Alaska Alsek River Rafting Tour

A Wilderness Float Through the Last Frontier


Ride 160 miles down the Alsek River, through the largest contiguous protected wilderness in the world. Raft exciting Class II-IV rapids past stunning glaciers and keep an eye out for spectacular wildlife, from marmots to moose. Camp riverside and enjoy delicious meals while listening to river lore around the campfire. Take a helicopter portage over a risky stretch of river at Turn Back Canyon and float past dense canyon forests. With raw nature on display at every bend, this is a unique river trip for thrill-seekers, through one of the last great frontiers. Enjoy the ultimate river rafting adventure in Alaska!

13 Days

From: $6,395

Ride 160 miles down the Alsek River, through the largest contiguous protected wilderness in the world. Raft exciting Class II-IV rapids past stunning glaciers and keep an eye out for spectacular wildlife, from marmots to moose. Camp riverside and enjoy delicious meals while listening to river lore around the campfire. Take a helicopter portage over a risky stretch of river at Turn Back Canyon and float past dense canyon forests. With raw nature on display at every bend, this is a unique river trip for thrill-seekers, through one of the last great frontiers. Enjoy the ultimate river rafting adventure in Alaska!

MT Sobek is proud to be an authorized concessionaire of the National Park Service and a permitted outfitter under the National Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. We always follow Leave No Trace principles and seek to drive awareness of fragile ecosystems to help support their long-term sustainability.

Highlights


  • Float past the largest icebergs in all of Glacier Bay National Park and raft Class II-IV rapids

  • Take an exciting helicopter portage for a bird's-eye of the Alsek's treacherous Turn Back Canyon

  • Enjoy meals and legends told around crackling campfire each night, beneath star-studded Alaskan skies

Download Itinerary

Click here to download the Detailed Itinerary.

Alaska Alsek River Rafting

Start: Haines, Alaska  End: Yakutat, Alaska

Start/End locations may vary. Do not book flights until your trip details are confirmed.

Itinerary


  • Arrive in Haines, Alaska

    Day 1

    Arrive in Haines, Alaska by 3:30pm to have enough time to check in and clean up for the 5pm pre-trip meeting and welcome dinner at the Halsingland Hotel.

    Accommodation: Aspen Suites Hotel

    Meals: Dinner

  • Travel to Haines Junction in Yukon Territory, Canada

    Day 2

    After breakfast, board a van for a beautiful drive up the Chilkat River Valley, and on to Haines Junction in Yukon Territory, Canada. En route stop at the Kluane National Park visitor center to learn about this vast wilderness. After lunch, drive to the put-in point on the Dezadeash River. (You may choose to hike part of the way.) Begin floating down the Dezadeash to the confluence with the Kaskawulsh River, where the Alsek River begins. (If it's very windy, the river trip may begin the next morning.)

    Accommodation: MT Sobek Camp-Alsek River, Yukon, Canada

    Activity: 3 hour/5 mile scenic float

    Transportation: 3.5-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Lunch, Dinner

  • Raft the Mighty Alsek

    Day 3

    Continue downstream on the Alsek, passing through mostly Class II rapids and spectacular scenery of large bedrock islands. There may be time to hike into the heights above the river for panoramic views. Float further into the wilderness and camp near the Lowell Glacier, part of the vast St. Elias icefields. The river flows into Lake Lowell, formed by the terminal moraine of the glacier; camp on that moraine for a striking view of the glacier.

    Accommodation: MT Sobek Camp-Alsek River, Yukon, Canada

    Activity: 4 hours/15 miles on Class II rapids

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Raft Across Lowell Lake & The Lowell Glacier

    Day 4

    If the winds are calm, we make our way across Lowell Lake to where the Lowell Glacier ends. The lake is teeming with icebergs that have calved and fallen off the glacier on the other end of the lake. It's a spectacular sight to raft through these glacier chunks, and listen and watch the glacier's movement through the night.

    Accommodation: MT Sobek Camp-Alsek River, Yukon, Canada

    Activity: 4 hours/15 miles on Class II rapids

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Navigate the Icebergs of the Lowell Glacier

    Day 5

    Launch the rafts into the river and navigate through the icebergs at the snout of the Lowell Glacier. Take in this surreal scene as the icebergs calve off the glacier and float in this lake-like section of the river. The river picks up speed dramatically as it begins to cut through narrower canyons and increase in volume.

