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Thread: Chitina River to Barnard Glacier

  1. #1

    Default Chitina River to Barnard Glacier

    Has anyone done this run? What are the conditions like? I am thinking it could provide some access to cool backpacking around the glaciers. I'm wondering what the river is like between McCarthy and Barnard Glacier. Is there a good place to launch? How rough/shallow/rocky is the river? Are there good places to pull out and tie up? I have an 18-ft jon boat with a 60 HP jet? Will is be up for the task? Any and all information/experience will be much appreciated. I am a relatively new jet boater. I've been up the Knik 4 times and up the 20 mile 6 or 7 times.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    All-I-SAW, AK.


    What I've heard from someone who's "been there, done that"...
    I've got a good friend who lives in Copper Center. He has a Sport Jon w/ 200 Merc jet in it and he's ran up there. He's a very seasoned jet boater. He taught me how to run the Klutina without issue...
    Anyways, he says it sucks!

    First trip ended up with the river dropping several feet while he was up in the mtn's. He thought he was in a good spot, good to go. When he got back, his boat was literally high and dry.. Had to come-along for 300' to find useable water. The braids and channels move a lot apparently throughout the summer months. And fluctuate accordingly..

    Second trip, he found a different parking area, a little better water. But river is really braided this trip, lots of can openers. Water dropped a lot, again. Headed home, he found himself a dandy of a rock too. Barely made it back without sinking it.
    He told me once where he launched, but I don't remember exactly. Probably where everyone launches to dipnet because he did say it was a looooong ride upriver.
    The river is silt laden and very grey, like running in chocolate milk. Hard to read.
    Knik and 20-mile are very easy comparatively.
    That's my .02..
    Best of luck...

  3. #3


    Thanks for the info swampdonkey. Anyone else have anything to contribute? Trip reports of general knowledge of the river?

  4. #4


    What about only going to Jake's bar? One google earth the river doesn't seem to braid out too bad until upstream of Jake's Bar.


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