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Thread: Choosing river

  1. #1
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    Default Choosing river

    I am from Norway and planning a monthly long canoeingtrip to Alaska in June/August next year. My plane arrives at Fairbanks and I was hoping to limit the bushplane costs. The river I am looking for is a river with some tricky parts and of corse a lot of wildlife.

    Do John River or Beaver Creek match these criterias, or are there any better alternatives?

  2. #2
    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    Default canoe rivers

    for a month long or longer trip. Wow... what an adventure....
    have you searched out and read the river reports that are here on the site
    http://outdoorsdirectory.com/areas/
    These are dated. but for the most part will be acurate for the most part..
    try to find Karen Jetmars book on Alaska rivers, as it is pretty good also...
    I myself have never been on a trip longer than 2 weeks ,, so I have no experience on a month or two of travel on one river system.. I have done parts of many rivers. and tributary rivers that ended up in larger rivers,, such as ,,,, well rivers that dump into the Yukon... but one of my choices for a long summer paddle would be to start in canada on on the Porcupine and just keep going,,, and going and going until I hit tide water....
    max
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

  3. #3

    Default Tripping sugestion

    There are other sites that have quite a bit of canoe tripping info....here are a couple: http://www.kck.org/.... /www.kayak.y...ckc/index.html

    You might consider a trip I took acouple of years ago for a month paddle.. fly into Pelly Lake in the Yukon Yerritory outside of Whitehorse and make your way into the Pelly River then paddle down to Pelly Crossing and into the Yukon River and on down to Fort Yukon or beyond depending what you wanna do...The Pelly river is very remote and when I was on it for 14 days I saw only one other boater for about an hour... That area is full of animals..you have to pull out and do some hiking into the back country...All supplies and maps are avaiable in Whitehorse...good luck
    http://www.kayak.yk.ca/html/rivers/pelly/index.html

  4. #4
    Member moose-head's Avatar
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    There is some good info about these rivers in http://www.michaelstrahan.net/ the river section gives a summary

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    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    Default books

    I think that Mike Strahans book will soon be available also.. and although it will cover hunting and rafting... I it will also cover wilderness travel and be of great detail in that requard... Mike also will help in trip planning for river adventures, and is a wealth of knowledge on many places and great river trips.. contact him at his site, or here on the forum and he can guide you also...
    Please stay in touch with us as you plan your trip and as you prepare for your expediton,, These kind of things are of great interest to many of us here on the forum and we would be proud to be a part of hearing about your plans and the trip itself..
    Max
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

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    Thanks for usefull info. I'l be back if I'm unsure about anything!

    maraust

  7. #7

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    You can also contact Larry Bartlett @ Prtistine Ventures about doing a long float trip , he has extensive knowledge of Alaskan rivers, especially northern rivers. I also recommend Karen Jettmars book as well, like AkCanoe said, it is a little dated but most of the info is still pretty relevant. Good luck on your adventure!

  8. #8
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default Noatak may be a good choice...

