Kachemak Bay State Park trails report

Remember to be bear aware

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.

Halibut Cove Lagoon: A black bear has successfully entered a private cabin and was rewarded with food and attempted to enter another cabin with people inside it. Please keep all coolers, food, trash, cooking and eating utensils, stoves, barbecues, toiletries, pet food and bowls inside cabins at all times. Please keep dogs on a leash.

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.

Saddle Trail: It was reported on Aug. 15 that 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 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. According to an Aug. 14 report, human habituated black bears are feeding in the devils club on the switchbacks. Use extra caution when hiking. Make noise, travel in large groups, carry bear deterrent and learn how to use it safely and effectively.

Emerald Lake Loop Trail: As reported on Aug. 11, a black bear possibly charged in the brush and was huffing at two hikers 3/4 mile from the tram heading toward north side of Grewingk Lake.

Glacier Lake Trail: It was reported on Sept. 3 that multiple black bears with cubs were encountered between Saddle Trail Junction and Grewingk Lake in the alders along the trail. They are human habituated and not afraid of humans. Use caution when hiking in this area. Please keep pets leashed, make noise, hike in loose groups, carry bear deterrent and know how to use it. If encountered, give them space and time to move from the area. This could take up to an hour.

All Commercial Operators: Please pass this along to all clients that will be hiking up to Grewingk Lake this weekend. We advise visitors to factor a wait time into their hiking time and to contact you if they are held up for any reason so other plans can be made for a pick up. There are pockets of cell service that a call can be made or at least a text.

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 are 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: Humpy Creek and Emerald Lake Loop Trail along the shoreline and inland from the headland between Mallard Bay and Humpy Creek drainage to 1/2 mile southeast of the bridge (towards Grewingk Tram) and upstream from the bridge near the trailhead are closed until further notice. This includes Humpy Creek Yurt. There is a possible wounded brown bear in that area. On Aug. 9 it was reported that a charging sow brown bear was pepper sprayed at the mouth of Humpy Creek. Park staff are assuming that the bear is the same that was wounded in a earlier encounter along Humpy Creek. Please be bear aware and report all encounters in this area. On Aug. 11 it was reported that a black bear had possibly charged two hikers from the brush and was huffing at them 3/4 mile from the tram leading toward the north side of Grewingk Lake.

Estuary Trail: Clear

Glacier Lake Trail: Clear. Bears are active in the area. Please be bear aware. Multiple black bear sows with cubs were reported in the area of Grewingk Lake and Saddle Trail Junction. They are human habituated and not afraid of humans. Please keep all pets on a leash, make noise, hike in groups, carry bear deterrent and know how to use it safely. One group has reported a bear huffing and standing her ground on the trail.

Goat Rope Trail: Difficult.

Grace Ridge Trail: Passable.

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.

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

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

Saddle Trail: Clear. Multiple black bears with cubs encountered at the Glacier Lake Trail Jct. in the alders along te trail corridor on Sept. 3. They are human habituated and not afraid of humans. Use caution when hiking in this area. Please keep pets leashed, make noise, hike in loose groups, carry bear deterrent and know how to use it safely. If encountered, give them space and time to move from the area. This could take up to an hour. This is the time of year that bears are feeding in the devils club on the switchbacks between Saddle Trailhead and Lagoon Trail Jct. Give yourself extra time if you are meeting a water taxi for pick up.

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.

Tutka Lake Trail: Passable to difficult.

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).