In the last 20 years or so, we’ve had the opportunity to float (raft/canoe/kayak) some of the great rivers in the U.S. – the Colorado River from Lees Ferry through the Grand Canyon to Diamond Creek, Southern Oregon’s Rogue River, the lower Green River in Utah, the Middle Fork and Main Stem of the Salmon River in Idaho, and the upper Yampa River in Colorado. The one thing all these have in common is that they are in the drier regions of the western U.S. – some might call them warm “desert” rivers. Our search for a rafting trip in a different location and climate took us to an 11-day adventure on the Tatshenshini and Alsek Rivers, which are large volume, swift glacial rivers in Canada and Alaska.
They flow through Kluane National Park (Yukon Territory), Tatshenshini-Alsek Provincial Park (British Columbia), and Glacier Bay National Park (Alaska). To ensure the preservation of the entire ecosystem, both rivers are completely protected from headwater to source, creating the only large river drainage in North America that is completely safeguarded. Many consider this one of the finest wilderness river runs in North America. Our journey down these truly wild rivers presented us with uncommon environmental diversity, massively impressive scenery, and an outstanding wilderness experience. We had been told to be prepared for a wide range of weather conditions and the trip offered up sunshine, heat, fog, glacial chill, rain, and icebergs – these are definitely not “desert” or “warm” rivers!
We booked this trip through OARS (who we’ve gone on several trips with previously) but it was run by ROAM, a Canadian adventure travel company based in Nelson, British Columbia. The depth of experience, positive attitude, and professionalism of our ROAM guides (Brian, Jock, and Andrew) was impressive.
And that, along with a very congenial group of fellow rafters, made this a wonderful and unforgettable experience.
For easier access to the details of this excellent adventure, we spaced this trip out from put-in to take-out over five posts keyed to our campsites along the rivers:
- DAYS 1-2: Dalton Post to Silver Creek to Sediments Creek
- DAY 3: Sediments Creek Hike
- DAYS 4-6: Sediments Creek to Alkie Creek to Melt Creek
- DAYS 7-8: Melt Creek to Walker Glacier
- DAYS 9-11: Walker Glacier to Gateway Knob to Dry Bay