    I just read your post from a few weeks ago and wanted to comment that the Noatak River in NW Alaska may be of interest to you. Lots of caribou in that area. The NW Alaska caribou herd is like 500,000. I have floated two tributaries of the lower Noatak (Kelly and Kugururok Rivers) and had great trips on both. Good fishing and beautiful scenery. You would have about 300+ miles to float on the full section of the Noatak. It goes through a canyon section about 3/4 the way down and I hear that is very scenic. Lots of Inupiat (Eskimo) archealogical interest in that area. It is an easy float from what I hear with some sections of class II. There would be plenty of great off river hiking and wildlife viewing I could say with certainty. I have heard that most people float it in about 21 days. There would be a few places you could start the trip from but most people probably get a bush flight out of Bettles. That is a small community about 2 hours drive north of Fairbanks. You could fly from Anchorage to Fairbanks to Bettles. Then the bush plane would take you from Bettles to the starting point on the Noatak. You would float the Noatak all the way to the town of Kotzebue. There is mile or two paddle across an open ocean bay to reach Kotzebue. If you wanted to skip that, you could take out in the village of Noatak which is about 25 miles before you get to the town of Kotzebue. There are daily flights from the village of Noatak to the town of Kotzebue. Nice people up that way. I worked in Kotzebue for 6 months in 2004 and that is when I did my float trip on the Kelly River (trib of lower Noatak about 75 miles north of Kotzebue). You would fly from Kotzebue to Anchorage on a scheduled Alaska Air jet. There are several a day from Anchorage to Kotzebue/Nome (the same plane stops by Nome on the way down to Anchorage). We lived in Nome for a year also. The Noatak Preserve in NW Alaska is beautiful and very remote. The river is pretty large (I think the 5th biggest in the state). Easy paddling for most of the length from what I have heard. I have only paddled a mile or two on it on each of my trips. The Kelly and the Kugururok empty into the Noatak and our bush plane pick up was on the Noatak each trip. If you want more info or pictures from our trips, email me at danattherock@hotmail.com Just put Noatak in the title of the email so I will realize that it is not junk mail and accidentaly delete it. We use Ally canoes (made in Norway) for all of our trips to Alaska. They are great! Any info we could share with you on food and camp gear, let me know. We spend a good bit of time improving on that so we can keep our gear light as possible. If you are going on a 3-4 week trip, you will need to keep your food very lightweight for sure. Any info I can offer, just let me know.
    Dan
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  9. #9
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default Kobuk...

    You may want to take a look at the Kobuk River. It is pretty long if you start at Walker Lake and float all the way down. I have not floated it yet, but plan to. There are some class III or IV rapids below Walker Lake. That would take care of the "interesting sections" you want. Should be good fishing for sheefish if nothing else. The Pah River confluence is said to be a good spot for them but you would find them in many stretches of the Kobuk from what I have heard. The land is nice there with forested areas along much of the Kobuk. The Kobuk Sand Dunes are a geographic anamoly that you should read up on. Lots of places to hike off river if you had that kind of time. The later in the summer/fall you go, the more caribou you will see. I worked in Kotzebue in 2004 and remember seeing pictures someone had taken on the Kobuk in early Sept. There were more caribou than you could count. Swimming the river, on the banks, all over. You may want to read up on the Kobuk River and see what you think. The Walker Lake drop off would be easy to do from Bettles. You would have a very short flight from Fairbanks to Bettles which is just to the north. You could take out at one of the lower native villages on the Kobuk (there are 5) and take a scheduled flight (cheap) to Kotzebue. Something to chew on anyway.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by danattherock View Post
    You may want to take a look at the Kobuk River. It is pretty long if you start at Walker Lake and float all the way down. I have not floated it yet, but plan to. There are some class III or IV rapids below Walker Lake. That would take care of the "interesting sections" you want. Should be good fishing for sheefish if nothing else. The Pah River confluence is said to be a good spot for them but you would find them in many stretches of the Kobuk from what I have heard. The land is nice there with forested areas along much of the Kobuk. The Kobuk Sand Dunes are a geographic anamoly that you should read up on. Lots of places to hike off river if you had that kind of time. The later in the summer/fall you go, the more caribou you will see. I worked in Kotzebue in 2004 and remember seeing pictures someone had taken on the Kobuk in early Sept. There were more caribou than you could count. Swimming the river, on the banks, all over. You may want to read up on the Kobuk River and see what you think. The Walker Lake drop off would be easy to do from Bettles. You would have a very short flight from Fairbanks to Bettles which is just to the north. You could take out at one of the lower native villages on the Kobuk (there are 5) and take a scheduled flight (cheap) to Kotzebue. Something to chew on anyway.
    The Kobuk is one of the greatest rivers in alaska. Kind of a hidden secret still. This guy knows what he is talking about. I have floated that river 4 times and rented a boat in the village of kobuk once. The shee fishing is incredible and yes the confluence of the Pah is a great spot for shee fishing. Just look for slow deep water and they will be there. Grayling fishing is as good or better then anywhere in the state. The canyon coming out of walker lake can be hairy during high water years but it is doable, well worth the trip. We would drive to Grayling lake or Pump 5 on the hall road and have Brooks Range Avitaion take us where we need to go. Also the Reed River flows into the Kobuk, a little shorter trip but the reed is gorgoues as well. Any more info on this river let me know, I have become quite the Kobuk River Rat

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