Additional Slaughter Gulch Hike – Cooper Landing – Hiking in Alaska Information:
Hiking the Slaughter Gulch Trail on the Kenai Peninsula for Breathtaking Views
The Slaughter Gulch trail is almost something of a secret trail with untold beauties and views at the top. Where can you find this treasure? In the small town of Cooper Landing which is about halfway between Soldotna and Seward. Cooper Landing is known for its beautiful views while fishing and river rafting on the Kenai River but this town is also nestled in between some majestic mountains.
Once you begin the hike, it doesn’t take long to start gaining some elevation, and when you do, you gain it quickly! In the first 1.2 miles of the climb you’ve ascended 1,500 feet! Although it’s a steep climb, the great part is you start to see the picturesque scenery after only about ½ mile of hiking.
At 1.2 miles into the hike you come out to a great lookout point overlooking not only the green colors of Kenai Lake, but you also can see a ways down the Kenai River. This can be a great spot to take a break for a snack or even turnaround if you’ve had your fill of climbing. But for those who wish to summit, continue on the trail and look for an offshoot of the trail to your left. You’ll want to turn left on this trail to make it to the top. Continuing straight leads you a little further on a level path to a small lake.
This next leg of the Slaughter Gulch s even steeper in parts than the first half. After a little while you start walking on the ridgeline of the mountain and it’s very typical to experience strong winds at the top so bringing a windbreaker or even a hat and gloves is recommended depending on the weather. Once you reach the top, you’ll see a small pile of rocks indicating the summit which stands at 2,600 feet in elevation. The mountain provides spectacular 360 degree views which are absolutely breathtaking.
In August and September, this trail is loaded with high-bush cranberries and also you can find some amazing blueberry patches past the halfway point. So if it’s fall time in Alaska, be on the lookout for those tasty treats!
Speaking of tasty, we want to thank AK Coffee Co. for sponsoring this trip and providing us with some of their tasty coffee! Visit their website to learn more about their company and purchase some great tasting coffee roasted with fresh Alaskan mountain air! Also if you want your very own Bodum Travel Mug that allows you to make French Press coffee on the go, you can pick up your very own right here!
If you’re coming from Soldotna you’ll want to stay on the Sterling Highway all the way until you cross the Kenai River Bridge in Cooper Landing. Pass Bean Creek Rd and immediately turn left onto Stetson Circle. Drive up this long gravel road past a rundown building and then find a place to park. The only signage you’ll notice is a small sign at the beginning of the small trail that says to pick up your pet’s poop. Lace up those shoes and get to hiking the Slaughter Gulch trail!
Distance: 3.9 miles
Elevation Gain: 2600 feet
Route Type: Out and Back
Parking: Dedicated parking at trail head
What to Bring:
Hiking shoes or boots
Rain gear if needed
A wind breaker or light jacket