TATSHENSHINI RIVER

Your 11-day trip on the Tatshenshini-Alsek Rivers will be one of the most memorable journeys of your life. The awesome size, beauty, and remoteness of this land make this Alaska river trip one of the greatest river trips in the world. From its beginnings as a small, rushing whitewater river in the Yukon it builds to the massive size of the combined Tatshenshini and Alsek Rivers.  From beginning to end this river grows from just a few thousand cubic feet per second to well over a hundred thousand cubic feet per second, the picture: little to huge!  The incredible beauty of Alsek Lake combined with many other wonders of the Tatshenshini will surely delight your senses.

Similar Trip:
Upper Alsek

Departure Month:
July, August
Regions:
Alaska, Canada
Duration:
Between 7 and 12 days
Rating:
Expedition, High Adventure
Pricing:
Above $2000

Alsek Lake Glacier Bay National Park

The Tat’s upper reaches offer great hiking and wildlife viewing.  A few accessible trails, lead you into the high alpine country. The vistas from any of these rewarding hikes are well worth the effort. It’s breathtaking! Just off the main river are miles and miles of wetland habitat with beaver ponds making perfect nesting grounds for many species of birds.  These wetlands also provide great habitat for moose and many other animals.  Everywhere you look the ground is covered with a variety of animal tracks.

As major tributaries join, the river grows in size every day.  The Tatshenshini transforms into a braided river with many different channels.  Around the sixth day of this 11-day trip we join the Alsek River.  In a panoramic view of the Tat/Alsek confluence you can see over 27 glaciers!

There is more great hiking in the lower section.  Also there is an opportunity to walk on the ancient ice of the Walker Glacier, a short hike from the river.  Alsek Lake is impressive, massive glaciers calve off huge chunks of ice into the lake.  We’ll have the opportunity to paddle around these beautiful icebergs.  The last night’s camp has an incredible view of Alsek Lake, with icebergs drifting in the foreground.  Views of the lake are usually the final climax of the trip.  Mount Fairweather towers above the lake at over 15,000 ft, making it one of the highest coastal mountains in the world!  Lake, icebergs, and huge mountains all make for quite a site to see!  Experience this special part of Glacier Bay National Park that only a lucky few ever see.

•  Wilderness Expedition
•  Great Hiking
•  Dense Forest to Glacier Bay
•  Glacier Walks
•  Wildflowers and Wildlife

2017 SCHEDULES AND PRICES

Tatshenshini
DATE:
July 30 – August 9
RATE:
11 – Day Trip ~ $4000.00 per person
*All park fees included

Included: We provide transportation from Haines to the river, a flight from Dry Bay (take-out) to Yakutat, all meals from lunch day 1 to lunch day 12, dry bags for your personal gear, and use of our sleeping bags, pads, and tents.

Not included: We do not cover the cost of travel from your originating city to Juneau, travel from Juneau to Haines, air travel from Yakutat to Juneau or guide gratuities.  Price does not include the hotel before and after the trip.  Alcohol if desired is also not included in price.

DISCOUNTS:

Group discounts based upon the number of people in your party.

Senior and children discounts are available. Please ask for details.

Charter trips are available for groups of 12 or more.  This means your group has reserved the entire trip.  Ask for details.

DEPOSIT AND RESERVATION:

Reservations can be made online or by calling our office at 800.252.6581.

Payment: A 25% non-refundable deposit is required to reserve your spot.  The remainder is due 45 days prior to the trip departure.

We will promptly send you a trip packet including general information on your trip, your invoice and statement, gear list, and medical and liability waiver forms that you will need to return to our office.

CANCELLATION AND REFUNDS:

Operating quality trips is a costly operation with no margin for losses resulting from late cancellations.  The space you reserve is held for you, and this may mean turning others away.  Each trip is planned for the number of reserved spaces, guides engaged, supplies bought, rafts and vehicles assigned.  If notice of cancellations is made more than 45 days prior to departure, you may transfer to any other trip in the same season without penalty.  Otherwise the cost is non-refundable.

Travel Insurance: We strongly recommend that you protect yourself with a short term traveler’s insurance policy.  Trip cancellation will cover your losses on non-refundable air and land cost on unexpected cancellations.

Cancelled Trips: We reserve the right to cancel a trip due to insufficient reservations, weather or water conditions.  In such cases, a full refund for the trip is given.  If possible, we will offer an option of a different trip of comparable type.

TRIP LOGISITICS

Before the trip:

Flying: You will fly commercially to Juneau, Alaska and take either Wings of Alaska (907.789.0790), Air Excursions (907.766.3800) or Alaska Mountain Travel (907.766.3007) from Juneau to Haines, Alaska.  You may instead want to consider taking a half day ferry from Juneau to Haines with Alaska Marine Highway, which is a great option if you have the time.  The ferry is cheaper compared to flying.

