Explore the most popular nature trips trails near Cooper Landing with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

7 hours ago

One of my favorites that I hike often and think of as the most honest trail around. It shows you right off what’s in store—and that is steep elevation change. The map in here and several other places show the trail terminating with a 3mi round trip and around 2550’. That spot is in the saddle not the summit. If you go to the summit, it’s about 4.8mi round trip.

Wonderful views from the summit.

I love Skyline as it’s simply a wonderful workout trail with great views—and the traverse just adds to both. Super gorgeous and a great trek for sure. Looking at the ridgeline from Skyline, it is deceiving, looking easy and mostly rolling ups and downs. There is significant ups and downs that can’t be seen from that angle, but you’ll discover them for certain as you go.

The views start out amazing and only improve as you progress. Make sure as you head down the last Ridge to look for the little obscure marker telling you to turn down for the upper Fuller Lake trail. Turn too soon, you’ll discovery sheet cliff walls that are unseen from the top on the lake side of the mountain and have to back track—turn too late and your miss the trail, and discover the fun of endless bushwhacking through y’all grass and alders with marshlands mixed in. As you head down that last Ridge, as the trail starts to disappear, just keep an eye where you place your feet and you will come upon a stainless eye-bolt screwed into the ground with a lite green metal tag telling you to turn there—do so and you’ll hit the upper lake trail just before the trees and it then zigs and zags along the tree line in the tall grass.

Great hike, but plan your exit for a shuttle back to the other lot. I wasn’t able to secure a ride, so had to add the 5.1 miles at the end of the day walking the ditch back to the Skyline lot for my truck.

Kinda muddy, but so worth it!! The view from the top is amazing!! I definitely recommend this trail. Bring your gun and or bear spray we did see what looked like a bear paw print in the mud.

The falls are beautiful. You can also access the falls with a shorter distance if taken from a trail head off of Slaughter Ridge Rd.

backpacking
2 days ago

Did this 38 mile trail in 2 1/2 days. Well marked with plenty of water resources, campsites and bear boxes. Beautiful views and easy elevation gain/drops.

hiking
3 days ago

Well-maintained trail and great views of the mountains and river are worth the walk. Comfortable viewing platform highlights dozens of salmon and high potential for bear and bald eagle sightings. Small parking lot (with bathroom) but lots of people on trails. Bring bug spray.

hiking
4 days ago

Great short trail! View was excellent!

mountain biking
4 days ago

Very well maintained trail. The views are pretty nice.

hiking
6 days ago

Beautiful day and we'll maintained trail. Saw a black bear when parking and a young brown bear fishing on the river at the turn around point.

Amazing views at the end, very muddy and buggy for parts along the way. Nice gradual incline. We went a little past the main viewpoint to the top on a clear day, and could make out Denali in the distance (oppose direction of the lake).

mountain biking
9 days ago

I biked the from the Russian river camp ground to the cooper trailhead. then snug harbor rd back to rrcg. no car shuttle. if coming the opposite way, it's a big climb up snug to the cooper trailhead. the trail was in great shape, except between apsen flats and ressurection. either super overgrown, washed out (some bits were super washed out. i was standing in the middle of the trail, at the bottom of the washout, and the actual trail was at chest level) or straight up mud pits. either ends of the trail were great though. It's super beary to begin with. and the overgrown-ness made it feel even more beary. trailhead to trailhead took 6-7 hours. I'd do it again, but before it can get overgrown. or maybe early fall when it starts to die back. the dispersed camp sites are big enough for 1 tent. I didn't see a single other person on the trail. aside from the people between the rrcg and rr falls trail.

hiking
11 days ago

Good Trail, great view at the top. But very steep! Hiking poles would be useful, we didn’t use any but it was definitely more difficult. The hike down is no joke either! But totally worth the views.

hiking
12 days ago

Great trail mostly flat but an $11 day pass is steep. Nice viewing platform of the salmon jumping up stream in late June to early July. Early morning at times bears can be spotted on the trail and fishing the salmon stream.

Great hike. Cannot push a stroller or pull a wagon because through the marsh there are boards to walk on. Just a heads up for families. My 2.5 hiked the whole way there & some of the way back. Easy hike.

backpacking
1 month ago

Easy hike with great views of flowing water and small waterfalls. Paired this hike with Russian Lakes trail and it made for a great day and exercise.

hiking
1 month ago

It was a beautiful June day, sunny and warm. Very easy hike to the platform overlooking the falls. I saw a few salmon jumping but no bears anywhere.

hiking
1 month ago

Great view at the end of the trail but it’s a narrow trail. Gets overgrown later in the summer. Also BRING BUG SPRAY.!.!.!.

backpacking
1 month ago

I have now done this hike 4 summers in a row. I love it. It is great for kids and my 70 year old mother just finished it. The cabins along the way are great. The views are spectacular.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful views along the way but definitely worth making it to the top. 360 degree views weather was amazing yesterday for this hike.

