Lakina Packraft Traverse

Trip Description

This trip is the most well-known packrafting loop in the Wrangells. It has been in Alpacka’s annual calendar and you can read about it on many different blogs on the internet.  The Lakina River Traverse combines the same terrain covered on the Classic Hike Back trip with 17 miles of wilderness packrafting down the Lakina River to the McCarthy Road.

From the Fosse the route heads south to the goat knoll above Hidden Creek Lake and the old miners trail into Hidden Creek. One or two more days up the Hidden Creek drainage bring you to Oz.  This alpine wonderland with its huge views of Castle Peak and Mt Blackburn is adorned with and pristine lakes perfect for a relaxing packraft float or refresher on skills. We then hike down to the Lakina Glacier where the Lakina River runs directly from the glacier’s snout.

The upper river is rocky and can be very shallow, forcing us to walk down river for a mile or two before we start rafting.  Eventually, other tributaries join the Lakina, and the volume rises and more consistently good boating is found through braided, fast moving channels.

As the river narrows to a singe channel it enters a small wooden canyon, the next couple of miles bring sharp turns and boulder gardens through this Class III section of river.  This wooded canyon has some great wilderness campsites, allowing us to raft the river in two days.  After Fohlin Creek the Lakina is near it’s total volume and continues as a swift moving single channel thru the alder jungle to where the McCarthy road crosses the river.

The trip ends where the Lakina River meets the McCarthy Road.  We will have a shuttle waiting to pick us up and bring us back to McCarthy after we arrive at the road.

The itinerary for this trip can be flexible.  We can begin either in Kennicott or use the Fosse Airstrip up the Kennicott Glacier as a starting point or as a chance to drop off our packrafting gear so that we don’t have to carry it across the glacier.  The prices below represent the trip hiking from Kennicott and using no air support.  Contact us to discuss pricing for trip options that involve air support.

This trip requires previous packrafting experience.  If you have previous river experience, but not in a packraft, and are interested in this trip, contact us.   Depending on previous experience, we can include a day of  pre-trip packrafting skills into your itinereary for a discounted rate.

Gear Included:  

Alpacka Packraft with cargo fly (drybag system), whitewater spray deck, Aquabound paddle, Kokatat drysuit, PFD, helmet, gloves

hard  (hard)

Trip Highlights:
Hike and float crosses through a wide variety of amazing mountain terrain with views of Castle Peak and Mt Blackburn. Amazing alpine camping and hiking with stunning alpine lakes above Lakina River. Seldom run wilderness river with high level of adventure and use of many packrafting skill sets.

Terrain Challenges May Include:
Ability to carry a 40 – 55 lb (18 – 25 kg) pack through a variety of steep, rocky and unstable terrain. Light to moderate river crossings on foot. 17 miles continuous packrafting up to Class III rapids in fast and cold glacial water.

Available Season:
Mid August – Mid september

2020 Pricing

Prices listed are a PER PERSON price, based on the number of clients in your group. Price based on a hiking/floating only trip with NO air support. Contact us if you are interested in flights or gear resupply. Number of guides depends on past boating experience and personal skill level.

Lakina Packraft Traverse
Number of Clients6 days7 days+
$50/person discount if you use your own packraft
$50/person discount if you use your own drysuit (Drysuits Required)

View Lakina River Traverse in a larger map