Lakina River Packrafting Video
This means you must have some previous whitewater packrafting or kayaking experience. Whitewater rafting doesn’t cut it. Class III requisite.
You must be comfortable in whitewater. That is, swimming IN whitewater. You must be a strong swimmer and not “panicky” if you swim. Packrafting is about self-rescue. You swim, you flip your boat and climb back in.
If this is NOT you, we can talk about a 1-2 day packrafting course prior to this trip to get you setup for it.
Water levels of course also play a part. The Lakina at high water is pretty sporty.
We can run this trip as an overnight trip. Fly in from McCarthy in the afternoon, camp and begins he packraft out the next morning. Alternatively we can do the whole trip in one day. Fly in early, get on the river, packraft out and be back in McCarthy that evening.
We can also tack on one of 2 different backpacking trips beforehand. Oz is a popular option, great for beginner/intermediate hikers. For strong folks looking for something a bit burlier, talk to me about coming in from Kuskulana.
Can I paddle this with no boating experience?
Not on my trip.
If you’re a novice paddler but feeling confident, we can do a day or two packrafting course in McCarthy, on Kennicott Lake and Kennicott River and see how that goes.
What are the biggest risks?
Obviously #1 = drowning.
We’ll go through a comprehensive river safety talk before the trip, as well as before get on the river, and then discuss more details as we go down the canyon.
There are usually no sketchy features on the river other than wood in the river. Sweepers and strainers that can fall across the river.
“Eddy out now” in Alaska waters means “get out of the river right now”.
Fly in or hike in?
Either/or. Possibly both.
We can hike in from Kennicott Glacier (4-5 days). Folks not packrafting out will then fly back to McCarthy. We’ll also have the packrafting gear flown in to Lakina River at that point. Hence we don’t have to backpack with packrafting gear. And we can fly out some of our backpacking gear as well.
Adventurous hikers looking for something a little more challenging can start the hike over west of here at Kuskulana River. It’s a similar length hike (4 days or s0 for good hikers), but much more challenging. Talk to me about it.
Can we book a basecamp trip if we don’t own any camping gear?
You sure can.
Fully outfitting your trip is $250.00 per person, with group discount available. For single individual items, contact me and we’ll see what you need and work that out. A tent (1 or 2 person) is $200.00 per person for the trip. If you just want us to handle food, and have all your own gear (tent, etc) that’s $225.00 per person.
What about packrafting gear?
Expeditions Alaska will outfit your packrafting trip. That includes packraft, spray skirt and boat deck, dry suit or splash wear (trip dependent), neoprene paddling gloves and booties. Whitewater trips include helmets. All paddlers are provided with an approved PFD (Personal Flotation Device).
Dry bags are included for you as well.
Your guide will also carry a tow strap, throw bag and line, plus the usual backcountry safety equipment of sat phones, first aid kits, etc.
If you have your own equipment, you’re welcome to use that instead. Let’s talk about it first and make sure your rig is appropriate for this trip.
What’s A Fully Outfitted Trip Involve?
That is trip dependent.
For backpacking trips, a fully outfitted option includes your tent (one or two person tent), stove, all your kitchenware, food and cooking by Expeditions Alaska. A typical trip, up to ten days long, costs an additional $250.00 per person for the fully outfitted option.
Available “á la carte” options are (per person)
For personal items such as a backpack, or sleeping pad, talk to me prior to your trip and we’ll see what we can arrange. If you need a pack I recommend you rent a backpack from a reputable local outfitter. They can find and fit a pack to you rather than “making do” with one of mine that may or may not be a good fit for you.
Items such as BRFC, bear spray, stove, fuel, hiking poles are included gratis with Expeditions Alaska trips. See What’s Included? for more info.
I Have More Questions
I know you do. I do as well.
I recommend starting with the General Trip FAQ page
Upon your reservation I’ll also send out a comprehensive trip information packet that covers just about everything and more you might imagine about your trip.