Cooper Landing is a census-designated place (CDP) in Kenai Peninsula Borough, Alaska, United States, about 100 miles (160 km) south of Anchorage, at the outlet of Kenai Lake into the Kenai River. The town was first settled in the 19th century by gold and mineral prospectors, and has become a popular summer tourist destination thanks to its scenic location and proximity to the salmon fishery of the Kenai River and Russian River. As of the 2010 census, the population in Cooper Landing was 289, down from 369 in 2000.
Cooper Landing is located in the north-central part of the Kenai Peninsula at 60°29′26″N 149°47′40″W / 60.49056°N 149.79444°W / 60.49056; -149.79444 (60.490529, -149.794519). The center of the community is at the west end of Kenai Lake, where the lake flows into the Kenai River. The CDP extends east up Kenai Lake beyond the mouth of Quartz Creek from the north. To the south the CDP reaches Cooper Lake, and Cooper Creek, the lake’s outlet, forms a portion of the CDP’s southern border. The CDP reaches west down the Kenai River as far as the mouth of the Russian River, and to the north the CDP extends up the valley of Juneau Creek as far as Trout Lake. Elevations in the CDP range from approximately 330 feet (100 m) above sea level at the mouth of the Russian River, to 436 feet (133 m) at Kenai Lake, to 4,576 feet (1,395 m) at the summit of Cecil Rhode Mountain between Kenai Lake and Cooper Creek.
Alaska Route 1, the Sterling Highway, passes through the community, leading north 102 miles (164 km) to Anchorage and southwest 120 miles (190 km) to Homer. Soldotna, the Kenai Peninsula Borough seat, is 45 miles (72 km) to the west on AK-1, and Seward is 47 miles (76 km) to the southeast via routes 1 and 9.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the Cooper Landing CDP has a total area of 69.8 square miles (180.9 km). 65.8 square miles (170.3 km) of it are land, and 4.1 square miles (10.6 km), or 5.85%, are water.
Cooper Landing first appeared on the 1950 U.S. Census as an unincorporated village. It was made a census-designated place (CDP) in 1980.
As of the census of 2000, there were 369 people, 162 households, and 96 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 5.6 people per square mile (2.2/km²). There were 379 housing units at an average density of 5.7 per square mile (2.2/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 91.60% White, 0.27% Black or African American, 2.98% Native American, 1.63% Asian, 0.27% from other races, and 3.25% from two or more races. 1.08% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 162 households out of which 21.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.6% were married couples living together, 4.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.7% were non-families. 34.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.14 and the average family size was 2.74.
In the CDP, the population was spread out with 18.2% under the age of 18, 7.0% from 18 to 24, 23.8% from 25 to 44, 32.2% from 45 to 64, and 18.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 46 years. For every 100 females, there were 117.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 120.4 males.
The median income for a household in the CDP was $34,844, and the median income for a family was $51,250. Males had a median income of $46,319 versus $34,276 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $24,795. None of the families and 2.2% of the population were living below the poverty line, including no under eighteens and none of those over 64.