Alaska rafting on the Tatshenshini and Alsek rivers are something that must be seen to be believed.
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  • Telefax: 801-268-1193
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  • Post Office Box 57575
  • Salt Lake City, Utah
  • 84157-0575

Alaska Rafting the Tatshenshini and Alsek Rivers

The Tatshenshini and Alsek Rivers have their headwaters in the extremely rugged regions of northwest British Columbia and the Yukon. Their corridors and tributaries connect a vast wilderness composed of adjoining parks and preserves in the United States and Canada that make up the largest protected international ecological unit in the world. In recognition of its extraordinary scenic and wildlife values, the Tatshenshini-Alsek wilderness area has been designated a World Heritage site by the United Nations. Because of their incredible wildness and beauty the rivers have become on the short list of the best rafting trips in the world.

Land of Ice and Glaciers

The Tatshenshini and Alsek Rivers wind their way through the largest non-polar ice field in the world. Below the confluence of the two rivers participants have the opportunity to walk on and explore the Walker Glacier, before the river flow into Alsek Lake where multiple glaciers are cut off by the river and form an enormous lake complete with hundreds of icebergs of varying sizes. Above the confluence the Alsek flows through Lowell Lake, and Turnback Canyon, where the Tweedsmuir Glacier has pushed the river into a solid granite mountain creating a section of class V rapids that require a helicopter portage around. The Tatshenshini is joined by a beautiful blue river called Melt Creek before its confluence with the Alsek.

True Wild

The best thing about Alaska rafting through the Tatshenshini and Alsek Rivers is the experience of seeing the diverse flora and fauna. Camps are warmed by clusters of flaming fireweed and purple lupine. Sidestreams are teaming with spawning salmon and the area is home to Grizzly Bears, Black Bears, moose, wolves,mountain goats, beavers, wolverines, Bald Eagles, and many other small birds and mammals.

Unmatched Scenery

One of the best parts of Alaska rafting is the breathtaking scenery of the Tatshensini-Alsek area. The floating icebergs and snow-covered peaks provide a stark contrast to the lush forests and meadows. It is a place that must be experienced to believe. Rafting the Tatshenshini or Alsek is every bit as spectacular as the Grand Canyon in a completely different way.

The Tatshenshini and Alsek Rivers provide the perfect wilderness retreat for those who are looking for the ultimate outdoor getaway. Contact Colorado River & Trail Expeditions for more information about this trip.

Tatshenshini River Video
Alsek River Video

Tatshenshini and Alsek Rafting Expeditions Schedule and Rates

20152016 • 2017

Map showing Alaska Rafting on the Tatshenshini and Alsek Rivers

Alaska Rafting Trip Options

Hiking on the Walker Glacier from a Tatshenshini Rafting Trip

Raft Amongst Glaciers in Glacier Bay National Park

Tatshenshini-Alsek Rafting Expedition

This world-class rafting trip begins in the alder and aspen forests of the Yukon, threads its way through the steep mountain valleys of Tatshenshini-Alsek Provincial Park in British Columbia, and ends among the spectacular ice-age landscapes of Alaska's Glacier Bay National Park. Throughout the expedition, you will camp on gravel beaches decorated by clusters of flaming fireweed, hike along rushing streams teaming with salmon, explore mountain valleys with magnificient views, and walk upon the surface of a glacier for an up-close look at giant seracs, deep crvasses, and sparkling basins of melted ice. The area is rich in wildlife, including moose, beaver, foxes, bears, mountain goats, wolverines, eagles, and many other small birds and mammals. A highlight of the trip is a day spent at Alsek Lake, where house-sized ice bergs calve off the faces of the Grand Plateau and Alsek glaciers. From a mile away, the cannon-blast retort of the breaking ice reverberates across the landscape. The lake is filled with blue and white bergs of all shapes and sizes that eventually melt enough to float into the river and on to the sea. Rowing through this wonderland of sculpted ice affords some amazing photographic opportunities. The Tatshenshini-Alsek rafting expedition originates in Haines, Alaska, and concludes at Dry Bay. Participants fly from Dry Bay to Yakutat, Alaska, via bush plane, and from Yakutat to Juneau on a commercial airliner.

Alsek River Rafting Expedition

The Alsek River expedition embodies all of the elements of a genuine "far north" adventure as it flows through a huge pristine wilderness of stark, but exquisite beauty. From seemingly endless vistas, to narrow canyon views, visitors experience a landscape created by advancing and receding glaciers and continual scouring by the silt-laden river. Wildlife is abundant, including bears, wolves, foxes, wolverines, moose, mountain goats, tundra swans, and eagles. Wildflowers grow profusely along the river banks, adding color and softness to the glaciated terrain. The expedition starts in Kluane National Park, Yukon Territory, flows through the Tatshenshini-Alsek Provincial Park in British Columbia, and concludes at Dry Bay in Alaska's Glacier Bay National Park. The first part of the trip occurs in open country that invites hiking and exploration. The river then picks up speed and empties into Lowell Lake where we raft among floating icebergs before running the river's biggest rapid, Lava North. Below Lava North, the Alsek winds its way to the surging Tweedsmuir Glacier, where the huge river is constricted into a narrow canyon with rapids too big for our rafts. After a helicopter portage of people and equipment, the journey continues to the confluence with the Tatshenshini River. At this point, the Alsek is more than a mile wide with several braided channels. Continuing on from the confluence, we stop to hike on Walker Glacier and spend a day rowing among the icebergs on Alsek Lake before arriving at our Dry Bay take-out. The expedition originates in Haines, Alaska, and ends at Dry Bay with a bush flight to Yakutat, Alaska, followed by a commercial airline flight to Juneau.

