Captain Cook State Recreation Area
When we finally pulled out of Homer, the Card Street Fire was getting under control but Skilak Road was still closed and all of the Kenai Wildlife Refuge campgrounds were also closed. We didn’t know where we were going, but we did have a few ideas.
We traveled north as far as we could go up the coast of Cook Inlet and landed at Captain Cook State Recreation Area. We weren’t hopeful about finding a site but there were a couple of places we could overnight in the area, so we had a fall back plan if we couldn’t find anything. We drove the campground loop and while the best sites were taken, there were plenty of sites that could accommodate us – large and level. After we unhooked, I led the way with the jeep. On a whim, I stopped at a beautiful site that was tagged but empty. We figured there was a class B or C camping there that was away for the day but, according to their tag, they had left that morning. Score! We got a great site (#9) within view of the inlet.
Discovery Campground was a great change of pace from our last two weeks of camping on the beach. There was lots of green everywhere, the spaces were very far apart, and there was a little bit of privacy for each site. A couple of drawbacks though: because of the trees, our solar wouldn’t be extremely productive, and there was barely even a 1G signal. Also, because of the fires, no camp fires allowed.
We made do, relaxing and enjoying our first real sunsets of our trip.
We also wanted to drive some of the trails that wind through the recreation area. The main trail goes all the way up to Turnagain Arm but unfortunately, there was an huge muddy pit blocking the way. We settled for driving some of the other trails and made our way to remote lakes.
As a break from the busy, loud, claustrophobic (but beautiful) sites we had in Homer and Seward, Discovery Campground in Captain Cook State Recreation Area was perfect. But, without cell service and solar to power our batteries, we only stayed two days. We had a lot of fun though!
Just a note – the campground has quite a bit of Devil’s Club and Cow Parsnip. While the smell when the plants are blooming is heavenly, getting tangled up the plants may not be. Devil’s Club has huge thorns and Cow Parsnip can cause allergic reactions.