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Thread: Gulkana - October Float

  1. #1

    Default Gulkana - October Float

    If this topic has been discussed before my apologies! Just wanted to know if anyone has any experience rafting the Gulkana in mid October. I am particularly concerned about water levels. I don't mind a little drag/raft scenario but would hate to spend 5 days dragging. Any help?
    Karma is like a rubber band; it can only stretch so far before it comes back and smacks you in the face.

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska, United States
    Posts
    148

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    Never floated the gulkana that time of the year. I would really be worried about the water levels. Going to guess you will be dragging the raft most of the trip. Ice will be building up on the edges of the river and camping in that weather would be a pain. R u planning on floating from Sourdough to the bridge or from Paxson to sourdough?

  3. #3

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    Typically we would float from Paxon Lake to Sourdough...but I think we'll scrub the idea this year. Looking at the temps and thinking about the water level just doesn't get the blood boiling for a trip. Love that river...love it more in the summer! Thanks for the input.
    Karma is like a rubber band; it can only stretch so far before it comes back and smacks you in the face.

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Gakona Ak
    Posts
    1,493

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    Water level is currently very low and it would be a raft drag in many places. You also need to start thinking about freeze up as it will start soon! It is just a tough float after the last week in Sept unless it has rained and it has not! Out nightly air temps are below freezing (17-25) and the sides are freezing up as well as the ponds.


    Good luck

    Walt
    Gulkana River Raft Rentals
    Mile 127.5 of the Richardson
    www.gulkanaraftrentals.com
    907-822-4290

  5. #5

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    Thanks for the information. Not interested in dragging a raft for 5-7 days so I think we'll scrub the idea for the rest of this year. Something about floating in 17 degree temps also has a slight influence on the decision.
    Karma is like a rubber band; it can only stretch so far before it comes back and smacks you in the face.

  6. #6

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    It. Is. Cold. I did it once over labor day with some friends and once solo later in the fall. Labor day was great. The solo trip not so much. It was so cold and windy that the whitewater would blow up onto my jacket/face and instantly freeze. It was a dumb thing to do looking back but I had heard a legend I needed to go check out......

    What the car thermometer read at the put in


    Getting an actual number did not help my enthusiasm.


    Common problem, it was literally one cast then de-ice

  7. #7

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    But as with any Alaskan trip there were some positives

    More swans than I have ever seen in once place, seeing these guys explode off the water like a flock of ducks was pretty cool


    The rapids. Fun in a little boat.


    This is a pic from labor day showing the great color of the river and the raft and set/up I used later in the fall.

  8. #8

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    I cut the trip a day short when my thermos was cold after only 2 hours. I could keep going with some warm rum and cider but once that was taken away it was time to boogie. The float out was sunny but cold but having an entire river to yourself is pretty cool.



    I will do it again in the next couple years but will look for a better weather window and some company. It always seems colder when there is no one to ***** with.

  9. #9

    Default

    Thanks for sharing pics and your experience. Going to do the Kenai, camp and hike local mountains instead. Really love the Gulkana...ahhhh...dreams of next summer!
    Karma is like a rubber band; it can only stretch so far before it comes back and smacks you in the face.

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