- Class II+
- River Length
- 18 miles
- 1/2 day to 1 day
- June to September
A trip down the Kenai River is an excellent way for visitors to enjoy and explore the Kenai Peninsula. The Kenai River is fed by Kenai Lake, located within the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. From the output of the lake, the Kenai River flows through a narrow river canyon with thickly forested banks and exciting beginner-intermediate level rapids. Waves, some smaller holes and hydraulics dot the Kenai River’s silty blue-green waters, which move quickly downstream towards Skilak Lake.
The Kenai River is perhaps best known for its amazing sport fishing for Rainbow Trout, King Salmon, Red Salmon, Pink Salmon, Silver Salmon and Dolly Varden. Many float trips incorporate some fishing opportunity into the day. The Kenai River is one of the most important watersheds in Alaska due to its yearly high concentration of sea-run and spawning fish. Wildlife viewing is quite good on the Kenai as well with frequent sightings of Moose, Dall Sheep, Eagle and Bear. Visitors to the Kenai looking to cut out the whitewater stretch and just enjoy the scenic will be please to find a half-day scenic stretch that is offered on the same waterway.
Access to the Kenai River is fairly easy by Alaska Standards with vehicle access at both the put-in and take-outs. Trips are run daily from the small township of Cooper Landing on the Kenai Peninsula, located along the Sterling Highway.