Captain Cook State Recreation Area Alaska Coastline

Captain Cook State Recreation Area

Captain Cook State Recreation Area

Discover this lesser-known jewel for outdoor adventures on the Kenai Peninsula.

Just north of the towns of Kenai and Nikiski, Captain Cook State Recreation Area offers a peaceful setting for camping, fishing, and beachcombing.


Stormy Lake is popular for boaters and kayakers, and anglers fish for rainbow trout, silver salmon, and arctic char in the lake and river. Other popular activities include beachcombing and agate hunting, birding and wildlife viewing, berry picking, riding ATVs (in designated areas only), hiking, and swimming. In winter, ice fishing, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing are popular activities.

Visitors are warned to be cautious while exploring the mud flats and become familiar with the tide schedule, as tides can come in too quickly to safely escape.


Visitors can see wandering moose or bears, coyotes, beavers, and muskrats. Beluga whales and harbor seals can be seen in the waters of the inlet. Bird species include sandhill cranes, bald eagles, trumpeter swans, golden-eye ducks, thrushes, Pacific and common loons, warblers, and mergansers.


The recreation area is named for Captain James Cook, who explored the area in 1778. The Dena’ina Athabascan people were the original inhabitants of the region, harvesting the area’s rich salmon runs and game.


The Discovery Campground has 53 RV-friendly campsites, restrooms, two picnic shelters, and a boat launch. There are additional tent camping areas accessible by walking or boating.


Captain Cook State Recreation Area is located 180 miles from Anchorage on the Kenai Peninsula in Southcentral Alaska. From the town of Kenai, drive north 25 miles on the Kenai Spur Highway to Milepost 36.

Learn more about things to do in the Kenai Peninsula.

For more information, visit the Captain Cook State Recreation Area website.

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