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Thread: Class 1&2 near Anchorage

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    Default Class 1&2 near Anchorage

    I'm getting back into rafting and would like to get comfortable using a Pro Pioneer in some easier water. What could I float in a day that is within 2 hours drive of Anchorage?Thanks

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Eagle River from the Mile 7.2 launch down to the first bridge is a nice, mellow Class I float. There can be some skinny spots to navigate between sweepers and log jams, but overall it is a really relaxed stretch of water. Don't go past the campground/first bridge, though, as the stretch between the two bridges is considerably bigger water.

    A shorter option is to float the creek running out of Portage Lake down to the Highway. That can't take more than 30 minutes (I'm guessing), so that's a nice option if you've only got a couple of hours.

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    On the peninsula both the kenai river and trail river might fit that bill. There is a small class II wave train on trail river that would give you a little bit of fun. Kenai is big, not too many places to mess up, but some fast water and crosses that will give you some experience with those paddles.

    Willow creek up north is a little smaller but good, especially if you want to practice maneuvering and shallow water stuff in parts.

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    i've taken a canoe down the Susitna from the bridge (~M104) to a friend's place near Montana Creek. Fast, flat water. just gotta figure out getting back to the car

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    You might want to try the Knik River from the upper bridge on the old Glenn to the lower bridge on the highway. It is about 8 miles long and easy mellow float with currents about 2-2.5 mph.

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    Portage Creek, as mentioned above, is an easy one once past the rock garden at low water below the Whittier Tunnel bridge. Here's a trip report from last year. It's maybe two hours if you stretch it out. http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...=Portage+Creek

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    Thanks for the info for near trips.
    How about floating the Gulkana from Sourdough to Richardson Highway? I'm told class 2 max and 1-2 days, does that sound about right?

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    Gulkana from Sourdough to Richardson is a good float. It is a 2 day float, and expect some good fishing depending on the time of year. I floated it last year on 4th of July weekend, not many people, fishing was slow but the weather and scenery was great. Portage - It is a fairly short float. If the CFS is low expect to be picking your boat/dragging it over boulders. There is a nice rock garden at the start for about a mile. Great scenery, bears, birds and moose. Kenai is a given for an easy float but you will encounter a lot more people. Willow is a nice float but more dangerous then most people give will acknowledge. Last year there were several sweepers and strainers. I saw pieces of rafts and coolers stuck in them. It a nice float on a smaller river but still dangerous in that aspect, great to learn tight maneuvering.... If you have a canoe or pack raft try Campbell creek here in anchorage. It is actually pretty fun!

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTfisher View Post
    If you have a canoe or pack raft try Campbell creek here in anchorage. It is actually pretty fun!
    Where do you put in and take out at for Campbell Creek? Might be a fun way to get out with my wife in our packrafts at the start of the season.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    Where do you put in and take out at for Campbell Creek? Might be a fun way to get out with my wife in our packrafts at the start of the season.

    Put in off of Lake Otis and Tudor, take out at the Peanut Farm.

    Almost the same route as the old Campbell Creek Classic back in the day. Except it went past the Farm, which was poor planning IMO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    Where do you put in and take out at for Campbell Creek? Might be a fun way to get out with my wife in our packrafts at the start of the season.
    Yes you can put in off of Tudor behind the Taco Bell. If you feel even more suburban adventurous then you can hike up the Campbell Creek trail with your packraft and float all the way down to Campbell lake.... It is actually a long float. Be careful on where you take out down there, a lot of private property. I usually take out at Arctic and Dimond (behind the Mexican restaurant).

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    Lower Gulkana's a good float to do a little later in the spring because you can find good kings and rainbows up there. It is about a four hour drive from anch though. Easy to get your truck to the takeout from the guys at the lodge at sourdough.

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    Eagle River as mentioned is a nice close float. But be aware, people get rescued off that stretch every year and deaths are not uncommon. Watch out for the sweepers.



    Mike

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    Just something to consider, last fall we had unusually heavy rain fall followed by extremely high winds which made for a tremendous amount of trees being felled. It's probably no stretch to assume this summer will be an extremely bad one in terms of sweepers and log jams. Hence rivers that would typically be very safe by their rating could be extremely dangerous.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    Just something to consider, last fall we had unusually heavy rain fall followed by extremely high winds which made for a tremendous amount of trees being felled. It's probably no stretch to assume this summer will be an extremely bad one in terms of sweepers and log jams. Hence rivers that would typically be very safe by their rating could be extremely dangerous.
    not sure of the main flow eagle river but I ran south fork last year in October and you would be right. we had to get out at least 6 times for sweeper/strainer/jams........I would volunteer myself and probably round up another buddy if some people wanted to walk southfork and cut and remove said jams....pm me.

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