Upper Tsirku

Raft or Pack Raft

This lively paddle down one of the most scenic rivers in south east alaska is a perfrect 3 day trip and you can choose from a raft guided by an expert oarsman or paddling your own pack raft with the guidance of a veteran alaskan guide, a sourdough if you will.  The Tsirku is bordered by Glacier Bay National Park to one side and the Coast range to the other, creating hundreds of miles of un-tracked wilderness to its west, north and east.  Truly one of Alaska’s jewels the Tsirku is just a 15 minute bush plane flight from haines but once you are at its headwaters you are in unmistakable wilderness.

Trip Dates

May1-September 31

Trips depart weekly

Location

Haines, Alaska

Cost

$1400 per person-2 person minimum

Custom Rates for singles available

Details

Every true alaskan adventure begins in a bush plane, and this trip is just that, true Alaska.  We will meet at the Haines international airport where you will be ushered onto a quintessential bush plane equipped with giant tires for landing off runway, on gravel bars, and river banks.  We will fly over coastal rain forest, along glacially fed rivers and over ice, hundreds of feet thick on the surrounding glaciers.  Finally coming in for a landing along the banks of the Tsirku River or maybe even at the base of the Leblondeau glacier if we have the time.  Depending on the type of craft we have chose for our trip, we will unload our raft or pack rafts and make camp for the day, the expedition has begun.

We will start in the grey almost monochromatic landscape of the upper Tsirku river.  The lake at the base of the Leblondeau glacier will allow us to explore its shore or practice our packrafting skills in still cold water.  If the winds are clam we can hear the ice from the glacier creak or splash into the lake as it calves.  As our journey leads us down river we will move fro the Tsirku to the little salmon river going from tundra to coastal temperate rain forest.  If the time of year is right we can see salmon shooting beneath our boats as they make there way to the spawning grounds to meet their destiny.  Finally reaching the wide calm waters of the Chilkat river we float past Klukwan a native village occupied for thousands of years at this very site, we are almost to our take out point and Haines is almost in site,

Depending on our starting point we can encounter white water but no matter where we start the water is fast and cold.  For full sized raft trips, no paddling experience is necessary, but for pack rafting adventures we recommend previous paddling experience or an day trip with us before heading out on the Tsirku with us.

Itinerary

Day 0

Meet your guide in Haines for a pre-trip meeting

Day 1

On our first morning we will board a bush plane for our flight into the headwaters of the Tsirku.  One at a time or maybe 2 our pilot will weave a course up the river to our landing area.  We can set up camp and our adventure has begun.

Day 2

We have all day to hike to the head of the valley, explore the ice of the LeBlondeau glacier or venture up into the peaks searching for mountain goats.  No matter our choice this ruggedly beautiful river valley will have our attention the entire time.

Day 3

Breaking cam and inflating our rafts we begin our river journey back to Haines.  If you have chosen to take a full sized raft sit back and let your expert oarsman guide you through the braids of the Tsirku and regale you with the lore of the land.  If you have chosen to packraft we will inflate our packrafts and go through some basic paddling techniques and river safety in the calm waters of the lake before the real fun in the swift water of the Tsirku begins.  Either way we will first negotiate a section of rapids before passing from the Tsirku and its surrounding tundra to the forested banks of the Little Salmon and finally into the might Chilkat river, always on the look out for bears who love to fish these waters when the salmon are running.  We meet our driver in the late afternoon for a 45 minute ride back to Haines and a nice hot shower.

Included

Food in the field, and all group camping equipment

Raft or Pack raft, paddle,PFD and safety equipment

Professional guide service

Not Included

Lodging while not in the field

Food while not in the field except pre trip dinner

Personal gear

Dry bags, tent, sleeping bag, clothing

Gratuity for guides

Rental equipment is available upon request