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Captain Cook Delivers Unrivaled Natural Beauty Near Soldotna Alaska

If you’re looking for the perfect day trip (or half day) from Soldotna, Alaska – look no further! Captain Cook State Recreation Area just north of our sister-city (Kenai, Alaska) is absolutely enchanting.
From A Cabin by the Pond heading towards Kenai, you’ll take Kalifornsky Beach Road, right on Bridge Access, then left on the Kenai Spur Highway all the way until you reach the end of the road. It’s about 45 minutes one-way.
I’ve always found that north Kenai heading into the industrial town of Nikiski is highly underrated. The road trip alone is filled with spectacular panoramic vistas overlooking towering mountains and volcanoes across from Cook Inlet. It’s a beautiful blend of industry and raw nature colliding in perfect harmony. On a clear day, the views are simply breathtaking.
This time of year (fall) Discovery Campground is closed (gate is up) but I decided to take a little walk around as I’ve never been back in to explore the area. Boy oh boy am I glad that I did! Getting “away from it all” has never looked (or FELT) so darn good!
The road leading into the campground was completely covered with colorful fall foliage; talk about the best of Alaska!
I walked around the whole campground and counted 53 absolutely amazing camp sites. Each had a fire-pit and picnic table, with amble space between the next. It’s easily to feel fully submerged in nature when you’re out here. All the worlds problems disappear and you’re lost in a magical space filled with bird’s chirping and towering trees swaying from side to side.
The hiking trail leading to Possession Point leads you right along the bluff where you’ll want to be careful of a very steep drop-off as you meander through the wilderness. It’s such a hidden gem! I was blown away by the sights with each twist and turn.
Pack a picnic lunch (or dinner) and enjoy a totally unobstructed million dollar view totally away from the crowds. Getting off-grid has never felt so refreshing!
I brought my Brut of three dogs (Loomis, Glacier, and Nashville) to enjoy the adventure with me. They loved smelling all the smells and romping around down the yellow-leaf trails.
There is a great gathering space where you can tell a lot of fun times and memories are made during the summer months. I cannot wait to come back with an RV or tent and experience this totally awesome place when the temps are a little warmer. I was so impressed with all of the facilities and how clean and well kept this place is. Highly recommended!
I love how so many campgrounds on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground have drinking water pumps. These are so fun to use and always remind me of camping with my dad when I was a kid. Plus, the water tastes positively refreshing!
There are lots of berries and animal tracks so it’s obvious that this is just as popular of a place for the wildlife as it is for visitors. Always remember to be bear-aware as they are known to frequent the area. I chose to carry a gun as well as bear spray. Don’t forget to bring a camera and wear good walking shoes. Take a detour and head down to the bear for some bald-eagle viewing and beach combing. Another great detour along the hike is a jaunt down to the mouth of the Moose River where you’ll see recreational activities such as fishing and kayaking frequently during the warmer months. More proof that our backyard and neighboring tiny towns are totally packed with a mean punch of viewing pleasure. When visiting A Cabin by the Pond, there are an unlimited amount of activities to enjoy and I am always available to provide you with more recommendations that you can handle. 🙂