    Accommodation: MT Sobek Camp-Alsek River, Yukon, Canada

    Activity: 4 hours/15 miles on Class II rapids

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Run the Rapids of the Challenging "Lava North"

    Day 6

    Take easy routes through some of the rapids; by mid-afternoon, though, encounter "Lava North," a challenging section of Class IV whitewater that's fun and thrilling. Our guides will scout the rapid beforehand and determine the best route through.

    Accommodation: MT Sobek Camp-Alsek River, British Columbia, Canada

    Activity: 4 hours/15 miles on Class II-IV rapids

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Discover the Luminous Turn Back Canyon

    Day 7

    For the next few days the water is swift with continuous small rapids as the river cuts through the Alsek Range. Watch the scenery and look out for wildlife such as grizzly bear, moose, wolf, muskrat, wolverine, mink, snowshoe rabbit, hoary marmot, and Alaska red fox, along with numerous bird species. Reach the Tweedsmuir Glacier with its Turn Back Canyon, filled with sharp drops and horrendous currents.

    Accommodation: MT Sobek Camp-Alsek River, British Columbia, Canada

    Activity: 4 hours/15 miles on Class II rapids

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Helicopter Ride Over Turn Back Canyon

    Day 8

    Prepare the gear for transport, and board a helicopter for a short flight to the gravel flats south of the canyon. From the chopper see every hairpin turn and the churning water crashing into the canyon walls. The scenery changes on the other side - the river is wider, there are numerous braided channels and more vegetation, and bald eagles perch along the mossy cliffs of the Icefield and Noisy Ranges. Relaunch the rafts and drift through the wide valley towards the majestic confluence of the Tatshenshini and Alsek rivers.

    Accommodation: MT Sobek Camp-Alsek River, British Columbia, Canada

    Activity: 4 hours/15 miles on Class II-III rapids

    Transportation: 25-minute helicopter flight

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Continue Down the Tatshenshini River

    Day 9

    Continue down the river through deep forested canyons toward the coast. On the southern horizon, a dozen glaciers flow down from the Fairweather Range, while the Alsek disappears back to the north and east into the symmetrical peaks and waterfalls of the Noisy Range. To the west, the main channel of the Alsek flows into the Fairweather Range, where it seems to sink into the forest. The river below its confluence with the Tatshenshini is a vast, gravel flat, braided with channels and ringed with willow, birch, and alder forests.

    Accommodation: MT Sobek Camp-Alsek River, Alaska

    Activity: 4 hours/15 miles on Class II rapids

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Pass the Walker Glacier

    Day 10

    Closer to the Gulf of Alaska, the climate becomes more maritime and the glaciers more numerous. Farther down the river, pass the Walker Glacier, which has sprawled down its valley and is visible from the river. Its blue and white shape dominates the view for quite some time.

    Accommodation: MT Sobek Camp-Alsek River, Alaska

    Activity: 4 hours/15 miles on Class II rapids

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Float Towards Alsek Lake

    Day 11

    Continue to float towards Alsek Lake, spotting many species of birds, including bald eagles, semi-palmated plovers, spotted sandpipers, northern phalaropes, American pipits, and more.

    Accommodation: MT Sobek Camp-Alsek River, Alaska

    Activity: 4 hours/15 miles on Class II rapids

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Paddle Among Sculpted Ice Flows of Alsek Lake

    Day 12

    Watch and listen as giant chunks of ice calve into the water from the 7-mile face of the Alsek glacier. Some icebergs are 75-feet high, indicating a depth below the surface at least twice as great. The guides will row among ice floes sculpted into bizarre, fluted, ever-changing phantasmagoric shapes - a veritable "iceberg garden."

    Accommodation: MT Sobek Camp-Alsek River, Alaska

    Activity: 4 hours/15 miles on Class II rapids

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Depart from Dry Bay by Bush Plane

    Day 13

    After floating into the flat, forested plains beyond Alsek Bay, arrive at the Dry Bay Fishing Company outpost along the estuary of the Alsek River. Board a small aircraft for a spectacular charter flight to Yakutat in time for the scheduled Alaskan Airlines service to Juneau (the trip is tailored around this flight, and Juneau is your gateway city to other destinations).

    Activity: 4 hours/15 miles on Class II rapids

    Transportation: 1-hour charter flight

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Download Itinerary

Click here to download the Detailed Itinerary.

Dates & Prices


  • 2023
  • Go Private
  • Go Custom
  • Inclusions

2023

Scheduled Dates


The earlier you book, the more choice of available dates you’ll have and once you book, your price is guaranteed.

Go Private

Go Private


Gather your favorite travel companions to share an MT Sobek adventure on an easy-to-book Private departure.

Call or email us to get the ball rolling.

*Private trips require a 25% non-refundable deposit.

