Alaska State Parks logo. (Image courtesy Alaska State Parks)

Alaska State Parks logo. (Image courtesy Alaska State Parks)

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: The Halibut Cove Lagoon dock ramp is up for winter. The dock can still be used. A dingy will be needed to get from the dock to the beach where the stairs are. 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. Use a current map locating trails. Trail junction signage could be misleading and/or missing. Known signs that are missing or misleading are: Poot Peak North/Woznesenski River Junction, and Poot Peak South/Woznesenski River Junction.

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 trail is currently flooded in the China Poot Lake Valley at Mile 2 for 500 feet and is impassable. Reports of thigh deep water currently, and will vary depending on heavy rain events. Chest waders are recommended. China Poot Lake Cabin is not in the flooded area and is accessible by float plane or hiking via Moose Valley to Poot Peak, south route to Woznesenski River Trail back to China Poot Lake. This is an additional 11 miles. Moose Valley Creek has changed course permanently and until the new channel is entrenched and stable, continuing flooding is expected.

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.

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.

Saddle Trail: It was reported on Oct. 12 that a black bear exhibiting predatory behavior between the Grewingk Tram Connector Trail and Saddle Trail junctions was killed in defense of life and property. Bears in the area are food stressed due to the poor berry production. Their behavior can become bolder as they are looking for food before denning. Use extreme 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. Reminder: No discharge of firearms within a half-mile radius of a developed facility. This includes the Grewingk Lake day use and camping areas, trailheads and the Grewingk Tram. Report all stress related and aggressive behaviors and/or encounters at 907-399-2054 or 907-435-7595. If contact from a charge and/or mauling occurs, call 911.

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.

Humpy Creek/Brown Bears: Humpy Creek and Emerald Lake Loop Trail along the shoreline and inland from the headland between Mallard Bay and Humpy Cr. drainage to 1/2 mile Southeast of bridge (towards Grewingk Tram) and upstream from the bridge near the trailhead is closed until further notice. This includes Humpy Creek Yurt. Possible wounded brown bear and moose kill in that area.

Trails report

Alpine Ridge: Difficult. According to a July 31 report there was 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 for the first 2 miles. Trail is flooded for 500 ft. at mile 2 and is impassable. China Poot Lake Cabin is not accessible by foot. A black bear sow with two yearlings has been seen along China Poot Lake.

Coalition Trail: Passable

Coalition Loop Trail: Difficult to impassable. 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. 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. It is not recommended to hike from the Grewingk Tram to Blue Ice Trail and Emerald Lake via the tram. There are many large blowdowns on Foen Ridge and from Grewingk Lake to Emerald Lake. Grewingk Tram to 1/2 mile from Humpy Creek is hikeable. It is overgrown from Humpy Creek to Emerald via Portlock Plateau.

Estuary Trail: Clear

Glacier Lake Trail: Clear. Bears are active in the area. Please be bear aware. It was reported on Oct. 12 that a black bear exhibiting predatory behavior between Grewingk Tram Connector Trail and Saddle Trail junctions was killed in defense of life and property. Bears in the area are food stressed due to the poor berry production. Their behavior can become bolder as they are looking for food before denning. Use extreme 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. Reminder: No discharge of firearms within a 1/2 mile radius of a developed facility. This includes the Grewingk Lake day use and camping areas, trailheads, and the Grewingk Tram.

Goat Rope Trail: Difficult.

Grace Ridge Trail: Passable. Multiple bears seen in the alpine.

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. There are no trail junction signs here with the Woznesenski River Trail.

Poot Peak Trail — South Route: Difficult to impassable. Impassable from Moose Valley Trail to Summit route. Do not hike this portion. There are no trail junction signs here with the Woznesenski River Trail.

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. It was reported on Oct. 12 that a black bear exhibiting predatory behavior between Grewingk Tram Connector Trail and Saddle Trail junctions was killed in defense of life and property. Bears in the area are food stressed due to the poor berry production. Their behavior can become bolder as they are looking for food before denning. Use extreme 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. Reminder: No discharge of firearms within a 1/2 mile radius of a developed facility. This includes the Grewingk Lake day use and camping areas, trailheads, and the Grewingk Tram.

Sadie Knob Trail: Clear. Opened by volunteers with Friends of Kachemak Bay State Park.

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).

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