Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Charley River

  1. #1
    New member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    2

    Default Charley River

    I'm seeking information about the Charley River from Three Fingers airstrip down to the Yukon River. We are planning a raft trip June1-14th. The largest raft will be 14 fter. What kind of white water can I expect in the upper river, especially between three fingers and Gelvin airstrips? If we miss runoff, will there be lots of dragging over rock gardens? Any suggetions on places to camp or hike?

    With gratitude,
    Berger

  2. #2
    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Rifle River MI
    Posts
    1,835

    Default Yes and Yes

    I am sure others will chime in.

    Might want to check with 40 Mile Air in Tok. Leif flies it all the time and can more than likely tell you what the water conditions will be barring any rains that might hit.

    Rocks, Rocks and more Rocks :-)

    P.S. Have waders if your float draggin up high you will get wet in hippers.

  3. #3
    Member bigmtn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Homer
    Posts
    53

    Default Charly help

    We did the charly in Sept. There alot of great camping spots, water was low and the park guys suggested we not do it. We did some draggin the first couple days. Its not that the draggin was that hard its just alot of in and out of the raft. If your athletic its more important then strong. Overweight or slow in and out of the raft it would get old. I think the river is very vulnerable to daily changes, trees stuck in trees 10 foot above water level.
    One rainstorm could rewrite the daily plan. It is a beautiful river, great fishing(grayling). After Gelvins and the rock garden its a family float. We did it in super pumas, raft widths are the issue , rocks are close together.2rafts, 4 people, sheep camp with a cooler and 4 man tent. Keep it light if its low hang on to your ***** if its high. Rowed from Slavins to circle in9 hours into the wind FYI. PM me for more info.

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    wasilla
    Posts
    697

    Default Info wanted

    I am trying to find anyone who has done this river more than once, and at different flows, time of year, etc., but if you have done it at all please respond.
    I am interested in checking this place out, but I am not sure who to take.
    At a decent flow, what would you rate the whitewater section, and tell me something memorable about it?
    What time of year did you go?
    Embicks guide also mentions 88 miles of class II, do you agree, and is it rather continuous?
    Is the scenery really as spectacular as the guidebook suggest?
    Is the fishing really good, and what species did you catch?
    Is the take-out, at Circle, easy to find, I noticed the Yukon braids quite a bit?
    Ad any tid-bits that might help me.
    Last but not least, would you do it again?
    Thanks,
    Mark

  5. #5
    New member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    931

    Default

    The Charley River is float-able at all water levels using a 14' raft. Individuals paddling or an oars-person should be skilled enough to venture confidently in wilderness class III+ rock dodges to a potential -IV with trees in swift whitewater. Party should have a heads-up eye on conditions while on and off the river, and be reasonably physically fit.

    In spring would be the best time on water levels, caribou and wolf viewing. That said, you'll experience less of the pristine water clarity plus loose out somewhat on the fishing diversity, catch count, and size.

    In my opinion, all the best paddling, scenery, solitude, and camping are on the upper river. My guidance is to enjoy the upper reaches and plan on making this stretch of the trip a 5-8 day to the Yukon. I would not run the rest of the Yukon by a take out at the Charley/Yukon confluence.

    Bigmtn made some good points... The river corridor has several features that can abruptly change conditions and character without much advance notice. I'll add, never head off to sleep or leave an unattended boat untied - even if you have dragged the boat completely up out of the water.

  6. #6
    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Sterling
    Posts
    1,450

    Default

    when i did it in sept, it was crystal clear. when you fly over it, it looks shallow, and full of rock gardens. It is full of rock gardens for sure, but its actually deeper than what it looks from the air. It has pools and rapids, narrow boats are best.
    Scenery is just something else. It really is as beautiful as some others have stated. when I ran it we had some rain and so some of the views were shielded by the low clouds and fog , and I wanted to really see it all. If weather is good.. it is really something.
    No big killer holes, but pretty fast water at times, but most challenging is dodging boulders.
    You spend quite a bit of time scouting . so in and out ,,in and out.. drag and push, in and out. walk down and scout..
    but it is well worth it..
    We did see quite a few sheep. did not see any wolf, but saw tracks, saw bears, the brown ones, saw like 6 moose I think.
    Lots of history here with trappers and miners. there are lots of little streams that come into the main river as you go and that makes for a liitle more water in the river as you go..
    Fishing for Grayling was great. you could see them hit from 50 feet away.
    It got a little cool on us in later sept. and rained a few days. but was standard for that time of year.
    We ran into two groups on the river. one group had motor up aways, the other were floaters in rafts.
    we were in a 14 foot standard self bailer.
    a inflatable canoe or kayak would be my choice for my next time. I think I could have spent more time hunting and fishing etc. If i could have navigated the boulders with a skinny boat.
    even though it rained... the water did not get dirty or cloud up. there is little mud or sediment in the river. its mostly rocks and gravel and though we did have some water rise, it did not affect the clarity of the water.. which was nice..
    have fun
    Max
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    wasilla
    Posts
    697

    Default Take-out

    Thanks guys,
    So I assume there is a landing strip at the confluence with the Yukon?
    Also after reading the previous thoughtful posts, I think an IK is the way to go.
    Can the harder rapids, of choice, be portaged by less experienced boaters?
    Did anyone try for burbot? Can you name a side-stream, or two, that sticks out for great fishing? I am thinking the middle of August, or so, might be great for fishing.
    Who would you choose for air service?
    Pictures, you guys know I like pictures.
    Mark

  8. #8
    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Delta Junction
    Posts
    4,078

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by berger View Post
    I'm seeking information about the Charley River from Three Fingers airstrip down to the Yukon River. We are planning a raft trip June1-14th. The largest raft will be 14 fter. What kind of white water can I expect in the upper river, especially between three fingers and Gelvin airstrips? If we miss runoff, will there be lots of dragging over rock gardens? Any suggetions on places to camp or hike?

    With gratitude,
    Berger

    Might see yah out there as I go UP the river, and then back down. Look for a green canoe with a small surface drive mud motor........

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •