Portions of the Gulkana River were designated as part of the National Wild and Scenic River system by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act in 1980. A wild river is free of impoundments, generally inaccessible except by trail, and has unpolluted waters. The Gulkana was recognized for its primitive character, abundant fish and wildlife, and its geologic, cultural and recreational values. The Gulkana River watershed drains approximately 2,140 square miles in southcentral Alaska. The River begins in the Alaska Range near Summit Lake and flows south into the Copper River.
Follow in the footsteps of the Native Alaskan Inhabitants who relied fish camps along the Klutina River. The river also provided access along the original prospecting trail from Valdez to the Copper River prospectors during the gold rush in the late 1800"s. The Klutina River is a Class III whitewater river fed by massive glaciers in the Chugach Mountains. Flowing east into the Copper River, the river gradient is steep and is one of the fastest rivers in North America. The surrounding Chugach Mountains and the pristine wilderness provide solitude and scenic vistas with opportunity to see wildlife. The Klutina is popular for fisherman who frequent the river in their quest for the big Copper River King. Although fast and cold the Class III whitewater and limited access to the river keeps the Klutina River exclusive and quiet.
The Copper River and its many tributaries drain one of the greatest regions of mountain, ice and snow in North America: The Wrangell St. Elias National Park and Preserve. It is a giant river in its lower reaches, often flowing at rates over 200,000 cubic feet per second, while its headwater tributaries flow down steep, rocky gorges and through wide, braided glacial valleys. It is in a region that encompasses subarctic to temperate zones within a latitude range of 60 to 62 degrees. It drains the western side of one of the world's largest non-polar ice fields where Mt Logan at over 19,000 feet reigns, and where the largest collection of peaks over 14,500 feet in North America exist. All this is located within the largest contiguous protected parklands in the world! The most common trip is the 80 miles from Chitina to Cordova and takes 5 to 7 days. The corridor along the Copper River contains few modern traces of man. At many locations along the river, portions of the old Copper River Railroad can be seen. The Copper River is a large river with constant change, and as a result the scenery, camping locations, and river channels change continually from month to month.
101 Old Richardson Highway, Copper Center, Alaska 99573, United States