Lower Alsek River Trip – 6 days
The Lower Alsek River offers a stunning mix of big wilderness and even bigger mountains. This high volume glacial river is known as much for its towering peaks and rumbling glaciers as it is for its iconic river trips. Our trip is abbreviated this year due to international border closures but with special permission from the National Park Service we will fly by bush plane into the river flats just inside the US border in the northern corner of Glacier Bay National Park. From there we will spend the next 6 days drifting the glacial currents of the Alsek River to its terminus in the Gulf of Alaska.
Day 0 – June 11, 2021 – Arrive Haines, Alaska by mid afternoon and check into the Aspen Suites Hotel. Your trip leader will meet you at the hotel at 4:00 PM for a pre-trip orientation and to distribute dry bags and camping gear. You will have time after the meeting to make a last stop at the outdoors store or to purchase personal beverages for the trip.
Day 1 – Depart hotel at 9:00 AM to meet the bush plane for a spectacular 45 minute flight into the heart of glacier country. Weather permitting we will all be shuttled into the river by early afternoon. We will make camp at the landing area or the first suitable location.
Day 2 – We will have a short day of rafting to Walker Glacier camp. This is potentially windy zone so we will spend extra time setting up camp before heading out on foot to explore the lake shore. We may choose to layover here so we can spend a full day exploring the iceberg studded lake and towering Walker Glacier.
Day 3 – Today is all about glaciers and icebergs. After a heaping breakfast we will attempt to line a raft up the Walker Lake outwash and into the lake. From there we will row across the lake to the glacier face. Winds and currents are not always our friend but in uncertainty there is true adventure. The most ambitious of our group may attempt the steep rock approach to the glaciers surface.
Day 4 –
Getting to Haines:
Haines is accessed through Juneau Alaska. Most travelers will change airplanes in Seattle or Anchorage and arrive in Juneau several hours later. From Juneau you can take the Alaska Marine Highway ferry (4.5 hours) or fly in a single engine wheeled aircraft with Alaska Seaplanes. Each option has schedule limitations so plan ahead.
First night accommodation at the Aspen Suites. All river trip food and camping / rafting gear. Experienced wilderness river guide. Bush flight service from Dry Bay to Yakutat at trip’s end.
What’s not included:
Meals outside of river days/nights, personal beverages, guide gratuity, transportation beyond Yakutat, trip insurance.