There are several of us that think another group float would be a good idea this year. There have been several rivers suggested, and we would like to work towards a consensus on the best choice for 2010. I'm going to limit this poll to three choices; Upper Kenai, Upper Matanuska, and Upper Nenana. If you think you will be interested in going and have a preference please vote. Also, voting for more than one option is permitted if you can't decide on just one.
Pros & cons of each river:
Kenai is 100 mile south of Anchorage, starting at Cooper Landing and ending either at Jim's Landing (1 day float) or Skilak Lake (1 or 2 day float). The water is easy for the first half, and a little more splashy (class II+ to III in my book) through the canyon just before Skilak Lake. We could camp on the beach of the lake and row or arrange a tow across the next day. Pack Rafters could hike out.
Matanuska is 100 miles northeast of Anchorage, starting at either Hicks Creek or Glacier View, and ending behind King Mountain Lodge. It's a 1 long day, or short 2 day float. It's class II+ most of the way, with perhaps a class III at Nova Bend, but there is an easy sneak route on the left. Camping is good on a choice of gravel bars, one could just boat a bit longer and finish in one day. There is an option to do the Lion's Head section above Glacier View for those wanting do do a little white water. Figure on a really rocky class III at most early season water levels.
Nenana is a bit over 200 miles North of Anchorage and starts either at the highway bridge north of Cantwell, or 20 miles above that on the Denali Highway. We would end at McKinley Village I suppose. I've never done this section, but should be a good two days between the bridge and the Village. The Denali section would add a few more hours. I believe this is all class II to II+ with a quite a few rocks to dodge. This is more wilderness like than the other options. I'm not sure if there is an early take out option, so unless we hear otherwise, figure on everyone doing a two day, one night float. There is also an option to add the whitewater section below McKinley Village for those who want to run it.
I'll start another poll for a choice of dates, but if anyone has more info on any of these sections feel free to chime in.