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Thread: Susitna/Maclaren 13B/E

  1. #1
    Member SkinnyD's Avatar
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    Default Susitna/Maclaren 13B/E

    I found a couple of old threads about floating these two - but I guess it doesn't hurt to try for new information. If one were to float down the Maclaren to the Susitna, how much trouble would it be to motor back up to the bridge on the Su? Secondarily, if one were to put in at the bridge on the Su, how far up could he motor before floating back down? I'm consulting all the satellite imagery, aerial photography, and topo maps that I have at my disposal, but I can't get much of a read on the navigability of the water. I know looks can be deceiving, but every time I've crossed the river on the Denali it has appeared to be rather navigable as far upstream and downstream as I could see.

    I should say that it has looked ok when I have crossed in the summer. It was rather frozen Saturday.

    Thanks in advance for any information you can provide. If this is a workable float, it could become a spring bear/fall moose hunt... in which case I might be asking around for a partner to go along. Anybody interested?
    Last edited by SkinnyD; 05-09-2011 at 11:10. Reason: Include subunit 13B in title
    Passing up shots on mergansers since 1992.


  2. #2

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    I don't have any personal experience with either two rivers. I did talk to a guy who motored upstream of the Su from the bridge in a flat bottom boat with a go devil motor. Not sure how far upstream but he said it was far enough to get away from most folks walking in off the road. I asked him about navigation of the Su and he said it was pretty hard going with no real definited channel to follow. Given the braided, glacial influence of that stretch I'm guessing the channel changes constantly.

    Regarding the Maclaren, seems I've heard folks say there are some pretty good rock gardens on the lower river before it dumps into the Su. But again, just trying to recall second hand info, no real experience myself. I do know folks line canoes upstream from the bridge on the Maclaren and float back down.

  3. #3
    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    Re: Maclaren
    I've not been on it during summer but I have snowmachined it from the lodge to the Su confluence. Definitely significant rock gardens on the Mac. About 3 or 4 miles worth in the lower 8 miles. Probably floatable but running back upstream would take a skinny, shallow running, lightly loaded boat.

    Going down the Mac and up the Su - Bridge to bridge is far more doable but the Su braids out quite a bit in this section and there's a lot of wood to contend with.

    The Su is supposed to be fairly easy in a shallow running jet boat down to the head of Watana Canyon (Oshetna confluence), but an airboat is a better (safer) option.

    Another possible option is running the Tyone/Su between Lake Louise and the MP 79 bridge on the Denali hwy.
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

  4. #4
    Member SkinnyD's Avatar
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    Thanks! There is no way I'll ever have time to do all the float trips I want to try, but I sure love dreaming about new places to hunt.
    Passing up shots on mergansers since 1992.


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