another 8 miles, you’ll encounter Kenai Lake Kenai Lake snuggled up to the Kenai
Mountains. This zigzag, 22 mile long lake has a vibrant, aqua greenish blue color, is 540’
deep and is fed by the Snow River off the Sargent Icefield. After a few more
scenic miles, you will cross the Kenai River Bridge, the headwaters of the
world famous Kenai River which was voted the “#1 fishing hotspot in North
America in 2004” by Field & Stream. It runs 82 miles westward from Kenai Lake
through the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, through Skilak Lake and into the Cook Inlet near Kenai Alaska. The record king salmon, 97lbs, was caught
in the Kenai River near Soldotna in 1985.
will immediately pass the small residential area of Cooper Landing Cooper Landing. Originally a small gold rush town, it is now an area of numerous water rafting
companies. On the left, a
couple more miles up the road, is the access to the Russian River Falls Russian River Falls trail.
North end of the trail can be accessed at mile 52.5 of the Sterling Highway. Turn
into the Russian River campground and you’ll see the trailhead parking about 1
mile further in the park. The
trail is pretty easy and about 2.3 miles one way. Best to hike it when the sockeye salmon are running and
watch them jump the falls. It's lots of
fun but make plenty of noise and watch for bears! If you want to back track from Soldotna on another day, it’s
about a 45 mile drive.
there, you will cross the Kenai River again and travel about 1 mile to Sportsman's Landing Sportsman's Landing and the Russian River Ferry, at milepost 54.8. If
you are into "combat fishing" for red salmon, this is a good place to fish. This
is a fee area and you will need to take the ferry across the Kenai River. You’ll know when the fish
are running, as anglers will be lined up elbow to elbow across the river.
here, Soldotna center is about 40 miles more at milepost 95. Once in Soldotna, continue to “A Cabin by the Pond”, by driving straight ahead toward Homer. Stay in the left lane as you cross the Kenai River bridge (about 1½ miles). Immediately on your
right, is the Soldotna Visitor's Center Soldotna Visitor's Center. This
is a “must see” when you have a little time to explore. The friendly staff will provide lots of
material and ideas for your stay in our beautiful area. Make a left at the next light onto
Funny River road. Continue 1 mile
and turn left on Airport Heights road. If you drive by the Soldotna Airport, you’ve gone too far. “A Cabin by the Pond” is about 1 block
up Airport Heights road and on the right just before the intersection of Oehler road. You can’t miss the big brown
shop with white garage doors. This
is the back driveway, but pull in there to register and for parking
instructions. Call a few minutes
ahead (907-262-4728) and we’ll watch for you! See you there!