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Thread: Dillingham

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    Default Dillingham

    I'm considering paddling the area north of Dillingham .... Wood River I think would be the put in.

    Wood Tikchik State Park, and then three lakes connected together.

    Alaska is a new frontier for me and I would like to try kayaking a few remote places.

    I'm curious to know what my options are along the lines of shipping my own kayak vs. renting, cabin rentals if any on the lakes, outfitters if any, detailed paddling maps, etc.

    I've looked at the aerial views and it sure look nice.

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    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    Default great idea

    You will enjoy one of Alaska's great treasures in paddling the lakes system.
    This is such a nice place.. the water is crystal clear and has good fishing and wildlife viewing oportunities.
    great camping etc..
    sometimes weather is not so great.. but plan for it and take it all in stride..
    sounds like a winner trip to me..
    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

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    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    Default Taking your yak

    you can ship your Kayak over on Alaska Air or Northern Cargo.
    you can have a taxi take you up the road to the first lake Aleknagik.
    There are some private lands all along the lakes, so it would be wise to contact the Refuge Manager in Dillingham and ask for his advice about camping spots along the way.
    You will need to have a taxi service take you to town from the airport and it would be good to spend some time visiting with the park office folks.
    you can Grocery up at two good stores in town, and buy your fuel for your stove.
    I would not bother with putting your boat in and paddling up the wood river, but starting at the lake. The river is a slow moving water in a tidal flats type area. depending on season, you may encounter pretty big fishing boats going up and down the wood..
    Myself I would avoid that part of the trip and start at the lake.
    the streams between the lakes are ok.. with a good map of the private land and refuge lands, you can safely stay from trespass problems..
    many years ago, a couple that were working in the Hospital in Dillingham took a Kayak trip up thru the lakes, and had an unfortunate experience with a local fellow that had to much to drink.
    he held them hostage with a gun... the event ended with the local fellow being shot with his own gun...
    this is a very isolated incident and many thousands of Kayakers have safely traveled these waters, including me..
    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

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    Default It is nice country

    You will have a tough go of it ascending the Agulowok and Agulapak rivers connecting those lakes though if you put in at the Wood. Especially if you catch it during high water. I'd get dropped off and start out in Mikchalk ("5th Lake") and work my way down if I was you. Lots of beautiful fjords on the lakes: Golden Horn and Silver Horn on Third Lake, Amakuk Arm on Nerka ("2nd Lake), as well as the short swift river to Little Togiak Lake.
    There are cabins here and there, but they are either private inholdings or State Park owned. There are a few lodges too. You will find plenty of great camping spots all over where people fish or hunt moose. Be sure and take fishing gear.
    Looking over those lakes again makes me realize how much I miss that country. Great, great country... the real Alaska.

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    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    Default rivers between lakes

    Sayak is right about the rivers between the lakes. You can always attempt to line up or if you are a hardy paddler, can stay close to the bank and move upstream except for a few really fast areas, but thinking about it, that is how the people that lived in that area did it,, they had to go up before they could come down,and so they made it both ways.
    I lost a prop between one of the lakes once in a Zodiak style boat trying to make my way up thru a boulder garden...
    The fishing in those rivers at the water out is sometimes ,, well Amazing..
    some of the nicest Char I ever caught were on those rivers..
    If you decide to do as Sayak suggested, don't be surprised at the cost of the airplane ride up into the lakes..
    Last time over there, I spent $3800 just getting dropped off and then picked up a week later in a Beaver on Floats..
    but,,, it was worth it..
    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

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    Default Tnx AC and Sayak

    thanks you guys. This is what I was hoping for.

    A few questions....

    To give me an idea of the size of the area would some one happen to know how far it is to portage the Agulowok and Agulapak rivers? I'm thinking a rope and walking the river bank.

    Flying in sounds perfect but ..... $$$$$!!! Maybe this first visit I'll pass on that and save it for another visit.

    I agree on the put in being at the mouth of Wood River. Once again, I need a size reference of some kind. Would anyone venture a guess on how far it is from the "put in" to the far end of Aleknagik??

    I not only have to learn how to spell these new words but I also have to learn how to pronounce them.

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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Default Twenty some miles

    Aleknagik itself is a nice lake with lots of bays and a beautiful valley at the end called Sunshine Valley. Reasonably good fishing into the 90s, when I lived there. One could explore that lake and fish it for a week in a kayak. You could line up (if the water is low) or follow the eddies to Nerka, as AKCAN said. He's right, the old time natives did it in their qayaqs with two small paddles; one on either side.

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    It's roughly 15 miles from the boat launch at Aleknagik to the Agulawok(Wok), the Wok is about 4 miles long and the Agulapak is about 2 miles long. It wouldn't be too difficult to line up them if the water levels were reasonable-if they were raging it's doable but much more difficult/risky. I wouldn't worry to much about the locals, they are typically friendly. I'd probably bring a gun-but I bring a gun everywhere anyway.

