Gulkana river report
Getting ready to set in this Saturday. Heard the rains were heavy last 2 weeks and the water is high and fast?
Is it still doable in a canoe when the water is high?
well, if you went this weekend (7/11-13) i suspect you've got an answer!
but, if not, yes the river can be canoed at high water levels if you are comfortable in Class 2 to 2+ for 8 miles in a row. and, of course, it depends on what one means by "high". the currently flow (see: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ak/nwis/uv...cd=00065,00060) is around 2100cfs which is a fun level to paddle, again with the stipulation that you have paddled a good deal of whitewater before.
i've canoed the gulkana at much much higher levels and at those extremes the 8 miles below the canyon turn into a coaster ride of 2 to 4' waves---not many rocks to be seen---just lots of waves. but, that is a rare event on the river.
finally, at high water levels, stay the heck out of the canyon. there is a final ledge there that has killed in the past. use the portage trail.
have fun! please help keep the campsites clean, try and do catch and release on the grayling and rainbows. the gulkana is a river under serious pressure.
oh...and, one more thing.....
even at low water levels the canyon is a place where one can get into serious trouble. so.....always thoroughly scout ahead before running the canyon.
relatively few canoes run the canyon. rafts commonly do, but many of them portage their gear and run the raft empty. but at high water, even rafters should take a long look at the canyon.
again, that final ledge has the potential to kill---even at low water.
Thanks Mike. All set for this Saturday! 10 people: two rafts, two kayaks and one canoe! We are respectful campers so will do our best to leave no trace.
Will release all rainbows. I never thought they were tasty anyways. Greyling are ok straight outta the water. We are hoping that reds or late kings may be available for some evening dining!