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.

Excellent but tough!!

My first hiking trip ever. We did the 7 mile hike to Caribou Creek cabin. Trail was nice, a little muddy in spots but nothing that wasn’t impassable. Cabin was amazing!!!

This was a beautiful hike, pictures do not do justice to the scale of it all and even though you think it can’t get better, it does as you go up. It’s a challenging hike almost from the beginning, with breaks between short, steep rocky parts, but very feasible. We had poles which were helpful. Only the last quarter of the trail is exposed. We met 4 groups of hikers. Everybody was carrying bear spray, including locals, and we smelled bears twice.

The most incredible views ever. Super steep hike so bring poles and be prepared to work hard, this is a tough hike and will take longer because of the steepness. Blueberries along the way, gorgeous wildflowers, and stunning views of Kenai Lake the whole time.

hiking
20 days ago

Skyline may be listed as Moderate here but I Can tell you it is one of the most vigorous hikes you can attempt. The elevation gain is brutal in some places and if the trail is wet there's real danger of a slip trip or fall. I wear mechanic gloves to protect my hands. Sturdy over the ankle hikers with steel shanks for support is what I use. Poles too. The views as you gain elevation are spectacular. The return works a very different set of leg muscles so be prepared for a workout on the way down as well.

Absolutely some of the best views available in Cooper Landing. Great trail too, especially if it’s been wet past few days and the soil is more gravelly and shake so not super slick like Cecil Rhodes directly across the lake from Slaughter.

Keep an eye out as you hit the beautiful overlook at the rough halfway point—basically the gulch/valley floor—for dall sheep over on the slopes towards Coyote Notch. Can almost always find a few sheep grazing along and there are a few nice rams in there if you get lucky on time.

If you hit Juneau peak and just don’t want the views to end—simply keep going. You can ridgeline along to the end where you can easily look down into Resurrection pass, including Trout Lake.

Great hike for so, so many reasons. And one that you can do several times a season and still maintain excitement of what you’ll find—including the trippy little shoe sole someone wrote all over and tucked into a little tomb on Juneau Peak.

30 days 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.

backpacking
1 month 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.

mountain biking
1 month ago

Very well maintained trail. The views are pretty nice.

mountain biking
1 month 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.

Gorgeous as everyone says! Quite steep, not just parts of the climb, but also the drop-offs from both sides of the trail as you approach the summit. Be sure to choose left when the trail splits to go to the summit; right will take you to the valley. Stop at the “cathedral” just past the trail split for a lovely break or picnic. On the way down we refreshed our feet in the creek and walked barefoot the remaining distance. Note: We parked at Wildman’s and entered the trail head at the end of Stetson circle. Also, I am SLOW it took us 6.5 hrs round trip, but I’m sure you could do it in half that or less.

hiking
1 month 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.

This was a killer on the legs, but the gorgeous view at the top made the pain 100% worth it!

AMAZING! It’s pretty tough because of how steep it is, but the view makes all of it worth it!! Definitely do it and push through to the finish because it’s so worth it.

How long did this take to hike?

really steep hike but worth the views, first hike in alaska and it was definitely breath taking (views and hike lol)

backpacking
2 months 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.

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.

mountain biking
2 months ago

Great hike. I thought it was pretty hard but that could be from doing the crescent lake trail the day before

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

Steep but rewarding! Beautiful hike! The road that you turn on is Stenson, we drove around a little before finding it because of conflicting directions!

hiking
3 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
3 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
4 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.

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.

hiking
9 months ago

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.

hiking
10 months ago

The only reason I gave this hike one star was because it had had recent grizzly bear activity on it. In hindsight I should not have hiked it. There was bear "sign" right on the trail, especially down by the river, and it was steamy fresh--very unnerving. There was also mangled fish carcasses at the beginning of the trail, far before you reach the river, not to mention ten or so carcasses along the river. And the terrible smell from the bears was everywhere! The whole experience detracted from the hike and I didn't take any pictures or stop to enjoy the view. If bears weren't frequenting the trail, it would have been a great hike. I only did the loop from the second trailhead parking lot. It brings you gently downhill through thin trees and grassy undergrowth. It's pretty enclosed most of the way down until you reach the river. The mountain views from the river are very pretty, as is the rushing river itself. I wasn't able to complete the loop though because the trail was completely underwater for a large section and I didn't have wading gear. This underwater section was also choked with tall grasses, making it hard to follow even if I had decided to wade through. Another time of year may have been better to do this trail, when the river wasn't so full. Overall, easy hike, pretty views by the river, good shade and trees headed down. I was hiking alone, but I recommend going with a group of people who like to talk loudly! I talked loudly the whole hike, which is likely why I didn't see any bears, but it really took the joy out of hiking. Don't forget the bear spray!

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