Russian River
Russian River
4.5
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One of the most popular fishing streams in the Kenai Peninsula area.
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  • Trout seeker
    Oklahoma29 contributions
    Very cool Experience
    The Russian River is a gorgeous place to visit. The walk is a very pleasant 3/4 mile walk from the Salmon lot down to the confluence of the Kenai / Russian Rivers. I suggest taking binoculars so you can spot the Mountain goats on the high range just to the west of the Kenai River. The state charges a hefty $12 just to park for a couple of hours. If you do the Russian River Ferry that too is a hefty $12 to park and yet another $12 to ride the ferry. BIG caution though, the restrooms are by far the worst I have entered for any local, state, or federal park. I do mean awful!! Okay back to the Kenai and Russian Rivers, the fishing is fairly good. It has been quite a story to be fishing and then the grizzlies pop out of the brush and are very close. They appeared to not want to harm you but that should never be a reason to not be very cautious. They are king (and queen) in the wild. If you fish, you will like this place. If you like to site see, you will like this place. Keep in mind that the stairs leading down to the main boardwalk are steep and many. The long walk over to the Russian Falls is nice and very doable for the flatfooted. The falls are nice where you can see lots of salmon. The bears were not there on the hours I visited but know that they are there.
    Visited August 2020
    Written August 22, 2020
  • Donna
    Columbus, Ohio15 contributions
    Bear watching! Try on a cloudy day.
    So we wanted to see some grizzlies. We visited the Russian River Campground and went to the Pink Salmon lot. It was a very easy walk down to the river. We had to wait a while, but soon enough the bears started coming out. We even saw a sow with 3 cubs. Lots of fisherman in the river even with the covid. Just watch their reaction to help spot the bears. Then we went to see the Falls. The hike itself isn't anything special. But its a good place to see the salmon jumping! We were just about to leave when a grizzly came out of the woods and started moving around. I'd suggest this as a cloudy day activitiy.
    Visited July 2020
    Written August 16, 2020
  • Cheryl N
    1 contribution
    The Kenai River Ride
    Kayce James with the Kenai River Dog , we were a group of four women to take her raft excursion down the Kenai River. It was a soggy rainy day which didn’t deter us. Kayce brought us extra warm rain gear and boots her main concern seemed to be our comfort. She was very informative and answered all our questions, told some good stories and even in the rain Alaska does not disappoint it was beautiful. She really good at her job and goes the extra mile.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written July 21, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

4.5
129 reviews
Excellent
88
Very good
33
Average
5
Poor
2
Terrible
1

Jimmy and Tammy
Dallas, TX91 contributions
Aug 2020
You'll love it! You'll see it from the road...but I highly recommend you stop and check out the water. Blue, blue, blue. Clean, clear glacier water. You may even see salmon jumping. Be careful. There are moose and bears. There are a few turn off spots to get down to the river. This is a must see while in Alaska.
Written May 23, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Roam_and_Explore
Ohio70 contributions
Sep 2015
If you find yourself on the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska you have to stop at one and view the Russian River. The water is so clean, clear, and beautiful. If you like to fish this river is famous for its salmon run. Russian River is also a popular hunting spot for bears. The best time to see bears feasting on salmon is towards the end of the salmon run in August and early September. The bears know the salmon are an easy catch. I saw numerous bears during an early September visit. There is a state park/camping spot right around Cooper's Landing where you can hike, camp, fish, and view bears. Be respectful of the bears and especially the cubs. Keep your distance and know your surrounds.
Written November 16, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JV355
Savannah, GA61 contributions
Jun 2013 • Friends
First, it should be noted that the Russian River is nowhere near Kenai, Alaska. The closest town is Cooper Landing, Alaska.

Second, lets talk about FISHING! This river is an amazing place for your combat fishing credentials. There are raised boardwalks on the north side of the river, accessed from the nearby campground and day use area. There are fees for both, so be prepared to pay.

Another option is to take the ferry across the Kenai River, just south of the confluence with the Russian River. The ferry also costs money to park, and for your round-trip. BE SURE TO KEEP YOUR TICKET SAFE, or you might not get a ride back across once you finish fishing.

Sockeye runs are good times, and Silvers can be seen in the late summer as well. Expect some rainbow trout and Dolly Varden Char in the mix once June turns to July.

Some rules to be aware of: You must keep your backpacks within 10 feet, and stringers within 6 feet of you at ALL TIMES. Don't think that packing heat or a can of bear spray will save you from an encounter. Be bear aware at all times, even if a sighting hasn't been reported recently. Most bear interactions are benign, especially when the angler is smart and follows the rules about proximity to your gear.

