Kachemak Bay State Park trails report

General announcements

Please contact park staff to report problems, or to file complaints or compliments at 907-235-7024 or 907-262-5581. Email: eric.clarke@alaska.gov and jason.okuly@alaska.gov

Advisory: Trails in Kachemak Bay State Park are rough, with steep grades in places, and in some cases only marked routes. It is advisable to add 1/3 to your average hiking time.

Leave No Trace: Please practice Leave No Trace Ethics while hiking and camping. Pack out what you pack in.

Grewingk Tram is difficult to use. Staff suggests a minimum of two people in party, one assisting by remaining on the platforms to pull on the rope, reversing process when first person across completes trip. Gloves are recommended.

Fire ban: Effective immediately and until further notice, all open fires are prohibited in Kenai Peninsula State Parks, Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, Kenai Fjords National Park, and Chugach National Forest lands on the Kenai Peninsula. Use of cooking stoves and gas grills is allowed. In addition, Kenai Peninsula State Parks will allow charcoal contained cooking grills but these remain prohibited on other federal public lands. For more information in the Homer area, contact Kenai Area State Parks, 907-262-5581.

Black Bears: Multiple individuals including sows with cubs have been sighted in the Grewingk Valley along the Glacier Lake, Grewingk Tram, and Saddle Trails, and at Grewingk Lake on the southern end where people camp. Please be bear aware. Keep food in bear proof containers or with you. While hiking, give them their space if encountered. They are becoming more human habituated and large groups do not scare them off, especially if cubs are involved. Park staff ask the public to back away the direction you came, until out of sight, and wait until they move off the trail and away. This could take 20-30 minutes and possibly longer if there are cubs involved and they show signs of stress with human activity. These signs are moaning, huffing/woofing, jaw popping, stomping, and following. Please be bear aware while hiking and report all stress related and aggressive behaviors and/or encounters by calling 907-399-2054 or 907-435-7595. If contact from a charge and/or mauling occurs, call 911.

Alpine Ridge Trail: A group of hikers encountered a black bear at the lakes in alpine feeding. While keeping a safe distance the bear continued to feed while moving closer to the hikers. Hikers grouped up, making themselves known, and started moving back down the trail with the bear following. Once the hikers were out of the alpine lakes area and descending, they did not encounter the bear anymore. Hike in groups and make noise when hiking Alpine Ridge. Carry bear spray and know how to use it. Report any bear behavior where a bear is closing the distance and/or following you to Alaska State Parks. 907-399-2054 and/or 907-435-7595.

Grewingk Lake: Campers at Grewingk Lake encountered a young black bear near their tent. A marine flare was set off and scared the bear away. Upon closer look, a couple of packs were missing and found torn up away from the tents. Garbage and cosmetics were found in the packs. Please ensure that all garbage and any potential bear attractants are properly stored in bear proof containers, like bear boxes, packable bear proof canisters, and/or behind a charged bear fence. Please do not use any type of flares as a bear deterrent because of the current fire danger on the Kenai Peninsula. Using bear spray, a portable marine air horn, and/or leaving the area can be just as effective.

China Poot Bay Dipnet area: A black bear tried to take a pack that was within 12 feet of the owner while at the dipnet area. The owner drove it away with rocks and yelling. If you are fishing in that area please keep all fish, packs, ice chests with you at all times. Stay in groups. Please remove all fish carcasses away from the active dip net and shore fishing areas and deposit into deeper water. This will help minimize negative human and bear interactions. Please report all incidents, benign and negative, of human and bear activity by calling 907-399-2054 and/or 907-435-7595.

Emerald Lake Trail: Hikers encountered a female black bear with three cubs on Foen Ridge. This is between the Grewingk Tram and Grewingk Lake on the north side of Grewingk Creek. The bear stood her ground and the hikers left the area, going back the way they came without further incident. Note: The hikers responded appropriately when encountering a bear, with or without cubs, that does not want to move off the trail. If you must continue along the trail, give the bear(s) ample time to move away from the area before proceeding. This could take at least 10 minutes and possibly more. ALSO Reported: A single black bear on Foen Ridge, not seen, and seemed to be very close to the trail, exhibiting signs of stress, huffing and jaw clapping with the same hikers as above. They used an air horn and were able to get past. The bear did not follow and there was no further incident. this was the day after the encounter with the female bear with cubs.

