Kasilof RV Park is owned and operated by a couple from Kansas, Don and
Jan. They live here in the summer and play snowbird in the winter (farther
south than Kansas!).
Their campground got a great review in the Churchs’ camping book, which
is why I called them last night to see if we could get in for four days.
We were relieved when Don said yes because we had trouble finding
suitable campgrounds on the western side of the peninsula for the rest
of this week.
We learned the hard way that the Kenai Peninsula is the most popular
place in Alaska on summer weekends for thousands of campers who live in
Anchorage, and the very busiest time is in July during the dip net
fishing season for salmon. (I'll talk more about dip net fishing in
In addition, many tourists are also visiting the Kenai Peninsula now.
Campgrounds are full to overflowing in many areas and prices are higher
because demand is higher.
When we arrived Jan welcomed us and immediately let us know there was a
glitch. Uh, oh.
Don doesn’t usually make the reservations (as he told me that last
night) and he didn’t notice that Jan had already assigned our full
hook-up site to someone else on Saturday.
Jan apologized profusely and said we had a couple of choices – to use
another pull-thru site with full hook-ups the first three days, then
move to the one next to it on Saturday, or occupy a back-in site with
just water and electricity (no sewer) all four days.
Our campground from across one end of Johnson Lake
She wasn’t sure the 45-foot back-in site would be long enough for us but
said we could park the truck nearby
in a site that’s no longer used for camping. People can park their
vehicles, boats, etc. in the back row of what used to be RV sites.
She offered to knock $10/day off the price for the partial hook-up site,
which was attractive to us!
Prices are $5/day higher in July for all of the sites here because it's
the peak fishing season. I've already mentioned that most campgrounds on
the Kenai Peninsula increase the price in July because of the heavy
demand for sites. Since this was Don's mistake, we benefited in the long
Before we decided which option to take we walked through the small
campground (17 sites with plenty of trees and space
between each site) and definitely liked the back-in site the best.
There was room for Jim to maneuver, it was angled the “correct”
direction so he could see better when backing in, it has a lot of vegetation around
it to offer more privacy, and we wouldn't have to move to another site
for the last day:
And we get it for just $25/night, a great price for a private campground
on the peninsula in July.
The $40 (+ tax) refund was credited promptly to our credit card.
We checked out the nice bathrooms and showers, laundry, rec room with
WiFi and TV, and other amenities.
Communal fire pit area behind the laundry,
restrooms, and recreation room
It’s a nice little place that should offer us peace
and quiet compared to the larger and very busy campgrounds on the main roads
that are closer to prime dip net and pole fishing for salmon.
Soon after we arrived I was sitting at my desk and noticed movement in
front of me. About 50 feet away a big ole moose was slowly walking in
one of the empty former RV sites across from us. I got a blurry picture
before it was hidden by the trees and brush:
There are moose pictures on
the campground website, entry sign, and ad in The Milepost so we
knew to expect them.
Johnson Lake is right across the road from the campground. The
pull-through RV sites have a view of it. The moose frequent the lake,
then return to the woods through the campground.
I like the little moose mama and baby sign in the
We stayed at the campground all afternoon and evening, just relaxing
after six busy days in Seward. We have a
decent phone and personal MiFi signal, get the campground’s free WiFi OK at our site (not real
strong, but it’s free), and receive several TV stations clearly.
That’s a nice surprise. Since we aren’t near a large town and are off
the Sterling Hwy. I didn’t expect much in the way of reception for any
of those things.
FOLLY HERE, EITHER
After supper we walked around the campground some more. There is a
communal fire pit behind the restroom/laundry/office building and next
to it in the tall grass and wildflowers are several signs that remind us
of the Signpost Forest in Watson Lake, Yukon Territories.
Several of the signs say “DJS’s Folly.”
Those are Don’s initials and a play on “Seward’s Folly.”
He told me his
family and friends originally thought he was a little crazy to buy the
place but it has worked out well for him and his wife. They have the
best of several worlds, he said -- maintaining a home base bear
family and friends in Kansas, snowbirding in their RV farther south in
the winter, and having fun managing the campground in Alaska during the summer.
We will be here four nights unless something compels us to stay on
the west side of the Kenai Peninsula longer. We'll visit points to the
north and south on day trips.
JOHNSON LAKE & ENVIRONS
I didn't get over
to the lake across the road until two days after we arrived at the
campground. I took these pictures then -- on a nice sunny
I found only a short trail along the south end of the lake but it was
rough and I went only about half a mile. Cody loved getting in the
water and I enjoyed the scenery.
That day Jim rode his bike back the road toward Tustemena Laket.
He checked out the Johnson Lake State Rec. Area campground located on the north end
of that lake. I could see some RVs from the trail I was on at the
south end, although they don't show in the next two pictures:
Johnson Lake is pretty but it is much smaller than huge Tustemena
Lake, the biggest lake on the Kenai Peninsula. The Kasilof River flows
about 15 miles from Tustemena Lake to Cook Inlet. It’s another of many
popular fishing rivers.
There are numerous lakes and streams in this state and they all
seem to be popular fishing venues!
Next entries: touring the towns of Soldotna and Kenai
"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil,
and Cody the ultra Lab
© 2012 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil