Homepage Canoe Routes on the Kenai Wildlife Refuge Prices and Trips Location Contact Information
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Shuttle to Canoe Launch
Canoe through Alaska's
pristine wilderness
Multi Day Canoe Trips Campsite
Your Take Refuge Guide has a wealth of knowledge

Full Day Guided Canoe Trips

Full Day guided canoe trips start at 8:30am at Take Refuge Headquarters (Town Of Living Trees) between Soldotna and Sterling. We will have a half hour trip planning session and safety talk to make sure we know your partys needs and abilities. From there we will shuttle you up into the Kenai Wildlife Refuge to the Swanson River or Swan Lake Canoe System launch point. Here you will embark on a journey through some of Alaska’s most pristine wilderness filled with stunning wildlife, with our knowledgeable guides on hand to teach and answer questions. You can look forward to a hardy Alaska experience as you work with your boat-mate to carry your canoes across a few short portages during our day’s adventure. If the portages are a worry, don’t let it stop you from embarking on a journey of a lifetime, you can choose a non portage single lake or river adventure and for our guided trips our capable guides will be on hand for anyone who needs assistance.

Around 12:30pm, the group will pick a beautiful place along the route to take a break and enjoy the healthy lunches provided. Then it’s back into the boats for a relaxing return paddle, then shuttle home. You can expect to be back at the headquarters between 5:00pm and 6:00pm.

Multiday Guided Canoe Trips

Multi Day Guided trips allow you to journey through some of Alaska's most pristine waterways and explore at leisure the amazing wildlife of the Swan Lake and Swanson River canoe and trail systems.

Once you have booked our staff will work with you to plan an itinerary within your required number of days that optimizes the time you are spending on your trip.

Unguided Canoe Trips

These include your lightweight Kevlar canoe, maps of the canoe trail system, help with planning your route, safety device (spot), quality lightweight gear, pre-packet quality food, drop off and pick up transport. The rest is up to you!

Due to safety concerns and portaging, A group size of two or more is required to book a trip with Take Refuge.

2019 season runs from May 15th to October 1st.

  • For detailed individual trip descriptions, specials and prices click here.

  • A minimum of 2 people is needed to book a trip with Take Refuge, maximum 8.

  • All guided and unguided trip prices include lightweight canoe, maps, safety device, quality lightweight gear, food & transport.

  • Contact us for more information about our Educational and Leadership Trips for Youth/teen Groups.
  • For bookings please click the Book Online button at the top of the page or click here.

  • For inquiries please fill out the form on the Contact page and our staff will be in touch via email.

Custom Trips:

Take Refuge encourages custom group trips. Weather you are a youth group, a school group, a large family or would like your paddle trip to have a specific focus, we are your "Refuge!" Please contact us with plenty of notice for pre-planning and we promise to do our best to meet and exceed your group’s goals. (Note: Custom trips need at least 6 participants).

Group Size:

Group size ranges from 2-8. However the average size is around 6.

There must be at least two customers for each guided trip. If you are an individual looking to go on a full or ½ day trip and are the only one signed up, our staff work with you to book you on the next available confirmed trip.

While if we have open boats we will be happy to do single placement, Take Refuge is more about “positive shared experience” and “teamwork”. Since most of our boats are double canoes, please come prepared to share a canoe with another group member.


Speciality Group Trips:

Yoga Groups
Women’s Groups
Men’s Groups 
Bird watching Groups
Photography Groups
Wildlife Refuge Educational Groups
Organizational Groups

Groups of 8 get a 15% discount.


Youth and Non Profit Group Specials:

40% off, (group size no more than 8).

Your Boats:


Light weight Kevlar Canoes (17 feet) are used for Ultra-light packages.

Our canoes are mainly 2 person quality boats, however we do have a few longer family sized boats as well.

No matter the situation we will have a canoe for you!

Our guides will be in single canoes that they can portage quickly to allow time to help others.

Food and Gear:

What Do You Get?

Ultra-Light Packages include:

Traveling System:
▪ Kevlar Canoes - with comfortable yokes!
▪ Paddles
▪ Life Jackets (vest type)
▪ Equipment Packs 

Sleeping System:
▪ Tents
▪ Large Tarp
▪ Sleeping Pads
▪ Sleeping Bags
▪ Compression Sacks


Personal & Miscellaneous:

▪ Personal Gear Packs
▪ Stuff Sacks - for Your gear & clothes
▪ 50 feet of Utility Cord - light rope
▪ Toilet paper
▪ Trip Tape - small roll of duct tape
▪ Portable Solar Shower - on request
▪ Trip Routing and Detailed Maps
▪ Free Parking


Kitchen:* Quality Food!

▪ Ultra-Light Cook Kit with Utensils
▪ One Burner Stove with Extra Fuel
▪ Griddle (optional)
▪ Dish Soap & Scrubber
▪ Collapsible Water Bucket
▪ Water Filter
▪ Rope for Hanging Food Pack
▪ Ultra-Light Aluminum Folding Saw
▪ Axe (optional


What to Expect from your Completely Outfitted Canoe Trip…
When outfitted by Take Refuge Canoe you can expect the best in equipment and service.  We begin each trip with an orientation on the wilderness are you are about to enter (wilderness rules, map routing, fishing q’s and tactics) followed by a full equipment and food review.

Included with each fully outfitted package is:
● Trip & Route planning assistance
● Entry Permit reservations
● All equipment and food prepped, packed and ready to go
● Complete gear and food orientation & detailed trip routing upon arrival
● Paddling & Map orienteering instructions (if needed)
● Free parking in our parking area
● Transportation to and from KWR entry and exit points



Unguided Trips: In the unlikely event there is a problem, all  groups will be given a “spot” locator and bear spray for emergencies. Suggested that if you are going on a multiday unguided trip that you rent a Sat. Phone as well.

Guided Trips: Our guides carry safety devices and have wilderness medical training.

Canoe Location: Swanson River Road, Kenai Wildlife Refuge, Sterling, Alaska - Pick Up / Drop Off Location: Bings Landing, Sterling, Alaska

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Mailing Address: Take Refuge Canoe, 2700 Mallard Lane, Anchorage, AK 99508

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