It was a great experience because of the beautiful blue river I got to see, and during the hike there was so much suspense as we came across a lot of fresh bear shit and a paw print. I loved how wild and rugged and dense it was in some parts of the hike. The suspense and paranoia was worth the view of the river.

Saw a bald eagle. Other than that, uneventful trail that is more like a dirt road. Too early for bear & salmon.

Lot of fun, definitely in bear country I saw a few fresh tracks on my way back.

The waterfall makes the hike 5 stars. It’s amazing. The trail to it is a 3 star; not a lot of great views, a lot of trees (which I love but for Alaska you want the beautiful views right!?) very leisurely hike to the waterfall. Some mud but not bad.

hiking
2 months ago

We did this trail and there are still a bit of snow on the ground on the way up but it all melted by the time we came back down. You go through a little bit of low tree area and then as you round the hillside you come into view of Skilak lake. Can you turn in towards the mountain and start up some nice switchbacks before you head up the final shoot that takes your round on to the hilltop.

What I’ve always liked about this hike the many times I’ve done it, Is the constant you a Skilak lake And the surrounding mountains throughout most of the hike. Then when you get to the hilltop it’s a great place to kick back and enjoy your snack. Hold onto your hat though because sometimes it gets incredibly windy up top.

Aside: years ago I meat the trail workers that were in the process of clearing trees and brush to put in the switchbacks that you use to transition from the hillside to the mountain. College students. All wresting various levels of gear - but all with neckties. They said they wore the neckties for formal pictures. Sort of their trademark. I love that picture.

hiking
2 months ago

Trailhead is across the road from parking area.

Fun hike straight up - sort of.

Some switchbacks and some very steep straight shots that are pretty tough if trail conditions are not right. Some nice covered area near the saddle. Good view of Gene Lake immediately below and Skilak to the south west. On a perfectly clear day with glass you can see Denali to the north east. I’ve seen it two different times, once from the saddle and once from the right hilltop beyond the saddle.

“The top” is generally considered st the saddle between two hilltops, but if you follow the trail up the hilltop to to the right, there’s a memorial plaque riveted into the stone and there used to be a waterproof time capsule of sorts (might still be there.) Some see this as the end, Continuing past this spot takes you around a horseshoe of up and down peak walking that is the Skyline to Fuller Lake Transition, and you come back down Fuller Lakes Trail.

Best advice? Hiking poles if trail conditions aren’t optimal- for weak-kneed descent,mainly. Watch what you grab on to help with steep areas-it might be Devils club. Trim your toenails seriously! If not you will feel it on the way down. Also, no matter what the weather is down below, it can get pretty chilly up top.

Aside: Kids from our church have taken trash bags up when there was still snow on the peaks on either side of the saddle and sledded down.

hiking
2 months ago

IWe were just talking to the falls really and back. Got on trail late in the day. First Mile or so was pleasant but a bit of Muck in places. Next came halfway decent trail but muck and snow - you know the bit of snow that’s left over real packed down right on the trail.

As we get near the falls and started getting colder and more snow and I post-holed once or twice.

It was a nice shakedown hike for the beginning of the season.

hiking
3 months ago

This is a great trail with quite a bit of a mountaintop experience, With some side Hilling just up above skyline as you head north east. Personally I recommend you go up to Skyline and come down Fuller on the other end. Skyline is very steep and the idea of coming down skyline after completing a long hike is very scary. It’s possible to walk down to the end of the finger South of fuller lake and intersect with the horse trail that leads down to upper fuller lake. But it’s also a challenge to bushwhack down through the trees and try to come onto the trail closer to the lake. It’s not easy but it can be done.

Most of the trail is exposed to the elements and it can get pretty cold, even on an otherwise hot and clear day. Also, there is no water available anywhere on the trail other than the beginning and the end. Please take plenty of water.

I consider this a hard trail. If you can’t make it up Skyline fairly easily, I wouldn’t even consider doing this transition. With all the “peak walking” you fo along the way, your TOTAL elevation gain will be over 5000 feet. That’s a whole heap of ups and downs.

hiking
5 months ago

Very fun trail with some amazing views at the top! Went in late September so the trail was pretty muddy--wear good boots and probably bring a stick for the way down. We heard/scared off a bear during the middle of the hike and saw tons of bear prints all the way up. 10/10 would recommend this hike!

I’ve done this trail a few times growing up, it’s always beautiful. I would say it’s not even moderate, it’s well groomed and pretty easy hike. The falls at the end are worth it, and there’s a few side paths you can take if you find them.

Visited in May, no salmon yet. Still beautiful terrain. Wide path, easy. Spotted a porcupine, no bears, though many people do see bears!

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