Placer River-Spencer Glacier

Was just wondering if anyone had floated the Placer river down on the northern tip of the Kenai. If so is there a way to trek into the vicinity of spencer glacier and then packraft out. It looked like a fairly easy float but very scenic. Has anyone done this? If so I’m interested in what route you took. Thanks

I know people have done this by going up the Johnson Pass trail and then up Center Creek, but I’ve heard that its a slog. Last summer, we tried going over from Center Ridge (Turnagain Pass), which keeps you (mostly) above treeline, but we got cliffed out at the ridge just southeast of Tincan Peak and had to turn back. We were hoping for a walk-over and didn’t have any tools with us.

Last week we tried again, with more snowpack, ice axes in hand, and ropes and crampons in our packs. This time we made it, but the pass was still a little sketchy. We used the axes, but not the crampons or ropes. And of course, after that we still had to endure the 3 hour bushwhack from Center Creek Pass down to Spencer Glacier Lake, with a few cliffs thrown in for good measure.

The river is not exciting, so if you’re looking for a fun rafting trip, you should look elsewhere. But if you are looking for a very scenic hike and want to paddle around some icebergs, and don’t mind several hours of bushwhacking, its a fun way to spend the day.

Full report and photos: