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Thread: Floatability of small north-side Denali Highway tribs

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    Default Floatability of small north-side Denali Highway tribs

    I'm looking at possibilities for hike-in, float-out caribou hunting with a PR-49 up some creeks north of the Denali Highway where the ATVs don't go. I know any of these are more work than necessary to put a bou in the freezer, but they seem fun. Just wondering if anyone has experience with any of these:

    Here's what I've guessed from online information and maps, west to east:

    Wells Creek north of the Nenana -- Maybe big enough but steep canyon dropping toward Nenana?

    Nenana River itself above Brushkana Creek -- Anyone done this?

    Valdez Creek -- too much whitewater.

    Windy Creek -- too much whitewater, at least in lower few miles.

    Clearwater Creek -- doable.

    Little Clearwater Creek -- seems too small.

    West Fork Maclaren -- doable but with one Class III with big wavetrains that sneak up on you.

    East Fork Maclaren -- looks maybe doable at but 100 ft/mile, how are the rapids? Really curious on this one.

    Boulder Creek (7-mile lake outlet) -- looks maybe doable with a bit of dragging?

    Thanks in advance for any info on the safety/practicality of any of these.
    Jason
    http://www.troutnut.com -- Fly fishing photos & insect hatch encyclopedia.
    http://www.daltoncorridormap.com -- Exact 5-mile Haul Road corridor boundary for GPS & Google Earth

  2. #2
    Member ChugiakTinkerer's Avatar
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    At the west end you're likely to find ATVs going all the way up to the Nenana Glacier. I was looking into a fly-in and float out hunt last year and the pilot I talked to said that folks ride their wheelers all the way up. So you'll want to pick a location where you've got one or more rivers to act as a barrier. Wells Creek and all that area north of the Nenana River might be a good choice. Only question is are there people that will ride up and cross the Nenana where its shallow and come all the way down to hunt that area?

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troutnut View Post
    West Fork Maclaren -- doable but with one Class III with big wavetrains that sneak up on you.

    East Fork Maclaren -- looks maybe doable at but 100 ft/mile, how are the rapids? Really curious on this one.

    Boulder Creek (7-mile lake outlet) -- looks maybe doable with a bit of dragging?

    Thanks in advance for any info on the safety/practicality of any of these.
    I have been looking at the West fork myself, but have yet to find the time to explore. There is a yuotube video that looks like it came from this spot, but I have lost the link to it. One moose, two canoes and lots of dragging.

    Boulder creek is a series of beaver ponds for miles and miles. We used to canoe there in the 1980's, but never found a legal moose. IIRC we dragged the canoe over about 15 small dams back then. There is a mining road along the hillside that will get you to where the creek comes out of the lake. Very nice walk in after the first few alder bogs are crossed near the highway. The creek as it leaves the lake is pretty small, steep and rocky. We never took the canoe up the creek. We lined it up the main river and then dragged it across the willow flats and floated down stream. I don't think that would work now due to the brush growth. I have not been back in there since 1992 or 93.

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