— Raft and Flightsee – Detailed Itinerary —

The Details

Raft Three Rivers in One Day and Fly Back!

raft with the mile high stairway icefall background

This magnificent one-day Alaska rafting adventure carries you far into the wilderness of the park. Depending on water levels, we start either on McCarthy Creek or on the Kennicott River just below the McCarthy Road footbridge. The  journey takes us the length of the Kennicott River, starting less than a mile below its glacial source, through the narrow Nizina Canyon and onto the wide open floodplain of the mighty Chitina River.

You will meet your guides at our base in McCarthy, and, after a thorough safety presentation, head downstream. From the Kennicott River you will have an unobstructed view of the mighty Stairway Icefall at the head of the Root Glacier. After only an hour, the Kennicott River triples in size as it merges with the Nizina River. Here the water becomes smoother as the floodplain widens into several channels. We will stop for lunch on a riverside beach and you will have a chance to go for a short natural history hike. Your guides will be happy to share their extensive knowledge of the local flora, fauna, geology, human history and river travel.

raft wrangell st elias national parkAfter lunch the river narrows again, this time forming tight turns where the water boils and surges as it is forced around the corners. The limestone cliffs are spectacular and we will watch for peregrine falcons that sometimes make this their home. As we emerge from the canyon the wide Chitina Valley opens before us and here we will end our journey. We will arrive in time to unload the rafts, deflate them and be ready when the bush plane lands to fly us back to McCarthy. The flight back includes a 15-minute flightsee over the Kennicott and Root Glaciers, with up-close views of Mt. Blackburn (16,390ft), the Stairway Icefall and the Erie Mine, perched on a cliff high above the ice.

river rafting picked up by bush planeWe will provide you with all specialized gear necessary for this trip, including raingear, rubber boots, wetsuits, and lifejackets. You will need to bring warm clothes (not cotton), including a warm jacket, sweater, wool socks, a sun-hat and/or warm hat, gloves, and fleece pants or long underwear. Some days are very warm but the weather can change quickly so please pack accordingly.

Please contact us with any questions or to book a trip! [email protected]

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“A fantastic experience — wild Alaska at its best!”

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