Need info-Lower Kenai
We need to get our new canoe out in some current!
What is the Kenai like below Bings?
Class four rapids right below Bings called Naptown Rapids. My advice is if you have to hit the current of the Kenai in a canoe avoid the rapids and launch at the Moose River and float down to Swiftwater. Fairly swift in this area, rocks are plentiful, and some power boat traffic as well.
Below swiftwater it is a easy float until you hit the tidal zone. Wind, upstream current on tides make it an area that you would need to have a plan for. Power boat activity can be heavy in this area at times as well. Skilak to Bings is a scenic and easy float. IF YOU CAN MAKE IT SAFELY FROM SKILAK LAKE LAUNCH ACROSS SKILAK TO THE ENTRANCE OF KENAI RIVER. THis is aout a 1 mile or so and the waves can come up quickly on Skilak so keep it in mind. A couple of rocks right at the entrance that are fairly hidden as they lie right beneath the surface so try to stay mid channel here.
Last edited by iceblue; 06-15-2009 at 07:09.
Reason: added sentence
Thanks for the info. We will definitely need to take the tides into account.
Originally Posted by iceblue
We were on skilak 2 weeks ago, and yes it gets windy! We put in at the lower boat launch, paddled down the shore past the river outlet for a while and then had to fight our way back with a brutal head wind! Great exercise
Originally Posted by iceblue
I have been impressed with how well the boat handles in the wind and waves, we now need to try some current. We have less than 5 weeks to get ready for the race!
Who rated Naptown Rapids as a class IV? Looked more like class II the last I looked at them.
I'd rate it II (II+), too
Having been a whitewater enthusiast for many years, I've never been all that fond of the class system. Lots of sitting around the campfire, debating what class such and such river, rapid or paddler is, only seems to work when talking to people with a similar reference frame, even then...
Originally Posted by Jim Strutz
People could read the description for the class system and make a reasonable argument that Naptowne is anywhere from II to IV.
Naptowne does cause people to swim every year and a number of people have unfortunately drowned. Over rating or under rating is a double edge sword. If you tell people its a IV to encourage extra safety, it might work for some; others will shoot it in the grumman, make it, and all the sudden they're on Sixmile, having read its all class IV too. Under rating has more obvious pitfalls.
Over the years I've run Naptowne at lots of different levels, in several different craft. It approaches III at certain levels, but IMHO (and reference) don't think it gets there. The bottom line is if you're not properly outfitted, the cold water of the Kenai is not the place to figure out if you are up to whatever class you want to call this rapid. Properly outfitted means some reasonable level of proficiency, life jacket, wet/dry suit and some form of help to pull you out at the bottom if it goes keel up.
I think anyone is taking a serious risk if you don't at least have a good life jacket on properly when you go through this rapid in any craft at any level. Even with a lifejacket, the Kenai is cold and its powerful, a combination that makes it difficult to get out of the current and to shore. More often than not, there are not people around to fish you out.
Well said. Beware is the word.
We paddled from skilak to bings today. Other than the smoky air and one annoying motorboat driver with no manners, it was a great trip.
Thanks for the info everyone!