Crescent Creek on the Kenai Peninsula

Wouldn’t it be nice to hike in the Carter Lake trail, paddle down Crescent Lake and float out Crescent Creek on the Kenai?

Well, we scouted it out last weekend (July 18-19th 2009) since we didn’t see any posts about it. Hiked up from the Crescent Creek Trailhead near Cooper Landing hoping to see the creek, but trail joins the creek about 1/4 the way up it and then diverges for much of the rest of it. Decided immediately that as 2nd year advanced beginner packrafters we weren’t going to be floating what we did see of the lower section below the bridge. So we tried out the upper section. It was fun and easy for a while, then got into fun splashy waves, then had some exciting maneuvering challenges as we came upon a few sweepers and strainers and boulders and drops here and there. We had to portage a drop and a few strainers, and then climbed up to the trail about 1/4 mile above the bridge when we got into a section of switchbacks created by logs and boulders that looked too scary for us (and our dogs). Nevertheless, it was gorgeous out there with emerald waters and fireweed in full bloom.

Water level on July 19th was low but floatable, as it has been dry and this is not a glacial fed stream. 6 mile was running at about 1250 ft3/sec on this date, and I’m not saying the course is like 6 mile but I think the sources are similar, so think relative. My perception (and I might need glasses) is that those that are running South Fork, Ship Creek or Lower Eagle River might check this out below the bridge, although it is not possible to scout it from the trail very often and the dense vegetation made creekside discovery a challenge. Maybe in the Spring? Look forward to hearing what other people find!

We paddled the steep section below the lake back in 2006. Don’t know what section you tried, but if you get down in there you’ll come to a series of big waterfalls. It starts of w/ a 10ish footer than leads to a 20fter, then to another 15 nasty drop where you have to boof the pillow just right or you’ll wind up in the cave, pretty dangerous series, but a solid challenge none the less.

Timmy J.