Kongakut River Rafting
Whitewater rafting in Alaska and especially on the on the Kongakut River is all about shooting the rapids amidst wildlife, quiet hikes, fields of wildflowers, fishing, hunting and camping. It's about celebrating the summer solstice, the midnight sun and solitude.
Kongakut means "river farthest away" in the Inupiat language. It's a suitable term considering the river will be taking you farther away from society than most of us have ever ventured.
Let the Kongakut River Rafting Adventure Begin
The adventure starts out in Fairbanks with a 300 mile bush flight north to Artic Village, which is 20 miles above the Artic Circle. Here, you will begin the rafting trip, which will last for 10 days. It will be the trip of a lifetime.
The plane will land on a gravel bar of the Kongakut. After setting up camp, you can enjoy an afternoon hike across tundra covered with spring wildflowers. This area is part of a precious, intact ecological system that supports the awesome migration of the Porcupine caribou herd.
Rafting on the Kongakut takes you through the Artic National wildlife refuge
The raft journey winds through the mountain wilderness of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge down the river of caribou. In this remote corner of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and last major prehistoric wilderness in North America, you will travel with the spring migration of the Porcupine Caribou Herd.
Alaskan rafting at its most inspiring
Sometimes the river can get serious. Approximately 50 miles down the Kongakut River, the raft finds numerous small rocky rapids, shelves of ice and braided channels. There will be Class III rapids in places, with 3foot standing waves and enormous boulders with strong eddies behind them.
Experienced rafters may find this four-mile stretch a piece of cake, but for many it can be exhilarating and occasionally scary. The Kongakut will sweep you around in a conical mountain into a wide, wooded valley below Whale Mountain. To the east, a broad split reveals the Yukon border.
Highlights of a Kongakut Rafting Trip
Paddling this arctic river is a trip that can be enjoyed by all ages and abilities. Previous river experience is not necessary, as an experienced raft guide in each vessel will provide instructions. With opportunities to capture on film the animals of the arctic, the Kongakut makes a fine trip for wildlife photography, caribou swimming the river, dall sheep and moose grazing along gravel bars, and grizzly bears foraging on the slopes above.
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