Am thinking of taking the family (wife and 4 kids) on a couple night float trip. Was thinking of Chulitna or Nenana. Anybody have any ideas on the water conditions? How about the takeout from the Chulitna on the Parks? Can I do the Chulitna in a 16ft self bailer safely with a 4 yr old?
Multi day trips with kids
With kids everything is good, until something goes wrong. This could be foul weather, water conditions, or mishaps on the trip. I have boated my kids around Alaska since they were 4-5 years old, and the extra care when preparing for the trip is worth it.
I am not going to share war stories, but would stress that all is on your shoulders, and it is a huge responsibilty.
A river like the Chulitna can rise really fast in the hot sun, so keep this in mind, it is a big glacial fed river. You may find sweepers or strainers on the East fork, and root-ball strewn trees deposited on other parts of the Chulitna. When running a river rated over class II, my kids wear drysuits, helmets, and are familar with hazards, but I still do not take class II lightly when kids are on board.
Another shorter safer option, for your family,could be the Delta, with a short portage.
For safety purposes, especially when little ones are involved.
*Top notch gear is a must.
*Read every piece of information concerning your chosen river, guide books, etc.
*Start with small trips, then proceed with more demanding trips as your group matures on the water.
*Support from other rafts, or kayaks is not a bad idea either.
*Crying sad kids will quickly subdue the joy you are seeking, so be extra prepared.
Have done the Kenai in 2 days with this crew- thinking the upper section of the Nenana through Reindeer Hills might be a better trip. Looking to go sometime in the next several days. Thanks a lot for the advice-