The Nenana River originates out of the Nenana Glacier on the south side of the Alaska Mountain Range. The river first flows west and then cuts its way north through the mountains as it passes through Denali National Park on its way to join the Tanana River, a tributary of the Yukon River. This region of Alaska is part of the great global northern boreal forest of spruce, birch and willows. Crystal clear streams entering the Nenana River with their payload of rainbow trout, arctic grayling and gold quickly disappear into the turbid glacial waters of the main channel. The Reindeer Hills section of the river offers wonderful wilderness paddling, camping and hiking experiences.

Highlights of the trip include wilderness canoeing, hiking in the foothills of the Alaska Range, a bus trip into the heart of Denali National Park to view bears, caribou, Dall sheep, moose and other Park wildlife and hiking along Kesuge Ridge of the Talkeetna Mountain Range in Denali State Park. If we are lucky, we may see both the south face and the north face of Denali (Mt. McKinley), the tallest mountain in North America.


This seven-day canoeing and hiking trip begins when guests are picked up in Anchorage early the morning of the first day. We will reach our launch site in the Reindeer Hills section of the Nenana River a day and 220 miles later. After paddling on the Nenana River and hiking in the Alaska foothills for four days, our adventure continues as we board a bus for a day of wildlife viewing in Denali National Park. On the way back to Anchorage the last day, we will take time to hike Kesuge Ridge in the Talkeetna Mountains. Most of our evenings during the week will be spent camped along wilderness waterways. The last two evenings will be spent in rustic cabins.

This trip is for those with some canoeing experience in class I and class II whitewater. Previous wilderness camping experience is not required, but helpful.

What We Provide. We provide canoe and canoeing gear, camp kitchen and supplies, meals beginning with lunch the first day and ending with dinner on the last day, Denali National Park entrance fee and bus fee, transportation during the seven days of the trip and at least one experienced guide/naturalist.

Your Responsibility. Guests are responsible for transportation to and from Anchorage, light weight rain gear, comfortable foot wear that can get wet, water bottle, appropriate clothing for the season, hat, tent, ground cloth, sleeping bag and pad, sunscreen, insect repellent and/or head net and lodging in Anchorage before and after the trip. Tents, ground cloths, sleeping bags and pads can be provided for an additional fee.

Trip Fee & Reservations. The trip fee is $1,807 per person for shared accommodations. A $770 per person deposit is due at the time the reservation is made. The balance is due six weeks prior to the trip. Reservations made 30 days before the trip begins must be paid in full before the trip begins. Please call for rental prices for tents, ground clothes, sleeping bags and pads.

Cancellation Policy. Any cancellation made prior to 30 days before the trip begins will result in a $500 per person cancellation fee. Any cancellation made during the 30 days before the trip begins will result in a $770 per person cancellation fee. If the trip is canceled by Alaska Personal Journeys, the trip fee will be refunded. It is recommended that cancellation insurance be purchased through a travel agency in case the trip is canceled in order to cover non-refundable expenses such as airline and hotel fees.

Dollar-A-Day for Conservation. All of the courses and trips offered by Alaska Personal Journeys are intended to raise public awareness to the need to protect our environment. We hope you will consider contributing one dollar per day to support the work of local conservation groups doing their best to protect Alaska’s special places. Simply add one dollar per day to the Alaska Personal Journeys trip fee. We will make sure that your contribution gets to the most effective conservation groups and that the group or groups sends you a receipt for tax deduction purposes.


The following itinerary may be modified due to weather and water conditions or wildlife viewing opportunities. The itinerary is intended to give guests a general idea of what to expect.

Day 0. Arriving guests are picked up at the Anchorage airport and transported to their place of lodging for the evening. Dutch treat dinner at local Anchorage restaurant.

Day 1. Early departure from Anchorage by van. Stop to view spectacular vistas, wildflowers and wildlife. Camp along the shoreline of the Susitna River.

Day 2. Continue drive to put-in on the Nenana River. Run the shuttle to Windy Gap. Begin 4-day paddle. Camp on island in the main channel.

Day 3. Break camp. Paddle. Set-up camp along gravel bar. Hike.

Day 4. Break camp. Paddle. Set-up camp along a crystal clear stream. Explore.

Day 5. Break camp. Paddle to take-out at Windy Cap. Drive to cabins and check-in.

Day 6. Day-long bus ride and wildlife viewing in Denali National Park. Evening stay in cabins.

Day 7. Drive to the Talkeetna Mountains. Hike along Kesuge Ridge overlooking the Chulitna River. Drive to Anchorage & arrive in time for a farewell dinner. Drop guests off at either the airport or place of lodging in Anchorage.

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