Packrafting Curry to Clear Creek

22 06 2011

Curry to Clear Creek is an amazing combination of backpacking, bushwhacking, packrafting, and a train ride! It’s approximately a 14 mile hike from where the train drops you off, part on an ATV trail, part high tundra hiking, and loads of bushwhacking. Once you reach Clear Creek it’s a 15 mile paddle back to Talkeetna (10 miles of fun, splashy class II/III on Clear Creek through rock gardens and wave trains, then 5 miles of pure slacker easiness on the Talkeetna River).

We lucked out with blue skies and temps in the 70’s, which was on the sweltering side for this Alaskan girl (I don’t know how I ever survived going to school in the desert).

View of Denali from the train.

Dan and Boone in Curry.

Let’s just say there is a few bears in the area. We only saw one……

The Alaska Range with Denali peaking through the clouds on the left.

Caribou!

One of the easier bushwhacks. Most were in 6-8 foot dense alders.

Dan taking a break in the sun.

Our shadows at 11 pm on the tundra.

Boone taking a nap at Clear Creek.

Dan and Boone headed down a small rapid.

***I did this trip again in July of 2012. We saw a note on the packraft.org website that there was a trail under the powerline. We decided to try and find it-it was well worth it! Take the 4 wheeler trail all the way to the powerline. It’s a game trail and from a distance, definitely doesn’t look like it exists through the alders, but it saved us 2-3 hours at least (not to mention, lots of scratches and bruises from the bushwhack.) A few times it fades in the small ravines, but always picks up on the other side. Follow the powerline to the high tundra, camp, then make a bushwhack descent…..*****

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