East Fork of Eklutna River -- Eric Parsons

A While back I gave the East fork of the Eklutna River a go. Biked
back to the trailhead around the lake then began the hunter trail semi-
schwack. I had been back to the end of the valley once before to climb
peaks and didnt really think much about the river itself. About 5
miles in the trail peters out near a knoll shown on the Imus map I got
bear-weary and put in there, a bit daunted by the solo class III ahead
of me with lots of rocks. After a bit of sillyness I started walking
the bigger stuff and had a good adventure. There are some major
strainers further down with bad schwack portaging. I continued pass my
bike under the bridge and eventually floated out to the Lake, where I
took out. Its very bueatiful floating into the lake I might add. You
can hike back to the main ATV road, ditch your pack and run/walk back
to your bike, at least thats what I did
An all terrain day for sure, bring a helmet and a friend.
-Eric Parsons

Tried this yesterday, of course before searching on the forum. I had also been on this trail (Telchina Falls / East Fork trail) many times and had never really close attention to the water for packrafting purposes, other than casual glances. Yesterday I scouted as I walked up, and only made it about 3/4 mile up before I saw some stuff in the distance (one of the places the trail gets away from the water) that was either going to require some ugly portaging or potentially get my solo butt in trouble. So I put in and had a blast for a few minutes (incidentally sealed my decision to order a raft with spraydeck as I took in a foot of water literally within 30 seconds), went past the bridge for awhile. This fork gets really braided as you get closer to the lake, and a combination of stiff winds making navigation challenging and scraping I got out about 1.5 miles from the bridge, short bushwhack to the road, and hiked back to my bike.

While I was in the area I briefly scoped out the west fork, was going to run it as it definitely looks like a nice bit of entertainment, however the wind had kicked up in that canyon to about 40 mph or so (my bike and trailer were leaning pretty good to the left against the bridge, wind knocked them over to the right) and I envisioned my packraft becoming a thousand dollar kite.