What's your favorite after work packraft adventure?

As I have just started packrafting this year and don’t know about all the possibilities around my home town (salt lake city), my current favorite is the Weber river, right off of 84 from Henefer to the morgan county fairgrounds. The river is about 11 miles and the bike ride back to the car is 7 or 8. It’s a nice class III- run for the first 6 miles, then easing to II for the final 5 before the eight foot drop (III+) that ends the run (though the drop is easily portagable). House to house time is about 6 hours if I push it (I’m lucky I get off at 3:30!).

I like the trip because of the wildlife (the first time I did it, I saw a martin, 8 ducks, 12 ducklings, a snake , a doe bedded down, a western blue bird and a great blue heron), the fast moving water and the play potential depending on what the water level is like. Who says you can’t surf in a packraft…

Usually, the only gear you need is a pair of shorts, some water and food, your drytop and the other packraft essentials, making sure you have your lock, bike shoes, bike lights and your helmet. You can do the trip carrying the bike on the raft, or shuttling the bike to the take out. The ride back to your car is on a divided highway, but the mountains are beautiful and the traffic marginal.

I’d be interested in both quick slc trips, but also the trips all of you do out there in other locales!

Would love a video or youtube link here.

Those of us in “other places” (eg Oztralia), and, perhaps with “certain job types”, just don’t have the facility for “after work” packrafting, and the whole concept that you have described just sounds like a dream come true, and something I’d like to see to believe!

Sadly, I dream of an annual packrafting trip, and the whole concept of an “after work” one just floors me.

Please share it…


Here’s the basis of my view of an afterwork packraft adventure.

  1. The basis of measuring time here is house to house, not car to car or put it to take out, b/c we don’t have much time after work and we all have things we need to do when we return home.
  2. The adventure can take on any element of packrafting you’re interested in: hike up a river, boat back to your car/ packraft your bike down the river, pack up the boat on the bike and ride the bike back to the car, paddling out to your favorite lake to fish, your favorite park and huck destination or even a normal shuttled river trip that is close enough to do in an evening.
  3. Includes the logistics so others can try it out if they’re interested.

I’ll work on a video, but I’ll be gone for a couple weeks here coming up, so it may take a while.

Some of the things that make afterwork adventures special to me are that they break up a normal work week w/ some excitement. Not only is the activity exciting, but when it is time sensitive (b/c of home obligations or nightfall) another element of adventure is added. I also feel like I’m indulging in something that most all people have the opportunity to indulge in, but often times don’t see it as an option. Because of this, I feel lucky and privileged to get the opportunity to experience it. While other people are at home by their own choice, I’m pursuing something I’m passionate about.

I’ve applied this paradigm to all of the other sports I’m interested in, from skiing to running to climbing, and in each case, I haven’t been disappointed with the results. I guess in the end, I find that recreating on a daily basis, even if only for an hour or two is a better balance for ME than on a weekly or a monthly basis, though, make no mistake, that is only the way I feel. In no way am I implying that this is how everyone SHOULD feel. I’m a big believer in the “to each his/her own,” mantra.

In regards to the “certain job types,” I understand how many jobs would make this concept very difficult. I teach high school, so while my weekly workload usually hovers around 55-60 hours, I can shuffle it around and skip some sleep to do some adventuring occasionally.

Yep, you make of life what you can. I agree.

You just got me at a “down time” - Australian winter, finish work at 6.30pm, but dark by 6pm, windy, cold, uninspiring weather, nearest useful river probably >1.5hrs drive etc etc. Realise that US winter is by far worse, however…I do try to sea-kayak regularly on my afternoon off, but it has been so windy and miserable that even this hasn’t happened for 2 months. Roll on summer!

This is more of relaxing and a bit of a workout than an adventure. I’ve done it twice this summer in Phoenix - it’s just so nice to get on the water!
The Lower Salt River east of Phoenix is full of tubers all summer. There is even a bus transporting tubers from various take outs back to the parking lot. I avoid the tubers and at least a few degrees of heat by going early. I park at the take out and walk a couple of miles up the road to the put in. Blow up my Yak and drift back to my car. It gives me a chance to practice wet reentries and some ferrying. House to house it’s under three hours to do this short, class I - maybe a tiny bit of class II - section.

Kasilof River, Kenai Peninsula Alaska

Door to door time approx 5 hrs. Tustamena Lake is a 20 mile long body of water that is fed by glacial melt from the Harding Ice Field before it makes its way to the Cook Inlet via the Kasilof. I can bike from by home several miles to a campground at the headwaters of the Kasilof at the west end of Tustamena. The water is slow at the put in, almost stagnant. The paddle starts off winding through spruce and birch forest. Migratory birds are everywhere, Loons, Arctic Terns, Sand Hill Cranes, Cormorants, Bald Eagles, it is literally in the high hundreds of bird species viewable. They line the shores, dive through the air around you and perch on the rocks in the river. The river gradually picks up speed after the first couple miles of leisure paddling as you distance yourself from the lake. The river is wide enough that it is never blocked by fallen trees. I once saw a Grizzly sow and two cubs swimming across it. The banks are steep at some points giving you a secluded feeling, but never cliffs. Depending on what part of the summer you paddle the water can be packed with a variety of salmon. Chinooks, Cohoe, Sockeye, Humpies, and also steel head trout and Dolly Vardon. There are a few sections listed on the map as rapids but I have paddled this at a wide variety of flows and feel is is generous to call the few wave trains class II, however -they frequently send the few canoers that paddle the river swimming. A few more miles down you start to encounter a few remote cabins on the shores. I dont believe I have ever floated it without moose sightings. I once paddled right by one on a sand bar during a midnight float. Near summer solstice this is my favorite time to go as it doesnt get dark enough to need a headlamp, and there seem to be more wildlife sightings and few fisherman. Eventually some houses on the road system start to line the shores and not long after I reach the take out at the Sterling Highway. I pedal two miles of asphalt then back onto dirt for a complete round trip. About 10 river miles, 7-10 bike miles. It is possible to continue out to Cook Inlet and complete a bike trip home, but gets into the longer realm of a full day trip vs the after work jaunt. I admit… I don’t always do the trip motor-less, but some days its worth firing up the truck to go only a few miles just to have a few hours of river time. Usually when I am tired or don’t feel like going are the times I need to go the most. Its too easy to get caught up in the grind of working and I feel fortunate to be able to have such close access to wilderness.

I realize this was posted under the lower 48 section, but it still qualifies as my great after work trip, so I couldnt resist sharing ( or bragging?) I have 13 acres of land and travelers are welcome.

Maybe I should be the one apologizing for posting this question under the Lower 48 forum heading… Either way pgarnet, that sounds sweet! I’ve posted a video on youtube about what a typical afterwork packraft adventure looks like to me, to help illustrate what I’m referring to. Sorry about the lack of actual packrafting footage…