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Worth a detour
Rating 1.5 (197 votes)

Paddling the Tatshenshini-Alsek

Listed under Rafting in Alaska, United States.

  • Photo of Paddling the Tatshenshini-Alsek
  • Photo of Paddling the Tatshenshini-Alsek
  • Photo of Paddling the Tatshenshini-Alsek
  • Photo of Paddling the Tatshenshini-Alsek
  • Photo of Paddling the Tatshenshini-Alsek
  • Photo of Paddling the Tatshenshini-Alsek
  • Photo of Paddling the Tatshenshini-Alsek
  • Photo of Paddling the Tatshenshini-Alsek
Photo of Paddling the Tatshenshini-Alsek
Photo by zachcollier
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The Tatshenshini and Alsek Rivers offer a remote wilderness expedition through some truly spectacular scenery. Put in on either the Tat or the Alsek (the Alsek requires a helicopter portage around the aptly named Turnback Canyon) and float to the confluence of the two mighty rivers, a place known to the native inhabitants as the center of the world. Below the confluence you will reach Alsek Lake, where calving glaciers strew the lake with icebergs.

The canyon floor is so wide that the river meanders through the glacial silt and gravel in a complex of braids. Often a boatman must read water miles downstream in order to avoid terminal channels. The landscape is so vast that it challenges the human sense of scale: one day we floated ten miles and looking back upstream could still see the place we camped the previous night.

Be sure to study up on bear behavior before you go. There are both grizzly and black bears in this part of the world, and a little understanding of their habits and expressions can prepare you for a safe trip. Other wildlife you are likely to see include moose, beaver, and bald eagles.

Written by  Hata Hill.

Other expert and press reviews

“The Alsek/ Tatshenshini”

To experience Jack London's Call of the Wild in the world of whitewater, head north, like he did, to Alaska and British Columbia's Alsek/Tatshenshini watershed. Here you'll encounter everything from bears and fresh Alaskan blueberries to spawning King s… Read more...

Written by  Eugene Buchanan.

“The Alsek is Incredible”

This is a downright spectacular journey. Most people take 14 days to do this trip and they aren't doing it for the rapids. The best part of this trip is paddling through the big lakes with enourmous glaciers entering the river. You'll love the Alsek if … Read more...

Written by  Zach Collier.

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