A trip to Silver Salmon Creek on Lake Clark's Cook Inlet coast offers outstanding bear viewing and sport fishing opportunities for visitors.
Getting to Silver Salmon Creek
Most visitors arrive by small plane that land on the beach or in the river. The fight from Homer, Kenai or Anchorage is less than an hour.
It is also possible to travel across Cook Inlet in a boat, though the seas are often rough. Extreme tides make access to Silver Salmon Creek challenging for boats.
The Ranger Station is located at approximately 59° 58.810' N 152° 39.910W
Getting Around Silver Salmon Creek
Area lodges transport their guests in trailers towed by ATVs. Everyone else must travel between sites on foot. Be prepared to walk through sandy terrain a few hundred yards from the beach to the nearest sedge meadow or fishing spot. You may walk two or more miles back and forth between sites on the salt marsh and/or those in the tidal flats and creeks in search of bears or fish.
Things to Do at Silver Salmon Creek
Brown Bear Viewing
Silver Salmon Creek offers world class brown bear viewing. Brown bears can be seen grazing in the sedge meadows in late spring to mid summer, fishing in the creek during the salmon run in late summer, or digging for clams on the beach throughout the season.
Coho (silver) salmon and humpback (pink) salmon as well as Dolly Varden run up the creek in the late summer, providing ample excitement for adventurous anglers. Sport fishers must abide by all State of Alaska fishing regulations.
Bears aren't the only wildlife that congregates in Silver Salmon Creek's rich estuary.
- Shorebirds stage in the mud and sand flats during spring migration.
- Dabbling ducks are present all summer, but peak during migration in April and September. Look for them at river mouths and mud flats.
- Seabirds nest on rocky cliffs north of Silver Salmon Creek and also on nearby Chisik and Duck islands during the summer and can be seen foraging in the ocean.
- Loons nest and forage in coastal freshwater ponds including nearby Silver Salmon Lakes.
- Raptors nest and forage along the coast and rivers year round.
- Songbirds nest and forage in the salt marshes and forests.
Camping, Backpacking, and Hiking
Travelers comfortable in bear country can follow a spectacular 25 mile hike from Silver Salmon Creek to Chinitna Bay. Though no formal campground exists, excellent camp sites abound.
The tidal flats, while a bit rocky, are filled with razor, little neck, and butter clams. Keep in mind that all shell fish may be exposed to the algae that causes Paralytic Shellfish Poising (PSP). Eating contaminated shellfish can cause severe illness or death. This beach is not monitored for PSP. Anyone consuming shellfish gathered here does so at their own risk. Visitors wishing to fish or dig for clams must follow all State of Alaska fishing regulations. Please clean clams below the tide line and cast remains into the ocean.
Lodging and Guided Trips
Several licensed commercial outfitters specialize in day-long and overnight bear viewing and sport fishing trips to Silver Salmon Creek for travelers who prefer to visit bear country with a knowledgeable guide.