Description - *This information is provided by Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation*
This state recreation area is named for Captain James Cook, the famous English mariner, who in 1778 explored what is now known as Cook Inlet. At that time the area was occupied by Taniana Indians who harvested seasonal runs of salmon and other wild foods. Remains of Taniana house pits are evidence of the Indians’ earlier presence. In recent years the beach area has been used for commercial fishing with beach set-nets
- Wildlife you may see during your visit includes moose, bear, coyote, wolves, Beluga whales, harbor seals, beaver, muskrat, bald eagles, sandhill cranes, trumpeter swans, arctic and common loons, golden-eye ducks, mergansers, thrushes, warblers, and jays.
Recreation - Captain Cook State Recreation Area offers a variety of recreation activities, from canoeing and boating on Stormy Lake to beachcombing on Cook Inlet’s tide-swept shores, bird watching, berry picking, and wildlife observation. The beaches are popular with agate hunters.
Anglers may enjoy fishing for rainbow trout and silver salmon in Swanson River as well as rainbows and arctic char in Stormy Lake. Current fishing regulations will give complete information on seasons and limits. Winter visitors enjoy ice fishing on Stormy Lake.
Climate - The climate in Alaska varies with terrain and region. The south-central region of the state is most temperate because it is protected from cold northern winds by the Alaska Range. The large bodies of water that lies closely to this area create a stabilizing factor for the air temperature. Southeast Alaska is wet. An average of 80 inches of rain comes to this region directly from the Gulf of Alaska.
In contrast to the southeastern region, the interior receives very little precipitation. The winters are long in this region with spring, summer and fall taking place from May through September. The western coast of Alaska experiences long, cold winters and short, chilly summers. This area is very far north and at the mercy of huge water bodies that don't warm. Southwestern Alaska experiences foggy, wet summers with high temperatures reaching 60 degrees F. Winters are severe on this long peninsula of land with storms rising from the surrounding waters frequently. The average rainfall for the region is 75 inches/year.
The recreation area can be reached by driving 25 miles north of Kenai on the North Kenai Road to milepost 36.