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Thread: Paddling Denali hwy area 8/29-30?

  1. #1

    Default Paddling Denali hwy area 8/29-30?

    Anyone up for a class II-III paddle anywhere along the Denali Hwy this Friday or Saturday? I haven't been in that area at all, so I'm totally open to suggestions. This will be the maiden voyage for my packraft (so I don't want to go through anything TOO hairy). It looks like maybe a portion of the Nenana is hwy accessible and I keep hearing Tangle lakes area is good?
    Any 411 on a good , no more than 2-day paddle, would be appreciated also!

  2. #2

    Default TheKernel denali info

    I have kayaked the Brushkana on the Cantwell side as well as the rarely paddled upper Gulkana between Summit lake and Pakson lake. Both of these runs will barely hit the class lll realm, but are continuous whitewater. I would probably recommend the upper Gulkana first becuase it follows the road, and makes it nice to hike out if you decide you really do not want to be there.
    As far as stream character look at the thread (best begnner overnight )and i posted a Brushkana review. Put in for the Gulkana - you launch just 5 miles up from the Denali highway Pakson intersection. You can launch from a large parking lot a half a mile from where the stream leaves summit lake and float to the Denali highway taking out at the bridge 0.2 miles from the Pakson intersection. (Embicks guide has this one different than what i found) I would not bother with launching any farther up.Take a bike for the shuttle to save gas money or time. This stream will give you about 2 miles of class ll then you will come to a small bridge by the hatchery, shortly after this the river will pick up and become a bit more challenging and is fun. No strainers except small brush along the banks and it is shallow, so you probably won't drown.
    I would recommend boating both of these streams at a good medium to higher flows, especially the Gulkana, they are very rocky and small/ shallow. Take note that these streams at max gradient are nearly 100 ft per mile and very continuous whitewater, you will be busy. The Nenana after the Brushkana is a long trip back, again read my other write up. If you need more info PM me and i will hook you up. Be safe, have fun Mark O.

  3. #3


    Right on, thanks Marko!

  4. #4
    New member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008


    this is very good and nicely handling the report

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