The Skilak Lookout trail is a moderate half-day hike that brings you to sweeping 360 degree views of the Skilak Lake area. The trail head is approximately 1.5 hours from Seward and 2.5 hours from Anchorage, Alaska.

Trip Information

Information via Alaska Hike Search and FWS

  • Round Trip: 5 miles
  • Start elevation: 700 feet
  • End elevation: 1,400 feet
  • Trail head: Turn south off of Sterling Highway at mile 58 onto Skilak Lake Road. The Skilak Lookout trail head is on the south side of the road at mile 5.5. The parking area is on the north side of the road.

Most of the Skilak Lookout trail was in good condition in late June. It does pass through some wet and muddy areas, which I would imagine worsen in the shoulder seasons.

As with many of the trails in the area – there are bears! So make noise around blind corners and bring bear spray.

The Hike

The trail starts in a dense forest which quickly thins out. It then passes through the Hidden Creek burn area that occurred in 1996, which burned over 5,000 acres.

We passed this neat-o wasp nest on the way up:

Wasps sting.
Wasps sting.

Super cool UNTIL I GOT STUNG TWICE ON THE WAY BACK.  I haven’t been stung in a while as Colorado doesn’t have bugs. Reason #458 I like Colorado. It kinda hurt..

Lots of wildflowers – beautiful and lacking wasp-like aggression:

Harebell on Skilak Lookout
Harebell everywhere

The hike seems to abruptly end at a granite outcrop. You are rewarded with excellent views of the Kenai River area.

Views from the Skilak Lookout:

Skilak Lookout views.
Skilak Lookout views.
Dan enjoying the views.
Dan enjoying the views.

We ate lunch and then headed back to the car. Dan fished the rest of the day at the Russian River Campground. He caught a rainbow trout!!

Rainbow trout from Russian River Campground
Rainbow trout caught by Dan.

We cooked it over the campfire in foil with some spices.

Rainbow trout dinner in Russian River Campground
Rainbow trout, rice, broccoli and brussel sprouts.

It was delicious. The end.


Leave a Reply