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Kachemak Bay State Park trails report

  • By Eric Clarke Special to the Homer News
  • Wednesday, July 21, 2021 2:30am
  • SportsOutdoors

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 one-third to your average hiking time. Use a current map locating trails.

Halibut Cove Lagoon Dock: Halibut Cove Lagoon dock ramp is down for direct access to the ranger station and public use cabins.

Trail Signs: Trail junction signs could be misleading and/or missing. Known signs that are missing or misleading are Poot Peak North/Wosnesenski River Junction; Poot Peak South/Wosnesenski River Junction.

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

COVID-19: Follow CDC 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 at your own risk.

Grewingk Tram: Tram is not cleaned, disinfected or sanitized. Use at your own risk. The tram spans approximately 300 feet across Grewingk Creek. A minimum of two people in party is advised, one assisting by remaining on the platforms to pull on the rope, reversing process when first person across completes trip. Depending upon individual upper body strength, pulling the cart across can be strenuous. Gloves are recommended.

China Poot Lake Trail: Currently the flooded area at Mile 2 is passable with hip or chest waders. This can change as the snow melts and rain events occur, which can make the trail impassable. There is a new log bridge located up stream from where the existing trail meets the flooded area. Follow the beaten path, off to the left, through the brush. The bridge only crosses the main channel, and there can be wading up to mid-thigh deep water at both ends. Depth and width of channels will vary depending on snow melt and rain events. China Poot Lake Cabin is not in the flooded area and can be accessible by float plane too. Moose Valley Creek has changed course permanently, and until the new channel is entrenched and stable, continuing flooding is expected.

China Poot Lake Public Use Cabin: China Poot Lake Cabin latrine is currently accessible. Conditions can change with additional snow melt or rain events. If latrine is flooded, either make dispersed cat holes or use the latrine at the China Poot Lake campsite.

Black bears: Bears are becoming active. 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. We 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.

Brown bears: A brown bear was spotted along the Grewingk Glacier Trail near the junction with the Grewingk Tram Spur Trail.

Please be bear aware while hiking and report all stress-related and aggressive behaviors and/or encounters to 907-399-2054, 907-756-3851, or 907-435-7595. If contact from a charge and/or mauling occur, call 911.

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

Tutka Backdoor and Sentinel Ridge Routes: Due to ongoing trail construction needs coupled with the increase of impacts to sensitive soils in sub-alpine/alpine areas, and to curb further impacts to these areas, Kachemak Bay State Park is encouraging the public not to hike these routes/trails at this time. Thank you for your cooperation.

Trail Conditions Report Kachemak Bay State Park

Trail condition terms: Clear: No obstacles and tread well-defined, moderate grades – Green. Clear > Passable: Some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident, moderate to steep grades – Yellow. Passable > Difficult: Brushy and/or many deadfalls, evident to faint tread, steep grades – Orange. Difficult > Impassable: Very brushy to completely overgrown, many deadfalls, tread faint/obliterated, steep grades – Red.

Alpine Ridge: Yellow/Passable: Expect patchy snow and fallen trees in alpine areas.

Blue Ice Trail: Orange/Passable>Difficult: Expect brush close to the end of the trail. This trail is a spur trail off from the Emerald Lake Loop Trail.

China Poot Lake Trail: Yellow/ Passable: Flooded area at Mile 2 is passable with hip waders. Can become impassable as snow melts and/or rain events occur. China Poot Lake Cabin is accessible by foot with hip or chest waders.

Coalition Trail: Yellow/Clear

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

Diamond Creek Trail: Yellow/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.

Emerald Lake Loop Trail: Red/Impassable: Not recommended to hike to Emerald Lake. Grewingk Tram to Blue Ice Trail and Emerald Lake via the tram: Patchy snow. Many large blowdowns and overgrown from Grewingk Lake /Blue Ice Trail junction to Emerald Lake. Humpy Creek to Grewingk Tram: Clear. Impassable and overgrown from Humpy Creek to Emerald Lake via Portlock Plateau.

Estuary Trail: Green/Clear

Glacier Lake Trail: Green/Clear: Few trees down, easy to get around. Brown bear sighted near the junction with Grewingk Tram Spur Trail. Please be bear-aware. 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. Please see General Information and Announcements.

Goat Rope Trail: Red/Difficult: Patchy snow above 2,000 feet.

Grace Ridge Trail: Yellow/Clear: Patchy snow in alpine with a few trees down on the south end. Reports of through hiking.

Grewingk Tram Spur Trail: Green/Clear: Brown bear sighted near the junction with Grewingk Tram Spur Trail. Please be bear-aware. Please see General Information and Announcements.

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

Lagoon Trail: Red/Difficult: There is no bridge across Halibut Creek; ford at your own risk.

Mallard Bay Trail: Red/Impassable.

Mallard/Emerald Connecting Trail: Closed.

Moose Valley Trail: Orange/Passable > Difficult: Passable to Moose Valley Public Use cabin. Expect snow in shaded places and deep snow at elevation.

Poot Peak Trail: North Route: Red/Difficult > Impassable: Expect deep snow above 1,200 feet. There are no trail junction signs here with the Wosnesenski River Trail.

Poot Peak Trail: South Route: Red/Difficult > Impassable: There are no trail junction signs with the Wosnesenski River Trail. Impassable: From Moose Valley Trail to Summit route. Do not hike.

Poot Peak Trail: Summit Route: Red/Difficult 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: Green/ Clear: Bears are active in the area. Please be bear-aware. Please see General Information and Announcements.

Sadie Knob Trail: Yellow/Passable: Expect downed trees. (Opened by volunteers with Friends of Kachemak Bay State Park)

Sentinel Ridge: Red. Not recommended to hike.

Tutka Backdoor Red. Not recommended to hike.

Tutka Hatchery Spur Trail: Yellow/Passable.

Tutka – Jakolof Trail: Yellow/Passable: Trail traverses through an old forest clearing and can be obscured on the Jakolof Bay end.

Tutka Lake Trail: Yellow/Passable: Expect snow in shaded places.

Wosnesenski River Trail: Red/Difficult: Very brushy with trees down from China Poot Lake (Mile 11) to Wosnesenski River Valley (Mile 9). An overflow channel has made the Wosnesenski River Trail impassable 3 miles from Haystack Rock to Mile 9.

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