Best American Adventures: Float the Tatshenshini-Alsek River

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Best Adventures
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Photograph by Whit Richardson, Aurora Photos

The opportunity for a true wilderness expedition
experience in the U.S. is slowly disappearing. The best bet you have
left is a float down the Tatshenshini-Alsek river system (which does,
however, require that you start in Canada). It’s not so much the
isolation that makes the standard nine-day to two-week, 140-mile
(255-kilometer) trip from Yukon’s Dalton Post to Alaska’s Dry Bay so
sublime as it is the scenery.

Flowing through a
deep gorge, the Tatshenshini runs through lively Class III white water
before slowing down for grizzly viewing. But that’s just a warm-up.
When the river flows into the Alsek in British Columbia’s
Tatshenshini-Alsek Park, it’s surrounded by massive glaciers, many of
which calve giant chunks of ice into Lake Alsek. This
lake, the largest glacier-dammed lake in North America, is the center
of attraction on the river trip. (Consider taking a few extra days to
hike the banks of the Tatshenshini and Walker Glacier inside the park.)
Headed into Alaska, the Alsek leaves the glaciers, but chances are
icebergs will be making the voyage to the sea alongside your raft.

Need to Know: Book a nine-day trip with Mountain Travel Sobek (www.mtsobek.com), starting at $2,995 per person.

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