    KK

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    Ok so I finally got into my DeLorme topo program and did some measuring. 90 miles from Kulik Lake to Wood River/Aleknagik. That's a stout kayaking trip indeed.

    I've emailed Rick Grant at tikchik.airventures.com to get some ideas on cost of spotting gear, people and kayaks. Preliminary findings are showing that renting the basics is easier and about the same price as flying my own gear from PDX (Portland, OR)

    Togiak Lake looks inviting. Perhaps that will be a nice place to hang for a few days. 2500 foot peaks rising sharply from the water's edge.

    I've never owned a gun ........ uh, I have a Daisy to play with the tree rats (squirrels). I've been one hand from the nose of a bear with only noseeum netting betwixt me and her. I lit my lighter between us and she ambled off. My campmates called me LarBear after that.

    I'm having the usual hassles of trying to convince a blue eyed babe that this is a trip of a lifetime and well worth the effort it takes to experience it.

    The grocery store in Dillingham ........ I assume has backpacking style food??

    I sure do appreciate your inputs you guys.

  10. #10
    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Default I would not do that trip w/o a gun

    Quote Originally Posted by LarBear View Post
    Ok so I finally got into my DeLorme topo program and did some measuring. 90 miles from Kulik Lake to Wood River/Aleknagik. That's a stout kayaking trip indeed.

    I've emailed Rick Grant at tikchik.airventures.com to get some ideas on cost of spotting gear, people and kayaks. Preliminary findings are showing that renting the basics is easier and about the same price as flying my own gear from PDX (Portland, OR)

    Togiak Lake looks inviting. Perhaps that will be a nice place to hang for a few days. 2500 foot peaks rising sharply from the water's edge.

    I've never owned a gun ........ uh, I have a Daisy to play with the tree rats (squirrels). I've been one hand from the nose of a bear with only noseeum netting betwixt me and her. I lit my lighter between us and she ambled off. My campmates called me LarBear after that.

    I'm having the usual hassles of trying to convince a blue eyed babe that this is a trip of a lifetime and well worth the effort it takes to experience it.

    The grocery store in Dillingham ........ I assume has backpacking style food??

    I sure do appreciate your inputs you guys.
    I can't count how many times I have encountered bears in close proximity on just Aleknagik alone, not to mention the other lakes. We had a nervous mom parallel us within yards on the Wind River, another try to get into my buddy's skiff when we were hoofing after a caribou in Hard Luck Bay... and we had left our 7 and 8 year old boys in the boat! Another scratched the side of Wren's Lynx Creek cabin one night when we were trying to sleep, and a similar episode at the mouth of the Agulawok...

    These aren't bears you will scare with a lighter! I would carry a .12 gauge riot gun with slugs or 00 buckshot or a pistol in the .44 magnum range. You may never need it, but then again...

    Togiak Lake is beautiful, but much more treeless than the Wood river lakes (it also has a large fish in it that eats kayaks). Lake Nerka has many side trips which could keep a person busy for a long time. It is a very big lake and has other smaller lakes accessible if you are into bushwacking and hiking (Little Togiak, Lynx, Elva, etc.).

    It is (or was) entirely possible to spend a day on these lakes and never see another boat, so plan for an emergency.

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    Default

    man......I can't wait to call that area home in a couple yrs! you guy's stories sound amazing. I think 3,800(flight costs) was worth every penny on your trip Max. when u get up there LarBear.....be sure to take lots of pics and post em up!

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    Quote Originally Posted by LarBear View Post

    Togiak Lake looks inviting. Perhaps that will be a nice place to hang for a few days. 2500 foot peaks rising sharply from the water's edge.
    Togiak is a beautiful locale. The peaks are awesome surrounding the lake.

    The wind also SCREAMS across that lake when it is of a mind to. I've seen it go from glass-smooth to 3'-4' cresting waves closely spaced together in less time than it takes to percolate a pot of coffee...Those majestic peaks make a SHWEEEET wind tunnel.......

    But the view one will get from their tent on a nice day don't suck.....



    I've never owned a gun ........ uh, I have a Daisy to play with the tree rats (squirrels). I've been one hand from the nose of a bear with only noseeum netting betwixt me and her. I lit my lighter between us and she ambled off. My campmates called me LarBear after that.
    Cute tale. No doubt a memorable moment.

    Bring a gun.



    Odds are you won't need it.



    But if you don't have it, and DO need it....

    ....It ain't gonna end well....

    I'm having the usual hassles of trying to convince a blue eyed babe that this is a trip of a lifetime and well worth the effort it takes to experience it.
    Some are born for it....Some learn to love it....Some will tolerate it....

    ...Others will forever think "roughing it" involves Room Service....Good luck!

    The grocery store in Dillingham ........ I assume has backpacking style food??
    If your definition of that is "A smattering of Mt. House, canned goods, and misc dry goods"....Yes, they do. Plan to spend 3-5 times more than what you are accustomed to for any of it.....



