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Thread: Top Remote AK week long floats?

  1. #1
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    Default Top Remote AK week long floats?

    Hello all,

    I would like help choosing a river to float this summer.

    I'm new to this forum. I am a veteran boater. I am planning a summer float trip, mostly likely early to mid August, in Alaska, for about a week to 10 days. I am looking for a class I or II float in a beautiful, remote part of Alaska. Complex logistics are okay. I'd prefer a huge river valley with towering mountains to the side and few trees.

    Which rivers/runs do you recommend?

    Your suggestions are very appreciated.

    If you ever want any information on the Salt or Colorado rivers in Arizona, I'd love to help.

    Thank you,

    Tony in Tucson

  2. #2
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Alaska River Expeditions

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony in Tucson View Post
    Hello all,

    I would like help choosing a river to float this summer.

    I'm new to this forum. I am a veteran boater. I am planning a summer float trip, mostly likely early to mid August, in Alaska, for about a week to 10 days. I am looking for a class I or II float in a beautiful, remote part of Alaska. Complex logistics are okay. I'd prefer a huge river valley with towering mountains to the side and few trees.

    Which rivers/runs do you recommend?

    Your suggestions are very appreciated.

    If you ever want any information on the Salt or Colorado rivers in Arizona, I'd love to help.

    Thank you,

    Tony in Tucson
    Hello Tony,

    Welcome to the Alaska Outdoors Directory!

    You are certainly in the right place.

    There are, without question, many rivers in Alaska that would fit your criteria. My first suggestions are (in no particular order):
    • The Sheenjek River
    • The Kongakut River
    • The Canning River
    All three are in the Arctic, which offers (in my opinion) the best of what you're looking for. Hiking opportunities are excellent, fishing is acceptable, the mountains are stunning and visibility is great.

    You might have a look at our current main river page AT THIS LINK. It contains a master list of over 450 Alaska rivers which are featured in either print or DVD. Many of them will not fit your criteria, so you will probably need to research them. One of the best tools I know of for doing this is Karen Jettmar's "Alaska River Guide", which we carry on this site.

    When you get to the page I just linked (our main river home page), scroll to the bottom of the page and you'll see a chart of rivers, with a list of print and DVD resources. I put this list together to show people like yourself which rivers are covered by which resources. For example, the Sheenjek is featured in six resources: Alaska Fishing ​(superficial listing), Float Hunting Alaska's Wild Rivers (currently unavailable), The Alaska Roadside Angler's Guide (currently unavailable), The Alaska River Guide, The Alaska River Logs (a free download on this site), and an excellent DVD entitled, "Alaska Hunting Adventure; 700 Miles Alone". Take some time to look these resources over and you'll learn a lot about Alaska's river systems. This should help you narrow your choices a bit.

    While you're at it, you might browse through our bookstore. We have a whole list of books and DVDs relevant to Alaska river trips.

    LOGISTICS

    If you get to a point where the logistics of this are too much, by all means give me a shout. In addition to owning this site, I am a commercial trip planner and would be more than happy to help you. Depending on what you need, there may not be any fee involved. That said, there are many folks here on the site who are willing to do the same for you. There is a ton of collective experience on this site, and the forums are the place to tap that.

    Best of luck as you plan this little expedition!

    Regards,

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  3. #3
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    I like McCarthy to Cordova on the Chitina and Copper Rivers. More info here: http://paddling.jimstrutz.com/page11.html. It's about 10 days all the together, or you could make a slow week out of either river with the quaint little community of Chitina as either the start or end. You can either drive or fly to the put in, and take the ferry out of Cordova to get back home. The river is fast but flat and the scenery is huge and amazing. At very high water levels Abercrombie Rapids can be a massive roller-coaster (kind of like Hance Rapid in GC), but is normally a simple section.

    And Fortymile River is another classic. More info here: http://paddling.jimstrutz.com/page8.html. Fortymile has several different sections you could run. Anything from a fly-in to start or a drive to both ends kind of logistics. The lower section floats into Canada, joins the Yukon and drifts back into AK at Eagle. The mountains are not close though, so the scenery is nice but different. There are some sections of class I-II+ rapids, with one short class V portage on the upper section. However, the lower section's canyon, just before the abandoned town of Fortymile, can become deadly if the water is extremely high. There's a section of holes in there that's like a combination of Crystal and Lava all strung together. At low to mid-high levels you wonder how such an easy section could ever get rough ----- but it does.

  4. #4
    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
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    Tony Thanks for joining and becoming a Forum Member and the gracious offer to assist others with informaiton concerning your area.
    As stated in our phone conversation what a wonderful tool for you to accomplish your research. Mike and Jim who posted replies both have extensive knowledge and are experts in what they do. As always feel free to call again once you have things figured out.

    Happy Rafting.

    BMR

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    Tony,

    You might also check out:
    - on the south side of the Brooks Range; Lake Minakokosa down Beaver Creek to the Kobuk River, then down the Kobuk to at least past the Pah River (great for sheefish in late August); and
    - on the north side of the Brooks Range; Unnamed Lake at head of Nigu River, then "skinny" down (for a short way) the Nigu River to various pick-up locations.

    As an aside, if you need a place to base your gear out of if going through Fairbanks, you are welcome here. Over the years we have had many floaters use our home to stage their trips from.

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    Thank you all for your input. It's always refreshing to see how nice and helpful fellow boaters can be. I'll be back with more questions.

    Thanks,

    -Tony in Tucson

  7. #7

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    Per your requests, McCarthy to Cordova for sure. Great float through remote beautiful country.

  8. #8
    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    I wish people would stop mentioning the Canning River. <wink>
    I believe he really meant the Ivishek River. Same north slope country, and cheaper to access.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaTrueAdventure View Post
    I wish people would stop mentioning the Canning River. <wink>
    I believe he really meant the Ivishek River. Same north slope country, and cheaper to access.
    Sadly, there's a story on the Canning river in this months issue of Alaska magazine. It looks like it's going to get alot more attention.

  10. #10
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    Maybe a lot more interest from do-it-yourselfers, but when they start adding up the flight costs many will be discouraged. There are already many outfitters offering trips on the Canning for those looking for a guided trip in the Brooks. I think trips from Happy Valley will be about $2000 each X however many you need.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony in Tucson View Post
    Hello all,

    I would like help choosing a river to float this summer.

    I'm new to this forum. I am a veteran boater. I am planning a summer float trip, mostly likely early to mid August, in Alaska, for about a week to 10 days. I am looking for a class I or II float in a beautiful, remote part of Alaska. Complex logistics are okay. I'd prefer a huge river valley with towering mountains to the side and few trees.

    Which rivers/runs do you recommend?

    Your suggestions are very appreciated.

    If you ever want any information on the Salt or Colorado rivers in Arizona, I'd love to help.

    Thank you,

    Tony in Tucson
    The Togiak and Goodnews Rivers run through some of the most breathtaking mountain vistas I've encountered. Either one would seem to fit your bill. Heck, a few of the tributaries of the Togiak would be even more appealing and certainly a LOT less traveled.
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
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