Chulitna River Access points.
Where are the put ins & take out of Chulitna River?
Put in Mile 186 Parks Hwy--East Fork bridge
Take out at Talkeetna or Big Su Bridge (Mile 102 or 103 Parks)
You used to be able to take out at the Chulitna Bridge at Mile 132 but the Parkies or their concessionairs gated it. If you take out there you run the risk of a tresspassing incident/fine. You could drag/pack your stuff up the slope on the NE side of the bridge but that's a haul.
Be very carefull going through the Chu-Su confluence. Lots of trees and snags in the water--strainers, deadmen, widowmakers and shallow dead-end braids. KEEP LEFT avoid the sweepers and you'll be OK.
You can also get out at Talkeetna, but I prefer the take out at mile 102.
Erik, I was under the impression that the mile 132 take out near Denali Princess Lodge was being left open since last year. The last time I was there (2006) the gate was locked, but heard that they were leaving it open last year. Is your data more current than mine?
My take on the Chulitna is here: http://paddling.jimstrutz.com/page46.html
Probably not. In fact 06 was the last time I ran the Chulitna.
Thanks for the correction.
If mile 132 is open then that's the place to take out.
Also the Chulitna has two big braided sections. These are best run before mid-morning as the midday upriver winds can really slow your progress in addition to putting a lot of grit in the air.
This trip is best done in 3 or 4 days though it can be done in 1 long miserable day if you like to raft for reasons other than having fun.
Put in before noon at mile 186 and take your time down the east fork. Stop at all the pools and fish. Trout, Dollies, Grayling, and as that rassafrassin Tim Mowry recently told the whole world...Kings (mid to late July)
1st camp on the spit at the East Fork/West Fork confluence or push a few more miles through the palisades section and camp in the big spruces to the left just as the first braided section opens up.
2nd camp just before the river opens again above the Fountain River confluence.
Day three--be on the water early, you've got 20 miles of mostly braids.
If you make a 3rd camp any one of the midriver islands is good or the mouth of the Tokositna has nice camping.
As always, keep a clean camp and an eye peeled for bears. I've yet to see a brown in 5 floats but I've cut recent tracks everywhere I've stopped every trip. Blackbear sightings on every trip.
Please remember my info is two years old so any and all corrections are welcome
the mile 132 take out is private property and not a good option. talkeetna river guides leases the launch from the land owner and the gate is locked "most of the time". another decent option is troublesome creek. the hike from the mouth to the hwy is only .6 miles and there is plenty of parking at the hwy. hope this helps. abel6wt
Hey able6wt, how was your high water Talkeetna float? I see the river is back up again.
Yeah sorry for not posting when i got back. I sorta jumped back into work and didn't look back. The canyon was everything i thought it would be and than some. We ended up floating it a day before I thought we would because Prairie Cr. was high and dirty and the fishing was off. Truth be told, I couldn't even think about fishing with the canyon looming. Things sure happen fast in there. We tried to find the scouting trail on river right but never saw it and found ourselves looking at Entrance Exam with little to no warning. Luckily we were in our dry suits and ready for action and just dove in. I did think there was more between EE and Toilet bowl but there really isn't. The second EE was over we were in TB and it just became a read and react situation. I will say one thing - i'm really glad I did my homework before this trip. Thanks so much to those of you that put up with my constant emails and phone calls. In hindsight, going into that float blind could have been a bad scene. Anyway, all in all, I stuck my lines, made some good moves and got lucky a few times. No flips, lots of smiles and a bunch of "Woo-hoos!". The river ended up being between 11,000 and 11,500 when we ran it and it seemed perfect. Like a lot of folks told me, it's better a little high than bony, lots of big, sharp rocks. Thanks again to Jim Strutz, Brian Richardson, Matsu Expeditions and a bunch of other folks that really helped make this a fun, safe trip. I'm planning another trip for next summer and intend to make it a multi-boat trip this time. Solo was too nerve racking and kinda took some of the fun out of it. All in all, awesome, awesome, awesome. Take care all, abel6wt
The first time I floated the Chulitna I missed the takeout at Talkeetna (it can be a little confusing) and floated on down to the Susitna which was not a big deal. The Susitna take out is pretty straight-forward, and I have not had problems leaving a vehicle there in the past.
Hey, abel6wt what type of boat did you use to float the Talkeetna, who flew you in, and how much did it cost you? We are thinking about doing a trip up there in a couple weeks if I can scavenge up a few dollars. Thanks.
A friend of mine and I were in my 14' NRS Rivercat. Alaska Bush Floatplane service at mile 9-ish of the Talkeetna Spur flew us(733-1693) for $390(drop off only). Let me know if I can help with your planning. Take care, abel6wt
Thanks, I appreciate the response.