    It's a jaw-dropping swath of country you're looking at. It is certainly something that never grows old, and never leaves your memories. Just approach it with enthusiasm tempered with caution and proper planning and you should have a trip worthy of passing on to your kids and grandkids one day.....
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
    "Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you."

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    Quote Originally Posted by LarBear View Post
    The grocery store in Dillingham ........ I assume has backpacking style food??
    Forget that idea. Buy your food on the Mountain House website and have them ship it to Rick Grant. He is a great pilot, used him in 2007 myself. He has no problem with you shipping a box up to him and keeping it for you in his garage/workshop. Get some bear spray. A recent issue of Fish Alaska magazine had a feature article on Wood-Tikchik park. Go to the Fish Alaska magazine website and review back issues and find it. Buy it perhaps.





    Quote Originally Posted by LarBear View Post
    I lit my lighter between us and she ambled off. My campmates called me LarBear after that..

    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaHippie View Post
    Cute tale. No doubt a memorable moment.



    Thanks Hippie, I needed that.


    I would hate for the new nickname to be "Lar-snack"



    Quote Originally Posted by LarBear View Post
    I've never owned a gun.

    Personally, I like guns, but I would take bear spray if I were you....






    SW Alaska is beautiful. If the chic is not on board, leave her in front of the idiot box and do it alone.












    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    Quote Originally Posted by danattherock View Post

    Thanks Hippie, I needed that.
    Glad to see you've adopted reading my posts for your daily chuckle. It gives me a Warm Fuzzy.....Or maybe that's early onset incontinence....Either way, it's warm....




    Personally, I like guns, but I would take bear spray if I were you....
    I get your drift on recommending the bear spray. If one isn't comfortable, and by extension competent, in toting a boomstick then there is the factor that they become more of a liability....

    That said.....

    LarBear....If you have access to a good fire arms instructor it would behoove you to take some firearms classes. Bear spray has it's place (In my mind the dumpster, but thats for another thread), but when you are remote there are other variables to consider. I for one would prefer to trust my life to a solid projectile that is sent at it's intended target via a loud ear splitting combustible reaction...As opposed to a can of aerosol that when dispensed is drowned out by the sound of my bunkie voiding their bladder as they realize the wind is in our faces and we have just spiced ourselves up for the bears snack.....
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
    "Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you."

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    I agree on guns, I offer no arguement.

    But for Larbear, who once fought a bear with a roach in one hand, never has owned a gun, and publicly admits to having a Red Ryder???




    Why don't you just tell him to take some cinder blocks and rope. He can tie them to his feet and just dive over the edge of the kayak. If he is going to kill himself, should just get it done quickly. No need in slowly bleeding out.


    Didn't you see the movie??


    "You will shoot your eye out"...



    Larbear, I am funnin you man



    Seriously, take the cinder blocks and leave the gun at home....


    Oh, and rent or buy an electric fence. UDAP has a 4 lb kit. Got one myself. Sets up easy and very light to carry.


    http://www.udap.com/BearShockFences.htm







    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    **Slides his Red Ryder out of sight**

    Errrr......

    Okie dokie...

    LarBear, just buy the biggest lighter you feel confident with.....

    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
    "Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you."

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaHippie View Post

    It gives me a Warm Fuzzy


    I got your warm and fuzzy...




























    love the BIG ZIPPO... pretty impressive Mike

    If we can get a custom made holster for that thing, I think Larbear may have a way to take his trip and live through it


    -Dan
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    Quote Originally Posted by danattherock View Post
    love the BIG ZIPPO... pretty impressive Mike
    Shoot, if you think the lighter is impressive, you should see the cigar we lit with it.....
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
    "Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you."

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    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    I like this bunch. BTW, it's a Radio Flyer not a Red Ryder, and I keep a pic of my MOMMA on the deck of my kayak.

    Those look like Brown Bears to me. I was up against a Black Bear in the Quetico Wilderness (just north of Minnesota). We all eventually got out of our tents, and learned that making noise was not going to deter her. I stood out in front of the crowd, waited for her to fill her mouth with cake mix, and then I charged her, the group close behind me. As she took off into the brush, we cut the rope on the Sierra Bag she just cut a hole through the bottom of, that used to be hanging from a tree, and I ran it down to a canoe. I then started barking orders and told everyone we were going to run Bear Patrol all night taking turns in two hour shifts. Dad and I took the first shift and stayed close to the canoe ready to launch in case she came back. We never saw her again. The rest of the trip was uneventful along those lines.

    Electric fence, guns, huge lighters, canon toting squirrels, bear snacks, yeah!! Let's go camping!!

    Is that Cheech or is that Chong??

    Thanks for the reminder on the prices of things. After being away from the adventure for as many years, I forget the little details, hence the value of this forum.

    Anyone have any input on the Nushagak River?? Those look like indian villages.

    all these new words I've never heard of. How's about Bushchik, or Noogiegrip, ...... ya know, words that make sense.

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