Rafting the Matanuska!

Would you believe rafting the runoff from a glacier?

Today we arranged for a Matanuska River Rafting tour.

We signed up for the “Lion Head Run” which tackles a short, fast stretch of whitewater where the Matanuska gets squeezed between rock and ice. During the 3½ hours on the water, we passed a get a great view of the 27-mile-long Matanuska Glacier, which presses the river up against the massive rock wall called Lion Head. Even the white of the whitewater is gray from glacial silt, and boulders deposited in the river by the glacier make the ride that much wilder. There were a few miles of Class IV rapids and 14 miles of Class III.

The yellow, teal and purple helmets in the front, paddling for all we’re worth, are us!

The tour began after an hour drive to Palmer and on to Chickaloon.  On the way we saw beautiful views of the Matanuska river and georgeous views of the Mat-Su valley and Chugach mountains.  Upon arrival we took a bus to the entry point, suited up in dry suits, and got our feet wet in a little tributary of the Matanuska, then off to the mighty Matanuska.

Our guide offered anyone a swim on the Matanuska’s 37 degree water as we passed the glacier.  None of our party of 8 was daring enough but another group had one taker.

My wife and daughter could have taken those class IV rapids all day.  Above the roar of the river all I could hear was…

 More! More!


Big Lake to Matanuska river entry around Glacier View, Alaska
Click here to see on a larger map

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Written by Dave on July 24th, 2009 - Adventures

Alaskan Chalet @ Jade Lake

Memories of our time with Alaska