location_onAlaska Fishing Lodge & Guided Trips on the Kenai Peninsula


Alaska Canoe Trips

Date: April 24, 2011

Canoeing in the Refuge

Alaska canoe trips on the Swan Lake and Swanson River canoe systems cover over 100 miles in the northern lowlands of theKenai National Wildlife Refuge.  One of the best ways to see the refuge and its wildlife is to paddle one of the many routes offered here.  From easy family weekend trips to weeklong adventures, paddlers of all abilities and ages will enjoy this unique wilderness experience.

What to Expect

  • Lakes break up in mid-May and stay open until mid-October.  Lake waters are cold (50-60 degrees F).  Canoeists need to be prepared if they capsize in cold water.
  • Head for shore during high wind conditions and be prepared to wait for better weather.
  • Portages range from several hundred yards to a mile or more.  Travel light and use a good canoe yoke.  Realize you hike as much as you paddle on the canoe routes.  Carry an extra paddle to insure safety.
  • Biting insects are often present on portages and at campsites.  Bring repellent and head nets.
  • Narrow rivers, like Swanson and Moose, require paddlers to maneuver tight oxbows and to avoid rocks and brush.  These rivers require intermediate level skills.
  • Campsites are not designated.  To reduce impact, choose sites that have been previously developed.

Generously contributed with permission by the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge
P.O. Box 2139
Ski Hill Road
SoldotnaAK 99669
907-262-7021
kenai@fws.gov