I thought some of you may be interested in the details of a great packrafting river in Glacier Bay, the Beartrack. The mouth of the river is located north of the Beardslee Islands and the east side of the bay. Access to the mouth is via boat or kayak.
True to its name, the vast number of brown bears have made an easy trail up the north side of the river. The bear trails even cut of the river’s meanders, so just stay on the trails as the river takes a sharp bend and the bears will lead you upstream rather efficiently.
We did this river in mid-June and the water level was great. We hiked about 3 hours upstream until the bush bashing got more difficult and the gradient steepened. We then floated the fun class III and lower run back to our sailboat in the bay. The river is almost a fun wave trail the whole way down. Some logs at the mouth. We encourage others to explore further as it is probably pretty good. Possibly harder rapids as the gradient picks up.
If you are anchoring in the bay watch out for the shoal mudflats that extend out surprisingly far. We anchored in 60 ft on the northeast side. Mud bottom with good holding ground.
The combination of fun rapids, easy walk, great (though sometimes intimidating) wildlife, and wonderful scenery has put this near the top of our packrafting trips.
You can see photos (or will be able to soon) at our blog ,watchingtelltales.com
Best Rob Cadmus and Kate Glover.