Destination

Clear Destination

Activity

Clear Activity

Date

Alaska Alsek River Rafting

A Wilderness Float Through the Last Frontier

 

Ride 160 miles down the Alsek River, through the largest contiguous protected wilderness in the world. Raft Class II-IV rapids watching glaciers calve into the water and spotting spectacular wildlife. Camp riverside and enjoy delicious meals while listening to river lore around the campfire. Take a helicopter portage over a risky stretch of river, and float past dense canyon forests. With raw nature on display at every bend, this is a unique pilgrimage for thrill-seekers, through one of the last great frontiers.

Note - Actual itinerary routes vary from departure to departure depending on environmental conditions and group abilities. Please call for more details about each departure.

  • 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

Arrive:

Haines, Alaska

Depart:

Yakutat, Alaska

Price: from $5,995

Duration:

13 Days

Departures:

See Dates

Group Size:

7-12 Guests

Min Age:

16 yrs

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 here.

  • 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: Halsingland Hotel-Haines

    This Victorian-era hotel offers all the amenities of modern lodging 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.

    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

    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.

    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

    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.

    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

    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.

    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

    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.

    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

    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.

    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

    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.

    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

    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.

    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

    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.

    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

    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.

    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

    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.

    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

    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.

    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

Alaska Alsek River Rafting

Detailed Itinerary

Thank you! Click here to download the Detailed Itinerary.

What to Expect

 

Why take this trip with us?

Reason #01

Praised by National Geographic Adventure, this expedition is guided by Alaska's adventure pioneers since 1972.

Reason #02

This thrilling adventure is led by the most capable and experienced guides on the river. Our Alaska crew are some of the few commercial guides with the most runs on this stretch.

Reason #03

Riverside camping features tasty meals and tales told by seasoned guides around a crackling campfire beneath the stars. Crews collectively have over 100 years experience from all over the world.

Meet your guides

Bruce Keller

Bruce Keller

Bruce has traveled and guided adventure travel trips throughout the world since 1979. He's guided International Trips since 1988 on 6 different continents with extensive class 5 wilderness guiding experience on rivers include Zambezi, Coruh, Bio Bio, Omo, Chilkat, Kleheni, Tsirku, Copon, Alsek, Kongakut, Toulomne, Tatshenshini, Tugela, Katun, and Watut. He's had first descents and film work in Africa, Guatemala, Utah, Grand Canyon. 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"-is an integral part of Mountain Travel Sobek's Arctic rivers program. His laid-back manner puts everyone at ease, and he is a wealth of knowledge about Arctic rivers. Kevin has been guiding since he was 17 years old. 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.

Activities

Spectacular Class II-IV rafting along the mighty Alsek River, extraordinary wildlife spotting, and riverside camping.

Lodging

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

Climate

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

FAQ

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 is the difference between this trip and the 16-day Alsek River Rafting trip?

This trip is 3 days shorter and is without extended hiking opportunities. We will move camp almost every day, but there are still opportunities to take optional day hikes from camp.

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.

  • 2021
  • Go Private
  • Go Custom

2021

Scheduled Dates

  • Jul 18 - 31, 2021
    $5,995 price per person dbl occ
    +$250 single supplement+$26 alaska borough tax
    Wait List

Price Includes

  • Expert leadership from experienced adventure guides
  • Accommodations as noted in the itinerary
  • Meals as noted in the daily itinerary
  • Potable water and snacks throughout
  • 1 glass of wine or beer at dinner
  • All tips and gratuities for support staff with the exception of your lead adventure guide(s)
  • All necessary specialty gear for camping and rafting and foul weather gear
  • All group entrance fees, activities, and ground transportation
  • Arrival and departure day group airport transfers

Price Does Not Include

  • International airfare, any airport taxes, or excess baggage charges
  • Breakfast on Day 2
  • Optional tips to your lead adventure guides
  • Personal expenses such as medical immunizations, phone calls, laundry, or souvenirs
  • Airport transfers if arriving outside of the group transfer
  • Optional travel protection

Contact An Expert

800-974-0300

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

Thank you, one of our specialists will be contacting you shortly.

Go Private

Go Private

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

Choose from the selection of dates below for your group or if your preferred date is not available, we'll create a departure just for you.

Call or email us to get the ball rolling.

Call for Private Trip Pricing

1.888.831.7526

Make Your Own Dates In These Months

Price Includes

  • Expert leadership from experienced adventure guides
  • Accommodations as noted in the itinerary
  • Meals as noted in the daily itinerary
  • Potable water and snacks throughout
  • 1 glass of wine or beer at dinner
  • All tips and gratuities for support staff with the exception of your lead adventure guide(s)
  • All necessary specialty gear for camping and rafting and foul weather gear
  • All group entrance fees, activities, and ground transportation
  • Arrival and departure day group airport transfers

Price Does Not Include

  • International airfare, any airport taxes, or excess baggage charges
  • Breakfast on Day 2
  • Optional tips to your lead adventure guides
  • Personal expenses such as medical immunizations, phone calls, laundry, or souvenirs
  • Airport transfers if arriving outside of the group transfer
  • Optional travel protection

Contact An Expert

800-974-0300

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

Thank you, one of our specialists will be contacting you shortly.

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.