"Gwin's roadside establishment is the epicenter of much of the activity on the peninsula and a one-stop shop for visitors and locals alike, providing food, lodging, and fishing tackle ... The travel agency can book fishing, hiking, rafting, and other adventure travel anywhere on the peninsula. The lodge is the fishing headquarters of prospective anglers during the annual salmon runs on the nearby Russian and Kenai rivers."
"Gwin's Lodge - Historic landmark, traditionally crafted log roadhouse and guest cabins, full of local history and a good source for what to do in Cooper Landing."
"Gwin’s Lodge, in Cooper Landing (roughly in the middle of the Kenai), is a good base for exploring the peninsula. The kids will love the loft beds; Mom and Dad can hike up to Russian River Falls to watch leaping salmon and maybe spot a moose."
"The Kenai Peninsula is Alaska's Playground"
Best Trip Choices:
"The peninsula serves as the Alaska sampler because it has the wildlife; the dramatic glaciers, mountains and wilderness; multipurpose rivers; a fjord-lined coast — plus churches, mining towns and other attractions associated with Alaska’s settlement story."
"Rich in gold mining, early settlers and Alaska Native history, Cooper Landing has long been a destination for serious anglers wanting easy access to the Russian and Kenai rivers and Skilak and Kenai lakes for trophy salmon, trout and a host of other species...Whatever your passion, be it fishing, hiking, rafting/kayaking, sightseeing, exploring Alaska culture or hanging out with the local folks, you'll find it all in Cooper Landing."
Kenai Peninsula Hiking and Biking Trails
Alaska is the biggest state of the United States, and there are many options for outdoor lovers. The Kenai Peninsula, home of Kenai Fjords National Park, Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, Chugach national Forest, and Kachemak Bay State Park, is a good place to start and end your vacation.
Gwin's Lodge is situated in the middle of Kenai Peninsula in the Chugach National Forest in the town of Cooper Landing. The central location of Gwin's Lodge makes it an ideal home base to explore the Kenai Peninsula.
The Kenain Peninsula features an extensive recreational trail system for hiking and mountain biking. Extreme caution should be exercised when on these trails as they are frequented by brown bears and other predators. We highly recommend the following trails.
Russian Lakes Trail (Cooper Landing)
(21 miles long with an elevation gain of 768 feet)
This trail begins at Russian River Campground at Mile 52 on the Sterling Highway just west of Gwin's Lodge. The first three miles of the trail to Lower Russian Lake is a good family trail that follows along the Russian River. Thousands of sockeye salmon migrate up this stream each summer to spawn in the Russian Lakes. The Russian River Falls afford the hiker an opportunity to watch migrating salmon jump this obstacle. The trail continues to Upper Russian Lake and Cooper Lake.
Resurrection Pass Trail System (Cooper Landing to Hope)
(35.2 miles long with an elevation gain of 2,400 feet)
This trail can be hiked from one end in the town of Hope or at the other end at Mile 52.3 on the Sterling Highway next to the Kenai River bridge west of Gwin's Lodge. This is a very popular trail that is well-maintained and offers good lake fishing, six public-use cabins (reservations required) and exceptional scenery.
Slaughter Gulch Trail (Cooper Landing)
(1.2 miles long with an elevation gain of approx. 1,500 feet)
This is an unmarked trail popular with locals. Traveling east from Mile 48 on the Sterling Highway, cross the bridge at the outlet to Kenai Lake. About .2 miles east of the bridge, find the intersection with Bean Creek Road. Immediately east of that, a short unmarked dirt road departs the north side of the highway and ends at the start of the Slaughter Gulch Trail. The trail leads to the best vantage point in Cooper Landing for a breathtaking view of Kenai Lake, Kenai River, and Cooper Landing.
Skyline Trail (Cooper Landing)
(2 miles long with an elevation gain of approx. 1,800 feet)
This is a strenuous trail with the trailhead at milepost 61 on the Sterling Highway. Spectacular views of the Kenai Mountains, the Kenai Peninsula lowlands and Cook Inlet are available above timberline. Mt. McKinley (Denali) is visible to the north from the mountains on clear days.
Exit Glacier Trails (Seward)
(0.8 to 4.1 miles long depending on route)
Exit Glacier is the only glacier in the Kenai Fjords National Park that is reachable on foot. The Lower Loop Trail is 0.8 mile long with the first 0.3 mile paved for wheelchair access. This trail and the longer Upper Loop Trail (1 mile) both lead close to the face of the glacier.
The Harding Ice Field Trail is a 8.2 mile round-trip trail that takes hikers from the valley floor to a 2,475 feet vantage point above the Harding Ice Fields. This is a strenuous hike.
Skilak Lookout Trail (Near Cooper Landing)
(2.5 miles long with an elevation change of 750 feet)
The trailhead is located three miles east of the Upper Skilak Campground and two miles west of Hidden Lake Campground on the Skilak Loop Road west of Gwin's Lodge. This trail is located in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. There are several steep sections with the trail ending on a knob overlooking Skilak Lake and offers spectacular views.
Alaska.org has a more extensive list of Kenai Peninsula trails that should be consulted for additional ideas.
Alaskaoutdoorjournal.com has its own list of trails.
The U.S. Forest Service has some good resources, including this web page.
Trails.com has a list of trails on the Kenai Peninsula.
Give us a call (907.595.1266) or send us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org), and our friendly and knowledgeable staff can help you plan your dream Alaska vacation for no additional cost.