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Thread: First time on Upper Kenai

  1. #1

    Default First time on Upper Kenai

    My cousins and I were thinking about rafting the Kenai from Kenai Lake to Jim's Landing this weekend but I wanted to get some advice from some of you. Several people have told me it is a popular float for beginners I just bought a 15ft Riken Hypalon used raft and have taken it down the class I portion of Eagle River with no problems. I also rafted the Little Su last year in a 2 man raft. Other than that I really don't have any rafting experience. With this much experience would you recommend the Kenai as my next rafting trip. I have heard that it is all class I except for two class II rapids. Should the Kenai be my next trip or are there other rivers I should go on first. Thanks for any advice you can give me.

  2. #2

    Default great trip for you

    I bought a 10 foot one man cat and my first trip was portage creek, which was super slow but fun at points. Last weekend i floated from kenai lake to jims twice with a buddy who had a 9 foot cat. It was the first time for both of us. The only places that are difficult are the two rapids after the lake. I stayed in the center of the river on the first one and did just fine, and the second rapid you have to stay on the far right or you will get really close to and maybe hit a large rock. I slowed myself down a lot and got into the slower water on the right and did just fine. After that its a really nice fun float. I'll be doing it a lot in august and september for 'bows. PM me if you have any questions.

  3. #3
    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Default

    I run a 2 person cat there all the time. The fist set of "rapids" is just under the princess lodge. I put my boat right down the center of either channel. When the water is up the left channel is no problem neither is the left. When the water is low aka spring time the only channel available is the one on the right but it is no biggie. The next "rapids" is on the corner after you go under the highway bridge. To be safe you can hug the left side of the shore all the way around it with no issues. I like to have a little fun and stay left and run over the big white water on the left. There is 3 or 4 fun rollers that you can ail right over. After you clear them rank hard to the right to clear one big exposed rock. Other than that is is a very easy trip
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

  4. #4

    Default

    Thanks for the advice. I think I will be able to do it. Any thoughts on how crowded the river will be this weekend with the opening? Should I wait till next weekend? Thanks.

  5. #5
    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Smile crowds are good

    The upper should be pretty much empty except for the bow fishermen. It will be a joy to float it trust me. Im only hitting the russian due to my mom going home to buffalo next week and wanting reds. Usually I stay at quartz creek this weekend and float the upper only. If you float past sportmans to jims the river will be crowded from the ferry crossing for at least the first mile. Even then those boats still have to head down. The upper is a beautiful easy float and if the weather is kind you will have a great day on the water.

    I did make a mistake on the directions on one rapid. After you pass under the bridge and come to the hard right hug the right side to aviod the rapids. Slow water there way easy to hug and you can stay on the right and see the rapids and the rock i was talking about. I always hugged the right (untill 2 years ago i have only had my raft 4) untill i saw one of the tourists boats go right over the top of them with now problem. When i felt comfortable in my abilities i hit it and love it. My wife loves it in front of the raft it is like a ride at 6 flags for her
    Last edited by alaskachuck; 06-11-2008 at 18:59. Reason: more stuff
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

  6. #6
    Member Ridgerat's Avatar
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    Water was pretty high in the top of the canyon last Tuesday, but Skilak is still pretty low, so when you get close to the lake it gets really shallow. Kind of a weird combination that I don't think I've seen before.

    PS, we saw 7 black bears and 1 large brown on the river, lake and Skilak road!

    Here's a picture of my Fishcat Cougar just passing through the 1st gate in the Canyon.
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  7. #7

    Default Completed first Upper Kenai Trip

    Well we didn't go down last weekend because of the weather but thought we would chance it today (forecast was for rain) and it was perfect! Sunny all day long. No problems with the two rapid spots although we did see someone on a cataraft tip over right next to the Big Rock at Schooner Bend. They lost their oar and a lifejacket but we were able to scoot ahead and grab the oar and lifejacket for them. We were skunked fishing for reds though but it was still a great day to be out. Don't know if I am ready for the canyon yet. Any thoughts about the next river I should tackle? How about Matanuska River below Kings River to Old Glenn? I heard it is class I and II. Thanks again for all your advice. Definitely plan on hitting the Kenai again once the reds really get going.

  8. #8
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    Default

    The Matanuska below Lion's Head is all class I-II except for one class II+ spot called Nova Bend at about mile 72. That's way above Kings River. This section is no harder than Kenai River, but faster, and you can't see into the water, so rocks hide until you get used to the idea of reading the river blind.

    It's a nice float, but not as pretty as Kenai River, and the fishing is poor.

  9. #9
    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Default So Clint

    I see you quoted me but is there a point for it?????
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

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