Raft and hike along the Tatshenshini and the Alsek Rivers!!
Ready for one of the greatest river journeys on earth? Born among the chiseled snow-clad mountains of the Yukon, the Tatshenshini River flows with a casual grace past fields of wildflowers and sweeping glaciers on its relentless path to the sea. This is a remote natural highway through the habitat of grizzly and black bear, mountain goat and moose, bald eagle and osprey, and the pure ruggedness of the country has kept it wild and free of the imprint of modern man. The awesome Ice Age scenery will take your breath away, but keep on breathing ‘cause it gets better every day. Join the original Alaska Discovery company for an epic journey: easy rapids navigated by expert guides and day hikes to feast your eyes on the expansive views reveal a land that sharpens the senses and gratifies the human soul.
Scenic rafting with some Class II/III rapids (oar boats only), optional moderate to strenuous day hikes
- Raft Class II-III rapids over 132 miles down the river pioneered by MTS co-founder Richard Bangs in 1976, through one of the earth’s greatest wilderness frontiers
- Camp by the river each night and enjoy delicious meals while listening to river legends and lore around the campfire told by our world-class river guides—the best in the business!
- Spot grizzly bear, bald eagle, wolf, mountain goat, and moose and ride past fields of wildflowers, sweeping glaciers, and a flotilla of icebergs
- Explore the surrounding countryside hiking alongside creeks and through glacier valleys
Duration: 10 days Start Location: Haines End Location: YakutatDownload Detailed Itinerary
Day 1 : Arrive in Haines, Alaska
Arrive in Haines, Alaska by 3:30pm to have enogh time to check in and clean up for your 5:00pm pre-trip meeting at the Halsingland Hotel. We have reserved rooms for our group at the Halsingland Hotel. Just mention you are part of Alaska Discovery group. This room is included on the price of your trip.
Day 2 : Travel to Dalton Post in Yukon Territory, Canada
After breakfast on your own, meet at the Halsingland Hotel lobby at 8:00 a.m. and board a van for a beautiful 3-hour drive (104 miles) up the Chilkat River Valley, across the border into British Columbia, and on to Dalton Post in Yukon Territory, Canada. After we rig our bags into the rafts, we’ll push off on the Tatshenshini. Soon, we’ll plunge into the exhilarating Class III rapids of the Tatshenshini Gorge. Upon emerging into calmer waters, we’ll make camp along the river.
NOTE—Because we are making a border crossing into Canada, you will need a passport as proof of nationality. Please check visa requirements for entering Canada if you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen. If you are traveling with children and both parents are not present, Canadian customs requires a notarized letter from the child’s absent parent(s) saying that they are aware of their child’s whereabouts. A photocopy of the absent parent’s ID(s) and phone number are needed. Minimum age for child participation on this trip is 14.
Days 3 - 5 : Along the “Tat”
The river slowly builds momentum over the next three days as we wind our way toward the beautiful Alsek and Noisey Mountain Ranges. There are a few good short hikes to take in this area. This is prime country for moose, bear and wolf; the beaches are often marked with the tracks of all three, and occasionally we catch views of the animals themselves.
Days 6 - 9 : The Confluence / The Walker Glacier / Floating the Alsek
The mountains, river and wildlife become more spectacular as the swift flowing river brings us ever closer to Alsek Bay. We come to the majestic confluence with the Alsek River, a place many call “the center of the universe.” Our campsite vista will span the broad expanse of both river valleys, flanked by more then 20 different glaciers.
Day 10 : Dry Bay
After floating into the flat, forested plains beyond Alsek Bay, we arrive at the Dry Bay Fishing Company outpost along the estuary of the Alsek River. (Dry Bay is named for the mud flats in low tide, certainly not for the weather patterns here.) Small aircraft will meet us for our spectacular charter flight to Yakutat in time for the scheduled Alaskan Airlines service to Juneau (we have tailored this trip around this flight, and Juneau is your gateway city to other destinations). Most guests choose to return to Juneau this night and often get together for a no-host dinner at a local restaurant. We recommend you stay in Juneau this evening as some flights homeward necessitate a forced overnight in Seattle before connecting with onward-bound flights. We’ll provide you with a list of hotels in the pre-departure information booklet.
Please note—There is only one Yakutat/Juneau Alaska Airlines flight a day, and you must arrange for this flight on your own as it is not provided by Alaska Discovery. Alaska Discovery will meet you at the airport in Juneau and take you to your preferred lodging. We will also bring any excess luggage you may have had shipped from Haines. If you are planning to fly to Anchorage, you will need to stay overnight in Yakutat and catch a flight to Anchorage the next morning.
