Jim, John, and I drove towards the Matanuska Glacier, on a mission, to find an alternative to fly-in transportation, for boating Gravel Creek. We hiked for 5 hours, about 4 miles on river left, and 3 miles, or so, on river right, making it around the big bend. We fell about a mile short of a section labled the gorge, which is formed from alluvial deposits and is supposed to be full of good rapids.
The creek was high, had several good class III rapids, a couple of class III+, and in between those was continuous class II water. Jim has boated the entire river, from the headwaters at the glacier, and says there are more good rapids upstream from where we succumbed to the terrain.
The scenary is fantastic; the creek is in the middle of a group of scenic and majestic mountains, which I believe are called the A-Peaks, for Awsome Peak and others, etc. If a person can cross the Mat. it is worth the effort just for the hike, if you don't mind some bushwacking.
On the way back out, toward the end of the Creek, the mountain valleys gave way to conglomerate cliffs, the Mat. came back into view, and our trip was winding down. However, along the bottom of one of those cliffs was "The Happy Ending" a rapid we named after all of us avoided capsizing in its turbulent waves, you can't miss it... literally.
Have fun, watch for bears, moose, and edible Morel mushrooms
Last edited by mark oathout; 06-20-2012 at 18:32.
Sometimes we used trails made by these guys, but... we were safe. I had the bear spray in the bottom of my backpack, under all of my gear, probably could have got it out in at least two minutes. (lol) In all honesty, I get more worried walking in sometimes than boating.
Here is a short clip of the creek. Although it lacks footage of the harder sections, it does show the water speed in a couple of the clips. And besides, what a setting.
I had this sent my way and this vid captures the entire run. This creek is the in-between a creek and river run, give it a try if you are at least a solid a class III boater.