Bear encounters at Cooper Landing!

We arrived at Cooper Landing on our way down to the Kenai Peninsula.  Although the weather was really bad with high winds and lots of rain during the drive, it is true that the Seward highway south of Anchorage is truly beautiful. As we followed the very high traffic highway, it offered breathtaking views of mountains, mud flats and the ocean.  After arriving at our site, we were pretty much housebound until later in the afternoon, when the rain finally stopped and we ventured outside to look around.

Seward Highway
Snow capped mountains and a train cruising along the Seward Highway.
Mud Flats
Keep off the mud flats or you get trapped in sinking mud. Bad way to die.
Seward Highway.
High traffic on the Seward Highway.
Kenai Peninsula
Welcome sign to Kenai Peninsula.

This area is really all about the fishing.  The next morning people left the campground very early to get out on the river, and we also took off early for a nice hike to the Russian River Falls.  We met another couple, Kurt and Debbie on the way and talked with them until time for pictures at the falls.  Unbelievably, just as Kurt was preparing to take our picture a grizzly bear walked out of the woods only about 40 ft. from us!  You can see our reaction in the photo he snapped just as we were pointing to the bear.  Fortunately,Kurt spun around quickly to get a picture of the bear, but it had already begun fleeing through the woods so he only got the “bear butt” shot.  We could hardly  believe what had just happened and how close the encounter was!  The bear apparently had not heard us because of the loud water, and he likely got a lot closer than he had wanted to.  He looked as surprised as we did!

Just after that hike, ML asked to stop near a bridge so she could get a picture of the beautiful green-blue Kenai river.

Kenai river
Paddlers and Rafters along Kenai River

Imagine my surprise when I looked across the river and there was a big black bear mama with two little cubs!  These bears were a lot further away, but we enjoyed watching them walk along the far bank of the river for a couple of minutes as they searched for a salmon breakfast.  A great bear-sighting day!

Bear in Alaska
Black bear fishing for salmon, her cubs are in the weeds behind her.
Mama bear and cubs
Bear Clawing marks
Signs of Bear clawing on tree,note the claw marks
Russian River
At the Russian River.
Kenai River
Playing along Kenai River.




  1. WOW! Great pictures. I especially liked the one of you two spotting the grizzly bear. I bet it was pretty scary. Kenai river looked beautiful. Keep safe. Hugs…

  2. What an experience for the both of you. Lovely views and the bear sighting, that’s wonderful!

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