DATES: Best time to go: June - August Departures: Jul 8 - 17, 2015 Aug 8 - 17, 2015 Aug 14 - 23, 2015
This Victorian-era hotel offers all the amenities of a modern stay in historic surroundings. Now a National Historic Landmark, the Halsingland was once the Commanding Officers Quarters of Alaska's notable Fort Seward. Many guest rooms are adorned with the original decorative Belgian fireplaces or claw-footed bathtubs.
Properties shown are representative of the accommodations we use on this trip, may not be inclusive of all accommodations we use, and are subject to change.
Expert leadership is the key to an exciting, unforgettable experience. Our trips feature gifted leaders for whom leading trips is a true vocation. Besides showing you wonders you’d never find on your own, they make sure everything runs smoothly and safely without a hitch. They are knowledgeable about all aspects of your trip, and take great pleasure in sharing their insights with you. More than just guides, they positively elevate your experience by being teachers, companions, and the best of friends. You’ll be in good hands with them every step of the way.
Brock Tabor, Alaska Discovery River & Kayak Guide: For ten years Brock has been committed to a professional career as an outdoor educator and wilderness guide. His experience range from teaching skiing, sea kayaking, rock climbing, and river rescue to photographing the plazas of Ecuador. Brock has a strong background in natural history which he enjoys sharing. Of guiding for Alaska Discovery, Brock writes, "I enjoy the opportunity to interact with people in an unusual setting. The rewards people gain through these trips are contagious!"
Brian Stevenson has been a professional river guide for twenty years. He continues to lead expeditions throughout the world, yet he always looks forward to returning to the rivers and mountains of Alaska. Brian says Alaska's rivers provide a wilderness experience which is unparalleled by any other place he's ever been. Brian holds a degree in geography and is a lifelong student of world politics
Christa Sadler is a geologist, educator, river guide and writer with a serious addiction to rivers, deserts, mountains and chocolate. Christa has been guiding on the rivers of the West since 1986, and although she has a home in Flagstaff, Arizona, she's hardly ever there. Her research in archaeology, geology and paleontology has taken her around the globe, including searching for dinosaurs in Montana, fighting off dust storms and overly curious camels in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia, and steering clear of annoyed marine iguanas in the Galapagos Islands. Christa also runs ‘This Earth,” a small business that brings geology and fossil programs to students aged K-12 around the country. She loves to write about geology, rivers, fossils and the land, and she has published several books and articles. She teaches and guides in the spring and fall, and escapes to Alaska in the summers to guide and write. Winters are usually spent recovering. Or sea kayaking in Baja California.
Mike Speaks has a list of international guiding experiences that reads like the archives of the old Explorer's Club in London. He was recently the expedition leader for a 590-mile National Geographic trip down the Blue Nile in Ethiopia. He has rafted first descents in Malawi, Ethiopia, Borneo, Madagascar, and Pakistan. He has been a river guide for two decades on the greatest rivers of the world, including the Zambezi, the Bio-Bio, the Tatshenshini, and the Alsek. He has assisted in film documentaries of Egypt, Burma, India, and Bhutan. He has explored all the rivers of northern Pakistan. This Alabama boy will have you speaking with a drawl within minutes, yet he makes his home on the flanks of Mount Denali in Alaska. He's a naturalist, a ski mountaineer, a whitewater expert, an experienced sea kayaker, and a humorist through it all. Michael is a favorite for his quick wit, take-charge style, and outstanding leadership.
Clint Fries, Alaska Discovery Guide: Calm, conscious and curious... Clint is an explorer. Guiding for 20 years from the Arctic to Latin America, he is always up for an adventure, and seldom at a loss for words. Clint entertains in front of some of the finest backdrops known. He likes to combine exquisite wilderness meals and an eye for the unseen. Join him for a trip and you will likely find the group positive, cohesive, and at ease in the wilds.
Sam Jansen, Alaska Discovery River Guide: Sam grew up in northern Arizona and studied creative writing and geology. While working for the U.S. Geological Survey, he fell in love with the Grand Canyon, whitewater, and wilderness guiding. Since 1991, Sam has been exploring many of North American's wild places by raft and kayak. Sam is an excellent videographer, but he is best known for a wit drier than the Arizona desert.