Interested in joining us for a day on two Alaskan Rivers in the heart of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park? Here’s what you can expect when you join us for our Raft & Flightsee!
You’ll begin your day by meeting your guides and the rest of your group at our base in McCarthy. Your guides will start by sizing you for a neoprene top (to keep you warm against the cold water), rain boots, splash gear, and a PFD (personal flotation device). From there, they’ll check to make sure that you have all the essential personal gear you’ll need for the day – please reference our Equipment List for more specifics.
From McCarthy, you’ll load up into one of our 15 passenger vans for a quick 10-minute drive to the Kennicott River where your guides will have the boats all set to go for your day on the water! Safety is always our top priority – so before you load into the boats, your guide will give you a thorough safety talk and discuss proper communication. It’s important to note that anytime you join a river trip, there is a chance that you could swim. The goal of our safety briefing is to prepare you in the unlikely event that occurs.
After your safety orientation, you’ll load into the boats and put onto the Kennicott River just a half-mile downstream from the terminus of the Kennicott Glacier! You’ll float down all 5 miles of the Kennicott River before it triples in size and merges into the mighty Nizina River. Here, the water becomes smoother as the floodplain widens into several channels. We will stop for lunch on a riverside beach. While your guides prepare your delicious lunch spread, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the riverbar and look for unique rocks as you go.
Once you wrap up lunch and put back on the water, you’ll have a short distance to go before the river is forced to narrow by the limestone cliffs of the Nizina Canyon. The cliffs can be home to both cliff swallows and peregrine falcons – so be sure to keep an eye out! The tight turns of the canyon force the water to surge and boil around corners making for fun and technical rapids. Enjoy the ride as your guide expertly navigates the rapids of this ever changing river! As we emerge from the canyon, you’ll end your journey just before the Nizina River meets the Chitina River. At this take out there is no vehicle access. Your guides will bring in the boats and start packing up just as your ride arrives – a quintessential Alaskan bush plane! You’ll want to say good-bye to your guides before you board the plane, as they typically take the last flight out.
The flight back will last for about 15 minutes and will take you back over the incredible glacial rivers you just navigated and include a short loop over the Root Glacier before swinging back towards the town of McCarthy. Once you’re back at the airstrip, your shuttle ride will be waiting to take you back to your lodging where you can get cleaned up before heading to dinner.
Ready to book this excursion? Go to our Raft & Flightsee trip page!