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At the put in under the cooper landing bridge the river is a brilliant green hue caused by a complete lack of glacial silt (all the silt has sunk to the bottom of the extremely deep Kenai Lake long before the river begins). As you start you have about a mile of swift class I before the first rapid, the class II, sometimes III "Fishermans Bend." This rapid is basically a small drop followed by a fifty yard or so wave train, very easy and fun.
After this rapid, the river continues for three more miles of swift class II until coming to the next major rapid, a 180 degree bend followed by a wave train known as "Schooner Bend."
After Schooner bend you have about four miles of swift class I water until coming to the take out point at the Jims Landing Boat Launch. This section of water is quieter but sports abundant wildlife. I always see moose here and if the salmon are running, there will be bears around.
If you continue past Jims Landing you will run the very fast and fun Class III Kenai Canyon... but there is a problem here. If you run the canyon you must have some form of boat shuttle arranged, as the canyon empties into the 50 plus mile wide Skilak Lake, making it a long, slow, and sometimes dangerous flatwater paddle if you don't have a boat waiting. As a result people rarely run the canyon.
Overall the Cooper Landing to Jims Landing section is an extremely scenic float through the heart of the Kenai peninsula and an easy whitewater float for the beginner.
2-3 Canoe/Kayak Trailer
Touring Kayak Paddles