Russian River Campground/Fishing Area To Remain Closed For Repairs

As summer winds down in – snow is already being forecast in Alaska! – a busy Kenai Peninsula campground along the Russian River – a popular spot for anglers – is closed to visitors. Here’s more from the Anchorage Daily News:

The 83-site campground is located off the Sterling Highway in Cooper Landing and is a popular place for fishing, hiking and camping. A 1-mile stretch of the campground road will undergo reconstruction to increase slope stability and resistance to frost heaves, Chugach National Forest officials say.

The road closure means anyone who wants to access hiking or angling trails along the Russian River will need to cross over using the Russian River Ferry or a private boat instead of walking or driving in. Access trails to the campground from the River Angler’s Trail will be closed.

Here’s the U.S. Forest Service press release with the full details:

Russian River Campground Area Closure

Pursuant to 36 CFR § 261.50(a) and (b), and to provide for public health and safety, the following acts are prohibited within the Seward Ranger District of the Chugach National Forest. This Order is in effect from August 16, 2022 through and including May 29, 2023.

Going into or being upon the Russian River Campground Closure Area as shown on the attached map and described below. (36 CFR § 261.53(e))

Being on Russian River Campground Road within the Russian River Campground Closure Area as shown on the attached map and described below. (36 CFR § 261.54(e))

Being on a trail within the Russian River Campground Closure Area as shown on the attached map and described below. (36 CFR § 261.55(a))

The Closure Area Boundary begins on Russian River Campground Road (RTE#6010270) at the intersection of the entrance and exit roads to the Sterling Highway. The Russian River Campground Road, Overflow Parking Lot, Upper and Lower Russian Lakes Trailhead Parking Lots, Pink Salmon Parking Lot, and Grayling Parking Lot are all closed. The 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. All campground loops in the Russian River Campground and associated campground facilities will be closed. Access trails to the Russian River Campground from the Russian River Angler Trail will be closed at their intersections with the Angler Trail, as shown on the attached map.

Pursuant to Title 36 CFR 261.50(e) the following are exempt from this order:

  1. Persons with a permit specifically authorizing the otherwise prohibited act or omission.
  2. Any Federal, State, or local officer, or member of any organized rescue or fire fighting force in the performance of an official duty.
  3. Persons who are employed, contracting with, or otherwise retained by Qayaq Construction LLC and are engaged in a business, occupation, or trade relating to the road construction project.

These prohibitions are in addition to the general prohibitions in 36 CFR Part 261, Subpart A. Executed in Anchorage, Alaska, this 12th day of August 2022.

US Forest Service map of the closures