Kachemak Bay State Park trails report

The trails report is provided by Park Specialist Eric Clarke.

General information and 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.

COVID-19: Follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines while hiking in the park: Social distancing, wearing face coverings, and using hand sanitizer. All latrines and trailhead registers are not cleaned, disinfected or sanitized. Use them at your own risk.

Grewingk Tram: The tram is not cleaned, disinfected or sanitized. Use at your own risk. Staff suggest a minimum of two people in the hiking party, with one assisting by remaining on the platforms to pull on the rope, and reversing process when first person across completes trip. Gloves are recommended.

China Poot Lake Trail: The water at the flooded area at Mile 2 is passable. The water has receded to various channels up to 15-feet wide and with thigh-deep water. There are small logs for crossing the various channels. Depths and width can increase during rain events. Trekking poles can be helpful but not necessary.

Black Bears: Multiple individual bears 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. Staff ask the public to back away in 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 at 907-399-2054 or 907-435-7595. If contact is from a charge and/or mauling, call 911.

Brown Bears: Brown bears frequent the Humpy Creek drainage, especially during the pink salmon run in July and August. A report on July 23 detailed an encounter with a brown bear with two cubs within 1.5 miles of the trailhead at Glacier Spit along the Glacier Lake Trail. If encountered, please give her space and time to move from the immediate area.

Saddle and Glacier Lake Trails: According to a July 26 report, an aggressive black bear with cubs was encountered on the Saddle Trail that resulted in the sow charging. A shot was fired into a tree next to and above her and she ran off. Park staff believe this is the same sow and cubs that has been standing her ground and huffing along the Glacier Lake Trail near the lake and along Grewingk Lake. Please give her space and time to move away from the area before continuing. Carry bear deterrent and learn how to use it safely and effectively.

Trails report

Alpine Ridge: Difficult. According to a July 31 report there is a solitary human-habituated black bear that was encountered. Hikers had to wait 30 minutes before proceeding. A few trees down across the trail. Last climb up to alpine is steep, exposed and very slick when wet.

Blue Ice Trail: Difficult. This trail is a spur off from the Emerald Lake Loop Trail.

China Poot Lake Trail: Clear. Trail is brushy in sections. Flooded area at Mile 2 is passable. A black bear sow with two yearlings has been seen along China Poot Lake.

Coalition Trail: Passable

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

Diamond Creek Trail: Passable. 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. Please park at the top of the road and walk to the trail during break up. This will help keep the integrity of the road for the summer.

Emerald Lake Loop Trail: Impassable. Not recommended to hike at this time. Humpy Creek up stream of the bridge near the trailhead is still closed due to a possible wounded brown bear in the area. Emerald Lake Loop Trail headed towards the Grewingk Tram, camping below the bridge near the trailhead and the yurt are open to visitor use. Only Humpy Creek above the bridge is closed. From Humpy Creek to the Grewingk Tram is hikeable. Many large blowdowns on Foen Ridge. The trail is overgrown from Humpy Creek to Emerald via Portlock Plateau and between Grewingk Lake and Emerald Lake.

Estuary Trail: Clear

Glacier Lake Trail Clear. Bears are active in the area. Please be bear aware. A brown bear with cubs was encountered within the first 1.5 miles of Glacier Spit Trailhead. Also, a black bear with two or three cubs is in the area of Grewingk Lake and Saddle Trail Junction. She has been reported huffing and standing her ground on the trail.

Goat Rope Trail: Difficult.

Grace Ridge Trail: Passable to difficult. A few trees down on the south end. Expect snow patches in the alpine areas.

Grewingk Tram Spur Trail: Clear. Bears are active in the area. Please be bear aware.

Grewingk Tram: Open. Suggest two people and gloves for operation. Depending upon individual upper body strength, pulling the cart across can be strenuous.

Lagoon Trail: Passable to difficult. There is no bridge across Halibut Creek. Ford at your own risk. Trail is difficult from Alpine Ridge Trail junction to Halibut Creek. Trail is passable from Halibut Creek to Halibut Cove Lagoon Ranger Station.

Mallard Bay Trail: Impassable. A black bear was pepper sprayed at the trailhead on June 28.

Mallard/Emerald Connection Trail: Closed/impassable.

Moose Valley Trail: Passable to difficult. Passable to Moose Valley Cabin. Impassable from the cabin to Poot Peak South Route.

Poot Peak Trail — North Route: Difficult to impassable. Expect snow patches.

Poot Peak Trail — South Route: Difficult to impassable. Expect snow patches. Impassable from Moose Valley Trail to Summit route. Do not hike this portion.

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

Saddle Trail: Clear. There is an aggressive black bear with two cubs encountered on July 26. She is feeding in the devils club on the switchbacks. Please give her space and time to move from the area before proceeding. This is the time of year that bears are feeding in the devils club on the switchbacks between Saddle Trailhead and Lagoon Trail Junction. They are not afraid of humans. Please be bear aware and use extra caution. Also, a solitary black bear has been seen along the trail and is human habituated.

Sadie Knob Trail: Passable.

Sentinel Ridge: Difficult. Please stay on established tread or marked/flagged alignment in alpine areas.

Tutka Backdoor Trail: Passable from Tutka Bay to the upper valley past Lunch Mountain. Difficult to impassable from the Northwest end of the valley past Lunch Mountain to Taylor Bay. Expect route finding and river crossings.

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

Tutka Lake Trail: Passable to difficult. Snow in shaded areas.

Woznesenski River Trail: Difficult to impassable. An overflow channel has made the Woznesenski River Trail impassable from Mile 3 to 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).