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Thread: Upper Kobuk Float

  1. #1

    Default Upper Kobuk Float

    I'm planning to float the Upper Kobuk River at the end of August.

    It looks like we will be putting in at Nutuvukti Lake and taking out at the Pah River. We'll be bypassing the outlet rapids and upper canyon and will be portaging or lining the lower canyon. I've been told to allow 5 days for this float. It sounds like we may be hitting some good sheefish water.

    I'd be interested to hear from anyone who has floated this section, highs/lows/cautions of this stretch of water are all welcome. Thanks.

  2. #2


    Well, now it looks like the plan is to put in at Walker Lake.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007


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    He used to work in the Brooks Range national parks, and I suspect did a float out of Walker Lake. He's now at Wrangell-St. Elias.

  4. #4


    I've actually met Peter a few times. That's a good idea. I'll shoot him an email.

    I've been told that the outlet at Nutuvukti Lake is very shallow, as is the much of the river down to where it meets the Kobuk, so it requires quite a bit of lining but isn't as interesting as the float from Walker Lake.

  5. #5


    Depending on the craft you are taking, starting at Walker Lake is the most interesting and best trip by far. Float down a half-mile out of the lake, then portage around the rapids and then hop back into your boat. The upper and lower canyon stretches require scouting, and some like to line them, but in late August, the water is low and clear and you should be fine, especially in a raft.

  6. #6
    Member danattherock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006


    If you want to skip the upper and lower canyon, put in on Lake Minakakosa. Float Beaver Creek down to the Kobuk proper. I would allow more than 5 days. Why rush in such a place. Take your time and stay 2 nights on a few choice campsites. Brew some coffee and then put on another pot. Cost the same. Peace of Selby lodge, Art if I recall is the guy, rents the only cabin on the lake. Nice way to start a trip perhaps. Incredible resource on the area at any rate.

    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  7. #7


    It's a float to check out something specific for a project I'm working on, basically the area between the confluence with the Nutuvukti and then a bit past the lower canyon so I have to start further upstream than Minitokosa. This is also why we're going to have longer days than I would like. Not that I'm complaining!

  8. #8
    New member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011


    When are you going? We have a trip planned, land in Bettles on Friday (Aug 12th), hopefully headed to Walker lake that evening.

    Maybe we'll see you out there.

  9. #9


    The plan was to go out On Aug. 21st.

    Just heard the trip might be scrubbed until next year.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    NorthWest Alaska


    Youll be on the Sheefish for sure. They are just boiling in the spawn there now. Fast gravled water, shallow and fairly snag free, look for them in the eddies, and if you use BIG spoons, you will catch BiG Sheefish......Spoon Daddys are good........
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....


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