Russian River Campground is perched between the Russian and Kenai Rivers in south-central Alaska. It lies within driving distance of two main population centers, 110 miles south of Anchorage and 40 miles east of Soldotna, surrounded by the Chugach National Forest and the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.
Each year, this area is visited by over 100,000 people who recreate at the Russian River Campground, Ferry Access Site, Sportsman's Boat Launch, Russian Lakes Trail and K'beq Site. Hiking, biking and fishing are popular pastimes.
The Russian River is the most popular sockeye salmon stream in Alaska and a top-rated spot for rainbow trout. Retention of sockeye salmon is legal from June 11th to August 20th. Silver salmon can be retained from July 1st to September 30th. Trout can be retained from June 11th through April 30th. Anglers are required to have a State of Alaska Fishing license and obey all regulations and emergency orders.
Kenai Peninsula is also a hiker's paradise, boasting hundreds of miles of maintained trails. The following two trails are accessible from the campground.
The Russian Lakes Trail begins in the campground, and is the most popular trail on the Chugach National Forest. Most hikers travel only 2.3 miles to Russian River Falls where a viewing platform allows views of leaping salmon. More ambitious hikers and backpackers can travel another 19 miles past two lakes to the Upper Trailhead on Snug Harbor Rd. Along the trail, three public use cabins can be reserved; Barber Cabin, Aspen Flats Cabin and Upper Russian Lake Cabin.
The Angler's Trail also begins in the Russian River Campground and travels 1.25 miles from the Russian River Canyon to the Kenai-Russian River Confluence. Along the way, 22 sustainable river access points allow anglers to enter the Russian River. At the confluence, hardy anglers can cross the Russian River (hip-waders recommended) and continue along the Kenai River, where another 15 access points are located. Staircases lead to this trail from campground loops as well as day use parking lots.
The campground consists of 83 campsites and 130 day-use parking spaces. The campground is open with full service from May through September with 24-hour operation at the "contact station." Compliance with all campground rules and regulations is necessary to insure a safe experience for everyone.
Water, vault toilets, tables, fire pits and dumpsters are available, as well as paved roads and parking spurs.
The campground sits at an elevation of 400 feet on the Eastern Kenai Peninsula in the Chugach National Forest. The forest, spanning more than 5 million acres, is comprised of jagged mountains, deep fjords and glacier-fed rivers.
Resurrection Pass Trail: This trail climbs from 500 to 2,600 feet over 38 miles. It connects the towns Hope and Cooper Landing via a historic route.
Russian River Ferry: The ferry transports anglers across the Kenai River.
Sportsman's Boat Launch: The boat launch provides boat access to the Kenai River.
K'beq Interpretive Site: At this site, tribal members share traditions, stories and culture with visitors through interpretive walks featuring archeological sites, traditional plant use, informational signs, and artifacts. The gift shop features Native art.
ADA Access: N
Online registration, Huge sites, Amazing views, and a well maintained campground this place has it all. And cell AND internet service. Many Alaska campers know that one bar of cell service is a luxury but being able to get your email too. This is glamping.
Tent camper please check any restrictions. This is active bear country so a hard shell vehicle is preferred.
Bring a bug screen or bug dope.
Best spots: Double - 73, 78, 88 Pull though - 66, 69, 71, and 80
Russian River is a very popular campground June-Aug…and particularly during the Red Salmon runs which start roughly the second week of June and July…and peak over a roughly two week period for each run. No hookups, but bathrooms in each campground and a dump station on the way out. Expect to see bear on the River, which runs adjacent the campground…and often times in the campground.
The Russian River Campgrounds are actually made up of five loops, King Salmon, Silver Salmon, Rainvow Trout, Red Salmon, and Steelhead. There are 4 handicapped designated spots, but each site has a picnic table and firepit. Nice separated some with views of the mountains and even a few with partial river view. Perfect fishing spot and also a nice paved home to the Russian River Falls. Watch for bears at all times and always have your fishing license on ya.
Sites are private a d big and shaded. Firewood for sale on site. No showers. Bear lockers at every site. Bathrooms are just pit toilets. Love this place. Short hikes to the falls and the river. Beautiful place! Saw plenty of bald eagles and a black bear by the river.
the Russian is in high demand during the salmon run, but off season it offers a lot as well. great scenery, TONS of nature (too much sometimes if you don’t like bears) biking. the sites are set up great. enough vegetation between sites you don’t notice people are 20yds away. big picnic tables and firepits. dump and fill stations. you can run generators between 6am to 11pm. walking distance to the river. $20 a night is hard to beat for the location.
This is a dry campground, so all us camper/RV folks make sure to charge your phones up before coming out! The campgrounds are in numbered groups, with sites positioned in loops on each side of the road. Far enough apart for privacy, but close enough to know if wildlife is around. We have very spotty service when we’re out here, but we don’t mind because the views are far more note worthy than our phone screens. There are water fill up stations and dump stations at every camping loop, which was very convenient. The sites are very big (room for our 26ft camper, F-250 and trailblazer to fit) with a separate open area beside it with a fire pit, picnic table, and bear proof container to place our dogs food and portable grill. Quiet hours are from 10pm-6am so we were able to run our generator long enough for our boys to watch a movie before bed. Great sites, great price, great place to fish for salmon!
We enjoyed a pull through site with a short hike the the famed russian river.
If you asked me where my favorite spot in Alaska is, I might just choose the Russian River. Whether you're into the RV life or are looking for a more rugged experience, this campground can satisfy your desires.
A quick 2 hour drive from Anchorage takes you to the campground, a well-paved and serviced series of loops that you'll always feel safe in. We personally preferred the outer edge of the Silver Salmon Loop, though we enjoyed them all. If you're a big fisher, the Red Salmon Loop is your go-to spot for easy access to the river. It isn't hard to find yourself standing with dozens of anglers in the peak season, but if you're not too competitive, theres usually a secluded spot to be found - just watch out for bears trying to swipe your catch of the day!
The grounds have easy access to a number of trails in the Chugach Forest. Try the Russian Lakes Trail if you are interested in a short hike to see salmon jump into the Russian Falls. The Angler's Trail will take you right to the Kenai-Russian River Confluence - one of the most unique sights in the world! And there's both a boat launch and Kenai River ferry nearby if you're willing to go big.
Overall, the Russian River Campground's extra amenities (parking lots, covered bathrooms, provided drinking stations) are a real perk, but you don't have to worry about losing the natural, wild beauty of the Chugach Forest and all of the wildlife that comes with.
We spend many days at the Russian during the peak of salmon season. When the reds (sockeye) are in, whether it be the first run or the second, the Russian River Campground is the place to be. Sites are nestled in the woods and feature a paved driveway, metal fire pits with top grate, picnic table, and large bear/animal proof lockers for food and gear. Trees and shrubs abound - no scorched earth campsites here. Some sites are singles, others doubles and a few pull-throughs for larger campers and those towing boats & toys. No water or electric hookups. Toilets and non-potable water located in each loop. FYI, this is bear country - we've had bears walk through camp and past us on the river. Read up on bear safety prior to staying at the Russian!
Sign up through Recreation.gov as soon as the registration window opens (6 months prior) since spaces fill up incredibly fast. If you're planning on fishing, try to book one of the loops closest to the Russian River or its confluence with the Kenai River. Otherwise it's quite a hike down to the water.
Wow! A majestic and beautiful place. The only downside is that there is always a lot of people. Fishing here is top notch and we have seen bears on several of our trips (so be prepared;)