Some would say Cooper Landing is the heart of the Kenai Peninsula, both literally and figuratively: Located in the middle of the peninsula, the small town also sits at the intersection of the Kenai and Russian Rivers, which makes it an especially fertile fishing spot. World class Rainbow fishing is readily available and the salmon that make it all the way to Kenai Lake are still full of fight.
Also, especially given its small size, it packs in a lot of the great recreation options that the Peninsula is known for: sea kayaking, horseback riding, rafting, hiking, and backcountry skiing. (A great trail: visit the Russian River falls, where you can see salmon leaping out of the water.)
Originally settled by prospector Joseph Cooper, Cooper Landing is home to some great wilderness lodges and B&Bs. Its nickname is the Emerald, because of its waters, tinged a unique blue-green thanks to suspended ultra-fine glacial silt.
Highlights of visiting here:
- Explore K'beq Native Heritage Site
- Historic Roadhouse Lodge
- Waterfall - Juneau Creek Falls on the Resurrection Pass Trail
- Pan for Gold
- Horseback Riding
- Cooper Landing Museum Bear Skeleton Exhibit
- Fish the Confluence of the Kenai & Russian River