Chilikadrotna River
Lake Clark National Park

Chilikadrotna River - Lake Clark National Park

We will begin this rafting and hiking adventure in the heart, and what many have called the soul, of Lake Clark National Park – the astoundingly beautiful Twin Lakes.  Float planes will drop us on the shore of Lower Twin, where we’ll spend the first 3 full days hiking in this wonderful wilderness nirvana. Nestled near timberline, Twin Lakes offers incredible tundra hiking second to none in Alaska. The mountains that surround this alpine lake beckon to be explored, and as we let our feet carry us up ridges and over tundra, we'll keep our eyes out for Dall’s sheep, caribou, moose and bears. 

After exploring Twin Lakes on foot, we’ll then launch our inflatable canoes and begin our rafting adventure down the Chilikadrotna River. As we move down the river, our camps will be situated on riverside gravel bars and close to great fishing.  After another exciting bush flight out of the wilderness, you’ll spend a final night in a lakeside lodge on Lake Clark itself, celebrating an incredible expedition in one of Alaska’s most spectacular national parks.

Photos courtesy of Corey Rich.

Trip Details

DURATION 10 days
LENGTH 25+ miles, 80+ river miles
INTENSITY Level 2
SEASON Summer
BEGINS IN Anchorage
ENDS IN Anchorage
AIRPORT Anchorage International Airport (ANC)
WILDLIFE/
SCENERY
bears, salmon, wolves, caribou

Join us for an amazing Alaska rafting and hiking trip along one of Alaska's most famed rivers. Flowing west from the Alaska Range is a river so beautiful and classic that it has been federally designated and protected as a Wild and Scenic River. The Chilikadrotna, locally referred to as the 'Chili', offers the boater and fisherman a wonderful trip descending one of Alaska's most remote and spectacular waterways. This adventure also offers plenty of incredible tundra hiking at Alaska's Twin Lakes.

What's Included

  • All group gear: Expedition quality tents, group tarp, all cooking equipment & eating utensils
  • All Rafting Equipment: Inflatable kayaks, life jackets, paddles plus spares, repair kits, throw bags, and dry bags
  • Safety Equipment: Satellite phone, maps, GPS, and medical kit
  • Trekking poles
  • Complementary airport transfer
  • Ground Transportation to Merrill Field on Day 1
  • Round trip bush flight transportation from Anchorage to Port Alsworth
  • Roundtrip bush flights to Twin Lakes and from Marabou Landing
  • Lodging on the final night at the Farm Lodge on Lake Clark
  • Professional guide service at a maximum 4:1 client to guide ratio
  • All meals from lunch on day one through lunch on the final day of the itinerary
  • Storage for your extra travel items while in the field
Day
1

This morning an Alaska Alpine Adventures representative will pick you up in Anchorage by 8:15am.  You’ll start the day with an orientation and gear check at our Anchorage facility before heading to Merrill Field for the flight from Anchorage to Port Alsworth, and of the most stunning bush flights in Alaska.   Your guide(s) will greet you when you land, and as you enjoy a delicious lunch along the shores of Lake Clark,  you’ll discuss the adventure and wrap up the trip orientation.  Then you'll load into float planes and lift off into the afternoon skies bound for Twin Lakes; a spectacular 30 minute flight.  We’ll spend 2-3 hours setting up camp at the connecting stream between the lakes and inflating our boats, while we begin to absorb the solitude of this sublime wilderness.  After our first delicious wilderness dinner, you’ll have the chance to do an evening paddle on the lake or relax on the sandy beach in front of camp. Lunch & dinner included.

Days
2-4

We'll spend each of these days in the mountains surrounding both upper and lower Twin Lakes.  We'll also pay a visit to Dick Proenneke's cabin on the beach near Hope Creek on the upper lake.  All meals included.  Average Daily Distance: 5-8 miles, Average Daily Elevation Gain: 2000'-3000'

Day
5

As we begin our float, the excitement will build when we enter the swift water at the mouth of the lake. On the first day, we are likely to see an incredible variety of waterfowl – species including trumpeter swans, harlequin ducks, mergansers, goldeneyes, scaups, mallards, arctic loons and many more. Songbirds and raptors are also in abundance on the river so you'll need to keep the cameras and binoculars handy as we cruise in near silence through the Alaskan wilderness. All meals included.

Days
6-8

Over the next three days we will negotiate class II & III whitewater, logjams and sweepers. When we reach the confluence of the Chili and the Mulchatna Rivers, we'll be close to our last camp. Our final day floating will be spent leisurely drifting down the Mulchatna, and as some of us cast spinners for rainbow trout and arctic char, others will scan the banks for moose and the treetops for majestic bald eagles and great horned owls. All meals included.

Day
9

Our pick-up at Maribou Landing is an exciting finale to grand adventure as our skilled bush pilot negotiates a take-off in the swift current of the river or on an adjacent gravel airstrip. This rafting trip is a wonderful and comprehensive introduction to magical and wild Alaska. We’ll return to Port Alsworth on Lake Clark by early afternoon, and check into the lakeside cabins of the Farm Lodge.  After hot showers and a celebratory dinner in the lodge dining room, we’ll tally up our wildlife sightings, tell fish stories,  and do our best to digest the post trip euphoria.   All meals included.

Day
10

After breakfast at the lodge, we’ll pay a morning visit to the Lake Clark National Park visitor’s center where you’ll have a chance to purchase maps and postcards, share your trip experience with park staff, and enjoy interpretive displays and films of life on Lake Clark.  We'll spend the rest of the day hiking to Tanalian Falls, before boarding an afternoon charter flight to Anchorage.  If you are departing Alaska on this day, please schedule all home bound flights for after 9 pm.  Breakfast & lunch included.  Distance: 5 miles, Elevation Gain: 800'

*Whenever possible Alaska Alpine Adventures endeavors to follow our itineraries as written. However, on occasion our trips deviate from the written itinerary due to weather conditions, group preference, specific safety considerations, or unforeseeable circumstances; collectively what some have called “The Alaska Factor.”  Therefore we suggest that you approach any adventure in Alaska with an open mind.

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GREAT! It was everything we were hoping for as our first trip to Alaska; spectacular scenery, wildlife, adventure, wilderness etc. We’re also fortunate to have picked Alaska Alpine Adventures as our guide service.

Kevin Reusch
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