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Thread: Canoeing the upper Kenai

  1. #1
    Member Dan_o's Avatar
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    Default Canoeing the upper Kenai

    My wife and I are comming up the first week of september. we are renting a canoe from REI. Anyway we wanted to paddle the upper kenai. We have some experiance at it. I do a couple of trips each winter on one of the local rivers. Is there anything we should watch out for. Hoping to fish a little. Thanks for any info you can give.

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    Member Dan_o's Avatar
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    You guys don't canoe the Kenai?

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    Member AlaskaHippie's Avatar
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    I've seen canoes on the Kenai.

    I've also seen rafts have problems on the Kenai.

    Canoed a lot in my younger years and have spent a LOT of time on that river. The thought of launching a canoe in it has never appealed to me. Deep, fast, and not what I'd wager as fun in such a craft.
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
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    Member Dan_o's Avatar
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    Thanks for your reply. Was just interested in doing some of the upper river.

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    Member AlaskaHippie's Avatar
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    The Upper is the section I was referring to. It's certainly not impossible. Tho' there are 2 sections of quasi-rapids to be navigated (or portaged). I've seen a number of canoes on it, as stated, it just never has struck me as a river I'd enjoy canoeing.
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
    "Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you."

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    I've seen people flip canoes in those quasi-rapids AlaskaHippie mentioned. They were obviously canoers with limited skills, but it isn't a trouble free river for canoes. On the other hand I went down Sixmile Creek yesterday, and was accompanied by a highly skilled canoe pilot through the first two canyons (class IV & IV+). Obviously he would not be stressed about the Kenai. The point being, it all depends on the skill of the boater.

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    Member power drifter's Avatar
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    Another idea they rent rafts also. Not sure about REI but there are a number a good places you could do that with I also canoed a good amount when younger but like floating the kenai with a raft.

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    Member Dan_o's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replys. We weren't going to canoe it for the canoing experiance. We were doing it so we could fish it . My understanding is it can be done in two sections. Which section has the quazi-rapids in it?

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    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Bridge to sportsmans has rapids. Sportsmans to jims no. After Jims is the canyon. YOU DO NOT WANT TO DO THAT IN A CANOE. I have seen canoes on the upper. I would not do it. If you have alot of experience in one on rivers ok but not for me. It will be tough to fish out of one.. max at alaska canoe rents rafts as well as alaska raft and kayak in anchorage. If you do canoe. Please keep your PFD on.
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    Member Mark Collett's Avatar
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    Unless you have a LOT of expirence in class III water in a canoe--take the advise offered .It's a beautiful stretch of river---but not one to be taken lightly.Do you have any time on the oars in a raft or driftboat ?That would be much safer than a canoe.Get in touch with Max at Alaska Canoe 907-262-3583.He can rent you a raft and give you particulars on your trip.

  11. #11

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    Another vote for Max and his rafts and shuttle service.Top notch folks , good equipment and very reasonable prices... If you want to canoe, do the Swanson river system and live to go home.

    Tom

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    Member Dan_o's Avatar
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    Tryed to call Max at alaska canoe. Number has been changed. Could anyone please hook me up with a number that will work. Tryed to google, but no luck. thanks.

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    Member Mark Collett's Avatar
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    Use the PM here on the forum....it may take a day or so but he will get back to you.

    That was the number in the phone book......sorry if it didn't work.

  14. #14
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Reach Max at Alaska Canoe and Campground...

    http://www.alaskacanoetrips.com/rafting.html

    Or send a PM on the forum to Alaskacanoe. Heck of a guy and he will hook you up.



    As for canoeing the Upper Kenai, no problem. Think of the Upper as three sections, lake to Sportsmans ramp (some rapids), Sportsmans ramp to Jim's ramp, and Jim's ramp to Skilak (canyon section). The most popular section is the middle one and it is free of any major hazards. We will be there Sept 5-12 for Fishapalooza. An informal get together of forum members staying at the Russian River Campground (rainbow loop) and floating and fishing each day. Most folks float Sportsman's to Jim's. Very easy section to do in a canoe if you are a proficient paddler. I had planned on bringing my Ally pack canoe up this year. Used my 14' Sotar raft the last two years. In Sept, at least the last two years, this is a very mild section of river. I am now thinking about bringing my raft up and renting a trailer. Much easier to fish out of than a canoe and holds more beer. Problem being, what to tow the trailer with. Rental cars/trucks don't have hitches. Most RV places don't allow it, etc.. That is why I was going to car top the Ally pack canoe with two swim noodles and some cam straps. However, I may have something else working so will bring the raft if so. But to answer your question, if you are comfortable in a canoe, the Sportsman's to Jim's section would be a good place to spend the day. Wear your PFD though. If you drown, everyone is going to blame me for speaking against the advice of the other guys here. ha ha...


    -Dan
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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan_o View Post
    My wife and I are comming up the first week of september. we are renting a canoe from REI.

    You would be much better off renting a canoe from Max

    Also, he can tell you a million places to take said canoe.

    Something most folks from Ohio (or North Carolina) could benefit from.



    -Dan
    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.

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