Curry to Clear Creek, Third Time’s a Charm

4 06 2015

Denali train

Kasey and I changed our weekend plans, deciding Friday night to packraft Curry to Clear Creek. Saturday afternoon we were packed & on the Hurricane train out of Talkeetna. It was 80 degrees, blue skies, and our first packraft of the season.The train ended up being very, very late so we didn’t start our 15 mile hike until 3 pm.

denali

We couldn’t complain about the scenery 🙂 Pretty amazing views of Denali and the Alaska Range the whole way. At 80 degrees, it was sweltering outside (especially for early June!). There was still plenty of pockets of snow on the atv trail and I was able to make a little turban on top of my head with my bandana, with snow inside of it. I looked ridiculous, but felt great 🙂

kasey alaska range view

The powerline at the end of the atv trail. We realized/learned a few things on this trip. Doing this early season significantly reduces the schwack. There is a trail of sorts that is mostly under the powerline (it gets overgrown, and sometimes it’s easy to lose, but WORTH looking for). There are parts under the powerline that have been clear cut, with ankle size stumps and branches left. Again, early season makes this so much easier to see all the hazards.

powerline

Kasey at the ridge. We had very few mosquitos up until this point. The mosquitos had been mostly hanging out in the drainages. We were hoping for more of the same on the ridge or a slight breeze to keep them away. We didn’t get that lucky. They were pretty heinous on the ridge. Just hatching and blood thirsty 😦

on the ridge

Another stunning view of Denali and the Alaska Range.

sunset denali

I didn’t imagine it possible. Kasey and I found a way down from the ridge with no bushwhacking through alders. Just ferns & plants. Easiest hike I’ve ever done on this trip. I never thought I’d say that. The ferns, near the river, last time we did this trip were 6-7 feet tall. It was interesting going through them in bear country…..

kasey ferns

Getting boats packed up at the put in to Clear Creek! Water levels were slightly higher, making it super fun, sporty, & splashy! It’s always a fun float, but this time with the water level slightly high, it was even better……

Kasey @ put in

Take out on the Talkeetna River.

take out talkeetna river

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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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