24 August 2000

RAFTING : Tatshenshini / Alsek Rivers, YT & BC, CANADA and AK, USA

Location: Shawashee, YT, Canada
FIRST Rafting Expedition

Designation(s): TATSHENSHINI - ALSEK are Canadian Heritage Rivers, World Heritage Site
Canadian Heritage Rivers: TATSHENSHINI
Canadian Heritage Rivers: ALSEK
Air Travel: Vancouver > Whitehorse, YT
Vehicle Shuttle: Whitehorse > Shawashee (Dalton Post)
Guides: Ron Morrison, Trent Abbott, Pepi Krajc, Jeff Faulkner
Rafters: Lesley Brooks, Tom Irwin, Mona Whitaker, Roger, Carol and Eric Pearson, US
Rafts: Commanche, Heffi and Hualapai
Put-In: confluence of Klukshu Creek 
Expedition Raft: Tatshenshini, YT > Alsek River confluence, BC > near Dry Bay, AK  - CIII, 11 river days, 255 kms
Elevation Drop: 2000 metres
Take-Out: Couple of kms upstream of Dry Bay, AK
Portage: Take-Out > Dry Bay, AK
Air Travel: Dry Bay, AK, USA > Whitehorse, YT, CANADA
Photography: Scanned analog

From Nahanni River Adventure's Website

The Tatshenshini-Alsek is one of the most magnificent river systems on earth, flowing through one of the world’s most pristine wilderness areas. The region is prime habitat for large mammals including the grizzly, the rare glacier bear, moose, wolf, mountain goat and Dall sheep, and birds such as the bald eagle, peregrine falcon and trumpeter swan. It is a place of exceptional quality and environmental significance. The Tatshenshini-Alsek features tremendous biological diversity and overwhelming natural beauty, which should be protected and preserved for future generations.

The Tatshenshini River begins as a trickle in the alpine meadows of the Chilkat Summit, then swells to more than half a mile (about one kilometre) in breadth. At its confluence with the Alsek River, the two rivers rival the largest drainages on the continent. Together they form a vital green corridor, between the interior and coast, through the highly glaciated and rugged peaks of the St. Elias Range and coastal mountains. Below the spectacular peaks, the broad, lush valley is home to large populations of grizzlies, bald eagles, moose, wolves and other animals. These qualities have earned the river a reputation as a coveted destination. Visitors are often torn between the choice of beginning their trip on the Tatshenshini or the Alsek. Those who have experienced both say you must keep each of them on your list. Raft expeditions launch at the confluence of Klukshu Creek, location of the historic Southern Tuchone village of Shawashee. Highlights of the Tashenshini include a section of Class III whitewater, spotting wildlife while meandering through lush meadows and thick foliage, and the excitement of swift water through a glacially carved valley beneath the St. Elias Range.



  1. Wow, you have done some incredible trips and have put a lot of work into this site!! We spent a year in NZ a few years ago. Where are you going next? If you tell me your plan, I would be happy to send you some tips. Could I trouble you for a bit of beta? We're doing a 2 week private Tatshenshini trip this summer and I've been tasked with researching hikes. Any tips for me? I've read through the guidebook, but am looking for a little more details. Any beta and highlights you remember would be really appreciated!! Cheers, Alison

  2. Thanks Alison - have sent you some info using your contact info. Cheers.


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