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Thread: Floating Kenai canyons Late March

  1. #1
    Member akprideinvegas's Avatar
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    Default Floating Kenai canyons Late March

    Hello all, I was curious to see if anyone knows the ice conditions on skilak lake. I want to float the kenai from the ferry crossing at the russian down through the canyons. i have never floated it, but have fished it by hiking down to the river. That is one of the few spots i have not floated the kenai and i would like to know what the water conditions are along with ice conditions. thanks Vance

  2. #2

    Default warm now but...

    You will not want to be in the canyon in March, there will be ice and the lake will be frozen too. That is too early.

    Two weeks ago the lake was very unstable around the edges but had froze up pretty good again but now it is probably pretty sketch again, I know of a couple snowmachines that went in on the edge.
    Last edited by whitepalm; 03-05-2008 at 21:11. Reason: more info

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    Member akprideinvegas's Avatar
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    Default

    does anybody know from experience when the canyons are floatable??

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    Member akprideinvegas's Avatar
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    Im looking to float the canyons on saturday. does anyone have firsthand knowledge of skilak lake right now. is the lake still frozen? if so how much. as in is it safe to walk on. thanks vance

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    Member AK Troutbum's Avatar
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    I would highly recommend NOT floating the canyon this time of year. I suspect the lake has not iced out yet, the road to upper Skilak lake campground doesn't get maintained during the winter, so is probably impassable, and if the lake is still frozen the ice is probably starting to rot and walking on it probably not be the smartest thing to do.

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    Member AlaskaHippie's Avatar
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    Default

    I'm thinking a run down the canyon is a bad idea this early (or late depending on ones perspective) in the season. Troutbum nailed it, even IF (BIG BIG IF) Skilak is somehow miraculously navigable, Skilak road is almost guaranteed to be impassible. A safer option would be Kenai Lake to Sportmans or Jims, or just Sportsmans to Jims. The canyon isn't going anywhere, why push your luck, and risk yours or others well being before spring is even fully sprung?

    If your dead set (pun there) on running it however, I would call down to Cooper Landing and see if any of the operations there can give you a "Johnny on the spot" assessment. Mayhaps Wildmans, or Troufitters, Shrews Nest, or Hamiltons could give you some input.
    ďLife has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.Ē ― H.S.T.
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    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    Default Kenai Canyon

    AK Pride...What kind of boat are you putting into the Kenai Canyon? Or, in other words, what kind of boat are we going to recover when the ice goes out?

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    Member Trouthead's Avatar
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    Default Upper kenai

    If you just wanna be on the sticks, do the Bridge to Sportsmans or Jim's. If you wanna catch fish hang around the bridge. I floated the Bridge to Sportsmans run on 3-16, real low water I had to row to get forward progress even after the Princess "rapids". I'm not sayin the canyon will kill you this time of year, I'm not sayin it wont, I'm just sayin. Wildmans has revised their shuttle prices this year, you can call them for info 907-595-1456. If you do float the canyon, good luck and happy hiking.

  9. #9

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    Listen to whats been said, you're way ahead of the game for that section of river. I doubt that the river is even ice free before you get to the lake. Think May. Late May at that.
    Last edited by whitepalm; 03-24-2008 at 19:09. Reason: more

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    Member akprideinvegas's Avatar
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    Wow, I appreciate all the, what could I call them, ha-ha I guess death threats. joking.... but I spoke to fish and game and the lake is still frozen over as of saturday. I donít feel like carrying my raft down the beach so Iím going to give is until late aprilish. but the comment on what raft to recover was real appropriate and appreciate it. I know most of it is out of fun at least now know where not to ask a simple question that does not necessarily require a smart*** response, since Iím sure some of the responses are from people whom have no idea what the ice conditions are... Vance

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    Is the river runable from the lake to Jims landing? I have a new cateraft and am dieing to use it. I have never done the trip or ran a raft is it a safe drift? Is there a shuttle service? hows the fishing now? Thanks for any info for a newbey.

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    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Arrow Easy depends?????????

    Not trying to toot my horn but I have been on the oars of my cat for only 3 years now but with around 150 trips 100 from sportsmans and 50 from the bridge. The float changes as the season does. The first time i put my raft in the water was easter 4 years ago (this is my 4th summer on it) While I had no problems looking back on it it was a bit of a challenge. The reason was very very low water. It was hard to get the oars down to bite. Now i can do it no problem. If you have stick time on other rivers and know how to move your boat you should be able to do sportsmans to jims no problem. The upper is a bit different and very slow on the first section due to low water output. Id do the upper towards the end of the month when maybe it has a little more water but again sportsmans to jim should be no problem. Im reading you have never been on a raft or done this trip. I HIGHLY SUGGEST you run it with someone who has at this time of the year. Things can and do go wrong in a hurry. Better to be safe. June is a wild time on the water. River is running high and fast and when you learn your raft you will have a blast just running it all over and checking out and exploring the whole river. Ill be floating the 3rd weekend of april and if your interested in going then shoot me a pm. I will be in my 2 person cat with my buddy and your welcome to come along.
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by alaskachuck View Post
    Ill be floating the 3rd weekend of april and if your interested in going then shoot me a pm. I will be in my 2 person cat with my buddy and your welcome to come along.

    hmmmm...I think i picked out the raft I want to get. It's a 10 foot outcast single man with an optional standup platform(removes if you don't want it.) Hopefuly I'll have it by the middle of this month, if i do, do you think my buddy and I could tag along? It would both be our first time floating the river.

    Not trying to change the subject, sorry.

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    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Default

    griff you guys are more than welcome to come along. Ill shoot you a pm a few days before the date o set things up
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Upper Kenai float

    In case you don't know, there is a huge float scheduled for the first weekend in May, through the exact same stretch you are speaking of. You are most welcome to join in. The intent of this trip is to offer folks a chance to operate different types of boats, and to experience the canyon section on the upper river.

    We've posted the details at the top of the rafting forum; check it out! I believe we have 40 or 50 boats coming on that trip, or something outrageous like that. Should be a ton of fun! We are trying to get Tracey Harmon from Alaska Raft and Kayak to come and do a thing on repairs, and I will bring one of my boats all rigged up for float hunting.

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