Skilak Lookout Trail

Kenai National Wildlife Refuge
This hike was rated 4 stars.
Somewhat easy - gradually gaining elevation
Miles One Way
Miles from Anchorage
120; off the Sterling Highway on the Kenai Peninsula
May to October


It seems a general rule of thumb that the best views hiking are on the trails that take the most work. This is one trail that breaks the rules. While the elevation does increase, it's very gradual and there are only a few short steep sections. Anybody in reasonable shape can handle it, so there's no excuse. You can get this view from an overlook off the road, but it's so much better from the lookout.

This has to be one of the most scenic views in the Kenai Peninsula, seriously!, and if you're in the area, it is definitely worth the time. The views start right away too, not just at the end of the hike. However, it is worth going to the very end for an almost 360° view.

This would be a great hike to pack a lunch along with your camera.

Important Information

There are a lot of bears in the area, especially during salmon season. Don't forget to make noise and be vigilant.

The lookout is very windy. Be sure to bring adequate clothing.

No water sources, pack an adequate supply.


The entire Skilak Lake area is a great place to hang out, especially for families with small children (under 7). There are several great state campgrounds, easy trails (but with great views), fishing, lots of wildlife, and some nice scenic overlooks.


Topo Map

Skilak Lookout Trail topo map

Comments on hiking Skilak Lookout Trail