Anyone around in Ketchikan area? Still can’t believe Hig and Erin’s trip around the area. I spend a good deal of time up the Unuk and it’s pretty wild and sketchy but the tribs are great hikes and better floats to let loose on. Anyone ever been up the Klahini? it’s always foggy when i fly it. The Leduc has some amazing water worth checking out.
We just got home from a long weekend visiting friends in Ketchikan. Thought about bringing the packraft but didn’t. Regreted it. Saw so many places
that would have made some great drive to spots. A friend and I may venture that way next summer and bring our rafts. Ward creek looked pretty sweet but wow, sweeper city. I wonder if one could make it down Connell lake dam. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLUkzMp-swo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vV70kIDtUGo
Perhaps I am being quite conservative BUT…after watching that video of the damn and the flow if someone actually attempted to run that damn, I believe it would be a brainless, idiotic, death wish decision. Even if I had many ppl down there with throw ropes, I still would not consider it.
Good to know. I’ll leave it alone then. As I have said before, I am new to this stuff and lack the experience to know what can be done and what cannot.
Overall, I think exploring in Misty Fjords is amongst the most exciting packrafting frontiers in Alaska. Between amazing ocean paddling, alpine hiking, and river running, the packraft opens up some really cool options.
The Unuk was not particularly sketchy… we were going up it, so it was walking. One nice piece to the upstream route was paddling upstream in Lake Creek to just short of the falls, then walk the bear trails and paddle the lakes that are parallel to the Unuk upstream from there. Just don’t bother to try to walk around the lakes, make time to inflate/deflate.
From Walker Cove, we took a not-so-good route (what we dubbed “Entree Fee Creek”) to the pass down to one of tribs of the Chikamin. In hindsight, I think there may be some very interesting alpine routes that would avoid the horrible bushwhack on the Entree Fee ascent. The descending valley was quite nice. The first part of the tributary (I don’t have a map on me, so I don’t remember the name) was pretty heavy whitewater for us, and shallow, but interesting. The rest of the way down to the mouth of the Chikamin was fun and easy. And paddling Behm Canal is generally nice. As a whole, it makes a pretty cool several day loop starting and ending in Walker cove. I think you could get more ambitious and try to find a sneaky route between the glaciers from the Chikamin drainages to the Unuk, then maybe explore the purported old route at the headwaters of the Blue R., and you could have a totally different take on our long-road from Ketchikan to Wrangell.
Thanks for responding with some details of your trip. I’ve been real curious to know more about the route you chose through here. The groundtruth blog gives some exciting details, but as noted, not in linear form. Can’t wait to get a copy of the book and after reading it, I’d love to pick your brain on some ideas about the area. One particular place in question is the Blue. Did you walk up the Blue from the Unuk? I’ve heard this place will shred your boots and gloves in no time. I was very keen on the idea of rafting the Blue during high water to clear any exposed lava, but after seeing it at highs and lows, it seems improbable that one could escape this river with boat in repairable condition.
The first US/Canadian boundary survey reports some fascinating routes between the Leduc River, possibly through the smaller Leduc Creek and over to Lake creek falls on the Unuk. They make it sound so easy like they just skipped back and forth. For a good laugh, read the account of surveyors trying to pole canoes up the Unuk lava falls just below the first canyon. They were a hardy folk back then.
A route that took you up the Chickamin and down the Stikine would be one interesting way to reach Wrangell.