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Thread: Chilikadrotna River - Lake Clark National Park or Alatna River Gates of the Arctic

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    Default Chilikadrotna River - Lake Clark National Park or Alatna River Gates of the Arctic

    I am deciding b/n 2 trips this summer, and would love to hear opinions on which one. My dad and I are looking for adventure, remoteness, day hiking, scenery, fishing, fun water, wildlife. You know - Alaska.

    We have narrowed it down to two options:
    1. Chilikadrotna River - Lake Clark National Park
    2. Alatna River Gates of the Arctic

    These will both be guided and i believe both on SOAR 16s.

    Any input is appreciated - Thanks!

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    The Alatna is a beautiful trip....I wouldn't do the whole lower river though, it gets pretty curvy on the flats (before it drains into the Koyukuk) you end up looking at the same real-estate for awhile....

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    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    We did the Chilikadrotna many years ago. We flew in to Twin Lakes and had an 8 day float down the Chilikodrotna in to the Mulchatna and were picked up on a riverbank. I can't remember how many river miles it was though.

    The Chilikadrotna was pretty fast and had a little bit of rough water (we were in rafts). It had cut a new channel that year which took us right into a bank to bank sweeper (12" spruce tree...) about 1' off the water which up ended one of our boats, we were able to get the 2nd one stopped in time. We lost a lot of food and gear but nothing too vital. We kept finding tin cans along the way with no label so dinners sometimes were pretty interesting combinations.

    It was a great trip! A day or two from the lakes things seemed to smooth out. The Mulchatna was quite tame and frustratingly slow in some spots. The rainbow fishing was fantastic and we floated through a couple different herds of caribou. We also saw some big bull moose and a wolverine running the bank.

    I don't have any experience with your other option, but it sounds like you won't go wrong with either choice.
    AKmud
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    Default better later

    Quote Originally Posted by AKmud View Post
    We kept finding tin cans along the way with no label so dinners sometimes were pretty interesting combinations.
    This is quite likely one of those things that is funnier later, than at the time.

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    Default Back to our regularly scheduled topic.

    I don't have any experience with the Alatna. The Chili is a great trip, and as Mud already covered, can be slightly technical on the upper stretch and a chore to stay awake for on the lower. The take out on Donkey Creek where it meets the Mulchatna is popular. Depending on the time of year and the target species of fish, pushing down to the confluence with the Koktuli or the Stoyuhuk will yield some decent to good salmon fishing, especially for Kings and Silvers, tho' that is a bit of a lengthy float. If you take the time and investigate the high water mark on gravel bars, the shed finds can be pretty nifty as well.

    Safe travels.
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ashlim27 View Post
    hello,im new member in here.
    *Hits the stopwatch*

    -CLICK-
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    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    The Chili is a good float, and as mentioned above has some places that can get a little tough on certain years.
    A friend of mine now owns Nicks old place at Maribou landing and planes can land there,, Cubs..
    I have floated to the Stoyukuk River and taken out there in a bunch of different float planes.. Beaver, a 206 and a Otter , as that is a good straight stretch of river.
    In front of the Koktuli is excellent salmon fishing for Kings, Chum, and Sockeye in July, and good for Silvers a little later..
    Also the Stoyukuk confluence is excellent... and catching Kings on the float down the river is good.. in july of course..
    I used to float the Koktuli years ago and it was a fun little short float, but had decent bows, Char and salmon,, along with lots of Pike in the Headwater slews... I have not done that fun little class one float since Peeble mine opened up and Killed all the fish from there to Dillingham......... Oh..yeah,, that has not happened yet ,, it must have been a dream..
    Anyway.. all of that area would make for a nice float, but its not nearly as people free as some of the Arctic rivers.. You will find people up and down the Mulchatna river drainage.
    Some spend the summer at cabins along the way, and there are some power boats too.
    and if memory serves me... there used to be a French Canadian guy that had a big guide camp at the Stoyukuk mulchatna confluence..
    Max
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskacanoe View Post
    if memory serves me... there used to be a French Canadian guy that had a big guide camp at the Stoyukuk mulchatna confluence..
    He's still there Max. I last ran Koktuli 2 (now almost 3 I guess) Summers back for the 4th time in as many Seasons. It's a really nice float, and tho' there are always a few old fire rings, I've never seen a soul on it until near the confluence. Tho' these days the non-stop helicopter traffic is a bit depressing.


    Been meaning to get down your way for a beer or 20. Hope all is well with you.
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
    "Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you."

  9. #9

    Default Chilikadrotna over Alatna

    In terms of water conditions, the Chilikadrotna will be more interesting. The trip you mention on the Alatna will have some super slow sections on it, going all the way to Helpmejack Lake. Could be long and boring below Takahula Lake. Good fishing on the Chilikadrotna.

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