Call for Private Trip Pricing

800-974-0300

Make Your Own Dates in These Months


Go Custom

Create Your Very Own Adventure


Dreaming of an adventure designed exclusively for you? With insider access and decades of experience, our travel experts create custom tailored adventures that are perfect for families, couples, and large groups. MT Sobek's custom adventures are designed to our exacting standards and led by our award-winning adventure guides.

When to start planning? Earlier is always better when designing a custom trip. More time allows for better availability of preferred accommodations, guides and your desired activities. Ideally, start the conversation with us at least 6 months before you want to travel. If you are looking for a custom trip that departs within three months, chances are greatly diminished in securing requested accommodations and the best guides.

*Custom trips require a 25% non-refundable deposit once an itinerary is agreed upon.

Start Planning

Inclusions

Price Includes


  • Expertise and services of our experienced adventure guides
  • All accommodations as noted in the itinerary
  • All breakfasts, almost all lunches and dinners as noted in the itinerary
  • Snacks and water between meals
  • Additional regional guides and experts on many trips
  • Comprehensive Trip Planner with detailed pre-trip information
  • Private guided tours at historic sites, museums, wineries and other select attractions as noted in the itinerary
  • Special events and other select attractions as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All gratuities at hotels and restaurants
  • Equipment and experienced guides for activities as described in the itinerary
  • Park and other entry fees (unless otherwise noted)
  • Fares for trains, ferries and other modes of travel as listed in the itinerary
  • Select transfers as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Baggage transfers and porterage

Price Does Not Include


  • International airfare, airport taxes, and excess baggage fees
  • Alcoholic beverages (MT Sobek provides wine at select events)
  • Gratuities for MT Sobek guides and guide-drivers
  • Travel Protection Program
  • Personal expenses

Contact An Expert


800-974-0300

Need help picking your next adventure? Call us to answer your questions.

Download Itinerary

Click here to download the Detailed Itinerary.

Your Guides


The best people to immerse you in a destination are the ones who live there, which is why we feature local Adventure Guides on our trips. Here are a few that you might meet on this adventure.

Bruce Keller

Bruce Keller

Bruce has guided international adventure travel trips on six different continents since 1988. His extensive Class 5 wilderness guiding experience includes rafting descents of the Zambezi, Coruh, Bio Bio, Omo, Chilkat, Kleheni, Tsirku, Copon, Alsek, Kongakut, Toulomne, Tatshenshini, Tugela, Katun, and Watut Rivers. His river experience has been rich in cultural, human, and wilderness values, having guided in every life zone on the planet. He feels this gives him the opportunity to share his wealth of knowledge and to provide a richer guest experience.

Kevin McDermott

Kevin McDermott

Kevin McDermott-a.k.a. "Thirsty"-has been guiding since he was 17 years old and has been an integral part of MT Sobek's Arctic rivers program for decades. His laid-back manner puts everyone at ease, and he has a wealth of knowledge about Arctic rivers. Although he normally spends his winter months in Colorado's Telluride ski area, he has climbed Denali three times, reaching the summit in 2000. Thirsty is a legend in the MT Sobek circle and endears himself to travelers with his expertise, calm demeanor, and sense of humor.

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After floating into the flat, forested plains beyond Alsek Bay, arrive at the Dry Bay Fishing Company outpost along the estuary of the Alsek River. Board a small aircraft for a spectacular charter flight to Yakutat in time for the scheduled Alaskan Airlines service to Juneau (the trip is tailored around this flight, and Juneau is your gateway city to other destinations).

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Activity Level


This trip is rated activity level 4. This is a moderate to strenuous river rafting trip. You should be comfortable rafting up to 15 miles over the course of 4 hours per day for 11 days on class II - IV rapids. Previous river rafting experience is recommended, and you should be in good physical condition. Due to the remote nature of this trip, no vehicle support is available during our activities.
Learn more about activity levels here.

Activity Snapshot

Day 2

3 hour/5 mile scenic float

Day 3

4 hours/15 miles on Class II rapids

Day 4

4 hours/15 miles on Class II rapids

Day 5

4 hours/15 miles on Class II rapids

Day 6

4 hours/15 miles on Class II-IV rapids

Day 7

4 hours/15 miles on Class II rapids

Day 8

4 hours/15 miles on Class II-III rapids

Day 9

4 hours/15 miles on Class II rapids

Day 10

4 hours/15 miles on Class II rapids

Day 11

4 hours/15 miles on Class II rapids

Day 12

4 hours/15 miles on Class II rapids

Day 13

4 hours/15 miles on Class II rapids

Accommodations


After the first evening in a Victorian-era style hotel, MT Sobek riverside camps, with meals served around the campfire beneath the stars.

