2012  HIKING, CYCLING,

& RV TRAVEL ADVENTURES

 

   
 
Runtrails' Web Journal
 
Previous       2012 Journal Topics       Home       Next
 

   TRIP NOTES: SEWARD TO KASILOF

WEDNESDAY, JULY 11

 
"Two highways combine to give access to the Kenai Peninsula. From Anchorage  
the only route to the south is the Seward Highway . . .  eventually ending at Seward
 on the south coast. The Sterling Highway leads west from its junction with the 
Seward Highway . . . until reaching Soldotna near the west coast of the Kenai Peninsula.
[It] then follows the coast south to Homer, ending at the point of the Homer Spit ."
 
~ from the Traveler's Guide to Alaskan Camping book
by Mike and Terri Church, 2011 edition, p. 220
 
 

We both slept pretty soundly until 8 AM Ė thatís late for me but I needed the rest. When I took my earplugs out I could hear that it was raining . . .  again.  <sigh>

If we hadnít been leaving for Kasilof today I probably would have remained in bed a while! Iím so glad we had some sun the last two days because it brightened our moods and our impression of Seward is better than if it had rained there the entire time.

LET'S GO! 

We left Seward about 10:15 AM and arrived at our new campground about 1:15 PM with one stop for photos, two stops for construction, and a 30-minute stop in Soldotna for Jim to get lunch at McDonalds. The distance was 110 miles.

Our route is highlighted in yellow on the AAA map section below. As you can see, it's much shorter "as the crow flies" but there aren't any roads over the Harding Icefield or Kenai Mountain Range.

It was in the low 50s all day with light rain in Seward and for about 20 miles north toward Tern Lake, where we turned west on the Sterling Hwy. The farther inland we got, the fewer clouds there were.

We never did see any blue sky while driving. Since it was overcast when we drove south on the Seward Hwy. to Seward last week I was hoping to get some better mountain photos on the trip back north. Didn't happen.

I can assure you from what I was able to see, however, that this would be a beautiful section of highway on a sunnier day. (As if there are any unattractive areas in Alaska!)

ROAD & TRAFFIC CONDITIONS

Traffic was pretty heavy for 37 miles on the Seward Hwy. It seemed like at least a third of the vehicles were RVs. You can see two of them ahead of us in the picture above.

There was less traffic on the Sterling Hwy. to Soldotna and Kasilof, which is about 15 miles south of the Soldotna-Kenai urban area.

We had good, smooth pavement with turnouts and passing lanes on the Seward Hwy. from MP 2 (our campground) to MP 17. The road was bumpy till MP 22, where we entered a 4-mile section of construction work.

There are two major bridges being built in this section and traffic is one-lane when crews are working. They were working in the rain today. The longer of the two waits for pilot cars was about 8 minutes.

The road was better from MP 26 to 37, where we turned onto Sterling Hwy.

Of course, this varies from year to year. Since the season is so short for repairs, summer visitors to Alaska need to be prepared for deteriorated roads and construction work to delay their journey anywhere in the state (and Canada).


Sign of the times

The Sterling Hwy. is fairly rough from the juncture to about MP 54 west of Russian River CG where we stayed last week. I'm surprised, because this is a fairly heavily-traveled section of roadway (and the only way in and out of the western side of the peninsula to the "mainland").

The pavement was better through the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, Soldotna, and on to Kasilof.

SCENERY & TERRAIN

The Seward Hwy. runs through lush green valleys with mountains, lakes, and rivers all around. It's a wildlife haven and nature-lover's paradise.


Even on a rainy day you can see huge Kenai Lake from both the Seward and Sterling highways.

I was able to get a couple pictures at MM 12.3 that I missed going southbound last Thursday but they would have been better then with more light in the sky. It was still raining when I took those pictures today but the field of lupines in front of a lake and mountains was very pretty in person:

I wasnít able to get any photos of Trail Lake in either direction; there are just too many trees near the road and no good places for a large RV to pull over.

I showed photos last week along the Sterling Hwy. from Tern Lake Jct. to the Russian River Campground. This is another picture of the Kenai River along this section:


The Sterling Hwy. follows the broad Kenai River for several miles.


Heading west on the Sterling Hwy. on the northern end of the Kenai Peninsula

The terrain changed from mountains to rather flat valleys west of Russian River. Despite warnings about moose along this route we didnít see any today.

SETTLING INTO OUR NEW "HOME"

Jim paid $4.64/gallon for diesel in Seward yesterday. Itís $4.39 in Soldotna, a more populated urban area. Although the prices are better as we go west on the peninsula, they are still considerably higher than in metro Anchorage.

 
Johnson Lake is right across the road from our nice, quiet campground.

The directions in the Churchs' camping book to the Kasilof RV Park were good. We also confirmed them when making our reservation. There were several turns off the Sterling Hwy. on small paved roads but we are no more than a mile from it and the roads are good for RV travel.

Itís quiet here. We can really appreciate that after all the distractions in Seward.

Next entry:  camping at the Kasilof RV Park

Happy trails,

Sue
"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil, and Cody the ultra Lab

Previous       Next

© 2012 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil

-