Also, there are limits to the fish you can keep. Know the difference between limit and possession. For most of the summer you can't come back after you caught your limit and filleted them at your campsite. Possession means the fish must be processed (professionally or otherwise), and prepared in a way that makes them preserved for at least 10 days. This means they have to be frozen solid, canned, or smoked. Don't think that others around you aren't officers...or that we don't have the Troopers and Rangers on speed dial to report lawbreaking.

Fishing is a lot more fun for everyone if you are patient, don't crowd others, and wait your turn. This also means we should all be aware that others might be waiting for their turn. Once you limit, if someone is waiting you should move along to another hole for your C&R.

If you can't handle rules, tons of people, and wild Alaskan animals, avoid fishing this river. If you can, make it a stop on your list!
Written September 16, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mark O
Stockholm, Sweden637 contributions
Jul 2015 • Solo
Opening night of the season I stumble across a local called Red after his beard sorting through tackle in the local fly shop. He asked am I a fisherman and did I know it's the opening night of the season. Glancing outside at the misses I explained my situation and he went outside and convinced her to let me live just once !!!! I still cant stop smiling. We drove in his old Vovo had coffee on the tailgate until the rush of Patagonia clad city folks had charged down the hill at the strike of midnight. We moseyed real slow down the hill around 12.45 no rush. Picked out our spot far from the madding crowd. He had it all along. Moose and bears in the swim and 8 Salmon later I can't remember a better night apart from once on a beach in Greece aged 17 and she was from Stockholm. Its all fishing. Perfect night for a fly fisherman. Enough said so sign up.
Written March 23, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

KentuckyGlobetrotter
Lexington, KY298 contributions
The fish don't come in like they used to and the crowds are bigger than ever, but the settings of wild beauty makes this place worth a stop. Listen carefully because if the ferry operator blows the air horn there's a grizzly in the immediate area.
Written July 24, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Alo B
Anchorage, Alaska115 contributions
Jul 2014 • Friends
The sole reason we went to alaska was to see bears, in fact I've been to alaska multiple times now and Russian river is the only place almost guaranteed to see bears. Between Denali and Seward no where else seems to have such a dense population of bears within driving reach of Anchorage.

The fishing is awesome, the bear viewing is amazing and the camping is out of this world..

Russian river is possibly my favourite part of all Alaska

This is a must do for all thrill seekers...
Written November 15, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mark3040
Kenai, AK38 contributions
Jul 2016 • Friends
It is a 45-60 min hike over a very easy trail that is even considered handicapped accessible. If you time it right, you can see the salmon jumping up the nice beautiful falls and may be lucky enough to see some bears feeding on the salmon. I would carry bear spray but there is very little chance of encountering bears on the hike to the falls.
Written January 17, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

mhulkman
Carson City, NV25 contributions
Sep 2016 • Couples
This is a very easy short hike thru the woods to Russian River Falls. The falls are not very tall but the raging clear water is still very impressive. You finish the hike at a pair of wooden platforms perched above the river which makes it very safe to view bears chasing the salmon below. If its your lucky day and there is a bear or 2 eating salmon below the falls its a 5+ rating! No bears but hundreds of salmon Id give it a 4.5. Before salmon season a 3.5. Its a beautiful hike with fireweed bloom in the summer and incredible fall colors and several different types of mushrooms in late summer early fall. As with nearly every hike in Alaska bug repellent and bear spray is a must.
Written September 12, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mark G
Honolulu, HI80 contributions
Jul 2015
This pristine piece of Alaskan wilderness has been carefully preserved by the implementation of the boardwalk that parallels the river for a few miles. This makes it easy to observe the flora and fauna from an elevated platform keeping you and others from walking all over the ferns that cover the landscape. Bears are quite common and the sockeye salmon runs can be epic. The adjoining campground and parking areas are federally run. The campsites are secluded and well maintained, no electric or sewer connections.
Written August 6, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DanAndLubaAndJohn
Virginia49 contributions
Let's face it, we want to see wildlife. Some of us want to fish. You can look forever around the kenai and see nothing.
At the Russian River during the salmon run, it is guaranteed.

You can rent fishing equipment a couple miles away at the shop next to the alpine motel. Bring bear spray to protect yourself. You won't need it but it makes you feel good. Take the hike up to the falls.

This is a "must see" location
Written August 16, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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