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“I give this one a "Paddle High 5"!”

McCarthy River Tours & Outfitters - Day Tours
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US$ 95.00*
and up
Kennicott Glacial Lake Stand Up Paddle Board Tour
Ranked #2 of 6 things to do in McCarthy
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: McCarthy River Tours & Outfitters was founded in 2010 in the spirit of exploring the great rivers located in Wrangell St. Elias National Park. With over 13 million acres of federally protected land, Wrangell St. Elias is the largest park in the United States. In Alaska, Adventure is the name of the game! With more wilderness than any other state in the America, an Alaska raft trip can create memories for a lifetime. We offer trips for all skill levels, including some of the finest scenic rivers and undiscovered whitewater stretches in the world. McCarthy River Tours & Outfitters is excited to help you with your Alaska plans, our knowledgeable and friendly staff are happy to help you with each step of your travel planning process. Please contact us at any time to discuss your Alaska Raft Trip or any other parts of your Alaska adventure.
Reviewed 26 August 2017

Wanting to get outdoors in Wrangell-St Elias National Park without a strenuous hike, we chose a rafting adventure with McCarthy River Tours and Outfitters that we saw as an option in our Alaska TourSaver Book. We met up with Ethan and Sam at their McCarthy location and were fitted with top of the line gear (dry suit to protect us from the frigid Copper River water) and off we went for a short van ride to get to the launch spot. Sam went over rafting safety and once in the boat, got us to practice our strokes in coordination with each other so that we could successfully power through any tough spots on the river. Sam also made certain that our feet were secured to the raft so that we wouldn't fall out if we hit a bump/rock and he went over information that would keep us safe and let s have a fun time.

During the lake part of the trip, we landed the raft on the icy moraine of the Kennecott Glacier and easily climbed up about 10 feet to the edge to look down on a beautiful blue pool of water surrounded by the brown ice. The Kennecott Glacier moraine is huge (fills the whole valley) and in the distance we could hear the rock-laden ice falling from the brown moon-scape looking terrain. We could see water dripping from jagged outcrops our from under places already melting from the underside of the moraine. This piedmont glacier moraine was unlike anything we had ever seen or experienced. Absolutely surreal!

It continued to be a unique experience as we paddled into the river current. I had been rafting in several states, but this trip was nothing like my past trips. First, the water was gray, full of glacial silt, so that you couldn't see the rocks underneath the running water. Second, although it was a Class 2 - 3 at this point (the water on the river was very low) there were very few flat spots, so we only had a 20-30 seconds of rest before we were following Sam's next paddling direction for the next set of rapids. It was really exciting! Still, I did have time to enjoy the scenery along the river - the leaves were turning yellow and the magenta colored fireweed was almost finished flowering near the top of the plants. Fall was in the air and the water was very chilly. The dry suits provided by McCarthy River Tours kept us warm and dry, the only cold part of me was my feet - wear warm wool socks for sure!

Awesome trip! We had many "paddle High-5sk" (where everyone raises their paddle overhead to touch and then slams it in the water to celebrate success) along the route and lots of laughs along the way. I would do this trip again for sure, especially with Sam and Ethan watching out for us and guiding us along.

Thank Malise2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (165)
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"safety boat"
in 4 reviews
"a lot of fun"
in 8 reviews
"half day trip"
in 5 reviews
"super fun"
in 5 reviews
"dry suit"
in 3 reviews
"great guide"
in 8 reviews
"fun trip"
in 3 reviews
"bucket list"
in 2 reviews
"tennis shoes"
in 2 reviews
"wilderness experience"
in 2 reviews
"glacier hike"
in 9 reviews
"plane ride"
in 2 reviews
"guide service"
in 2 reviews
"these folks"
in 2 reviews
"amazing experience"
in 2 reviews
"glacier water"
in 3 reviews
"root glacier"
in 6 reviews

38 - 42 of 165 reviews

Reviewed 25 August 2017

We booked the 3-4 hours of rafting at Kennicott Lake and Kennicott River. The lake is a bit slow paced and the lake level was very low, but once we got to the river was very exciting. Cassie did an excellent job keeping us on course and hitting the rapids to make it very fun for us.

Thank CYF_AK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 August 2017

Loved our guided glacier day with Ethan so much we went rafting with him the next day! The glacier was spec and we even had it all to ourselves for a while. Great to have a guide point things out. Rafting was so much fun and "jumping" off a glacier into ice water in a drysuit "changed our lives"! Thanks to Cassie who makes river kayaking look so cool and Maggie for keeping it all together :)

1  Thank SWRWC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 August 2017

What if I told you that it was possible to have miles of glacier covered peaks, alpine forests, and large rivers all to yourself, with absolutely no signs of man in any direction? No trails, no power lines, and no homesteads. True solitude is still achievable.

The Tana is billed as more exciting rapids than excellent views, but because only a few people are skilled enough to navigate the Tana (no other group in McCarthy even offers it), the main benefit is having it all to yourself, and that fact makes the mind bending views all the more enjoyable. Other than tire tracks from planes from previous years, we saw no evidence of anyone on the Tana, and we were the only trip all year! Amaze! How much longer will this be possible? Will you miss your chance? Can you afford not to do it?

There are huge rapids on one of the days, but since MRTO's guides are so expert and spend so much time on scouting and safety, it's more fun than scary.

The guides, the safety, the food, the gear, the planning, the leave-no-trace, absolutely everything is 100% pro top notch and fun. You bring your clothes and camera; they do everything else.

Additionally, there are many advantages to a river trip over hiking, driving, or flightseeing.

1) See More
•A multi-day backpacking trip won’t cover as many miles, mountains, valleys, or vistas.
•Sure, you’ll see more with flightseeing or driving, but only from your window, separate from nature, not in it.
•Rivers are flat, so trees aren’t blocking your view.
•Rafts can rotate 360 degrees.

2) Less Work: sitting comfy in a raft with 100 lbs of gear is easier than hacking through the back country on foot with 40 lbs of gear on your back.

3) More Comfort
•Since you can take more stuff, you get better tents, bags, pads, and more clothes.
•Games and drinks at night! -- Sunset river parties!
•If it’s hot, get in the water.

4) Better Food: ZOMG! I was not expecting the guides to take such pride in their back country cooking skills. When you can take a leave-no-trace charcoal grill along with a 4-top stove and even a dutch oven, the possibilities are endless! You won’t be hungry!

Thank neeblert
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 15 August 2017

Our guide Ethan totally rocked. Made the whole rafting experience super positive and fun. We jumped off a 30ft glacier( with a dry suite...) into ridicously cold water, and it ruled. Then, when rafting, I even got to sit at the forefront of the raft, and bull-ride the rapids, which made my whole month. Totally worth it and super fun. Shout out to Ethan and Maggie for being such a hoot!

Thank tdarsonval
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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