Cooper Landing Area Points of Interest

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Points of Interest

Here’s our list of places to see wildlife on the Kenai Penin­su­la, as well as tours to get you to the good spots.

Quick: what’s the longest com­bined rail and high­way tun­nel in North Amer­i­ca? It’s the Ander­son Memo­r­i­al Tun­nel, and you’ll dri­ve through it on the scenic and his­toric dri­ve to Whit­ti­er. The Kenai Moun­tains-Tur­na­gain Arm Nation­al Her­itage Area is a place whose val­leys and moun­tains, com­mu­ni­ties and peo­ple tell the larg­er sto­ry of a wild place and a rugged fron­tier. This audio guide gives you the inside scoop on its fas­ci­nat­ing his­to­ry. You’ll…  ...more

Find out how the sock­eye salmon in this lake ben­e­fit from the clear waters.

If you need a moment to your­self, this lone­some lake is a great place to find qui­et soli­tude – and some excel­lent rain­bow trout fish­ing. But that’s not all it’s great for. 

Kenai Lake marks the begin­ning of the Kenai Riv­er Spe­cial Man­age­ment Area. Estab­lished in 1984 to pro­tect this very impor­tant resource, the 105-mile area stretch­es almost all the way to the city of Kenai. Take a walk to the view­ing decks with infor­ma­tive signs about this area. You will be able to see the Kenai Riv­er along the high­way for the next 10 miles.

This 18-mile-long loop grav­el road is the pre­mier wildlife-view­ing area on the Kenai Penin­su­la, and you’ll get spec­tac­u­lar views of lakes and glac­i­ers. Don’t for­get to stop and explore all the nature and wildlife around you! 

Sounds Wild: Birds Smell­Tern Lake has lots to offer but few peo­ple use the old Ster­ling high­way to access the bore­al for­est near this lake. Dri­ve into the recre­ation­al area and as you turn left toward the restrooms you will see an old road to your right. You can walk for miles down this road and enjoy the smell of the woods and the sound of the birds.More Information   ...more

Take a stroll down the board­walk as it winds along the riv­er. There are sev­er­al inter­pre­tive signs with infor­ma­tion about fish­ing, dall sheep, raft­ing and boat safe­ty. You’ll also find access to Pio­neer Vil­lage where you can pan for gold at Prospec­tor John’s Authen­tic Gold Panning.

See the small body of water to the right? This is the upper end of Hid­den Lake. Find out what nat­ur­al changes have occurred to it over time. 

Fire can be huge­ly impor­tant in an ecosys­tem. Pyro­ma­ni­acs should note that they’re only pos­i­tive­ly effec­tive when con­trolled and contained. 

Camp out at this qui­et, clear­wa­ter lake, where glac­i­ers once stood over 2,000 feet tall

Close to Anchor­age and endowed with abun­dant recre­ation­al oppor­tu­ni­ties, cen­tral Kenai is Alaska’s play­ground. Two high­ways, numer­ous trails, and sev­er­al major rivers slice through the spine of the Kenai Moun­tains. World-class fish­ing, hik­ing, riv­er raft­ing, and canoe­ing – plus alpine lakes and gold his­to­ry – make for an ide­al day trip or week-long vacation. 

Ken Tar­box is your guide to this area. Ken’s a retired fish­ery biol­o­gist for the Alas­ka Depart­ment of Fish and Game. He’s lived in the area for 32 years and would­n’t change a thing about it. 

Find­ing your lost pup­py is prob­a­bly eas­i­er than this. Under­stand how refuge staff try to bring moose back to an area. It’s not as sim­ple as putting up posters.

Grab your optics and let’s take in the 360-degree view here at the start of the Kenai Riv­er, Alaska’s world-renowned salmon fish­ing hot spot. See wildlife up on the hill­sides, song­birds, water­fowl, and the bril­liant ice-blue Kenai Lake and Riv­er. Breathtaking.

Difficulty: Easy

If you’re a bird watch­er, you’ll love this half-mile trail of Aspen and Spruce forest.

Cab­in in the Kenai Nation­al Wildlife Refuge. The trail­head to the cab­in is locat­ed on the Ski­lak Lake Road, mile 7.5 from the east entrance junc­tion with the Ster­ling High­way. The cab­in is locat­ed .2 miles from the road on the Upper Ohmer Lake Trail. 

Out of ideas for what to do? Check out the log books at this cab­in to see who has stayed here and what they’ve done.

Check out this salmon-friend­ly habi­tat and learn why so many salmon spawn here annually. 

This 18-mile-long loop grav­el road is the pre­mier wildlife-view­ing area on the Kenai Penin­su­la, and you’ll get spec­tac­u­lar views of lakes and glac­i­ers. Don’t for­get to stop and explore all the nature and wildlife around you! 

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? On this lake it could be either. 

The cab­in is locat­ed on the north shore of Engi­neer Lake. The cab­in is south fac­ing over­look­ing the lake sur­round­ed by spruce and birch trees. Two bunk beds, table with bench­es, wood stove, broom, shov­el, water buck­et, fire extin­guish­er, estab­lished camp­fire ring, and outhouse.

Hav­ing trou­ble being effi­cient with all your resources? You could prob­a­bly take a les­son from the ecosys­tem found here. 

Would­n’t it be nice to afford a sum­mer home one day? Well, most species of birds have both a sum­mer and win­ter home. Note which bird makes this lake its warm weath­er getaway. 

This is a must stop for pho­tos of beau­ti­ful Kenai Lake. The lake was formed from glac­i­er water is a majes­tic blue and green tone. You’ll find sev­er­al park­ing areas along the lake and signs that give you a lit­tle his­to­ry about it.

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