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Thread: Rafting the Middle Fork Koyukuk from Coldfoot to Bettles

  1. #1
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    Default Rafting the Middle Fork Koyukuk from Coldfoot to Bettles

    Greetings,

    Has anyone have any information about the Middle Fork Koyukuk River from Coldfoot to Bettles? Iím thinking about rafting it in June, if I cannot make it in June then first week of September.

    How long of a trip is it and how are the water conditions? Iím not an experienced rafter nor is my wife who will be accompanying me. How is the wildlife viewing in June?

    Thinking about taking the Dalton Highway Express bus to Coldfoot then raft to Bettles, take an air taxi back to Coldfoot and catch the bus back to Fairbanks.

    Has any one here done this before?

    Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Done it twice, both times in September when the water was low and slow. Nothing to it and no rapids or sweepers to speak of. June will probably be a different story. Recommend contacting Troopers out of Coldfoot for info. before going.

  3. #3
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    Default Wildlife

    Thanks, thats what I wanted to hear. Dont want my first rafting trip to be a hard one. Hows the wildlife in the area? Any chance of seeing bear, moose, carabou or wolves?

    Any one know of a bus service other than the Dalton Highway Express that goes to Coldfoot from Fairbanks? DHX stops running at the end of August.

    Thanks for all the help!

  4. #4
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    Moose are sparse but plenty of predators will be roaming around. Good chance of seeing lynx as a lot of bunnies are in the area. You'll see some serious wolf and bear tracks on the sandbars and sloughs but keep a clean camp and the bears will probably leave you alone. Better to see them from the raft drifting down the river than from your chair in camp. I keep my 12 gauge within arm's reach at all times to deal with any bad actors. I'd advise you to do the same. Good Luck.

  5. #5
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    You'll have a great trip.

    Water is good and not too demanding... there is a rafting service making a partial version of your float and air service right in Coldfoot that operate this exact flight-plan. Not sure of frequency on floaters - yet routine run out of Coldfoot in Beaver to Bettles & back.

    Arctic Grayling are plentiful and easily sight-fished...

    What time in June? June is good in terms of water levels w/ run-off.

    September - the water is very clear for sure... nicer for sight-fishing. Water trends tend to be lower, but this is not a real issue on your planned put-in & take out.

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