Raft the gorgeous glacier-fed rivers and iceberg-filled lakes of the Alaskan backcountry out of McCarthy, an historic town in the heart of America’s largest national park, Wrangell-St. Elias. Going with St. Elias Alpine Guides—the park’s longest-operating rafting company—is a great way to experience the wilderness on everything from half-day outings to 15-day expeditions. No experience is required, and all food and gear are provided!

Day Trips

Raft down two Alaskan rivers and fly back to McCarthy!

Raft down two Alaskan rivers and fly back to McCarthy!

Raft & Flightsee

This truly unique adventure packs the thrilling Alaskan activities of rafting and flightseeing into one 7-hour day. You’ll set off from McCarthy in a raft and float for about 4.5 hours, hitting most of the trip’s Class II and III rapids along the shorter segment on the Kennicott River. The water slows down when you reach the Nizina River, giving you plenty of time to take in the majesty of the Nizina Canyon, with its narrow canyon walls climbing high above. Along the way, you’ll pull over and take some short strolls to look at unique natural features and to enjoy a delicious lunch.

Then it’s time to experience an Alaskan bush plane! On the short trip back to McCarthy, you’ll fly over the river you just rafted, as well as the dramatic Kennicott and Root glaciers. Look out on the people doing a glacier hike and spot the famous red buildings of Kennicott before landing at the McCarthy airstrip.

Kennicott Glacier Packrafting

Spend a relaxing half day out on Alaska’s waters sampling the sport of packrafting. You’ll paddle the rafts on the glacial lake that sits at the toe of the Kennicott Glacier, which is covered in rocky moraine. When the sun is out, you’ll be able to see the full stairway icefall, the crags of stunning Mt. Blackburn, and the Kennicott and Root glaciers. Paddle around the changing shoreline and active morain, watching as rocks crash and tumble into the water looking out for occasional icebergs, ice tunnels and other features of the ice. No packrafting experience is needed, making it a great trip for both kids and adults.

Backcountry Fly-in Packrafting

Spend a full day in dramatic fashion, flying into the Alaskan backcountry and experiencing what packrafting is all about. Once you land, you’ll hike to the lake, inflate the packrafts and paddle around the iceberg-filled Nizina Lake, or the crystal-clear waters of the Tebay chain of lakes. Then take to the skies again on your short flight back to McCarthy.

Packraft amongst mountains and icebergs!

Packraft amongst mountains and icebergs!

Multi-Day Experiences

Why stop with just one day of unforgettable Alaskan adventuring? Choose from 4 different rafting trips that range from 3 to 15 days and immerse yourself in the wilderness. Since you travel much further on a raft than you could on foot, it’s one of the best ways to see the backcountry and witness gorgeous scenery as you float through Class II and III rapids.

The shorter, 3- to 4-day trips are a terrific way to sample what camping in the wilderness is all about, while the longer trips are quintessential rafting expeditions through historic waterways. Choose from rivers like the Chitina (3 days), Nizina (5 days), Copper (8 days), and the kid-friendly Western Copper (4 days). Or book an amazing 15-day adventure, which starts at the glacially fed mouth of the Nizina River and ends at the ocean in Cordova.

About St. Elias Alpine Guides

Founded in 1978, St. Elias Alpine Guides has a long history of empowering adventurers to achieve their trip of a lifetime. Their home base is the teeny bush town of McCarthy, Alaska, located in the heart of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park (the largest national park in America). Largely untouched by human impact, this extraordinary wilderness is the perfect staging ground for glacier hiking, backpacking, rafting, skiing, or even climbing some of the tallest peaks in the country. Take advantage of SEAG’s expertise and dedicated service to customize your dream trip - perfect for families or groups with a range of interests and abilities. No matter what you choose, you’ll be sure to get a slice of the “real Alaska” and make memories to last a lifetime.

Getting There

12 Kennicott Millsite
Kennecott, AK 99588
Driving Directions

Prices & Dates

Season June 15 – Sept 1
Duration 3+ hours
Rates Raft & Flightsee // 7 hours | $395 adult, $345 ages 8-12
Kennicott Glacier Packrafting // 3-4 hours | $115 adult, $95 child ages 3–12
Nizina Glacier Fly-In Packrafting // Full Day | Total price by number of participants: 1 participant, $3050; 2 participants, $3050; 3 participants, $4170; 4 participants, $6,832; 5 participants, $8,540; 6 participants, $11,532 | Ages 3+
Tebay Fly-In Packrafting // Full Day | Total price by number of participants: 1 participant, $3,456; 2 participants, $3,456; 3 participants, $5,082; 4 participants $8,356; 5 participants $10,445; 6 participants $14,112 | Ages 3+
Multi-day // Visit website for details

St. Elias Alpine Guides Rafting & Packrafting Trips