Auk-Ta-Shaa Discovery Float Trip

This is a great float trip for beginning rafters.  The trip takes about three hours with only about two on the water.  Of that, it only takes about fifteen minutes to drop three mild rapids.  The guide did most of the work once we entered the river from Mendenhall Lake.

The trip costs $89.00 per person.  The company provides all the waterproof gear we would ever need, including boots that went over our own footwear.  They even provided dry bags for our camera gear while we descended the rapids.

To find the shop, coming from the airport, turn left on the Egan Highway.  Take a right on Riverside drive.  Turn left on Vintage Blvd.  Turn right on Clinton Drive.  Around the bend there will be a cedar building with Tlingit paintings on it on the right side of the road.  One can make reservations for the float trip at the Goldbelt Tour Center.  The guides can pick adventurers up at the Goldbelt Tour Center, too.

Everyone meets at the cedar building to gear up.  We hopped into the vans that drove us to the put in point on the west shore of Mendenhall Lake.  During the lake crossing there were some fabulous photo opportunities for Mendenhall Glacier and Nugget Creek Falls.  We all rowed over to the southeast corner of the lake to find the mouth of the river.  The rapids began shortly after entering the river, so we dropped our cameras into the dry bags our guide, Jimmy, provided.  After the rapids the rest of the trip was smooth sailing, with very little paddling on our part.  We spotted eagles, ravens and even saw salmon starting to make their way up the river to spawn.  As Jimmy rowed us down the river, he told us several different Tlingit legends about the origins of the sun, moon, stars, and mosquitoes.

We took out for a half an hour picnic provided by the guides.  Claimjumper and I had a blast admiring all the gorgeous sparkling stones on the sandbar while we ate.  As we proceeded down the remainder of the trip, two of the other boats got into an enormous water fight.  They all knew each other probably all off the same cruise ship.  They were fairly well protected by all the wet water gear, but it was hilarious watching them try to soak one another!

Last Visited: July 2000


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