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Thread: Floating the Chulitna

  1. #1
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    Question Floating the Chulitna

    I want to float the Chulitna from the Parks Hwy south to Talkeetna. I canít find any info on this stretch of river can anyone help?
    How about the big Su from Talkeetna down to the Parks?
    I appreciate any comments.

  2. #2
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    Default Floating the Chulitna

    This was posted back in 2006. I didn't see any responses so thought I'd ask the question again. Anyone out there with some information regarding the float from the Parks Hwy bridge down???? Any good places to stop and fish??

    Walt

  3. #3
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    Default Yep

    There is information in the Archive however not all inclusive. If you check the www. you will find some great data on the float.

    http://www.americanwhitewater.org/co..._detail_id_11_

    http://www.neilmoomey.com/trips/2001_Chulitna_River/

    http://www.riverfacts.com/rivers/10106.html

    Couple fo outfitters running it on a regular basis Talkeetna Outfitters I believe is one of them.

    In my opinion the fishery is ok peaks with the return of Salmon to the system.

    The East fork is popular and a shorter float and does not have some of the issues that the Middle has i.e. water volume. Do your homework be aware the first part of the system to inlcude all creeks flowing in tend to rise quickly with rain with the exception of Beyers which stays constant and has a flow that does not rush into the Main System of the Chulitna.

    Plan on a 5-7 day float to enjoy all it has to offer. When fishing concentrate on the Parks side fish the confulance of the creeks they all have some form of fishing with Rainbows inlcuded. Read the regs Sockeye fishing was closed down two years ago August fishing.

    Bring Water or double bucket with cheeese cloth prior to filtering.

    Bears ;-)

    If the listed sites are not enough shot me a PM.

    Blue Moose

  4. #4
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    Default

    Surprised there wasn't more response to this. The river is floated quite a bit, as it is easily accessed and not difficult to float. People have done it in canoes, but that would be way beyond me. Inflatable canoes and kayaks would be easy though. I have some pictures from a couple trips here: http://paddling.jimstrutz.com/images...tna-index.html

    Starting out on the East Fork is probably the easiest. You put in just south of where the highway crosses it. It starts out small and blue, but progressively adds volume and silt. It alternates between several sections of canyon and wide braided river. The scenery is nice, but not spectacular. You get a couple brief views of Denali. As long as the water is not high camp sites are easy to find. If the water is high they are difficult to come by in the upper section. Also, very high water levels makes the whitewater around the railroad bridge quite nasty if you are not experienced. There can be some large rolling swells in the canyon sections, but again, only at very high levels. At normal flows (low to medium high) it's a nice easy float.

    Fishing was never good for us, but I am a poor fisherman, with a large lack of interest to deal with. Other than the clear upper section, the only fishing is done in the mouths of some side streams. I found most of the water coming in from the right side silty and the left side streams clear, so that's what I would focus on. There are some fishing guides that use the Chulitna as a fishing destination, so I know it *can* be good.

    You can exit at the bridge near Denali Princes Lodge or continue down. Getting out at Talkeetna is easy if you know the route, but it's even easier to miss the required channel changes. Stay left is about as good as I can direct you. The best take-out is below here on the Parks Highway Bridge near Sunshine. The shuttle is shorter than Talkeetna too. Camping on the Big Su is even easier than the Chulitna. Nice big gravel bars are everywhere, and firewood is plentiful.

  5. #5
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    Default

    I should add that the section from the East Fork to Denali Princes is generally done in 3 long days, including the time to travel from Anchorage and do a shuttle. Add an extra day for Talkeetna or Sunshine. But like BlueMoose, I think it is better to add a couple days in there to make life a lot nicer.

  6. #6
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    Default

    Thanks guys for the information. As a newbie to all this rafting I'm always looking forward to reading what information regarding rivers to float I can get from this forum and it's more experinced members.

    Thanks again
    Walt

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