MT Sobek Camp-Alsek River, Yukon, Canada
MT Sobek Camp-Alsek River, Yukon, Canada

On each night of your Alsek adventure you will enjoy camping in spectacular spots right next to the river, often with views of glaciers. Included in our expedition-style trip are three-person four-season tents for every two people, plus Thermarest pads and fresh sleeping bags. At lunch and dinner time you will enjoy gourmet meals carefully prepared by the guides.

MT Sobek Camp-Alsek River, British Columbia, Canada
MT Sobek Camp-Alsek River, British Columbia, Canada

Your riverside camping experience includes nightly camps on the banks of Alsek River. Included in our expedition-style trip are four-season three-person tents for every two-people and includes a Thermarest pad and fresh sleeping bags. All camping spots are in spectacular locations right next to the river, with often views of glaciers. At lunch and dinner time you'll enjoy gourmet meals.

MT Sobek Camp-Alsek River, Alaska
MT Sobek Camp-Alsek River, Alaska

Your riverside camping experience includes nightly camps on the banks of Alsek River. Included in our expedition-style trip are four-season three-person tents for every two-people and includes a Thermarest pad and fresh sleeping bags. All camping spots are in spectacular locations right next to the river, with often views of glaciers. At lunch and dinner time you'll enjoy gourmet meals.

Aspen Suites Hotel
Aspen Suites Hotel

Centrally located, you will find your hotel within walking distance to the charming downtown of Haines Alaska. Take a stroll towards the waters edge as you explore local quaint shops. rooms are simple, comfortable mini suites.

The Aspen Suites Hotel is within walking distance to the charming downtown of Haines. Take a stroll along the water edge as you explore the quaint shops and restaurants. Each room offers modern amentities such as Wi-Fi and fully furnished kitchen.

Weather


Enjoy long Alaska days, with potential rain & chilly winds near glaciers. Daytime 55°-65°F. Evenings 40°-55°F.

 
Jun
Jul
Alsek River 
High
Low
High
Low
Alsek River
55
43
59
47
Haines 
High
Low
High
Low
Haines
64
48
64
51

Know Before You Book


Itinerary
The itinerary may vary, depending on river and weather conditions, and group abilities.

Dietary Restrictions
Due to the remote nature of the areas visited on this trip, dietary restrictions are more difficult to accommodate due to limited resources. Please contact a member of our Trip Consultant team to inquire about your dietary restriction.

FAQs


Will I need a passport?

We are making a border crossing into Canada, so 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.

What if I do not have a sleeping bag or tent that will withstand Alaska weather?

MT Sobek provides synthetic sleeping bags, sleeping pads and expedition tents at no extra cost. We also provide rain gear, dry suits, and boots.

How does this trip compare to other long river trips, such as the Grand Canyon on the Colorado River?

The Alsek River is deep in the heart of the largest wilderness area in the world, and there are less than 200 people who raft this river annually. This is more of an expedition trip due to its remote wilderness.

What if it is rainy on the trip? Will be still be hiking and rafting each day?

Not necessarily. We can make adjustments to our itinerary if the weather is not cooperating. This means sleeping in, delaying departure from camp, or other adjustments. We carry a large group tarp with us that allows for rain shelter and our tents are expedition quality.

I've never been river rafting before. Is this trip too much for me?

Prior rafting experience is not essential. However, this trip is an expedition with wilderness camping, so being an active participant willing to be caught in variable weather with a positive attitude is a must.

Download Itinerary

Click here to download the Detailed Itinerary.

Guest Reviews


"This is a truly special trip. A chance to head out into a vast, untouched and profoundly beautiful wilderness. Every day, the scenery changed and we found ourselves in a new world. We floated along the edges of glacial ice, saw waterfalls everywhere, went round Blackadar Mountain... Each campsite was unique, and offered amazing views. There were hikes that took us up hillsides, to a giant sand dune, and for a glimpse into ""Turn Back Canyon"" before our helicopter portage over it. We saw bears, moose, bald eagles and even a river otter. Animal tracks were everywhere. All the while, our highly experienced guides were setting our course and making things fun. The camaraderie among our fellow river travelers was also just wonderful. We are really grateful to have had this journey!n"

Melinda R.
MT Sobek Guest, Alaska Alsek River Rafting

"The Alsek is so unique and special. It is truly wild and untouched. I am so happy that I could be in that wonderful place."

Shirley L.
MT Sobek Guest, Alaska Alsek River Rafting