Chitina River Points
This is the furthest up the valley you can get. It is not far from the terminus of the Chitina Glacier and there are some great hikes to do in this region. You will need 7 to 8 days to fully enjoy this trip. One disadvantage to this starting point is that the strip is a long ways from the river and a portage of up to 2 miles is needed to get all the gear next to the river. Maybe the river channel near the strip will have water but lately it… ...more
A more commonly used strip is at Jake’s Bar located just below the confluence with the Tana River on the right side of the river valley. From here the river is much less inclement with not as much blowing silt and easier braids to read as you float along. It is about 60 miles to the confluence with the Copper River and could be done in as little as 3 days.
Here you could rig your rafts and travel the very swift, rocky and splashy section of the Kennicott the five miles to where it then joins the Nizina River. Here the river will take on considerably more water and for the next 10 miles is swift, wide and very braided with beautiful scenic views in all directions. At this point the Nizina enters the Nizina Canyon, a sheer walled limestone canyon with blind turns but no real obstructions. However,… ...more
Continue down the Chitina to its confluence with the Copper River, where there is road access, and is a great wilderness trip that combines the thrill and adrenaline rush of big white water and remote wilderness. The common take out is O’Brien Creek and is described in detail for the Copper and Chitina Rivers.
All along the upper river there are many fish-choked, clear tributaries where grizzly bears are likely to hang out. It is not wise to camp at these sites as tempting as it is. Of course stopping to collect clear water in your water jugs, or having lunch there is a great idea. Most people filter these waters to ensure there are no giardia parasites to infect you. The clear settled pools in the middle of the big river bars, however, hold water… ...more