Skiing to Pt. Possession

It seems like the Kenai Peninsula has no end of places to explore.  Over the past few decades I have gone down to the Kenai zillions of times for outdoor forays.  But my "list" of things to do on the Kenai keeps growing after every trip there!  One place that I had wanted to check out is Pt. Possession - the northern-most tip of the Kenai Peninsula.  And of course, I wanted to check this place out by skis.

It's not that far from the Captain Cook State Park campgrounds to Pt. Possession, a little under 30 miles.  If you knew the trail was good, you could ski out and back in a day.  The catch, if you live in Anchorage, is the drive.  It's about 4 hours to get to the trailhead.  Given that and the fact that I knew nothing of the trail conditions, I decided to do this as an overnighter.  In the last few years I had done overnighter skis to Burnt Island to the east of this area, and around the 100 mile Tustumena sled dog race trail.  This ski overnighter ranked up there with the other two - a unique area, quiet and good trails.

At the trailhead I found that a recent "snow road" had been made for hauling equipment out to service local gas wells.  The road went out about 14 miles.

Here is an RCV (remotely controlled valve) on the gas pipeline that runs from Nikiski to Anchorage.  The trail follows this pipeline right of way.

About 16 miles out was a "cabin with character" on the bluffs overlooking Cook Inlet.

The trail starts out pretty flat, but then some good hills come into the mix.  Nice trail.  Good combo skiing - stride the ups, skate the flats and downhills.

A mile or so from the point is a narrow swath of land owned by the Pt. Possession Native Corporation.  You should call them and get permission to cross their land.

Mile 46 of the gas pipeline is on the beach at Pt. Possession.

This is a panoramic shot from the beach at Pt. Possession.  You can see Mt. Susitna to the left, Fire Island in the middle, Anchorage off to the right.  Between these features you will see lots and lots and lots of ice.  There is a constant "hiss" here from the grinding of ice as the 30 foot Cook Inlet tides run in and out.

Anchorage is in the distant background.  This self timer pic didn't come out too good - it was a bit below 0 F and a 30 mph plus breeze from the north.  Kinda chilly for messing with a camera.

Heading back, one last look from the area of the point.  Captain Cook once buried gold coins here to "claim" this land from the Denaina Indian owners.  The coins were supposedly never found.  What happened to them?  Well, go to ebay and seach for "Captain Cook gold coins".  The auction ends tomorrow !!

After skiing out the to point, I skied back about 10 miles until it got dark ... and then camped out on the bluffs overlooking Cook Inlet.

In the morning you could look up the coast toward Fire Island and, in the far distance, Anchorage. Out of the hills and with 15 miles of skating to go - it's time to "carbon up".  I made these carbon fiber boot stiffeners to turn combo boots from classic striders to bomber-skate boots.  More on this here. While I was out skiing the boys brought a few loads in the snow road.
Nearing the trailhead.  The Kenai in the winter: nice trails and hardly anyone on them.  And what folks you do meet there in the winter are locals with quick smiles and good stories.  I'll be heading back again ... and again ...   The yellow line shows the ski route.
Back to 2006 Skiing Photos Photos and web page by Tim Kelley