Make your reservations at the Halsingland Hotel( 800.542.6363) in Haines for the evening before the trip and at the Frontier Suites (800.544.2250) in Juneau for the evening after your trip ends.

We will have an orientation at the Halsingland Hotel the night before the trip to discuss details, distribute waterproof bags, and answer any last minute questions.  The next morning we’ll cross into Canada to Haines Junction, take a short drive/hike and arrive at the river in the afternoon.
Passports: A Passport is necessary when passing into Canada.

After the trip: We will fly you from the river to Yakutat, Alaska, where you will catch your commercial flight to Juneau (only one flight per day in the evening) with Alaska Airlines.  Depending on flight schedules, you will most likely need to spend the evening in Juneau and continue your trip home the next morning.  Your “off river” luggage will meet you in Yakutat or Junueau depending on weather conditions.

GENERAL INFORMATION

 

Recommended Reading:

 

Naturalist Guide to the Tatshenshini-Alsek by Heather Hamilton.  Sierra Club of Canada

Coming into the Country by John McPhee.  A wonderful portrayal of frontier life in Alaska around the mid 1970s.

Never Turn Back by Ron Waters.  Epic account of Walt Blackadar’s first decent of Turnback Canyon.

Tatshenshini River Wild, edited by Budd and Careless. Raincoat Books, Vancouver.

Sample Itinerary

Day Before: Arrive in Haines, Alaska before 6 pm.  Make your reservation at the Hotel Halsingland in Haines (800 542-6363) for the night before the trip.  We meet up around 6 pm the evening before to distribute dry bags, talk about trip logistics for morning departure, go over gear lists if needed, as well as answer any last minute questions.  After the meeting, the group usually has dinner together at the Halsingland Restaurant.

Day 1: We leave Haines early in the morning, arriving at Dalton Post around lunchtime.  In the van we will be crossing into Canada, so don’t forget your passport!  After we get the boats rigged, the journey begins.  The best rapids of the trip are the first day!  After some fun whitewater we find our first camp to call home.

Day 2: After a beautiful day on the river we will camp near Sediment Creek to set up for a big hike tomorrow.

Day 3: Hike anyone?  A layover camp to give anyone that wants the opportunity to go on an impressive day hike!  Sediment Creek hike offers a long walk to the high alpine country.  There are also several shorter options as well.

Day 4-5: As we continue down stream the river just keeps getting bigger and the mountains taller!

Day 6: Probably be camping somewhere near the confluence with the mighty Alsek.  This confluence is known by some as “the center of the universe.”  Grab a little extra firewood and we can heat up some hot water for bathing.

Day 7-10: We’ll float the spectacular 30+ miles of the lower Alsek River to Dry Bay with opportunities for a glacier walk and exploring many other beautiful spots. Camping on the lower section of the trip offers spectacular views of Walker Glacier and Alsek Lake.  With the right conditions views of Mount Fairweather are breathtaking.  Fairweather towers above at over 15,000 ft, making it one of the highest costal mountains in the world.

Day 11: It is an early morning the last day.  After breakfast and a few hours on the river we arrive at Dry Bay.  We provide the flight from Dry Bay to Yakutat, Alaska around lunchtime.  Then you will catch your Alaska Airlines flight from there back to Juneau for the evening.  Depending on where you are flying, most people end up staying the night in Juneau after the trip.  Make your reservations into Juneau and out of Yakutat.  We will have the gear you didn’t take on the river waiting for you in Yakutat.  If your bags cannot make it to Yakutat because of weather, we will have them in Juneau waiting for you.  There is also the option to purchase a shower at the Yakutat Lodge, before your flight to Juneau.

Tatshenshini and Alsek Rivers Suggested Gear

Download Printable Check List

PLEASE READ CAREFULLY

This is the suggested gear list for this particular trip. Having the right gear is important to making it the best possible experience for you. Most of the gear listed you will have or you can use it year-round on any outdoor excursion (football games, boating, skiing, etc.) We want you to have everything you will need to be comfortable and happy.

Please: no stereos, radios, cell phones or watches

GEAR PROVIDED – we provide LIFE JACKETS, 1 large DRY BAG OR 2 WATERPROOF DUFFEL BAGS (one for sleeping bag, pad & ground cloth, and one for clothing), and a WATERPROOF DAY BAG for items you would like accessible during the day (dry shirt, suntan lotion, camera, etc.). Weight limit should be around 40lbs. You may use our SLEEPING BAGS, PADS, AND TENTS, or bring your own and receive a discount.

