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Thread: Talkeetna Canyon anyone?

  1. #1

    Default Talkeetna Canyon anyone?

    My wife is due with our second child on Aug. 15. She has warned me that my boating/fishing card is about to be revoked, so I had better make the best of my last free weekend. Better go big, so..........
    A friend and I fly into Murder Lk. on Thursday, 7/8 and plan to be in Talkeetna by Saturday night. We are single boating it and would love a kayaker or rafter to come along, just in case. FYI, I single boated it in July of 2008 so this isn't my first taste. We're going in my 14' cat. What are you gonna take? Let me know........ Take care, abel6wt

  2. #2

    Default might be interested

    Abel,

    I may be interested with one of my buddies. I have never done the canyon but am looking to expand my skills. I have rafted numerous rivers around south central and feel my boating skills need a new challenge. We only have one man cats, they are good quality but I don't know about taking them down the canyon. Any thoughts? We would have to rent dry suits I am guessing also. Do you have any more trip logistics? We have a cabin in Talkeetna we could stay in for any odd nights.

    My buddy and I would want to do some fishing, prairie creek and the other clear water streams that flow in. Let me know as the timing of your trip looks perfect. We were thinking about floating clear or the gulkana but the challenge of the white water appeals to me. Especially being able to do it with someone who has navigated the river before.

  3. #3

    Default

    Armo,
    sent you a pm....

  4. #4
    Member Heg's Avatar
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    Default

    Congratulations on the second child! I remember three years ago when we he had our second (during the winter) and my skiing card was revoked. Have fun on the Talkeetna; I am going the following weekend with a couple kayakers. Let me know how it turns out.

    Josh

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    Default

    I would be real hesitant of using one man cats in Talkeetna canyon. There are some big holes in there unless the water is low. I very nearly flipped a 16' self bailer in one of them. The only thing that saved us at the time was the two guys on top who plopped out of the boat when we were nearly vertical.

    That said, I have done it in a 10' inflatable kayak, and only swam twice. But with an IK you can flip the boat over while in the water and do a self rescue to keep going. I would think that to be a problem with a one man cat.

  6. #6

    Default thanks Jim

    Yeah I agree,

    Especially for my first time down we are not going to use the cats. While I love the boat and feel it is very sturdy we want something with a little more punch. We are either going to rent or buy a 14' otter or other round bout SB. Thanks for your input and concern though.

    As an aside. Except prairie creek where would be the best campsites for fishing? Does disappointment or iron have any kind of substantial rainbow/dolly population? If this all goes as planned we will have an extra day or two after the canyon that we would like to set up some camps and hike up the clear streams to target resident species. Preferably we will avoid the clear and larson creek crowds.

    Matt

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    Default

    I don't fish much, but I have seen people slaying salmon at the mouth of Iron Creek. I have also seen a whole lot of kings at the start of Prairie Creek. It was quite a show. Last I heard it was closed to kings though.

  8. #8

    Default Yup

    Do not to the canyon in one man cats.

    Thats it.

  9. #9

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    yeah, ur probably right about the one mans. i've heard the first drop is a doozy. for that matter, so is the fifth(or so). good times man. take care, ks

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    Default Talkeetna

    A group of us are wanting to play on the Talkeetna, and are looking at, or around, September 20th.
    We may need a couple of rafters to oar a couple of rafts, full of gear, and folks who don't solo boat. We could take our own gear but thought a raft could make it more entertaining for us without extra weight. This led to," lets just take a bunch of everything", gear, people, whatever.
    If anyone can do this, we will pay your flight out, AND, you can see a bunch of clowns swimming down the river. A fun and friendly atmosphere is what you will find on this trip, and more than likely a few good laughs at somebody's expense.
    We are going at lower water so more folks can safely,and hopefully in one piece, pack raft, IK,and playboat through the canyon.
    BTW; anyone can go, you don't have to be our rafting servant.
    Cheap fun, PM me if anyone can do this for us.
    Thanks,
    MO

  11. #11
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    Default Talkeetna Feast

    Got a few responses, I will get back to you guys asap. I am really excited so many boaters are interested, this could be really fun.I have shared views with many of you guys, boated with some,and hopefully will get to boat with more of you guys.
    I have a great, simple video system I use and will burn everyone a dvd.

    You experienced Talkeetna rafters should suggest the put-in for the time of year it is, as well as traveling time, and expectations to reach destinations. The duration of the trip depends on you guys, I could do it in a painful day. Where are the best camping spots etc.

    If several of us do go, maybe we should pack a barbeque grill down the river, thats what I'm thinking. Real food!!!! Kayakers usually eat Mountain House and peanuts at best, now do you see why I'm excited!!!!!!!.
    We are trying to work out scheduling, as soon as I can I will let you guys know.
    Thanks,
    MO

  12. #12
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    Default

    My last trip, several years ago, started from Murder Lake. At the time the float plane to Murder from a lake in the Talkeetna area was the least expensive option. We used http://alaskafloatplane.com/. As long as Prairie Creek isn't TOO low this is a nice warm up for the canyon. Kind of small and busy for a raft, but certainly doable and downright fun in a little boat. I pushed a 16' SB down it with 4 guys and lots of gear. It's not nearly as difficult for rafts as some would have you think. Some time ago there was a Beaver on floats in Willow that would fly in hard shell kayaks for a reasonable fee. Not sure what the options are now.

    Last I heard Bucks strip, just above the canyon, was partially washed out and accessible in Super Cubs only, so the price was high. Yellow Jacket strip is another day long float up the valley, but was otherwise a nice option. It was in relative disuse for a few years, but I've heard it is active again. Any of the flight services in Talkeetna ought to know if anything better is available now.

    I'm all for long easy trips with lots of camping, but that's because I'm a whiner when it comes to long hard days. We camped at the confluence with Prairie Creek and at right at the bottom of the canyon. Both were really nice camping spots, but there were plenty of gravel bars to hang out for the night. No shortage of camping anywhere from my memories.

    In case you haven't nailed down the date, the only days I'm tied up are Sept 10-12. Otherwise I'm all in, along with a buddy in another 14' SB.

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    Default Friday 24-26th

    I hope this can work for those who wish to go. I will check on flights. Expect lower water around 5000 cfs, but this year we might have to add a zero.

  14. #14

    Default

    Let me know the details. That timing works perfectly for me.

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    Default flights

    I have talked to two Air taxi companies and got a quote of around $850.00 for a beaver, which can haul around 1300lbs. We can get 2 kayaks, a raft, and a passenger on one trip, empty 4 passengers with small packs. I am waiting on a heli-copter quote, he can haul 1500lbs or 5 passengers. We may have to buck up for a super cub for the last person or two.
    I understand the hard boats are taking up space and of course will make sure that is considered in the final bill, and if it is to much, we will take IK's and simplify the whole thing.
    Figure out what this is worth $ too you guys, and any input will hopefully save us all money.
    I talked to talkeetna air, willow, and chickaloon.

  16. #16
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    Default

    Not sure how many are planning on going, but that sounds like 5 (possibly 6) people in two trips if we assume 3 (or 4) people in a raft and 2 kayakers. So about $340 each. Considerably more than I remembered, but I knew small plane fare had definitely gone up. I'm still in, and I suspect my two friends, with or without their boat are as well.

    Three people in a 14' self bailer is easy enough. Four is tight but doable if they pack reasonably small and two are willing to paddle assist.

    I assume this is landing at Murder Lake? Where's the take off place?

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