Chitina and Copper Rivers Rafting
Rafting: Chitina/Copper Rivers, Alaska
Spectacular glacial scenery, sand dunes, and big volume whitewater make Copper River one of Alaska’s premier wilderness whitewater adventures. (courtesy, Copper Oar)
Price: $$
River Rapid Class: I-III
Trip in Miles: Chitina River: 70 miles; Copper River: 110 miles
Trip Duration: 8 to 14 days
Season: June-September
Raft Types: Oar Raft, Paddle Raft
River Sections: Kennecott, Nizina, and Chitina rivers to Chitina; Chitina to Flagg Point east of Cordova (Copper River)
Nearby Towns: Valdez (AZ)
Gateway City: Valdez (AK)
Driving Times: Anchorage (AK): 6 hours

Wrangell/St. Elias National Park and Preserve is the largest national park in the United States. At 13.2 million acres it is more than six times the size of Yellowstone. And here's another superlative: the Wrangell/St. Elias Mountains are the highest coastal mountains in the world. They contain the largest concentration of peaks over 14,500 feet in North America, and have more vertical relief than the Himalayas. The Copper River system drains these mountains. A favorite river trip starts at the eerie ghost town of McCarthy and then follows the Kennecot, Nizina, Chitina, and finally the Copper River to Prince William Sound. Floating down from the interior of these majestic mountains, river trippers experience braided glacier streams, canyons, and the intricate Copper River delta. The wildlife is terrific. In the interior, you might spot Dall sheep and mountain goats. And when you hit the Copper River Delta, the party really gets jumping. Be on the lookout for moose and bison, grizzly and black bears, and wolves. The lower Copper River is breeding ground to 10 percent of the world's trumpeter swans. In Prince William Sound there is an excellent chance to view humpback whales, seals, sea lions, sea otters, bald eagles, and puffins.

Published: 18 May 2011 | Last Updated: 25 Aug 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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