Explore the most popular trail running 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.

29 days 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. Watch for devils club and trim your toenails. You will be sorry on the way back down if you don’t. Also, no matter what the weather is down below, it can get pretty chilly up top.

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.

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.

My favorite hike ever

one of my favorites. quick challenging day hike with killer views

It was a beautiful clear day! I just ran out of light so I wasn’t able to explore quite as much as I’d liked to have.

This is a great point-to-point trail, it is not typically done as an out & back. On the far end of the Skyline Traverse, it hooks up with Fuller Lakes Trail and ends up following that to the Fuller Lakes Trailhead. Note that this is an extension, and ultimately a totally different hike and experience than the simpler Skyline up and down. I think a new page needs to be added, and this one needs to be updated to represent the full length of the Skyline Traverse, and to differentiate between two very different hikes.

forest service cabins make this a great trip in not so perfect weather. great spots for tent camping. the middle part from devils creek to east creek is my favorite

Amazing trail! STEEP. The trail head will say 2 mile round trip. I'm not so sure that's accurate. Ever step is worth the views at the top though. Brin bug spray or nets if you have them. Also some good binoculars would be great.

trail running
9 months ago

August 13, 2017. We hitchhiked from the Fuller Lakes trailhead to the Skyline trail. We fast hiked the route over to the peak above Fuller Lakes. The route is obvious and easy ridge hiking when the viability is good. Our error came in seeing the Fuller lakes directly below when we reached to last peak and thinking the best way was straight down the mossy tundra. Turns out there is a cliff band above the lakes and we had to head back up and sidehill a long way to the north before finding a decent decent. By decent, I mean alder bashing. We ended coming out on the north end of the upper lake and hiking out. Took us just over 6 hours including all our detours. Before going, make sure you know the best route off the mountain above Fuller Lakes. I am not sure there is an actual trail, but there must be a better way than we found.

This is an exquisitely taxing route if done in full.
Be in phenomenal shape with great knees, or don't go past the 3-1/2mile mark of the last peak of the main ridge.
The trail is infuriatingly hard to follow down from there to continue.
That's the first issue.
Then, once the final peak is reached, as you're going down the backside of the mountain, at about the 6-1/2 mile mark, there is a little anchor loop in the ground, that says "trail to Fuller Lake, start down now."
There is no trail from there, really. There is some flagging on a few shrubs that is hard to see, especially between them, and you have to go down a nearly 45 degree slope until you meet up with an also infuriatingly hard trail head, occasionally marked with more flagging in hard to see places.
Once on that trail it's rather overgrown, but usually followable. I had the benefit of coming behind a group, who were nice enough to beat the path a bit for me.
It's a long trek to the last lake of Fuller, but once there its easy walking.

Would i do this trail again in full?
Probably not.
Was it worth doing this once?
Yeah, but really only for bragging rights.

I advise only going so far as to the last peak of the main ridge and then going back. Thats still a 7 or so mile trek, and more worthwhile.
But hey, not everyone else has a body that wants to give out on them.
Don't be silly, bring poles.

I would definitely climb the first peaks again, those were great.

Great hike and is pretty hard!

Beautiful views even on a cloudy day. connects to a ridge to walk along. loved this hike. hiking poles are very useful, especially going down

I personally think the uphill on this trail is more challenging than Skyline, but not quite as fun. Great trail, breath taking views and a few great places for lunch!

Solid, moderately hard hike.
Steep start with multiple rocky outcrops that have to be navigated. At about halfway the trail splits, wider path goes to lakes, smaller side trail goes to summit.
From the halfway mark memorial, the trail becomes very rocky, much more scrambling, steep spots.
Worth every moment once at the summit, though.

I would rate this hike moderate to difficult, we made it to 2000ft elevation and the view is awesome is worth the climb.

Super Rando, montée très raide des le départ!! Une vue impressionnante sur les sommets, lacs et même avec un peu de chance le denali!!!

11 months ago

This is a great hike, if you happen to be in this area of Kenai. The hike to the upper lake is well worth the effort. The trail continues well beyond the upper lake. I might map it and log it on All Trails the next time I am in the area. This is an area with LOTS of bears! Be aware!

While you are doing this hike, take the slight detour, and see Russian River Falls. The falls are nothing spectacular, but this is where the salmon move upstream, and where lots of bears go to feed on them.

11 months ago

Loved this trail so much. We were able to rent a few cabins along the way and tented it the rest of the time. I was able to do this hike on a broken leg over 4 days (it was broken before the hike) without issues. Highly suggest it. Great views.

Did this trail last summer and it was absolutely amazing! The views were to die for! I was so sore the next day, but worth the work.

Hiked this trail with a group of friends, absolutely amazing once you reach the top. It was a difficult hike, but the views from the top were absolutely stunning.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Beautiful ⛰

Saturday, April 22, 2017

I would rate this as a difficult hike. It's a very steep trek for the first mile, requiring us to get on all fours and climb up. But once you get to the Ridge it gets much easier depending on the time of year. For us, there was still plenty of snow and there were also muddy areas that were pretty slick. The cool thing about this hike is that you get what you put into it. The view is visible for the duration of most of the hike. As you climb up it just gets better and better.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Completed my goal of reaching the top! On the way back down I talked with another hiker and I realized the "top" I reached was just to the left of the top with the box. It was heavy snow at the top so I lost the trail. Anyway, I ate my lunch at the top and it was so worth the trek. 3hrs up 1 hr down. I was worn out but in a good way. Beautiful day. Oh, I followed a ram once I broke out above the tree line, that was a treat! Go see the sights from this spot, totally worth it.

on Russian Lakes Trail

Saturday, October 08, 2016

in all honesty we didn't hike the trail. we hiked down to the river from the campground, not using the paved area to get to the river. went salmon fishing, saw bears eating down below where we were fishing. the hike we took to the river was down the side of the gorge, at a good 60 degree down angle if not more, and had a blast going to and getting from the river to fish for salmon.

Monday, September 12, 2016

loved it.. very cool

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

A rainy day, but great. At the river/waterfall, we saw the spawning salmon swimming up the falls!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Great trail with great views. I would rate the first part of the hike to the memorial as moderate. The second part to the top as moderate to difficult.

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Did half the trail to the top and back. Starting across the road from the parking lot the trail is steep but well marked. You will gain altitude quickly, level out for a short period above the tree line then another steep ascent to the top. Estimating nearly 2700 vertical feet. Plan about 4 hrs for average ability, bring plenty of water and anticipate 20 degree change in temp. Great hike and well the effort to the top.

Monday, August 01, 2016

57 year long Alaskan, and finally got to hike this trail. Very good, but would consider moderate to difficult. The first summit is nice but there is a second and 3rd summit that will take you south west along the ridge top. Several very steep places along the way to the 2nd summit. Beautiful views. Be careful on the way down. Don't recommend hiking in tennis shoes on this trail, although I saw several people in them.

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