Kenai NWR

-- Last Updated: Oct-11-13 11:26 AM EST --

Has anyone paddled either canoe route in Kenai NWR? Any recommendations and advice, e.g. best route, campsites, when to go, gear, etc.



Not me. Here’s a link you may have

Also the May 2001 issue of Canoe & Kayak has a Tom Bol trip account “Canoe Touring in Alaska’s Swan Lakes Wilderness.” If you can find it, it might be helpful.

I have seen the link once the shutdown ended.

I’ll try to find the article.

I did find and purchase what is supposed to be the definitive guide for the area, “The Kenai Canoe Trails” by Daniel Quick, which has been very informative.

It sounded from the article like a
reasonable route, no godawful portages or huge windswept expanses of water.

The book pretty much says the same thing
Although, it does recommend hip boats because many of the portage trails are pretty boggy.

It looks like the most difficult part of the trip is getting. However, from the descriptions of the beauty and wildlife in the area it would be worth it.

My boats are too old to be hip.
But instead of hip waders, which can fill with water in a moment of inattention, I would choose either thicker wet suit shorts, or thinner wet suit pants. The backs of the knees can be cut out so kneeling is comfortable.

Dry pants would bring similar problems to hip boots, unless one wore an entire drysuit. And I think a drysuit would be to vulnerable on a series of scrubby portages.

If the portages are more wet than dry, maybe you could drag the canoe through with the gear still in it. Wade a ways, find a bit of solid ground, and pull the canoe to you with long rope. Or, hire a moose.

Alaskans seem to have different views of how to stay dry and warm. I think they avoid wetsuits because water temps are so often cold that a wetsuit doesn’t provide much comfort.

One option for footwear on northern

– Last Updated: Nov-07-13 7:09 AM EST –

trips like you are contemplating is a pair of cheap Tingley overboots - see here - I like these because they are pretty light, they roll up and fit in pack easily, they wear like iron on portages etc., and they are very useful around camp as well especially in bad weather. If they are little tight going on you can sprinkle a little talc and then the slip right on and off. In the off season you can use them doing chores in the yard at home - like shoveling snow etc. Just a thought. You can usually find them for $25-$35 if you look around.

I’ve seen those locally at Tractor Supply. I was considering them, but was concerned about their durability. Now, I know, thanks.

BTW, we don’t have an off season down here, and we don’t bother shovelin what little snow we get because it’ll melt soon enough.

Let me know
I just moved to Anchorage, live right outside of Elmendorf. Have kayaks and gear, no canoes.

No immediate plans, but I hope to make the trip within the next couple of years.

From what I’ve read in the guidebook, it doesn’t sound like kayak country. Portages aren’t real long, but from the sounds of it, pretty boggy. I don’t think I’d want to use a kayak.

Could help with shuttles etc…
and/or a side trip to Prince William Sound

or Seward

Very generous offer
Those look like beautiful places. I might have to take you up on the offer.



A short float
Went last week on a short flatwater section.

I see they go up to size 14.
If I try them with my smallest 15s, it may be possible to get the 15s back out of them.