Take in America’s largest National Park- not to mention some of the biggest mountains as you float downstream. Even in a state famous for its size, Wrangell St. Elias National Park stands out. Four major mountain ranges converge here: the Chugach, the Alaska, the volcanic Wrangells, and the St. Elias- these are the tallest coastal mountains in the world!
Our river journey is a special one: we raft on 4 different rivers in 4 days! It begins with impressive views of the Root Glacier, the Stairway Icefall, and Bonanza ridge as we depart from McCarthy, Alaska. We paddle down the exciting Kennicott River, navigating class III whitewater. After negotiating the rapids of Nizina Canyon we emerge into the enormous Chitina River valley. We spend the next 3 mornings practicing yoga before packing up & floating down the glacial braids, taking time to be present and soak up our majestic surroundings....and at times paddling hard when the river requires us to. Our closing day takes us to the confluence of the Chitina & Copper Rivers where we fight the current and cross-valley winds to arrive at our final destination.
Each day is a full day of rafting but once we arrive & set up camp, we get to relax & reflect on the banks of the river. How you spend your evenings is up to you: some yogis like to socialize, some help with cooking dinner , and some read/reflect or contemplate alone in nature. The choice is yours. After a group dinner, we seal the evening with a themed discussion (yoga, ayurveda or wellness related), aka "Satsang" before sealing the day with a guided meditation.
The trip ends at the town of Chitina, Alaska, famed for it's fish wheels, dipnets and delicious Copper River Red Salmon.
Although we are in the heart of the Alaska wilderness, this trip is the perfect blend of creature comforts: rafts allow us to bring along with us excellent food and high quality camping gear.
We team up with the local pros, McCarthy River Tours & Outfitters for this trip. Check out their page for more trip info or to download their E-Book (super helpful info about rafting & getting your bearings around small town McCarthy)
Dates: June 4-7, 2021
Location: Wrangell St. Elias National Park, Alaska
Activities: River rafting
Duration: 4 days, 3 nights
Lodging: Backcountry tent camping
Max group size: 10
"My soul feels at home on the river. It's what renews my spirit and connects me with the flow and rhythm of the natural world. Alaska's mighty glacial rivers are impressive & inspiring beyond words." -Jule
Day 0: June 3rd Arrive in McCarthy in evening. We recommend camping at the foot bridge, (it's $20 a night) or consider getting a room at the Kennicott River Lodge & Hostel if you'd rather sleep indoors
Day 1: June 4th This is a big day! Early morning meetup in McCarthy. We'll get to know each other & reorganize/repack personal gear into drybags & become aquainted with the rafts & boating gear. We'll go to "river school" as guides provide a safety briefing, paddle skills/practice and set some intentions for our trip.
The Kennicott River starts off with a bang, with a few miles of fun class II-III whitewater before it merges with the Nizina. We'll have lunch and stretch the body & take in impressive views of the nearby University Mountain Range before entering the canyon. The Nizina canyon rapids twist and bend and swirl the boats through the rock walls (hard to explain, you have to experience it!). The river eventually calms down and opens up at the confluence with the mighty Chitina, where we set up home for the night.
We'll seal our day with a nourishing dinner, fireside satsang and evening meditation.
Day 2-3: June 5-6th
After our morning riverside yoga & meditation, we'll enjoy a delicious breakfast, before packing up camp & rafting down the Chitna River. At times the river valley widens, and we'll be on the search for the best channel and ready to paddle hard. At times the river becomes a single channel and we rest, relax and let the water do the work for us while we take in the mountains and nature around us 😉
Again, ending our days with an Ayurvedic dinner, meaningful conversation and guided meditative contemplation before bed.
Day 4: June 7th We rise extra early with our final morning riverside yoga & meditation practice. After breakfast, we say goodbye to the Wrangell Mountains, pack up our belongings and begin the final leg of our journey, paddling to the confluence of the Copper & Chitna Rivers. We'll take some time to organize ourselves & de-rig the rafts before driving back to McCarthy (approx 2 hour drive)
Note: McCarthy River Tours offers a shuttle service; if you would like to arrange to have your vehicle waiting for you in Chitina, let us know. This would save you from driving back to McCarthy on the final day-this would make for a lot of driving if you were planning on heading back to Anchorage on June 7th. It is a $300 flat fee, but that can be split among others in the group who are interested (ex: it's $300 whether it's 1 or 5 vehicles total)