Alaska Rafting Gear and Equipment

Camp on the Alsek River below Lava North Rapid
18 Foot Raft

Our 18-foot row rafts accomodate 4-5 passengers plus the guide who rows the boat.

Hiking on Goat Ridge

To many people the off-river hiking is as spectacular as the river corridor itself. We specialize in off-river hiking on all of our river expeditions. We are certain you will see places on our expeditions most river travelers miss.

Alaska Dry Bag

Each guest will receive two dry bags.

Waterproof Dry Box

Each participant will also receive an ammo can. It is always readily accesible during the day and is the best place to keep sunscreen, cameras, notebooks, etc.

Alaska Kitchen

Our Kitchen includes everything we need to make delicious food. Dutch Ovens, Fire Pans, Propane Stove, Tables, Drink Coolers, and Under-Table Tarps to help us "Leave No Trace." Our boats carry everything we need for the entire trip.

paco Pad

You may bring your own air mattress or use one of our foam pads.

North Face Sleeping Bag

We supply four season North Face tents and sleeping bags.

Tent Photo

North Face VE 25 Tents are the tents we use in Alaska.

Handwash set-up

A handwash device is set-up at lunch and in camp. It is mandatory for guests to wash hands before meals and after using the bathroom.

Toilet Photo

Our Alaska Toilet is clean and stocked with plenty of toilet paper and lysol.

Hiking above lowell glacier from rafts in Kluane National Park

Speak With An Alaska Rafting Expert

We've done our best to design a website that is informative and easy to use, but we realize you may still have some questions. If that's the case, please call our office and get the information you need right away. Our staff is friendly and knowledgeable. They have been on all of the river trips offered by our company and can speak to you from experience. You won't have to press a sequence of buttons, and there's even a good chance one of our owners will answer the phone directly and assist you.

Our office hours are Monday to Friday 9:00 am to 5:30 pm. We also check for messages over the weekend. Call us at (800) 253-7328

We try to respond to email in a timely fashion, and so if it's more convenient for you to send us a note, just use this link:

Alaska River Trip Photos

Tatshenshini River

  • Rapid on the Tatshenshini RapidRunning a Rapid on the Tatshenshini
  • Wide Open AlaskaEarly Morning Sunrise
  • Cruise Ship at the Haines HarborOur Trips Originate in Haines, Alaska
  • North Face Tent in AlaskaTaking a Layover Day at Sediments Creek
  • Row Raft at Walker GlacierGetting ready to camp at the Walker Glacier
  • Moose Antler in AlaskaMoose Antler in Wild Flowers
  • Boats Tethered at the Knob in AlaskaBoats Lined Up Amongst the Ice at Alsek Lake
  • Grizzly Bear Track next to Chaco TanChaco Tan Meets Grizzly Bear Track
  • Alaska Rafting in Glacier Bay National ParkRowing on Alsek Lake after the Confluence with the Alsek
  • Hiking on a GlacierHiking on the Walker Glacier
  • Camping at Melt Creek on the Tatshenshini RiverBlue Glacial Water of Melt Creek
  • Tatshenshini River TripThe Tatshenshini Starts in the Yukon Territory of Canada
  • Goat RidgeHiking up Goat Ridge
  • North Face TentThe View From The Tent

Upper Alsek River

  • Camp aboveTurnback CanyonBoats Camped at the top of Turnback Canyon
  • Relaxing at the Confluence of the Alsek and TatshenshiniTaking in the View
  • Alsek River TripThe River Become Gigantic After the Confluence with the Tatshenshini
  • View From the Sand DunesHiking on the Sand Dunes before Lowell Lake
  • Lowell GlacierLowell Glacier Ice
  • Alsek LakeReflection of Iceberg at Alsek Lake
  • Off River Hiking in AlaskaEating Lunch on an Off-River Hike
  • Helicopter Portage at Turnback CanyonHelicopter Portage Around Turnback Canyon
  • Camping Below Lava North RapidCamp Below Lava North Rapid
  • Goatherd MountainLowell Glacier From the top of Goatherd Mountain
  • Confluence of Tatshenshini and Alsek RiverThe Confluence of the Alsek and the Tatshenshini
  • Grizzley Bear TracksGrizzly Bear Tracks
  • Mountain Goat on top of Goatherd Mountain Mountain Goat
  • Mount FairweatherMount Fairweather in Alpenglow