Results 1 to 20 of 32

Thread: Dillingham

Hybrid View

Previous Post Previous Post   Next Post Next Post
  1. #1
    New member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    5

    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.

  2. #2
    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Sterling
    Posts
    1,452

    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

  3. #3
    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Sterling
    Posts
    1,452

    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

  4. #4
    Member goaty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Delta Jct.
    Posts
    307

    Default email sent

    email sent

  5. #5
    New member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Thank you everyone for all your valued inputs.

    lar

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Juneau
    Posts
    2,133

    Default My backyard

    First, I've spent the last 6 years living and working on this system for work, fishing, hunting and general goofing off and some things need cleared up. I love this area like no other I've ever had the privilege (yes...it is a major privilege) to get to live and work in.

    It's LITTLE Togiak Lake, and yes it's amazing. Look for pike in the bays off the right as you line up the short but swift connecting river to Lake Nerka (Second Lake). I just say this so folks don't confuse it with the actual Togiak Lake which lies at the top end of the Togiak River which flows 50 miles south to the village of Togiak. (this is about 80 miles west of Dillingham and although pretty, not even remotely connected to Little Togiak Lake)

    The top Lake In the Wood system is called Kulik (also fifth lake) the fourth (Michaulk) is a small connnector between the top river (Wind) and the second (Peace). Kulik has some really nice pike in some areas and also a few stream mouths with a mix of char, grayling and rainbows. I would suggest flying up there with Rick Grant with a rented Kayak strapped to the floats....and it is only a put in and then you paddle down to Alegnagik where there is a road and he will probably pick you up. And it is nowhere near 3800 dollars for that trip. He can tell you to the penny how much it will be but I'd say with current rates you will be less than 1,000 dollars. Heck, once I'm back up there, you can pay for my gas and I'll run you up there in my jetboat....then I can mosey my way back down. (This would cost around 300 dollars). If you want to line it up the other rivers and save the airfare (not suggested) it would be lots more work and downhill is always a nicer way to run.

    There is NO refuge in that spot. There is the Togiak National Wildlife Refuge to the west (and it's huge) but it does not overlap with anywhere you would be going. Instead call the rangers at the Wood-Tikchik State Park in Dillingham (Aleknagik, the vilage at the lake) is where they actually live. Nice guys Jonny and Bill, they will give you the skinny.

    The bears there are heavily hunted, to the point that few of my bear pictures come from the Wood River system and none of my bunghole puckering stories. They usually run pretty hard and fast. Don't worry about a bear fence, but bring a gun or bear spray....kinda like wearing a seatbelt, when you need it you need it. These bears are mighty scared of humans, and if you are there during the salmon run, they could care less about you and will walk right past...they have better things to do and eat than mess with you or eat your spam.

    Yup, the fishing is great, the water is gin clear, and there is little development. THere are some squatter cabins of sorts spread around but there is also lots of good camping. (some areas have just a few really good ones depending on water level but Rick once again can show you on the map where the best ones are.) I'd suggest leaving the cabins alone as they are on private land or native allotments and while general use in an emergency situation is completely understood, it would otherwise be kinda a trespass. But, there is very little private land in general and if you cleanly camp on a beach that happens to be an allottment and you didn't see the sign...you are probably less invasive than some of the locals that go up there and will have no problems.

    The Nushagak also offers some nice floats but most of the mainstem is very wide and not as scenic. The koktuli, stuyahok, iowithla, and upper nushagak by harris creek are some good options and then either paddle all the way to Dillingham (not suggested due to 20 miles of rippin ride water) or get picked up by floatplane again. I'd suggest the Wood River system, it's the best way to really enjoy the real Alaska as Sayak stated.

    So, feel free to PM me on more for this. I posted all this to clear up some of the confounded and well meant but wrong information already posted. None of this is rocket science, bring good gear and a relaxed mind, no need to overplan. The wind can blow pretty good in spots as stated, but being prudent and waiting it out in the many protected spots will work just fine.

    Regarding food, if you have a need or preference for backpacky type foods, just mail them up there as was suggested, you can get the other basics at the stores and indeed expect to pay more....2-3 times as much. But, you can keep all the char and pike a man can eat, and even rainbows are allowable to take in some areas...just don't let the guides see you do it.

    ps, do not buy your booze there if you can help it. A case of Budweiser is more than 40 bucks. A fifth of Beam is 32 last I checked. Plus, if you are picky, selection is limited. Also, they are closed on Sunday so if that's your day to get ready, booze will not be available.

  7. #7
    Member sayak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Central peninsula, between the K-rivers
    Posts
    5,808

    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.

  8. #8
    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Sterling
    Posts
    1,452

    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

  9. #9
    New member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    5

    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.

  10. #10
    Member sayak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Central peninsula, between the K-rivers
    Posts
    5,808

    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.

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    256

    Default

    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

  12. #12
    New member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    5

    Default

    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.

  13. #13
    Member sayak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Central peninsula, between the K-rivers
    Posts
    5,808

    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.

  14. #14
    Member AlaskaHippie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Beaver Fork
    Posts
    3,853

    Default

    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."

  15. #15
    Member danattherock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    5,608

    Default

    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.

Tags for this Thread

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
  •