Southeast & Eastern Alaska Float Trips

Its Boundaries

This is that region east of a line from Icy Bay to Mount St Elias. It includes the area around Yakutat, the Lost Coast, Glacier Bay, Lynn Canal and the islands to the south of Juneau, including the Taku and Stikine watersheds.

What It’s Like

These are typically remote rivers, running along the edge of huge icefields and through huge spruce forests. One exception: The Mendenhall, which offers a fun day trip close to the state capital, Juneau. Indeed, there are countless miles of paddling that you can do in a sea kayak in this region, with Glacier Bay National Park as a major destination; the waters around Sitka are a favorite as well.

Some other highlights:

  • The Tatshenshini and Alsek rivers offer some of the greatest wilderness trips in the world
  • The Taku River flows out of a lovely aspen parklands in dry interior Canada
  • The Stikine River empties straight into the salt waters near Wrangell

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Float Trips

Southeast Alaska Float Trips

Overview The Tana Riv­er is a short, chal­leng­ing Class IV+ stretch of riv­er that leads to the Chiti­na Riv­er. It flows out of the Chugach Moun­tains direct­ly towards the Wrangell Moun­tains and has a rep­u­ta­tion that deserves skill and expe­ri­ence pad­dling along fast, cold glac­i­er water. It starts as a medi­um size riv­er flow­ing out of the Tana Glac­i­er that is an ice trib­u­tary of the giant Bagley Ice Field. The Tana Riv­er alone is only 36 miles…  ...more

Overview The Niz­ina Riv­er flows out of the Niz­ina Glac­i­er and into the heart of the Wrangell Moun­tains from a point not far from the divide with the St Elias Moun­tains to the east. This area is a part of the largest pro­tect­ed park­lands in the world and from near its source, it offers a 45-mile or 90-mile trip with mod­er­ate Class III dif­fi­cul­ties. It is a trib­u­tary of the Chiti­na Riv­er that flows into the even larg­er Cop­per Riv­er. The…  ...more

Overview The Nabesna Riv­er is a glacial­ly fed Class I and II riv­er that flows north out of the heart of the Wrangell-St Elias Moun­tains and cuts through a shal­low canyon between the Men­tas­ta Moun­tains and the Nut­zotin Moun­tains of south cen­tral Alas­ka. It joins the Chisana Riv­er and, togeth­er, they form the mighty Tanana Riv­er, which flows through inte­ri­or Alas­ka to its con­flu­ence with the Yukon. The riv­er has 80 miles to float through, in an…  ...more

The Cop­per Riv­er and its many trib­u­taries drain one of the great­est regions of moun­tain, ice, snow and for­est in North Amer­i­ca. It is a giant riv­er in its low­er reach­es, often flow­ing at rates over 200,000 cubic feet per sec­ond, while its head­wa­ter trib­u­taries flow down steep, rocky gorges and through wide, braid­ed glacial val­leys. It is in a region that encom­pass­es sub­arc­tic to tem­per­ate zones with­in a lat­i­tude range of 60 to 62 degrees. It…  ...more

The Chiti­na Riv­er flows down a huge val­ley that traces a path sep­a­rat­ing the Wrangell Moun­tains and the St Elias Moun­tains of Alaska’s south­east­ern moun­tain region. This riv­er trip can be done in 4 to 8 days depend­ing on where you start your trip. This val­ley sits astride a giant fault line that runs through a region that has formed as col­lid­ing tec­ton­ic plates have pushed up some of the high­est moun­tains in North Amer­i­ca with Mt Logan…  ...more

The Alsek is one of the great rivers of the world. It has been a water­way for hun­dreds of thou­sands of years and its mouth has the fifth largest dis­charge of water on the west coast of North and South Amer­i­ca. It flows down through the heart of Klu­ane Provin­cial Park in Cana­da and runs through the largest pro­tect­ed parklands/​biological pre­serves in the world. It cross­es 4 major tec­ton­ic fault lines. It is part of a UNESCO World Her­itage Site…  ...more

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