Travel Blog

Whitewater Rafting in Alaska

Whitewater Rafting in AlaskaThere are over 3,000 rivers, 100,000 glaciers and 39 of the world’s most significant mountain ranges that dominate Alaska’s landscape. You probably have watched documentaries about Alaskan residents and how they feel about their state. In a word they are proud of the beauty that abounds every where and that is also why tourists go their year round. Whitewater Rafting in Alaska is also very popular.

There are many creative tourist trips from fishing and hunting to cruise lines that go up the coast to  Alaska rafting whitewater itineraries that combine drama with decadence and top-shelf customer service. With the recent publicity that Sarah Palin has generated and various National Geographic movies about Alaska, more and more people are going their every year. And Alaskan companies are responding to meet the demand.

Adding White Whitewater Rafting in Alaska Trips

Every year many more rafting trips are added by many Alaska Rafting whitewater companies. Alaska offers Heli-skiing, snowboarding, rafting, fishing, snowcat treks, and premier lodging .

Alaska rafting in whitewater conditions or along glaciers are available for the outdoor enthusiast. Many people do not have the gear for these sorts of trips, so  Alaska rafting whitewater companies will provide everything that you need. Just make sure you bring warm clothes and a change of clothes in case you get wet. Check in with your tour company and confirm everything that you will need to bring with you and also if you are rated for a particular trip.  Some rivers have ratings for people who must be able to swim out of a set of rapids in case of capsizing.

Canoe Beside Ice Bergs

Imagine canoeing beside icebergs and getting up close so that you can actually touch them. Depending on the time of year and the trip you book, your Alaska rafting trip can include one of these excursions.

Some Alaska rafting whitewater trips are actually quite physical, requiring the ability to portage and also to paddle with your other raft mates to control the canoes and rafts. If you are concerned about your abilities, discuss this issue with the tour organizers before you book your trip.

Example of a Rafting Trip

An example of an Alaska rafting whitewater trip starts on a train which can be boarded in Anchorage, Girdwood, or at the Portage Station. For those who depart by rail from Anchorage the train may travel south along Turnagain Arm for 50 miles. Guests get off the train in the ultra-scenic Placer valley at Spencer Lake. After a brief motor transport to Spencer Lake you may  have a deli-style lunch are launched in the raft.

Spencer Lake is full of icebergs that crumble in to the Lake throughout the season. The ice is so close you can touch it. However for safety reason it may not always be advisable to do so. After navigating through the ice-choked Lake the rafts make their way down the Placer River. Through spirited Class I (maybe II) rapids that are fun but mild. You shouldn’t get wet except for an occasional small splash. After this amazingly scenic float, you’ll get back on the train and return to your point of origin. This trip is really a lot of fun for the whole family!

This is only one example of a rafting trip. Others may require you to fly into a remote destination. Or go by 4 – wheel drive up and down old logging roads to get to the headwaters. Which can be a fun trip in itself.

Check the details with your tour guide before booking so you know exactly what you need to bring and what to expect on your trip.

For more posts about Alaska, click here.


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