China Poot Lake Trail: Access to the China Poot Lake Cabin is impassable via the China Poot Lake Trail. The China Poot Lake Trail continues to flood at Mile 2. It is about 750 feet in length and anywhere from 12-42 inches deep. The water is not swift, but it is moving. The bottom is mucky. There is a log bridge that is underwater spanning about 12 feet across an overflow channel that is 42 inches deep. China Poot Lake Cabin is not in the flooded area, only the trail. Other options are to fly into China Poot Lake or a 13-mile hike, one way, via the Moose Valley, Poot Peak South, and Wosnesenski Trails.

Brown Bears: Brown bears frequent the Humpy Creek drainage, especially during the pink salmon run in July/August.

Trails report

Alpine Ridge: Open. Difficult. Black bear encountered around the alpine lakes that was unafraid and moving closer to hikers.

Blue Ice Trail: Passable to difficult. Trail very obscure at the junction with Emerald Lake Loop.

China Poot Lake Trail: Difficult to impassable. The trail is impassable at mile 2 due to flooding. Access to the China Poot Lake Cabin by float plane or via Moose Valley, Poot Peak South Trails.

Coalition Trail: Passable

Coalition Loop Trail: Difficult. Impassable to the falls. Do not hike to the falls. (Trail opened and adopted by Boy Scout Troop 555)

Diamond Creek Trail: Passable to difficult. Portions of the trail have sloughed away in the slide area above Diamond Creek. Please take caution when hiking with pets and children. Conditions can worsen after a rain event.

Emerald Lake Loop Trail: Difficult to impassable. Difficult from Humpy Creek to Blue Ice Trail via the Grewingk Tram. Difficult to impassable from Humpy Creek to Emerald via Portlock Plateau and between Grewingk Lake and Emerald Lake.

Estuary Trail: Clear.

Glacier Lake Trail: Clear. Many bears, including sows with cubs are active in the area. Please be bear aware. A black bear has dragged and torn into packs at Grewingk Lake. Reported also, a black bear poking its head into a tent with a person inside. Both incidents resulted in the bear being scared away.

Goat Rope Trail: Difficult.

Grace Ridge Trail: Passable to difficult.

Grewingk Tram Spur Trail: Clear.

Grewingk Tram: Open. Suggest two people and gloves for operation.

Lagoon Trail: Difficult to impassable. Trail is difficult from Alpine Ridge Trail junction to Halibut Creek Flats. Bears are feeding along the trail in areas of devils club and blueberries. Impassable from Halibut Creek to the Halibut Cove Lagoon Ranger Station.

Mallard Bay Trail: Impassable

Mallard and Emerald Connection Trail: Impassable

Moose Valley Trail: Passable to difficult. Passable to Moose Valley Cabin and through the valley. Difficult heading up to the alpine.

Poot Peak Trail, North Route: Difficult to impassable.

Poot Peak Trail, South Route: Difficult to impassable. Impassable from Moose Valley Trail to Summit route. Do not hike. Brushy from Woznesenski River junction to Moose Valley Junction.

Poot Peak Trail, Summit Route: Difficult to impassable. Expect Snow. Steep climb up scree slope and there is a short climb to the actual summit. Rock is unstable near the summit.

Saddle Trail: Clear. Many bears, including sows with cubs are active in the area. Please be bear aware.

Sadie Knob Trail: Passable to difficult.

Tutka – Jakolof Trail: Passable. Trail traverses through an old forest clearing and can be obscured on the Jakalof Bay end. Expect snow in shaded areas.

Tutka Lake Trail: Passable. Multiple trees down.

Woznesenski River Trail: Difficult to impassable. An overflow channel has made the Woznesenki River Trail impassable from mile 3-mile 9 from Haystack Rock. The main channel has moved along the north side of the river and is partially being diverted. Very brushy and many trees down from China Poot Lake (Mile 11) to Woznesenski River Valley (Mile 9).