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Thread: Rafting middle fork kuyokuk in august

  1. #1
    New member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012

    Default Rafting middle fork kuyokuk in august

    My wfe & I will be rafting the middle fork of the Kuyokuk River in August. What is the water temperature like? Should we anticipate getting wet and what rafting attire is prescribed?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011


    Quote Originally Posted by Londovchik View Post
    My wfe & I will be rafting the middle fork of the Kuyokuk River in August. What is the water temperature like? Should we anticipate getting wet and what rafting attire is prescribed?
    the water is cold,
    you will get wet if it rains,snows or you fall out of the boat!!!
    pretty mellow float between coldfoot to bettles,
    i bring clothes and sleeping gear for freezing temps and snow,
    and when i do not need them that is a bonus
    have fun

  3. #3
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Anchorage, Alaska

    Default Koyukuk River (Middle Fork)

    Sounds like a great trip!

    Don't know if you already have a copy, but Karen Jettmar's "Alaska River Guide" has a pretty good writeup on this area that's worth a read. Some other resources on the Koyukuk in general are:

    As to clothing and temperatures, August is still essentially summer in Alaska, so shorts and tee shirts can work if the weather and the bugs cooperate (yes, bring them). But there's no way to know what it's going to do, and it could be quite chilly. That section of the Koyukuk is not rough; it's Class I whitewater, so it's unlikely that it will be a wet ride. Just the same, you need clothing for cold, inclement weather too. Here are some ideas:

    1. Good rain gear. My preference is Helly Hansen Impertech, but some people like the breathable stuff made by North Face and others. In my experience breathable rain gear eventually leaks though.

    2. Waterproof footwear. Some people just use rubber boots, like the Extra Tuff brand or others, or you can go with hip boots or waders, keeping in mind that they should fit loosely-enough that you can kick them off if you fall in.

    3. Thermal underwear. Go with light-weight bottoms and tops.

    4. Avoid cotton! When it gets wet, it mats down and loses its thermal capacity. Instead, go with synthetic or wool.

    5. Wear a floatation device (PFD)! A life jacket makes a nice warm boat cushion, but it's supposed to be worn! I have found that I'm more likely to wear one that's comfortable than one that is not. There are many vest-type PFDs that wear very well and also keep you warm and toasty. Have a look at Northwest River Supplies for some ideas.

    Hope it helps!

    Last edited by Michael Strahan; 02-13-2012 at 14:45. Reason: added life jackets!
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  4. #4
    Member Birdstrike's Avatar
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    Jun 2007


    Here's a pic from an August Brooks Range trip (north side). We typically wear breathable waders while floating. They allow you to get in and out of the boat without worry of getting wet and keep your butt dry while floating if water splashes, or it's raining. However, as Mike pointed out, they become a liability as the risk of a swim increases with the difficulty of the river. I would never allow anybody in my raft to wear waders during a whitewater section. At other times it's just a matter of risk vs. benefit. A fleece top is nice as it allows you to layer below and on top of it for the existing conditions. Fleece also dries quickly.

    Plan for a cold windy, rainy day (hats, gloves, raingear) and be thrilled when it's warm, dry and beautiful.


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