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

  1. #1
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    May 2011

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

    I am deciding b/n 2 rafting/canoeing 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!

  2. #2


    austinphish, you have a couple of great options. Here's my take on both areas:

    Gates of the Arctic are my ol' stampin' grounds, and i can't say enough about the beauty and scenery. The Alatna is a grand float from the highest points down to the Koyukuk. Since you're not hunting you won't be too crowded. River difficulty is rather mild Class I-II. sandbars are plentiful and camping on gravel bars with mountain backdrops will keep your mind occupied. If you want a more wild experience, you might ask your guide about the Tinyaguk vs. the Alatna. You get closer to the mountains and float through spectacular vistas. The mountains are simply unforgetable. This option would offer a more rugged access option, could combine a traverse from Anaktuvik Pass to the headwaters, which is worth every bit of sweat to get there. Grayling fishing is awesome.

    Chilikadrotna in Lake Clark region is a more whitewater experience, with some class III-IV potential. More bear viewing and lots of pretty scenery. It's a beautiful region, but different and less precipitous mountain vistas to view...albeit a gorgeous and thrilling float. Fishing is great too.

    For the money you'll spend, both options will give you plenty of memories.

    Hope this helps. have a great time either way.



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