Lakina River Pullout

This river originates from the Lakina Glacier and the southern flanks of Mt. Blackburn, spilling into the Chitina River several miles downstream. Pulling over to the side of the road just after the bridge at milepost 44, one can explore upstream for around a half-mile before getting boxed out by the forest and a narrowing of the river. Being relatively new mountains, there are lots of rocks to navigate when exploring off trails, so take your time.

People tend to want to know whether it's "worth it" to take short walks such as this. The most notable thing about walking upstream is the distance you can put between yourself and the road. You never know what you'll see or experience, but it will not resemble the inside of your car. If nothing else, it's a nice chance to stretch your legs and practice not being at the top of the food chain. There is private land interspersed in the area, so be respectful of the of marked land.

Rivers are also great opportunities for wildlife spotting. If you have time and the inclination, find a rock to sit on for 20–30 minutes. There's a good chance that if you don't see a bear or moose coming out of the woods you will at the very least get river-time relaxation. Lots of people have to buy a CD of nature sounds to get the soothing experience that such rivers provide.

The course of the river below the bridge alternates routes depending on how the river's feeling. It may stay close to the McCarthy side of the shore, or it may take a sharp right into the woods just after passing beneath the bridge. Can you see anywhere the river may have once run? One hint is to look for where there's little vegetation. It's most common for the river to change course during times of heavy flooding, whether due to intense rainfall or extremely hot temperatures melting the glaciers feeding the river. There are times you can cross the Lakina without getting your knees wet, and times you'd be in above your waist!

Getting There

Latitude: 61.37468646
Longitude: -143.3480644
Driving Directions