suggestions for a 3-4 day family float
I am trying to organize a float for family members coming in from out of town that would offer great views, some hiking and to keep the budget down would involve a car shuttle. Suggestions would be much appreciated. Thanks
Chitina River from McCarthy to Chitina.
Copper River from Chitina to Cordova.
Gulkana River from Paxon Lake to Sourdough, or from Sourdough to the highway bridge.
Little Nelchina River and Tazlina River from Glenn Highway to Copper Center.
Chulitna River from Broad Pass to Talkeetna, or...
All are directly highway accessible except for the ferry required from Cordova.
All can be done in 4 days or less, but some would make nicer 5 day trips.
More info on my web page: http://paddling.jimstrutz.com/page2.html
Gulkana is a five day clear water 99% flat water float with fishing, road put-in and take-out. Fun, safe. It will not be a lonely float with several groups on the river all summer long.
But to asssit you more we need a little profile of your experiences and abilities......dennis
It would be good to get some perspectives like:
a.) What kind of boat or boats do you plan on using (your own or renting)
b.) Paddling and/or rowing experiences --- class of rivers, maybe add some rivers you've done in your comfort range, and what boats you used in the past for multi-day with how many plus gear aboard.
Keep in perspective that car/truck shuttles based on longer distances, more time-line, toss it in organization, driver stress (even security issues while it's parked more remote), including gas and munchies expenditures (as well as potentially unfortunate delays and roadside problems) can all add up to more than most think. I would not overlook a fly-out to some good family fun under the $1500 range.
I know your low and hanging in Anchorage so logistics can be a hassle to enjoy the Fairbanks area but there are a couple of rivers around the Golden Heart City that do offer reasonable rafting/canoeing/kayaking for family trips. The Chena has an established system of put in and take out points and it can be turned into a nice trip with some hiking above tree line. Not the greatest of views for the most part but a nice combo trip with some fishing and hiking and if you go to the Flood control Project not a lot of people on day three and four.
The Chatinika River also offers something similar. Great Family trips very little techinca rafting involved with the exception of some sweepers and a log jam now and again.
The Upper Tanana has a lot to offer however again because of distance and the lack of shuttles is more than likely not in your game plan but what a wonderful river to float with views/hiking and little to know company.
Thank you all for the feed back.
a/ We have an NRS 14 " cataraft
b/ So far our experiece has been on the Chulitna, Kenai, Talkeetna, Susitna. Class I -III so far perhaps the odd IV. 4-5 day trips. We are looking for the same length of trip but with some hiking as an option for a rest day. Our two small kids (1 and 4) do better with less time on the raft and fewer days in a row on a raft.
Good thoughts on the fly in opition. I was hoping to steer away from the fly in expence to reduce costs although you are right about the cost and time involved in shuttles
Do you have any experience on the Koyukuk ... that is a fly in option for us but I am not sure about the hiking options around there. I was also wondering if anyone has experience on the Delta.
Ive never personally floated the Koyukuk, but the parts of the forks you see from the Dalton Hwy sure are beautiful, I hope someday to get to float that river. I know a guy that floated it from Mt. Snowden on the Dalton all the way to Bettles in an aluminum canoe. I should have done it with him but didnt have the time.
A bunch of us, including a 3 month-old, from Fairbanks floated the Koyukuk from Coldfoot to the village of Hughes last July. The first leg to Bettles would be a perfect 3-4 day float for you. Gravel bars, scenic, some decent hiking around old gold camps, and no rapids. The water level was perfect when we did it but was told that it is often braided and shallow at that time of the year. If you leave your vehicles at Coldfoot I would venture to guess one of the air carriers, like Wright Air, could pick you up in Bettles and drop you in Coldfoot on one of their regular scheduled flights.
Rafting the Wrangells
tons of rivers to raft out here in the Wrangell mountains. lots are fly in, but the stretch from McCarthy to Chitina on the Kennicott, Nizina, and Chitina is a pretty low cost trip that is well worth it, i have mostly done this trip in 4 days. The copper is another awesome trip but i would do 5 days minimum from Chitina to Cordova just to be ready for any serious wind or weather that the Copper River is famous for. One other option is the Tana, it is a fly in from McCarthy, about a 20 minute flight and can be floated out in 4 days, fly in to the headwaters and float to Chitina for take out. It offers some big Grand Canyon style whitewater then mellows out once it flows into the Chitina for 2 days of fairly flat fast moving water.
Last edited by Michael Strahan; 04-19-2011 at 16:27.