Upper Russian River

Several weeks ago, I ran the stretch from Upper Russian Lake to Lower Russain Lake. It was one of my first packraft trips, and I did it solo as my hiking parters didn’t have rafts. We hiked in from the Kenai River side and I put in near the Upper Lake. I was nervious about sweepers and wood, but it turned out the first 4/5 of the run was great. The first few miles the river flowed qucikly around the vally. About the time I passed Aspen Flats Cabin, the river steepens and the river enters what I call the ‘upper canyon.’ I am guessing that the waves were about Class 2+. It was tons of fun, and considering previous whitewater experience in a 14 foot raft, the waves were strait forward and easy to read.

Once I got within about a mile and a half of the lower lake, I ran into numerious sweepers. It was really tricky by myself and with a heavy pack. After navigating about 5 log jams, I was soaking wet and cold and opted to meet up with my group on the hiking trail. I would love to do this again, it was lots of fun and beat hiking back.

In the future I would like to cross the lower lake, portage the falls, and float the rest of the way down to the parking area.

I was curious if anyone else had done this trip? If so, what were your experiences like?

Have you been back int o this trip a 2nd time? Any thoughts on what water level might be like now in September? Sounds like a lake controlled water flow so I do not know if that might keep the water higher than a non-lake controlled flow?

Anyway, looking for a few more ways to pack raft September???

Recently did upper russian lake down to the aspen flats cabin after fishing for a bit up there. it reminded me of a much clearer, slightly faster, slightly wider, straighter campbell creek. i came across 3 mandatory portages, all of which were easily seen and avoided: 2 log jams and 1 sweeper. Kenai gauge at cooper landing was 10ft, i barely scraped bottom only a few times, mostly due to my inattention. Very scenic with eagles, water fowl, vistas. I didn’t see any bears and no more sign than anywhere else.