Sprawling Wrangell-St. Elias National Park has huge mountains, North America’s largest concentration of glaciers, and thousands of rivers—but just two roads. That’s why taking to the local rivers is such an excellent way to explore the park: this operator out of McCarthy offers multi-day adventures that embrace the rugged wonders of the park, while keeping you comfortable enough so that you relax and enjoy it.
May - September
With bald eagles, bears, and gorgeous scenery, these tours out of Haines are soft adventure at their best: You don’t have to have any previous experience to enjoy these kayaking and rafting tours, but you’ll get the up-close experience of a veteran adventurer.
Experience the wilderness of the Chugach National Forest from several different perspectives. Combine a helicopter ride, alpine hike, glacial lake tour, river rafting and train ride all in 9-10 hours! It’s one big and bold Alaska tour de force with Chugach Adventures.
Taking to the rivers is such an excellent way to explore Wrangell St. Elias National park, and this operator out of McCarthy offers day trips that let you embrace the wonders of the park in a comfortable, hands-on, way. Both day trips are four hours. One allows you to paddle around a glacial lake, relax, and take in the scenery. The other takes it up a notch by floating downriver through class 2 and 3 rapids after a brief paddle around the lake.
Just outside Denali National Park, the Nenana River offers a unique rafting experience: The river is big and icy cold, with glacially fed waters. But this rafting outfitter based near the Park Entrance offers a soul-warming experience on the river, which makes an excellent counterpart to a bus tour through the national park. Choose a quick 3 hour trip on mild water or splash through some rapids. Or opt for a longer excursion ranging from 5.5 - 9.5 hours.
Experience the thrill of rushing rapids or a mild whitewater float through one of America’s great wilderness areas with rafting from Denali Park Village. Operating on two stretches of the Nenana River for nearly 30 years, this company’s guides not only know the area, but also are versed in its natural history. Their guide safety training program is among the most extensive in Alaska. Add to that a private riverside launch, a brand-new boathouse, complimentary shuttle buses, and it’s hard to find a safer, more fun river trip near the park.
Alaska River Adventures Kenai River rafting trips are some of its most popular and accessible excursions – and are a great value too. Full day trips showcase 19 miles of Alaska wild from Kenai Lake to Skilak Lake, giving plenty of time for spotting wildlife, historic spots and gorgeous views from all angles. When you have just a few hours, a scenic and serene 14-mile float of the Upper Kenai River provides a variety of sights, from historic Cooper Landing and the world famous Russian River combat fishing area, to spectacular views of the Kenai itself.
Take to the rivers of Copper Center on a mild float trip or an exciting trip filled with rapids. Choose your level of adventure. One option is a relaxing, scenic float trip through the Alaskan wilderness where you’ll look for bear, moose, and eagles. Or opt to take on Class II/III rapids with great views along the way.Your other option is a heart-pounding, 14-mile trip down Class IV whitewater. Either way, you’ll be led by experienced guides who will fill you in on the area’s history and wildlife as you cruise down the river.