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Thread: Klutina River Float questions

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    Default Klutina River Float questions

    Looking for information from someone who has done a float down the Klutina River. Specifically how long a float is expected to take from the first access point after you drop down off the ridge to the take out. I have run the road many times and am aware of AHTNA rules, etc, where I would launch. I have an aire leopard, 18' cataraft and am very experienced. But that said because I do know better, I would still like to know anything I can learn about river conditions, what to expect, and also the best take out point? I was wondering if river left before the first bridge or at the private campground after? Planning on a Monday trip plinking for Reds, any fishing reports welcomed as well?

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    I put in at mile 15 and took out river right past the bridge on the highway. It is a nice class II+ float with some waves

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    How is the road in to mile 15? Passable by pickup? or just 4 wheeler?

    Quote Originally Posted by mark oathout View Post
    I put in at mile 15 and took out river right past the bridge on the highway. It is a nice class II+ float with some waves

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    Sorry for my ignorance. Do you need an AHTNA permit to access the put-in or drive the road?

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    Yes you do. It will take you about 1 hour to 1.5 hours to run the lower section. Heads up on the log jams. They get more folks in trouble that the waves.

    Walt
    Gulkana Raft Rentals
    907-259-4290

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    I ran Klutina three or four times last summer and it is a fun splashy run with good fishing opportunities on the way down. An 18' Leopard will have no problem handling the water. Agree with Gulkana Raft that wood in the river will be your main concern. I forget what the float time from the mile 14 put-in to the bridge was, but its an easy day trip (I wanna say around three hours or so). We always make it an overnight trip to up the fun level. I've found the best take-out is river right as soon as you pass underneath the highway bridge. There's good vehicle access there. The road last year was in pretty darn good shape and any truck or SUV should have no trouble. You DO NOT need an Ahtna permit to drive the road, however, if you travel beyond the width of the easement (like at the put-in), then they'll say you do. I've always paid for the permit at their self-pay kiosk just to keep the peace and also because we've left vehicles at the put-in overnight that were likely parked right around the limits of the easement.

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    If you put in at mile fifteen and don't leave a vehicle you never leave the road easement or high water mark, so legally you don't have to pay. it's up to you whether it would be worth arguing, or if in principle you feel you should pay. But if you have a driver that will drop you off and meet you at the takeout, you have no worries. It's a class three at high water in my book, just based on speed, temperature, strainers, and some pretty big holes, all avoidable, but not paying attention could lead to some pretty long swims, as the raft or a gravel bar may be your only source of respite.

    Chris

  8. #8

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    I've floated from the lake down to the road as well as from 15 mile to the road. When I did it, you could almost float out faster than drive out if you just floated continuously. Either way, it's a great float with some decent rolling waves and wood along the shores to watch out for. At 15 mile put in, I never pay for the AHTNA permit because the road goes right up to the high water mark at that point. I've never been questioned, so take it for what it's worth. Have fun and good luck.

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    If you look at a state map of the road's right of way you can see that the right of way flairs wide to cover the parking area at the mile 15 put in, so you shouldn't need a permit to park there. However, I read that a few years ago some vandalism occurred to vehicles left parked there without permits. As I recall local youth were being blamed, as they figured that the vehicle owners should buy permits if parking there. I'm not sure who is in the right but I bought a permit as a cheap form of insurance.

    I also took out on river right just below the highway bridge. Easy to get to and plenty of room. I think I planned on about 3 hours for this float.

    I also drove several more miles to where the river flairs into the lake but did not find this worthwhile. The road deteriorates severely after 15 mile and all the river fun was on the lower end of the river. There are several really nice camping sites up there though.

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    I just wanted to thank everyone for the feedback and suggestions. We floated a week ago Tuesday the 23rd. The weather was hot, the river was awesome and just as described. Splashy with just the right amount of fun and easy to navigate, but you had to stay on the oars unless you really wanted to get wet. Saw some sweepers but they were easy to avoid. A beautiful float and the fishing was awesome closer to the put in, but really petered out when you got closer to the end. We put in about mile 14 where the road runs right next to the river and since I had a friend drop me off and pick me up, we never bothered with the permit. Jim is correct, about 3 hours of total river float time, maybe a little less but that probably depends on conditions as well. It was hard to hit the best fishing holes for reds when you spotted them if you were not positioned right, because the water really moves. Thanks again!

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