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Thread: Good rafting trip for the family?

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    Default Good rafting trip for the family?

    I just recently got a raft and would like to take the wife and boys on a fairly calm day trip. I was a raft guide in Colorado years ago and ran the nenana last year from Healy to Nenana so am not a total novice, but want the family to feel secure and have a great time so we can do it more often. Any river suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I live in the mat-su but am willing to drive to the kenai or wherever and camp also.
    Thanks in advance.

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colorado Transplant View Post
    I just recently got a raft and would like to take the wife and boys on a fairly calm day trip. I was a raft guide in Colorado years ago and ran the nenana last year from Healy to Nenana so am not a total novice, but want the family to feel secure and have a great time so we can do it more often. Any river suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I live in the mat-su but am willing to drive to the kenai or wherever and camp also.
    Thanks in advance.
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    Mat-su preferably but if the kenai is the place I am willing to go down there also.

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    The Kenai River is a nice float. Anywhere on the Matanuska, below Lion's Head Rapids works, although it's not as picturesque. The lower half of Willow Creek, but I hear there is a log jam that might interrupt the pleasantry.

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    A great family float is the Big Su from Gold Creek to Talkeetna. Drive to Talkeetna, take the train with your gear to Gold Creek. Float back to town. A nice easy two day trip with pleny of places to camp along the way. Oops..missed the day trip part. Anyway..nice trip for an overnighter.
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    I just today did a new (for me) trip down Little Willow Creek. We put in at the Parks Highway bridge and floated down to where a slue from the Big Susitna joins. From there you just have to stay left, and row up the slow water section just past where the main part of the (big) Willow flows in. The take out is at the Willow Creek Campground day use area. It's marked with a sign on the river, so it would be hard to miss.

    All flat water, and it took less than 3 hours of actual floating. I rowed a raft, and several others paddled canoes and an IK. It's tight at the top, and I think better suited for canoes, but it's not too hard to get a raft through. Very pleasant, slow water trip.

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    Another option high on my list is to take the Glacier Discovery Train http://www.akrr.com/arrc18.html#8 from Portage to Spencer Glacier. Leave a car at the Portage train station and another at the Placer River Overflow parking lot. Ride the train through Whittier and on to the whisltle stop at Spencer Glacier. Haul the gear to the lake, paddle around with icebergs and then float the river for 10 miles or so and maybe pick up a silver salmon on the way. The train isn't cheap, but if you look at the train ride as part of the adventure, and not just transport into the back country, it becomes a bit easier to justify.

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    Default Glacier Train?

    How do you haul your gear to the lake. I thought it was about a mile away? That would be alot of work for a family man and the assciated gear?

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    Member Birdstrike's Avatar
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    That's a question I haven't solved. The outfitter that does this run has vehicles transported down there on the train that they use to haul gear and people I think. For us private boaters we're on our own. I have a folding, two wheeled kayak cart that I think will work for me. I'll just leave the raft rolled up and pile stuff on. It might take two trips, but by then maybe my wife will have pumped up the raft for me...haha. Plus we'll probably take another family to share the pack duties since we won't be bringing much gear.

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