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Thread: Canoeing Noatak or Alatna

  1. #1
    Member Hans-Linus's Avatar
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    Default Canoeing Noatak or Alatna

    Hello, in a few wekks I will paddle Noatak or Alatna River, depending on water level and firsthand information from outfitter (I will rent a Alley canoe). I heard, the Alatna headwaters are difficult (no or much and fast water). We are there for hiking, fishing, wildlife. I think, I will prefer Noatak, starting from Pingo Lake. Others say, the Alatna is nicer, more animals to see, etc.
    Is there one of you, knowing both (or one) these rivers? What do you prefer?

    Thank you-
    Hans

  2. #2
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    I have used my Ally canoe on some tribs of the lower Noatak, but not done the main river. Big wide river and the scenery could be mundane at some point depending on who you ask. However, a long river and good place for an extended float trip. The Alatna I have researched and will do in mid Aug soon. Just need time off work during that time. We will start at Circle Lake and float 80 (or so) miles to Helpmejack Creek for the take out. This is all class one and plenty of water in this section. All the rapids are upriver from the Circle Lake put in. Ally canoes would be perfect for this float. At the drop off at Circle Lake, we will stash canoes and most gear, put up electric fence (4 lb UDAP kit) as bears are a problem in the past I have read. From the lake, hike up into the Arrigetch Peaks for 3-4 days, then return, put boat together and float down to Helpmejack Creek. Contact the good folks at Brooks Range Aviation in Bettles. They have a website of course and are nice folks to deal with.

    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.

  3. #3
    Member Hans-Linus's Avatar
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    Thank you Dan
    we had a good discussion about those 2 rivers. We agree: The Brooks Rang is a wonderful place to be. We will focus the headwaters (and do some hiking there), so Noatak will be the one. The Alatna from Gaedeke Lake is probably not a good idea this time of the year (not enough water. In case of heavy rain difficult with an Ally canoe).
    I wish you a fine trip to Alatna, as soon time is right.

    Counting the days.

    Hans

  4. #4
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Yeah, the upper section of the Alatna is not a place I would want to take my Ally. We will start at Circle Lake when we go and take out at Helpmejack. Have fun on the Noatak and be sure to post some pictures and a trip report here if you find time. You have a great trip ahead of you. Have fun and be safe.

    -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.

  5. #5
    Member Hans-Linus's Avatar
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    Yes, I will write a report and post some -hopefully nice- pictures.

    Be back September 10th.

    Hans

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    A solo canoe trip down the flooded Noatak in '94.

    Into The Great Empty

  7. #7
    Member Hans-Linus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danattherock View Post
    Yeah, the upper section of the Alatna is not a place I would want to take my Ally. We will start at Circle Lake when we go and take out at Helpmejack. Have fun on the Noatak and be sure to post some pictures and a trip report here if you find time. You have a great trip ahead of you. Have fun and be safe.

    -Dan
    Sorry for the delay. Here some pictures: Go to Gallery > Alaska > Arctic
    http://hansmetzler.me/

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    Very nice pictures. Thank you.

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