Upper Kuskulana River Canyon Report

Here’s a short video of our Upper Kuskulana River trip. The water was really high, which was scary at first, but it wound up being fine. Probably one of the tightest, deepest, most runnable whitewater canyons in Alaska.


Timmy J.

awesome… after scouting and deciding against it and running the lower portion instead earlier this summer, it was nice to see what it is like in there. and i’m glad i didn’t take my solo-packrafting-butt in there at what i think was even higher water back then. my only complaint was it looked like you ruined a perfectly good bike n hike shuttle with atvs. ick :astonished:

yeah, the video doesn’t do justice for how high the water was at all. then again, videos never seem to justify anything accept court dates on illegal runs. Yep, we used an ATV. I’ve hiked into Upper Kuskulana with my kayak before. I’ve hiked enough with my kayak to justify using an ATV… it gets boats into places we otherwise wouldn’t get into (60 miles into Friday Creek Canyon, 42 miles into the Kotsina River, etc… If you want to try hiking a kayak into these places on your back than feel free. Of course, you could just hike the 4 lb. packraft in, but then you wouldn’t be able to run half of the creeks we do in the first place, so that would defeat the purpose. Yep. That’s all I’ve got. That being said, it would be packraftable at lower water, but if you swim, you’re probably going to swim a really long time because there’s nowhere to get out.

Tim Johnson

Atv’s are fine, much like cars we use to get to a particular location.
Packrafts can access more streams, kayaks can do harder water, it’s a toss up.
Regardless the Kuskalana looks awesome.

Didn’t mean to insult your manhood there, apologies for any offense. I got nothng against atvs being used responsibly (and perhaps a little touchy cause last time I was bicycling around that area came across anything but). I am fully aware that I am but an occasional weekend warrior, the lover of easy trips, virtual pond scum in this crowd, able to scare myself on Portage creek (hey that 2mph current is vicious :laughing: ). Cheers and like I said, awesome video, loved to see what I’ll probably never see in person.

No worries johnz, no offense taken at all. It’s just tough lugging in plastic 60 miels sometimes, you know:^) Glad you enjoyed the video. I agree, most people don’t know how to correctly use ATV’s and really screw trails up with erosion. Responsible riding reduces that impact vastly. Hey, don’t say you’ll never see Upper Kuskulana in person, it’s really pretty doable when the water gets low and I believe it’d be a good time in a packraft provided you stay in the boat:^)

Timmy J.