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
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