Russian River Campground Closing Until June 2

The following is courtesy of the U.S. Forest Service:

Photo Credit: S. Hillebrand/USFWS

Russian River Campground closed for construction, March 18

Release Date: Mar 15, 2024

On Monday, March 18, 2024, the Russian River Campground will close for all public use, including vehicle and pedestrian traffic through June 2, 2024. In the weeks ahead, major construction with heavy equipment will be taking place on the Russian River Campground Road. The closure area begins at the Russian River Campground entrance and encompasses all trails, roads, parking lots, campground loops, and all other facilities within the closure boundaries. 

Reconstruction of a one-mile section of Russian River Campground Road will involve completion of new retaining walls above and below the road, expansion of the existing road shoulder, and installation of a new road surface and safety railing. Upon completion, the new road will ensure significantly improved access for all campground users, and the retaining wall will minimize the loss of critical salmon habitat due to hillside erosion. Hazardous fuels treatments and pile burning are also likely due to continuing mortality among trees impacted by spruce beetles.   

The extensive construction work involving heavy machinery will present a clear, immediate, and continuous health and safety risk to visitors, necessitating this closure. 

All access trails to the Russian River Campground area will be closed to the public. Russian Lakes Trail will be closed from the Russian River Campground Road to the intersection of the Russian Lakes Trail Lower and Upper Parking Lot trails.

Angler’s Trail is not included in the closure; however, it will only be accessible by boat via the Kenai River or by crossing on the Russian River Ferry at Sportsman’s Landing. 

The Aspen Flats and Upper Russian Lake Cabins will remain open for reservations; however, the locations will not be accessible through the Lower Russian Lakes trailhead. Those looking to stay at the cabins or hike the Russian Lakes Trail will be able to access them via the trailhead at Snug Harbor Road. Reservations for Barber Cabin will be closed until the campground reopens.  

Residents and visitors should be mindful of the upcoming closure when making plans to recreate in the area.

We appreciate the public’s patience as we accomplish this much-needed work at one of Alaska’s most beloved recreational sites. The Forest Service is committed to enhancing recreation opportunities on national forests by improving access and maintaining infrastructure.

Map of closure boundaries of Russian River Campground Area