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Thread: Trail Creek - Kenai

  1. #1

    Default Trail Creek - Kenai

    Hello All,

    I was curious if anyone has floated the Trail Creek that eventually becomes Trail Lake by Moose Pass. I was just looking at topos and noticed it was named, so got curious.

    Any information would be appreciated!

    Thank you

  2. #2
    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    I don't know how you plan on getting to a place to start your float? The only access to the head waters of Trail Ck. is by walking up the railroad tracks, unless you have a supercub or something and can land somewhere up by Grandview. Meaning, Trail Ck. flows DOWN from Trail glacier at Grandview until it reaches Trail Lake....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Member Birdstrike's Avatar
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    Somewhere on here is an old post from a group that did as described above. The big issue was trying to convince the AKRR to stop where they wanted to be dropped off. Someone at the RR office led them to believe that it was possible. In the end it was a huge hassle if I remeber correctly. That train is not a Flag Stop train like the one out of Talkeetna. Itís a Whistle Stop train and only stops at Spencer Glacier and Grandview. Good luck trying to get them to stop closer to a put-in. I also read a post where someone packrafted out Trail Lake from the Johnson Pass Trail. In the end they concluded it wouldíve been faster and easier to just keep hiking.

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    I have spent a fair bit of time up there in canoe, jet boat and rafts.If you are able to get a drop (train or plane), Make sure you portage the first two trestles. They have a rear quartering cross current into pillars, not safe. I know the Trail river has eaten quite a few jet boats, I have two friends that flipped their jet boats. I have also seen another that was destroyed and abandoned. I wrote off that river with my current boat. Did have a lot of fun and adventures up there though.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Track1202 View Post
    Hello All,

    I was curious if anyone has floated the Trail Creek that eventually becomes Trail Lake by Moose Pass. I was just looking at topos and noticed it was named, so got curious.

    Any information would be appreciated!

    Thank you
    I've floated down in a packraft. Take Train get off at grandview.
    Walk down tracks (illegally mind you) or bushwack to river.

    Float down. Easy float. Cold, not that exciting. Later in year it's pretty slow and low. Paddling Trail lake sucks if it's windy.


    I also know a couple dudes who did it as a means of getting off Trail glacier.
    Also some trips reports out there from guys who went over the pass by Bench peak and then down.

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by icb12 View Post
    I've floated down in a packraft. Take Train get off at grandview. .
    Since when does the train give you a ride and let you off at Grandview, or anywhere else for that matter?
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    Since when does the train give you a ride and let you off at Grandview, or anywhere else for that matter?
    Grandview and Spencer Glacier both have fancy little tourist booths that are "whistle stops" during the summer months.

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    Member Birdstrike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    Since when does the train give you a ride and let you off at Grandview, or anywhere else for that matter?
    Riding the RR into Spencer Glacier and floating out the Placer has become very popular for rafts, packraft, and IKs. You must have some type of wheeled cart though if you have gear that will not fit in a backpack. Itís about 1.5 miles from the whistle stop to the lake put-in. Then itís about a 3 hour float to the Seward Hwy.
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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Well, that's great that they are allowing people to do this now. I see theultrarider said only during the summer though, so I take it you couldn't do it like now, in the spring for a blackie, or late fall for a goat up there?
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Member Birdstrike's Avatar
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    AKRR schedule dependent unfortunately. This year May 26 - Sept 17. Tickets are a little pricey ($81 2018) or a short train ride in but itís the only option. Sometimes there are discounts for AK residents. There are no one way fares.

    Too bad they donít make a stop closer to a boater put-in for Trail Creek. That would generate some additional revenue.

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    Member theultrarider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Birdstrike View Post
    Riding the RR into Spencer Glacier and floating out the Placer has become very popular for rafts, packraft, and IKs. You must have some type of wheeled cart though if you have gear that will not fit in a backpack. Itís about 1.5 miles from the whistle stop to the lake put-in. Then itís about a 3 hour float to the Seward Hwy.
    How about hardside Kayaks? I have no idea what kind of railcars they are using? Either would be a fun float with the yaks,

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    Quote Originally Posted by theultrarider View Post
    How about hardside Kayaks? I have no idea what kind of railcars they are using? Either would be a fun float with the yaks,
    I think the AKRR rules online say no hard kayaks but I saw one in the boxcar last trip. It may have belonged to an off duty guide from the commercial raft company though. They seem to get special treatment.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    Since when does the train give you a ride and let you off at Grandview, or anywhere else for that matter?
    Since Summer of 2009 I believe. Maybe it was 2010.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Birdstrike View Post
    Riding the RR into Spencer Glacier and floating out the Placer has become very popular for rafts, packraft, and IKs. You must have some type of wheeled cart though if you have gear that will not fit in a backpack. Itís about 1.5 miles from the whistle stop to the lake put-in. Then itís about a 3 hour float to the Seward Hwy.

    I've seen a few pictures that made it look like a launch right off the bank, next to the tracks was possible. I've also seen pictures that showed a ramp that the guides were using. Are either of these options or is the lake put in the only viable launch?

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    Member Birdstrike's Avatar
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    The train stops briefly on the way in, halfway down the Placer, so the outfitter can pick up their rafts from the previous float. Tourists only float halfway and then reboard the train. The train continues to the whistle stop where they offload their boats onto a trailer and their custys into a bus where they drive to the lake. The private boater has two choices. Hike your gear halfway to the lake and launch directly into the river but miss the fun of floating with the icebergs. Or, haul your gear all the way to the lake and float around the bergs or row to the glacier before floating out the river. The key is to have some type of wheeled cart if your gear wonít fit in a backpack.

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