Family rafting in Alaska - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 01-19-2013   #1
 
boulder, Colorado
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Family rafting in Alaska

I have an opportunity to drive up to Alaska from CO this summer and I am thinking about bringing the kids and the raft and doing one of the many long class 1 and 2 rivers, in the 100-200 mile range. Does anyone have any experience with these rivers? I am looking for personal recommendations. Any advice or suggestions would be really appreciated. Thanks.

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Old 01-19-2013   #2
 
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Glenwood Springs, Colorado
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You could put on the Kennicott, Nizina, Chitna and Copper quartet. No permit, drive to the put in. The take out is near Cordova, so the logistics are complicated. I had two shuttles involved on that one. Pretty cool float with a stop in Chitna for re supplies, lunch, etc.
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Old 01-19-2013   #3
 
Pinecliffe, Colorado
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I also have been thinking about taking the kids up to do a nice Alaska float. I found this book online and it is pretty good, there are a ton of runs that seem perfect for a nice family trip. The book is a great idea guide but doesn't give a lot of real specific specific beta that you can get from a person. I hope some good ideas come from this thread.


The Alaska River Guide: Canoeing, Kayaking, and Rafting in the Last Frontier - Karen Jettmar - Google Books


http://www.google.com/#hl=en&q=alask...w=1600&bih=805
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Old 01-19-2013   #4
 
Golden, Colorado
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keep in mind, the better alaskan floats and trips are accessed by bush flights, not cars. out of the ~8 alaska float fishing trips,ect. i've done up there, only the 1st was with a car. cool trip but it was a valuable lesson learned to get off the road system at all costs nearly 20 years ago now, as well. however, i also found that the costs tend to rapidly cancel each other out when compared to car rental/expenses, gas, motels,campgrounds, eating out,ect. vs flights, just renting the raft and river camping. that said, my trip expenses are always split up between other adults and me too.

beyond the jettmar book and despite being a fishing guide, there is allot of river beta here,as well. it's also the only ak fishing guide worth a damn if you want to fish....

Amazon.com: Alaska Fishing: The Ultimate Angler's Guide (9781929170296): Rene Limeres, Gunnar Pedersen: Books

also, be careful to tie down your kids at night so the skeeters don't carry them off. ak can be a tough place for kids....absurd bugs at times, relentless rain/cold, ect. just a heads up. alaska is one of my favorite places to float but she can be a cold,relentless bitch too that will test even the most seasoned adults, let alone kids.

if you find yourself looking to more remote, off road system stuff feel free to pm me for areas, rivers, recommended bush pilots/outfitters.
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Old 01-19-2013   #5
 
Pinecliffe, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by upshitscreek View Post
keep in mind, the better alaskan floats and trips are accessed by bush flights, not cars.

Amazon.com: Alaska Fishing: The Ultimate Angler's Guide (9781929170296): Rene Limeres, Gunnar Pedersen: Books
Yes the book I referenced tells about a lot runs, one of the next steps is finding out how to access and shuttle the run. upshitscreek, does anglers guide give info on run access, like how to get to the river? ie who and how can you get to the PI and TO?
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Old 01-19-2013   #6
 
Golden, Colorado
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tree,sorry, not much experience with anything roadside in ak that is a traditional put in / take out with a car deal, even with that book. my area of experience is with the more remote stuff so the put ins and take outs are dictated by your pilot and where they can land or take off..... lakes, gravel bars they can land on,flat patches of tundra or a no-roads-in/out town at the end of a river,ect. allot or most of the rivers in the jettmar book fall into this category which is why there is little specific shuttle info. basically, contact the pilot. they drop you off and pick you up or some combination/variation of the two.

i would highly recommend the AK delorme atlas too. basically, if there isn't a road to it then you know you will be flying in or sometimes power boated or something else pretty damn fun like that.

i mentioned the book because ,as you have found, info on allot of the rivers is very limited and sparse, at best and any reliable source is worth owning in the research stages,ect.
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Old 01-19-2013   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shoenfeld13 View Post
I have an opportunity to drive up to Alaska from CO this summer and I am thinking about bringing the kids and the raft and doing one of the many long class 1 and 2 rivers, in the 100-200 mile range. Does anyone have any experience with these rivers? I am looking for personal recommendations. Any advice or suggestions would be really appreciated. Thanks.
Another world class trip accessible by vehicle is the Tat. Truly one of the most incredible trips in all of Alaska. You can drive to the put on, but you have to fly out at the end. I've had the privilege to float it several times and consider it my favorite trip--even over the GC.

Depending on the age of your children and your skill set--it's not a big deal in terms of rapids (which are class III sort of, and all on the first day--except for some easy to miss hydraulics in the s- turns section). On my kids first trip, they were ages 10 and 13. Of course they were veterans of many other river trips by that point.

The thing to remember about Alaska, even more than most lower 48 trips--you are way further from help if you need it, so factor this in even on floats such as the Kennicott thru to the Copper take out.

The best salmon fishing in southeast AK for me was on the Copper--we caught numerous Sockeye and silver in the clear side streams. Also had way more mosquitos on this trip than on a Tatshenshini trip, similar to a Tana, Chitna or other, more interior river trip.
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Old 01-19-2013   #8
 
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Originally Posted by wildh2onriver View Post

Another world class trip accessible by vehicle is the Tat. Truly one of the most incredible trips in all of Alaska. You can drive to the put on, but you have to fly out at the end. I've had the privilege to float it several times and consider it my favorite trip--even over the GC.

Depending on the age of your children and your skill set--it's not a big deal in terms of rapids (which are class III sort of, and all on the first day--except for some easy to miss hydraulics in the s- turns section). On my kids first trip, they were ages 10 and 13. Of course they were veterans of many other river trips by that point.

The thing to remember about Alaska, even more than most lower 48 trips--you are way further from help if you need it, so factor this in even on floats such as the Kennicott thru to the Copper take out.

The best salmon fishing in southeast AK for me was on the Copper--we caught numerous Sockeye and silver in the clear side streams. Also had way more mosquitos on this trip than on a Tatshenshini trip, similar to a Tana, Chitna or other, more interior river trip.
One of the beat source books for info and planning for AK trips is entitled 'Fast and Cold' by Andrew Embick--who died a few years back. The best guidebook for the Tat is by Russ Lyman and is entitled 'The Complete Guide to the Tatshenshini River--Including the Alsek River', which can be purchased from www.CloudburstProductions,net
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Old 01-21-2013   #9
CBrow
 
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Other road accessible rivers you might consider are the Gulkana out of Paxson Lake on the Denali Hwy, the Delta from Tangle lakes also on the Denali Hwy and the Chulitna from the Parks Hwy down to Talkeetna. There is also the Nelchina to the Tazlina down to the Copper putting in on the Glen Hwy. If you can afford to do a fly out river then there are literally dozens to choose from depending on how much you want to spend. Both Karen Jettmars and Andy Embicks books are good as is Sepp Webers. Do some research. If you are new to Alaska then I would recomend being very conservative and doing an easy road accessible river to begin with. As already mentioned in this thread the bugs can be real bad and even though you might be only a few miles from the road there still bears. It also rains alot so be prepared. Let me know if you have specific questions about specific rivers and I will give you as much Beta as I can. I guided up there for over 20 years and have done about 40 different rivers. Best of luck.
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Old 01-21-2013   #10
 
Salida, Colorado
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+1 on the float from McCarthy to Chitna
Another short, easy accessible run is the Matanuska - you can do a mellow multi-day float below the whitewater section
and +1 on "Fast and Cold" for the most interesting reading in a guidebook
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