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Thread: car camping betw Soldotna & Homer?

  1. #1

    Default car camping betw Soldotna & Homer?

    Hi, I mentor a teen who has expressed an interest in camping here on the southern Kenai Peninsula. I have a lot of experience, and always preferred the backpacking approach. But my gear is mostly somewhere else at the moment. SO, I want to start her easy by picking a few pretty spots to do some simple car camping (sleep in the wagon), have a fire and take out the inflatable kayak for a little paddling.

    I'd prefer to avoid RV parks.

    Any suggestions?
    I'm told there's a campground on the west end of Tustumena Lake that's owned by one of the Native corps? I like the idea of paddling to the little island near there to scope out a future stay at one of the Refuge cabins. Does anyone have experience in this area?

    Is this very near to the Johnson Lake campground? Any experience there? Which is better?

    I can't find any detailed information (campground maps, contact information, pricing, amenities, etc) for either.

    Any and all suggestions south of Soldotna and accessible by AWD car are welcome!

  2. #2
    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Default You can camp at Tustumena free!

    It is refuge, not Native owned, and you could kayak at "slackwater", which is the mild outflow of the lake (which is less than a mile upriver). Kayaking Tusty...? Early morning might be OK before daybreeze if you were only going to the island. There is a cabin there for rent from the refuge.
    Johnson lake is a nice, but very civilized campground. The lake is pleasant to boat on and there are a few fish to catch also. You could car camp there, but a tent would be better.
    Hope that helps. God bless you for mentoring a young person. I wish there were more like you willing to give of their lives.

  3. #3

    Default

    Thanks for the info! So do I have the two campground names right? I can't find details about either one, but maybe I should just swing into Islands & Ocean in Homer and ask there.

    I've heard Tusty is windy and choppy, but would it still be rough paddling if we just stay along the shoreline? It's an open-top inflatable kayak, so I'm guessing it would be wet! I love the cabin idea, but it seems only reasonable to do something like that for two nights...and that adds up. So camping it will be. Either way, I think she'll consider it an adventure!

    Can you see anything wrong with this plan: Camp and paddle at Johnson Lake CG first, then drive through the Tusty CG and wander along the lakeshore to case the joint for a future trip. I'm assuming they're really close, right? And then maybe shakes at Rocky's!

    Appreciate the good wishes. Big Brothers are in great demand, so if you're ever interested, give them a call! For some reason there just aren't as many guys who want to hang with a kid. It can be quite a challenge, but pretty dang fun for the most part.
    -all the best

  4. #4
    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Default Sounds...

    ... like an excellent plan you have formulated. I think you will be fine on Tustumena, but an inflatable kayak might be a bit light in a head wind. Don't know.

    Do you not own a tent? If not, maybe I or someone else could help you out.

    If I didn't have a 9 year-old and two young grandsons hanging at my heels, I would consider being a "big brother".

  5. #5
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Default

    One of my favorite campgrounds is in Anchor Point. It's on a bluff overlooking the inlet and a great spot to sit around the campfire and enjoy the views.

    If you want to do some paddling and camping, I'd say head just a bit North to the E fork or Moose River, just past Stirling. You can camp right out of your vehicle, and paddle around the lake, or head back to Afanasi lake (3rd lake back)

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