Subject: Aniakchak River Float Trip -July 1973
We floated the Aniakchak River via 2-man rubber rafts July 11-18, 1973. The
river lies on the Alaska Peninsula east of Port Heiden, Alaska.
Members of the Chitina field task force were as follows:
||BOR, Team Leader
||BLM, Anchorage District
||NPS, Anchorage ATF
||ADF& G, Anchorage
||Photographer for NPS
||Photographer for NPS
We were flown into Surprise Lake in Aniakchak Caldera by BLM goose. Part of
the team came from Anchorage and the remainder from King Salmon, Alaska. Ben
Gale, a "free lance photographer" was picked up at Surprise Lake and sent back
NOTE: These reports may not contain
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Two days were spent in the 36 sq. mile caldera exploring. Then on July 13, we
paddled across the lake and down to the "Gates", which are a natural "V" opening
through which the river flows toward the Pacific Ocean, 32 miles away. We made 5
miles the first day, 5 miles the second day, 8 miles the third day and the
remaining distance the fourth day, July 16. We then spent two days at the mouth
of the river waiting for the weather to clear so we could be picked up. Three of
the team were picked up July 17, by charter plane. The rest of the team were
picked up by helicopter July 18, and flown to Port Heiden where we were picked
up again by BLM goose and flown back to Anchorage.
The Aniakchak River is runable by raft only. The first 15 miles, including the
"Gates" drop at 100 ft. per mile.
It is shallow, rocky, has low falls, and high speed, which makes it a very
dangerous river. We portaged for about 400 yards near the end of the one mile
long "Gates" and then at two "pillars", (25 ft. high rocks) about 10 miles
downstream, we lined the rafts. The rest of the river is runable by raft by
experienced people. The lower 17 miles of river are slow, meandering through
flat land. High winds can be expected through the "Gates" and along the entire
river, as can continuous rain.
One man, Tom Flower, was continually soaked and became ill, and was flown out by
emergency called helicopter on July 16. He recovered in Anchorage.
Complete river log
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Koyukuk River North Fork | Little Susitna River | Mulchatna River | Nigu Etivluk rivers | Noatak River | Nowitna River | Nuyakuk River | Porcupine River | Saganirktok River | Salmon River (Kobuk) | Selawik River | Sheenjek River | Squirrel River | Talachulitna River | Tlikakila River | Togiak River | Unalakleet River |
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