The Kenai Peninsula in south central Alaska is topographically and geologically diverse with tall mountains, broad valleys, rolling foothills, turquoise-colored lakes and rivers, ice fields, glaciers, northern boreal forests and coastal lakes and wetlands. A great deal of this wonderful landscape is contained within a six and one half million-acre national forest and a two million-acre national wildlife refuge.

The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, established in 1941, contains over one million acres of forests, lakes and streams designated as a National Wilderness Area. Originally established to protect moose, the refuge is home to Dall sheep, mountain goats, caribou, coyotes, wolves, brown and grizzly bears, black bear, lynx, wolverine, beaver, trumpeter swans, bald eagles, loons and raven. Within the designated wilderness is the Swan Lake Canoe System, a canoe-camper’s paradise of numerous small and large lakes connected together by streams and overland portages.

Highlights of the trip include open water, terrestrial and wetland wilderness, wilderness canoe -camping, wildlife viewing and a hike along a northern fjord. In addition, we’ll see the many wild landscapes of the upper Kenai Peninsula as we travel to and from our wilderness canoe trip.


This seven-day canoe camping trip begins when guests are picked up in Anchorage early the first morning. After taking in the many sights along the 160-mile drive to the put-in, we will reach the trailhead late in the afternoon/early evening. For the next five days, we will be totally immersed in wilderness as we paddle and portage our way through the Swan Lake Canoe System and down the Moose River to our take-out in Sterling, Alaska. Our final day will be spent hiking the Gull Rock Trail near the small community of Hope, Alaska before heading back to Anchorage.

This trip is good for those with little or no previous canoeing experience; however, previous camping experience is suggested.

What We Provide. We provide canoe and canoeing gear, camp kitchen and camp supplies, meals beginning with lunch the first day and ending with dinner on the last day, all refuge and camping/lodging fees, transportation during the seven days of the trip and at least one experienced guide/naturalist.

Your Responsibility. Guests are responsible for transportation to and from Anchorage, light weight rain gear, comfortable foot wear that can get wet, water bottle, appropriate clothing for the season, hat, tent, ground cloth, sleeping bag and pad, sunscreen, insect repellent and/or headnet and lodging in Anchorage before and after the trip. Tents, ground cloths, sleeping bags and pads can be provided for an additional fee.

Trip Fee & Reservations. The trip fee is $1,485 per person. A $660 per person deposit is due at the time the reservation is made. The balance is due six weeks prior to the trip. Reservations made 30 days before the trip begins must be paid in full before the trip begins. Please call for rental prices for tents, ground clothes, sleeping bags and pads.

Cancellation Policy. Any cancellation made prior to 30 days before the trip begins will result in a $500 per person cancellation fee. Any cancellation made during the 30 days before the trip begins will result in a $660 per person cancellation fee. If the trip is canceled by Alaska Personal Journeys, the trip fee will be refunded. It is recommended that cancellation insurance be purchased through a travel agency in case the trip is canceled in order to cover non-refundable expenses such as airline and hotel fees.

Dollar-A-Day for Conservation. All of the courses and trips offered by Alaska Personal Journeys are intended to raise public awareness to the need to protect our environment. We hope you will consider contributing one dollar per day to support the work of local conservation groups doing their best to protect Alaska's special places. Simply add one dollar per day to the Alaska Personal Journeys trip fee. We will make sure that your contribution gets to the most effective conservation groups and that the group or groups sends you a receipt for tax deduction purposes.


The following itinerary may be modified due to weather and water conditions or wildlife viewing opportunities. The itinerary is intended to give guests a general idea of what to expect.

Day 0. Arriving guests are picked up at the Anchorage airport and transported to their place of lodging for the evening. Dutch treat dinner at local Anchorage restaurant. Pack personal gear in portage packs.

Day 1. Early morning departure to the Swan Lake Canoe System. Stops along the way to view glaciers, wildflowers and wildlife. Picnic lunch along the way or at the put-in. Run the shuttle to Sterling, Alaska. Late afternoon/early evening paddle possible. Set up camp along a lakeshore.

Day 2. Break camp. Paddle lakes and portage gear to other lakes. Set up camp along a different lakeshore.

Day 3. Break camp. Paddle lakes and portage gear to other lakes. Set up camp along a different lakeshore.

Day 4. Break camp. Paddle lakes and portage gear to other lakes. Set-up camp near Swan Lake.

Day 5. Break camp. Begin paddle on the Moose River. Set-up camp at the confluence of two creeks. Explore the immediate area

Day 6. Break camp. Paddle Moose River to Sterling. Check into lodging and hot showers

Day 7. Drive to Hope, Alaska.Hike the Gull Rock Trail along Turnagain Arm. Picnic lunch along the trail. Drive to Anchorage and arrive in time for a farewell dinner. Drop guests off at either the airport or place of lodging in Anchorage.

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