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Family Friendly Float?

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  • Family Friendly Float?


    I am looking to set up a family (read kids) friendly float trip for next year and am looking for recomendations. I am floating American Creek this years on a guys trip, but the price of that is the promise to bring the family next year on a more mellow trip. Are there any laid back (class I,II) south central rivers accessible on the road system that you would recomend for such a journey? Timing is not nailed down and probably flexible. Fishing opportunities important, though not targeting anything specific. Just want to set up an adventure for wife and kids.

    Thanks for any info


  • #2
    You might want to flesh out a few more details, such as how long of a float you are looking at, the comfort levels/experience with the outdoors the kids have, and how far from the road they will be realistically comfortable with. Also, are you rowing American Creek or being guided? If guided, what is your comfort level/experience on the sticks?

    There are a few options available, The Kenai, Gulkana, Kasilof, Chulitna, etc. It all depends on what your looking for.
    “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."


    • #3
      Thanks. We are doing American unguided. We have several in our party with many years on the sticks. I am not one of them. For next years float, I'd like to keep it class II or easier. Everybody in next years group is outdoors oriented and I am thinking 4-6 nites on the river. I'd like to find somehting that was road accessible just to keep costs down if possible. Thanks for any ideas you may have.


      • #4
        Excellent Options Hippie I am with you. Hey PMO I did not get the invite for the American Float what the heck! sure you don't know me but! Logistics will lean you more towards the Kenai to keep cost under control. In my heart I feel the Gulkana from Sourdough Down to the Richardson Highway Bridge is a Great Family option and with decent timing you could fish Kings and Reds with a spot of Grayling and Trout mixed in. Not as crowded as the Kenai however not as stellar fishing either. June 15-through July 19th would be a resonable time frame for such a float couple of boulder gardens to deal with but all in all a mellow float.

        Good Luck and enjoy the fihsing on the American.

        Blue Moose


        • #5
          I don't know how long you are looking for or what you want to do, but we try to do the Little Su for silvers in August whenever we can. Can be done with canoes, my cataraft really needs a small motor to push it along. 3 days from the road to the landing with lots of time for fishing. It is the perfect family trip.


          • #6
            Upper Gulkana - Possible option and BLM does a great job maintaining this section

            Upper Gulkana River from Paxson Lake is beautiful early Spring trip, though I think the fishing is better a few weeks later. I've done this as a novice rafter with and without guides. The guides from Blue Moose Rafting came with gear, but we used our own camping gear. The guides did all the rowing:

            Logistics: the shuttle is easy, but you'll need to plan on the initial passage across Paxson Lake.
            Jim Strutz posted an excellent write-up on his website: BLM also provides an excellent brochure.

            You will want to plan for the portage around the Gulkana Canyon. A well-maintained boardwalk makes it pretty easy. Some good pics of the Canyon here:

            Family friendly float tips: Two things I've learned, perhaps worth sharing, about getting my family outdoors in Alaska:

            1). Keeping kids (and spouses) happy: sleeping warm and cozy plus a way to get warm/dry helps a lot and keeps them coming back. I plan for wet/cold weather no matter the season. In fact our coldest wettest trips have come in June and August. Our current system uses a tipi style tent with stove for kitchen/gear drying tent and separate sleep tent. Others have used different setups around Little Buddy type heaters.
            2). A friend, Jack H., used to setup a river camp each Spring, which featured a "Peepee Tipi" (or potty tent), reminding me how important the potty is to kids/spouses, especially on multiday trips. I usually pack a dedicated PT, currently a $29 dome tent I found at 6th Ave Outfitters. I put a PETT toilet in there, which gets rafters out of the rain and mosquitos while providing some privacy too for this essential function. Personally, I can tell you there's an appreciable difference afterward between the mosquito exposure with and without the PT.

            Good luck.
            No habitat, no hunter.


            • #7
              I floated the Gulkana from Paxson Lake as a kid, along with my younger sisters. I believe we did this around july. There are plenty of trout in Paxson lake and the Gulkana is full of grayling and dollies. We killed it. Though the fish were small, there was so much action that nobody cared.

              I would recommend this.


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