— Copper River – Detailed Itinerary —
Most Magnificent Wilderness Rafting in Alaska!
The “Alaska Factor”
There is a reason Alaska has such a rugged allure for the lower 48 and beyond: it is still wild! This raw and untamed landscape offers our clients the opportunity to authentically pioneer new territory and have real adventures. Part of embracing the “Alaska Factor” is understanding that things may not always go as planned and expecting the unexpected. Water levels might rise, snow might fall, glaciers may shift and move – the landscape is dynamic and unpredictable is what makes Alaska, Alaska!
DAY 1 – We begin our journey near the confluence of the Chitina and Copper Rivers and the tiny town of Chitina. The joining of these two enormous, glacial rivers forms the truly impressive waterway that we will be following for the next week. We will meet at the river and you will transfer your luggage into drybags and participate in a thorough safety presentation. Soon after launching we enter Woods Canyon, where the huge river is tightly squeezed between towering cliffs. We may stop in the canyon for lunch or just to climb out on a point and watch the surging water. Tonight, like each night on this trip, we choose a camp that appeals to us, either beside a stream or on a beach or low bluff overlooking the river. Tonight, for the first time, we will be lulled to sleep by the sound of the river sliding by.
DAYS 2-4 – Each morning we will wake to a delicious breakfast and load the boats for another day on the water. We will spend anywhere from four to eight hours on the water each day, depending on water level, wind, weather and side hikes. As we move through the Chugach Mountains and watch landscape will change and we will take opportunities to get out of the boat and explore – perhaps a short hike up an old creek bed to get a higher view, or maybe we’ll push through some aders to find a old and hidden railroad tunnel! We’ll make a day of exploring the great Bremner Sand Dunes, a sight to behold as you take our shoes off and dig our toes into the sand right next to bear and moose tracks, with towering snow-capped peaks overhead!
Each day will include a break for lunch – a fresh deli spread to enjoy with spectacular mountain views. For camps, we get the luxury of choosing our own sites for the majority of the trip and have a few favorite spots to share with you!
DAY 5-7 – The river narrows again at Baird Canyon and then opens up wide and still as we approach Abercrombie Rapids. Here grizzly bears often line the banks to fish for the infamous Copper River Red Salmon that must travel through this narrow passage on their way upstream to spawn. We will ride the huge wave train into the enormous Miles Lake, where seals surround the boat in their curiosity and icebergs tower above us. The scenery here is more lush and the wildlife is different – we are definitely getting closer to the coast!
Exploring Miles Lake and the Miles Glacier, we’ll eventually take the current toward the towering face of the Child’s Glacier. These days are filled with glacier exploration, boat access providing unique hiking opportunities and close-up views of these massive rivers of ice! Weaving through icebergs during the day and listening to the crashing of calving ice at night, we’ll follow the western channels as we approach the widening river delta, catching sightings of the abundant wildlife that inhabits this prolific landscape.
DAY 8 – After a few hour of floating, we will end our river journey at “Flag Point”, where the Copper River Highway (Alaska-speak for gravel road) crosses the river. Here our van will be waiting. You will repack your personal items into your own luggage while your guides dismantle the boats other gear. We will then drive 25 miles into the small fishing town of Cordova for showers, dinner and a gradual re-entry into the civilized world.
At the end of this trip, we recommend spending the night in Cordova or even a few days to enjoying some sea kayaking, fishing, hiking and exploration of this historic and remote town. We are happy to help arrange lodging in Cordova for you and point you in the direction of excellent local outfitters.
There are no roads connecting Cordova to the rest of the state. Commercial flights are available to Anchorage, bush flights to other Alaskan towns, and the Alaska Marine Highway ferry system has sailings from Cordova to Valdez and other Alaskan towns for a marvelous alternative to flying.
“A fantastic experience — wild Alaska at its best!”
Click on the markers below to view important points along your trip. Check out that zoom feature!