So Who is packrafting in Southeast Alaska this summer?

I’m about to head back to Juneau for the summer and I’m picking up a Dry-Suit on my way home! Finally I won’t have to freeze in the middle of summer! Anyone Packrafting in Southeast? I usually end up going alone or with some angalers who do not like the whitewater much. Looking to meet some other paddling friends in the area…

I will be salmon seining out of Petersburg this summer and will be bringing my packraft along. I commercial fished in SE last summer and only used my packraft a couple of days, but had more days off that I could have played around. I don’t ever know what my schedule will be ahead of time, but places that I expect to have some time off include Petersburg, Sitka and Tenakee. Those are places that I had time off last year anyway. Unfortunately, I rarely know where or how long I will be in any place at any time. All I can say for sure is that I will be in SE from late June to early September - but working most of that time. There is usually a lull or two in the season wherein I end up having a few days off in a row.

Ryan Hickel

Where have you packrafted? Did you float any creeks/rivers? Anything fun in the Tenakee (springs?) area? My friend has a cabin in Tenakee and I might make a trip there with him this summer. Not going to be in Juneau?

I packrafted at Baranoff lake, just up the hill from Baranoff Hot Springs. It was beautiful, but flat water of course (not counting the wind borne waves that came up). The other place I packrafted was up Waterfall Creek in Slocum Arm (Bay?) in Waterfall Cove on Chichagoff Island. I went up a little ways on the high tide. So mainly just dinking around last summer. There is a creek I sport fished just east of Tenakee village that looked packraftable at decent water levels. You would have to bushwack upstream a bit to get any kind of a real float in, because the trail I accessed it from crosses it very near the mouth. Lots of brown bears round there. I would really doubt I would be in Juneau this summer - though we might seine around there, we didn’t last year.

I’m just getting into packrafting really, because I was attached to a girlfriend with a dog for three of the last four years I’ve owned my raft. No longer. I packrafted some rivers in Laos in 2005. Here in AK, I did a two week trip from Whittier to Dangerous Passage (salt water packrafting), and day trips on the Twentymile, Placer and Kenai. I plan on doing stuff in Chugach State Park this May/June, with maybe a run up north to the Tokositna for a few days. I really don’t have much whitewater experience.

Ryan Hickel