Any Willow (red-gate) updates?

Couldn’t find any recent willow updates on here (correct me if I’m blind) for the red-gate to shirley bridge section. Anything new? Specifically access on the pvt prop at redgate and strainers, sweepers, and other things that might try to kill us.

The water level has pretty much sucked all year, but before it got low there were no worries on the Redgate or Guard-Rail runs. Make sure you close the gate behind you - even if you are just going back for a few minutes.


So I’ll post what I know now as it seems like earlier intel had disappeared.

Red-gate to Shirley Town section…

Put-in: Drive with the famed red-gate, left side as coming up HP road from Willow, approx 6.5 mi in, 3/4 mile past Susitna Sled and Kayak (which is on the right). This is private property but current owners allow boaters in. Please don’t leave the gate open for any longer than to drive through and help keep this access open by not doing anything that might jeopardize it. Driveway is about a 1/2 mile, it forks halfway in, take the left fork. Stop at small turnaround area. Walk in another 100 ft and drop down to creek, ropes assist with the descent. I think it is ok to leave a car at the turnaround but not sure (see below), I left a bike near the gate and parked at the takeout.

Run is about an hour, class II at today’s midday 500ish cfs. Straightforward, no nasty surprises. Nice scenery. Similar to Girdwood at low water. I think any lower would be a game of rock pinball and scraping, just enough water today to keep that to a minimum.

Take-out: Shirley Town road old bridge (closed). About 5 miles up HP road. Possible fishing gauntlet to finish up with.

James at Susitna Sled and Kayak ( is a wealth of info, feel free to stop in during his business hours and say hello, verify access, thank him for the work he does cleaning wood up each year and passing on thanks for the access. He has a small kayak gear shop if you want to show your thanks with a shop-local purchase.

Let’s necro thread…

Update: 07-16-2016

Water levels on Willow Creek are running low at 455 cfs as of July 16th, 2016. Redgate is still runnable but you may bottom out in some areas and have to walk a short distance to find deeper water. This is not the same section when running it at 900+ cfs and not as fun. We ended up moving up to guardrail on the second run and found the rapids we were looking for.