GEAR NEEDED

• SYNTHETIC SLEEPING BAG (WARM EVEN WHEN WET), PAD, TENT, GROUND CLOTH (for sleeping out under the stars and or spread your gear on)

• RAIN GEAR… good jacket and pants.  Gortex is nice for hiking and light weather, but Rubberized raingear (Helly Hansen or comparable) is ideal for potential foul weather.

• MIDWEIGHT SHIRTS… 4 and one long sleeved.

• 2 PAIR LONG PANTS… synthetics are best

• SHORTS… 2 pair, synthetics dry faster.

• CAP TO BLOCK SUN, & WOOL HAT for cool evenings…a must for everyone.  In case of wind attach with ties (chum) or  shoestring.

• GLOVES OR MITTENS… synthetic or wool.

• WARM SHIRTS 0R SWEATERS…wool or polar fleece (2)

• LONG UNDERWEAR… 2 pair Polypro or Capilene (not cotton) tops & bottoms.

• WARM PANTS… wool or polar fleece

• LIGHT WEIGHT PANTS… synthetics dry quickly

• WARM JACKET…synthetic piles are popular because they are warm even when damp.

FOOTWEAR: The comfort of your feet will make a big difference in your enjoyment of the trip!

• KNEE-HIGH RUBBER BOOTS with good tread.  They are worn every rafting day.

• HIKING BOOTS or sturdy walking shoes …well broken in. No brand new boots, please.

• SOCKS…4 pair of wool, 2 pair light synthetic, fleece socks are also nice for wearing in camp.

• THIN LINER SOCKS…nylon or synthetic, not cotton.

• RUNNING SHOES… for around camp and short hikes.

• SUNGLASSES AND TIES FOR GLASSES…protects against glare. Pack an extra pair of prescription glasses  if even if you wear contacts.

• SUNTAN LOTION…maximum strength sun block & moisture lotion.

• CHAPSTICK

• INSECT REPELLENT

• FLASHLIGHT…small one is fine, headlamps work great.

• WATER BOTTLE…1 liter.

MOSQUITO NETTING, head gear especially. This can be picked up in Inuvik.

• CAMERA & FILM…bring more than you think you need, just in case.

• SMALL DAY OR FANNY PACK…for side excursions.

• POCKET KNIFE

• ZIPLOCK BAGS… for wet or dirty clothes

• PAPER & PEN, BOOK…. Many people enjoy writing notes about their trip.

• BIODEGRADABLE SOAP AND HAND TOWEL

• ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE…if desired (unbreakable containers).

• BINOCULARS (optional)

Wilderness River Outfitters provide a MAJOR FIRST AID KIT.  However, we do recommend you bring your own preferred personal medication and accessories (Advil, Tylenol, aspirin, Band-Aids, cold medicine).

Reviews from the Tatshenshini-Alsek Rivers Trip

The trip was unbelievable…spectacular and such a great group of people.
~Martine Saunier  (Alsek)

Guides were at the rock star level!
~Richard Loney  (Alsek, AK)

This was a first time experience…it was truly a memorable one.  This outcome was no accident as it reflects very careful planning and carrying out that plan in every detail.  Joe, John and Seth are fully responsible for this marvelous adventure. Many Thanks!
~John Uharriet  (Alsek)

The river, the scenery, the hikes… everything was much better than we even expected. It is amazing how the scenery kept getting bigger and bigger!!! We would like to thank the guides they all did a great job all the time. The trip was just the best because they were the best.
~Elsa & Alex Climent  (TAT)

Your company puts on a first rate trip, each guide was experienced, flexible, knowledgeable, and fun; each in their own way. Obviously, you draw the best of the best to work with.
~Jude Rosenberg  (TAT)

What an amazing trip!!!!!! Truly made spectacular with you outstanding guides. “Brent” is a fabulous natural leader, and Art and Joe Biby are no less than wonderful. They couldn’t have been better – kind and fun for the kids, so knowledgeable and informative for us.
~Sandi Fifield  (TAT)

My expectations for this trip were very high, unrealistically maybe, but the trip exceeded even unrealistic expectations. I’m still blown away from the place, the people, and the whole experience.
~Bob Wilson  (TAT)

The trip reconnected me to a sense of wonder & beauty that I had forgotten somewhere along the way.
~Nora Harrison  (TAT)

Way beyond expectations!!
~Allan & Barbara Dresser   (TAT)

I enjoyed being alerted to the Northern Lights, seeing the many eagles, watching an iceberg “tip over” in Alsek Lake, seeing wildlife footprints, the awesome “skit night” & rock contest, and the sailing of rafts on Alsek Lake.
~Art Butzgy  (TAT)

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