Kenai River Canyon

I grew up on the Kenai and am new to packrafting. I have been trying to think of great trips on the Kenai Peninsula and I believe that this could become a classic trip. I had never gone through the Kenai River Canyon, but I grew up hearing tales of the huge rapids and the millions of people who have died in the canyon. I looked up the class of rapids and found to my surprise that they where only class II-III rapids. I planned my trip to go from Jim’s Landing in Cooper Landing to Skilak Lake and hike out the Hidden Creek trail. I made the trip by myself and was scared to death, but it was amazing, beautiful, and a blast.

I went in early June and the river was still a little low. The rapids where fun and not too difficult; however, there are a couple of areas with intense eddies and undercurrents. I spent about 1.5 hours on the river. I then spent a while exploring that area of the Skilak. There was a ton of wildlife. It only took about 20 minutes to paddle to the Hidden Creen Trail and about 45 minutes hiking out. I spent about 3.5 hours total and it was a lot of fun.

A bunch of us from Anchorage will probably run the Canyon as late in Sept 09 as we can - maybe the 19th or 26th. Anyone else would be welcome to join us

I’ve done this trip a lot. It is a great day trip and best of all you get some awesome fishing in. The canyon can have some big water but I have never really seen it create any problems. There are a couple of bends where the main current will send you under a rock face, maybe for good, but they are easy to avoid if you have any whitewater experience. It usually takes about 45 min to 1 hour on the river from Jim’s Landing to the Outlet. It is about a 15 min. paddle from there to the trail at hidden creek. After an easy 30 min. hike up to the road it makes for a great day.