August 12, 2015

Rafting Down the Kenai River, Alaska

Located approximately 2 hours south of Anchorage on the Kenai Peninsula, the Kenai River is the most popular sport fishing destination in the state of Alaska. The turquoise waters of the glacial stream are famously known for their yearly salmon runs, and the bears and bald eagles that visit for an easy lunch. 

kenai river alaska float trip

While the majority of people fish from the banks in what is known as "combat fishing" (think shoulder to shoulder with the next guy), others prefer to float the river. Or, if you're like me, you just prefer to float to enjoy the scenery. 

kenai river alaska float trip

Launching from Cooper Landing in the Upper Kenai River, the 3 hour guided evening float took us down the turquoise waters of the Kenai, through one of Alaska's most beautiful places. We let the guide to do all of the work, as we sat back and enjoyed the sights and sounds of the River and surrounding Chugach Mountains. 

kenai river alaska float trip
kenai river alaska float trip

Much to our disappointment, we only saw one distant bear on our float. A brown bear, up to her neck in the water, fishing for her dinner. It was amazing to watch her power - not moving an inch and completely focused on the water below as the river rushed past.

What made up for the lack of bears was the number of bald eagles. Not long after launch, we were already in the double digits. Some were perched on branches, with their eyes trained on the water below, while others were tending to their young in a nearby nest.

kenai river alaska float trip; bald eagle
kenai river alaska float trip; bald eagle nest

Did you know that of all the birds in the wild, bald eagles hold the record for building the biggest nests? Some nests, or aeries, have been seen to be over 9 feet wide and weigh two tons! Juvenile bald eagles (like in the photo above) are all brown in colour until they reach maturity. It is at that time that they get the iconic white feathers on their head and tail. 

A rafting trip was the perfect way to explore an area of the great state that we may not have otherwise seen by foot or car. So, if you're looking for an Alaskan adventure the whole family will enjoy, add a raft trip to your list.

Note: There are several Cooper Landing rafting providers, so make sure to check out reviews, availability and timing, and compare prices before booking. No promotional items or discounts were provided in lieu of this post, all opinion are 100% my own.

Have you been to the Kenai River? Is a raft trip something you would like to experience?



  1. I just love that scenery with the forest and the mountains! I would be totally up for a rafting trip in Alaska - just need to find a sponsor, haha ;)

  2. I could read posts like this all day! Your pictures are breathtaking! What an amazing experience. I've never been rafting and I've never been to Alaska but I'd love to do it all some day!

  3. I just think bald eagles are so majestic and regal. They're gorgeous birds. I've watched cams on the Internet of Eagles in the states and year after year the pair will have their babies and you can watch them hatch and grow and eventually fly off. It's so wild and cool!

    I love the pic of the bear up to her neck - what an amazing experience!!


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