenai this weekend, because the smoke is probably thicker there this weekend.
    It ain't about the # of pounds of meat we bring back, nor about how much we spent to go do it. Its about seeing what no one else sees.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Knik-Fairview, Alaska


    Byers Lake off the Parks Hwy (around mile 147 I believe) is a very nice lake, not far off the highway, but feels remote when you are on it. I think no motors are allowed, and it's a big lake, so you can do plenty of quiet exploring, camping where you want, etc.


  5. #5

    Default Other option

    How about Cooper lake?

  6. #6
    Member cristancanoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008


    I think Cooper Lake (the one up Snug Harbor rd in Cooper Landing) would be a good option. We paddled around the entire lake about a month ago. There are a lot of places to camp.
    The water is SUPER cold in that lake!
    We have a dog who always jumps out of the canoe, we just let her swim behind! She usually will go to shore and run along with us. My other dog loves to nap in the canoe!


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