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Thread: Matanuska river

  1. #1
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    Default Matanuska river

    Has anyone tried canoeing the Matanuska river between Palmer and the Glenn Highway at the flats?

  2. #2

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    No one I know has, I did see a raft in there years ago. It looks like a good place to flip a canoe and drown to me. Please find another place for canoeing.

    Life is short and their is nothing in that silt laden water worth your precious life.

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    not sure where you want to start ? but if it is Sutton an down an you know what you are doing it is a cake walk , above Sutton you got to be on top of your canoe paddling , an there a few places that you should never go in a canoe , saying that there could be a few people that have dun it,
    but not many [crazy people] [like lion's head ]

  4. #4

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    My brother went from the Palmer bridge to the flats in an aluminum row boat. Said it was mostly boring. There was one place full of sweepers, snags and deadheads that was hairy. Likely changes year to year. He hasn't done it again.
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    I floated a raft from Sutton to the bridge in palmer (old Glen or arctic) in September. It's probably doable in a canoe if you really know what you're doing. A friend floated a ducky from there to the Glen highway bridge by the hayflats. They wore drysuits expecting a boring float. They got flipped and were glad they had the suits on. He said they flipped where two big currents come together.
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    A good canoe ride would be from the Old Glenn bridge to the New Glenn bridge. I’ve done it in a raft with little kids and my grandmother and it was boring for me but fun for them. A canoe would be just about right.

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    It has been pointed out that there is / are a lot of sweepers there so if you are not well versed in how to paddle & handle a canoe, with some experience paddling be very careful it can tip a canoe very fast SID

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    When I came to Alaska back in the early 1990 I worked for the BLM on a Backcountry River Crew. I was hired because I came with lots of whitewater canoe experience mostly up in Northern Maine. I have been in lots of nasty places with an open canoe and glacial rivers are best avoided by most of the folks out there. I would agree with the statement that the lower section would be boring but along with that boring water comes lots of sweepers and snags that can kill you. Even with a high quality drysuit in slit laden water can be a killer. Sweepers can be "Keepers" in that kind of water.

    Although I have not run that section my advise would be look for another river that is less nasty on your body! Lots to choose from that offer a lot more for you. Look at the Delta River via the lower Tangle Lakes. 3 days of wonderful river and some really great fishing to

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gulkana Rafting View Post
    When I came to Alaska back in the early 1990 I worked for the BLM on a Backcountry River Crew. I was hired because I came with lots of whitewater canoe experience mostly up in Northern Maine. I have been in lots of nasty places with an open canoe and glacial rivers are best avoided by most of the folks out there. I would agree with the statement that the lower section would be boring but along with that boring water comes lots of sweepers and snags that can kill you. Even with a high quality drysuit in slit laden water can be a killer. Sweepers can be "Keepers" in that kind of water.

    Although I have not run that section my advise would be look for another river that is less nasty on your body! Lots to choose from that offer a lot more for you. Look at the Delta River via the lower Tangle Lakes. 3 days of wonderful river and some really great fishing to

    Walt
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    Walt, I am moving to the valley this summer and I will be looking at getting out on these rivers. May I ask why the silty water makes a difference? Is it because it is colder and murkier?

    I have been following this thread simply because I own a kaboat and was thinking about hitting the Su and looking for sloughs and lakes off of it. Of course I am only using google maps right now, but this thread has opened my eyes to the area a little bit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gulkana Rafting View Post
    When I came to Alaska back in the early 1990 I worked for the BLM on a Backcountry River Crew. I was hired because I came with lots of whitewater canoe experience mostly up in Northern Maine. I have been in lots of nasty places with an open canoe and glacial rivers are best avoided by most of the folks out there. I would agree with the statement that the lower section would be boring but along with that boring water comes lots of sweepers and snags that can kill you. Even with a high quality drysuit in slit laden water can be a killer. Sweepers can be "Keepers" in that kind of water.

    Although I have not run that section my advise would be look for another river that is less nasty on your body! Lots to choose from that offer a lot more for you. Look at the Delta River via the lower Tangle Lakes. 3 days of wonderful river and some really great fishing to

    Walt
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    907-259-4290
    I got my geography mixed up. I meant to say I went down the knik river. Not the Matanuska. I wouldn’t want to take a canoe down the Matanuska. Do the knik instead.

  11. #11

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    It's Ezi Slough that'll get ya.

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    Simple...I have rafted the Copper a few times with is 100% silt lade. Glacial river as the name indicates are glacial melt, thus cold!The silt is added weight to the water and have a bigger/larger/stronger effect on your craft. Think back to 9th grade science class and Newton's law of motion. Silt carries inertia and it also fills your clothing with heavy silt and literally weighs you down when you fall in that stuff. So water which weighs about 8.3 pounds per Gal. add all that silt and that Gal. of water is now closer to 9 or 10 pounds per Gal. and its dragging your arss down and its cold!

    I think you see where I am going. Also glacial rivers have LOTS of sweepers and snags! Not really worth it in a canoe most of the time.

    Walt
    Gulkana Raft Rentals

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    I've been from the Chickaloon bridge on the Glenn all the way down to the (new) Glenn bridge over the Knik a number of times. Not usually the whole distance in a single trip. Always by open canoe and usually with camping gear. I've never rafted the Mat. I'm no expert but you do need to know how to handle a canoe in swift water.

    As for the section the OP asked about - from Palmer to the new Glenn - it's been over ten years since I've done that section and it does change. When we did it, overall it was fairly easy. There was one point where the bulk of the water from the Mat had broken through the bank and was dumping into the Knik. Looking at the river flows from the highway before we launched, we surmised that something like this was happening and parked a truck at the Knik bridge. That change from one river bed to the other was the trickiest spot with several sweepers and strong swirling currents but we went through OK. I'm sure it is significantly different today.

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    I have done the Knik river in a canoe from the Palmer bridge to the bridge at the flats between the old glenn and parks. It was an easy float. I thought since the Matanuska follows a similar course it would be an easy float. Thanks for the replies.

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