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Swanson River Part II

ak

Star Star Star Star Star

Distance: 23.9 miles


This paddle goes through 26 miles of Alaska, through the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. It starts almost north of Sterling and ends in the Cook Inlet where there is about a mile of portage to pull the canoe out. The paddle takes you through conifer spruce forests and marsh finally ending up in a tidal zone.

This is an easy paddle, with the only thing difficult about it being the mileage.  There are several great camping site along the way that sit high above the river and out any potential wind.  I recommend pulling out before you get to the Swanson River bridge, as the last portage is anti-climatic and unnessessary.  No four legged creatures were observed on this trip, but we saw plenty of Bald Eagles, duck, and other fowl along the way.  All and all it is the easier by far of the two routes down the Swanson and could be done in a day if desired (but who wants to cut a paddle short!?!?! )  Total time on the river was 9 hours of paddling.  We overnited at a nice campsite on a bank that had a gorgeous view of the wilderness.  There are only a few gravel bars to present canoe difficulty.

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