A group of friends and I are headed to the Talkeetnas for a backpacking trip in early August, and we’re interested in trying out packrafting for the first time. The current plan is to hike in from Dogsled Pass, put in downstream of the mile or so of Class III rapids, and paddle to the highway. Can anyone give me advice on whether the lower Kashwitna (north fork to the highway) would be reasonable for us if we have a lot of backcountry experience but don’t have paddling/packrafting experience? I’ve read there are rapids in that stretch, but can’t find much detail.
I haven’t done this run, but I’ve looked into it a few times. There is not much whitewater on the Kash. The bigger problem is going to be bears and wood. Check out Roman’s “Independent Sheep” run for a cool Dogsled Pass route. I’d much rather tackle that than the Kash.