Raft and hike along the Tatshenshini and the Alsek Rivers!!
Ready for one of the greatest river journeys on earth? More than just a river trip, the Tatshenshini is a haunting, unadulterated introduction to the vastness and beauty of a pristine wilderness, a pilgrimage from the Yukon to the Pacific below the snowy peaks of the St. Elias Range. Slicing between towering peaks with casual grace, flowing past wildflowers and sweeping glaciers, the “Tat” cuts a path through the habitat of grizzly and black bear, mountain goat and moose, bald eagle and osprey. The awesome Ice Age scenery will take your breath away, but keep on breathing ‘cause it gets better every day.
As the river grows from a sparkling stream in a narrow canyon to a vast expanse of moving water after its confluence with the Alsek, the mountains rise ever higher and glaciers shoulder their way between the granite ranges, stretching long, icy arms into the river. Day hikes take us into the surrounding countryside, up side creeks and glacial valleys to spectacular views of an Alaska grander than any postcard. The last two days are unbelievable, as the river takes us through a flotilla of icebergs created by the calving glaciers spilling into Alsek Bay.
Outstanding river guides are the key to this trip. Not only are they extremely skilled in all the techniques for a safe river trip, they’re knowledgeable about the natural history and lore of the region, masterful and imaginative chefs (great salmon dinners and the heartiest breakfasts this side of Texas!), and some of the best companions ever. Without a doubt, they’re the best in the world!
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
Drive to Dalton Post, Yukon. Launch boats and raft fun Class II/III rapids through the Tatshenshini Gorge.
Days 3 - 5 : Along the “Tat”
The exciting whitewater continues for a day, then settles down to a calm mellow float. Rafting days alternate with layover days for hikes up side creeks and glacial valleys revealing spectacular views grander than any postcard. This is also prime country for moose, bear, and wolf; the beaches are often marked with the tracks of all three.
Days 6 - 9 : The Confluence / The Walker Glacier / Floating the Alsek
Pass the confluence with the Alsek River, a place many call "the center of the universe," and go for a hike on the Walker Glacier. Camp at Alsek Bay, surely one of the most awe-inspiring places on earth, to watch and listen as giant chunks of ice calve into the water from the seven-mile-wide face of the Alsek Glacier. (The icebergs here are larger than those in Glacier Bay!) Weather permitting, you'll have breathtaking views of 15,320-foot Mount Fairweather, the tallest peak in Glacier Bay National Park.
Day 10 : Dry Bay
End rafting at Dry Bay and take a scenic bush plane flight to Yakutat. Depart Yakutat.
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.