2011 July 23 Sheep Creek Trip Report

Ran this Saturday - flew into Crossover Lake ($400 Willow Air’s Beaver). Hiked NW high on the ridge before descending into the valley and avoided the heavy brush until half way down. It gets thick with alders even along the ridge, and the heavy brush resulted in one slip off a hidden dropoff that was luckily broken by the plentiful and comfy beds of devil’s club. The water level was a bit low - lots of bumping along, especially at the last 1/4 part of the river. Still a great run through the Class 3 sections, and perfect right now for people who are looking for something like Little Willow. There were four bears through the middle class 2 section; one was particularly frightened by our water slapping skills and immediately took off, the others got surprised in a bend about 50 yards away even though we’d been heeeeeybearing for two hours straight.

There are also four river wide sweepers we portaged. One is at about the 3 hour mark and is in a very narrow and inviting river left channel - it is particularly nasty and could be bad news at higher/faster flows. Go, instead, to the right side of the Y and you’ll be better off, although you might have to walk 20 yards if the water is still low.

The take out is clearly marked and the walk out to the road took about a hour - tons of ruts on the AtV/mudder trail. Would be really hard to travel without a 4x4 with high clearance.

For those looking to save $ Alaska Bush Float Plane Service on the Talkeetna Spur Rd. charges $260 for 800 lbs. to Crossover, easily 3 guys and rafts.