Macleren Summit

Hi I was wondering if Rock Creek on the Denali highway has enough water for a packraft. I was thinking a fun trip would be Macleren summit to Sevenmile Lake hike to Landmark gap lake out to the highway on rock creek then ride my bike to Macleren Summit.

Yup. It even has enough water for a kayak. Kayakers put in around Downwind Lake and run that steeper section down from there (III+/IV- continuous boulder garden). For a kayak you want to be in there in the spring or after a big rain for there to be enough water. I haven’t run it, but I’m pretty sure it is in Embeck’s book. You can probably get away with a little less water with a packraft, but it doesn’t get its name for nothing. While you are in the area you might as well check out Valdez Creek over by the Susitna (63 12’ 17.28"N, 147 19’13.84"W). It is a very similar run and has amazing hiking at the headwaters. I have run Valdez Creek (in a kayak) and I would say it is III+/IV- and a continuous boulder garden. You have to be comfortable reading and running and catching small eddies on the fly. If you fall out of your boat DO NOT STAND UP. Also on Valdez Creek watch out for mining debris! I also believe that Valdez Creek is in Embeck’s book. From my understanding the kayaker/whitewater runs on Rock Creek and Valdez Creek are very similar. Hope that helps!

Paul Schauer

I just checked, neither run is in Embick’s book. Sorry 'bout that. Hope you have fun out there!

Thanks for the information. I think I may have to try this trip this summer. Just noticed I put Landmark gap lake, when I meant Glacier gap lake.

I floated it last summer, and found out why it is called “rock creek”. It felt like I spent more time getting in or out of my boat than floating. I would recommend going through Glacier Lake to Sevenmile lake over the pass to Eureka out to the Richardson Hwy. Great trip!!!
Next summer I am looking at the West MaCleran and Clear Creek area for having some fun.

Ran it this past weekend. Ended up hiking most of it due to the rock gardens. Needed much higher water. If I do it again I will make sure to wait tell periods of heavy rain or right in the spring during high water. However the hiking was amazing! I got to see my first wolverine.