Rafting The Kenai at Drifter’s Lodge
Drifter’s Lodge offers three different rafting trip options on the Kenai River which are suitable for all ages. Our resident rafting guides are very knowledgeable and will be happy to answer your questions and keep you entertained on your trip. Meet our rafting guides HERE!
Here are our rafting options:
- Option One: 7 Mile Scenic Float
- Option Two: 12 Mile Scenic Float
- Option Three: 20 Mile Scenic Float with 2 Mile Hike
Trips depart at 10:00am, 2:00pm, 6:00pm & a special 9:00pm trip running from June 1st until July 20th.The guides are fun and very informative. Private party excursions can be arranged.
Option One: 7 Miles SCENIC FLOAT
- All Ages
- Timing: About 2 Hours
- Class: Two Fun ‘Wooptidoos’ Class I & II (easy)
Private Excursions for your group are available with a max of 10 per boat, with two boats available.
Sit back and relax as you meander through the glaciated valley of the Kenai River headwaters. We start this seven mile voyage where the massive Kenai Lake empties into this historic icy blue river. This sensory overload will astound you as you have to decide whether to look at the mountains rising far above you, the unique baby blue glaciated waters, or the beautiful Alaskan flora and fauna surrounding you. Our guides skill on the river is only overshadowed by their extensive knowledge of the wildlife and history of the area. Be sure to quiz them on any questions you may have. This trip includes floating through the Cooper Landing Township, two ‘wooptidoos’, and many miles of majestic scenery before reaching the famous Russian River. Once the Sockeye Salmon start running you must beware of the combat fisherman migration (the males tend to be very aggressive). Besides fisherman the wildlife possibilities include eagles, river otter, moose, grizzly bear, black bear, beavers, fox, many different waterfowl and possibly even the elusive wolf. On the mountains, you may see dahl sheep and mountain goats. Come join us for a relaxing and educational float, full of spectacular eye and ear candy.
We Provide: life-vests, raingear, rain boots, a dry bag for your gear, and safety / first-aid equipment.
Please Bring: Camera, Warm clothes (it is usually 10-15 degrees cooler on the river), snacks, beverages, sunscreen, sunglasses, and if fashion is important to you; your own rain gear (we also offer high quality Patagonia gear for sale)
Option Two: 12 Mile Drift Tour
- All Ages
- Timing: About 3 Hours
- Class: Two Fun ‘Wooptidoos’ Class I & II (easy)
The first seven miles of this excursion overlaps with that of the two hour trip explained above. Instead of pulling out at the Russian River Confluence, we continue into the pristine Kenai National Wilderness Refuge. Once we pass the crystal clear waters of the Russian River, the Kenai River widens giving rise to scenic vistas at every turn. The widened river offers secluded small water backchannels where you can feel isolated from the “real world”. After the Sockeye Salmon start running; all the wildlife of the area are drawn to this area offering a much better chance of seeing brown bears, black bears, and burly fisherman that resemble bears. Besides fisherman the wildlife possibilities include eagles, river otter, moose, grizzly bear, black bear, beavers, fox, many different waterfowl and possibly even the elusive wolf. On the mountains, you may see dahl sheep and mountain goats. Come join us for a relaxing and educational float, full of spectacular eye and ear candy.
Option Three: The Kenai River Canyon Trip
- All ages
- Distance: 19 miles on water- 2 mile hike
- Timing: About 5-6 Hours
- Class: Up to class III
This trip encompasses everything that can be considered the true Alaskan experience. Big river, big mountains, big bears, and a big lake fed by a big glacier. Yes bigger is better. You go through the sections of water encompassed by the other tours offered, then you enter the most scenic, most secluded section of the Kenai River. The bigger section of water of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge condenses between stretches of high vaulting cliffs which causes the water to run faster leading to the most technical sections of whitewater in the upper section of the Kenai (Class II and III). This breathtaking stretch of water is capped off by the enormous Skilak Lake which boarders a large section of glaciers. Here we depart on the hiking section of the trip. The trail is two miles on a slight incline where you see many distinct Alaskan biomes. You traverse through a swampy section bordering Hidden Creek where Moose can be seen regularly. Next you continue through a section of forest that was impacted by a fire in 1984, which still has charred forest. The hike finishes with an incline through a section of old growth forest before reaching Skilak Lake Road. The adventure isn’t over there; Skilak Lake Road is as Alaskan as it gets. It is a rustic beautiful bumpy dirt road. The Wildlife possibilities include eagles, moose, grizzly bear, black bear, fox and many different waterfowl with possibilities of spotting the ever-elusive wolf. On the mountains, you will see dahl sheep and mountain goats.
Important: This trip will not be run in inclement weather because Skilak Lake can be notoriously angry at times. We will be updated on the conditions of Skilak Lake before entering into the “no return” Kenai River Canyon. If any Kenai National Wildlife Refuge alerts have been issued or the guide deems it necessary, the trip will not proceed through the canyon and we will refund 50% to you.
We provide: life-vests, raingear, rain boots, a dry bag for your gear and safety / first-aid equipment, a dry bag for your hiking shoes, and a bear deterrent.
Please Bring: Camera, Warm clothes (it is usually 10-15 degrees cooler on the river), snacks, beverages, sunscreen, sunglasses, if fashion is important to you; your own rain gear (we also offer high quality Patagonia gear for sale), comfortable hiking shoes, and bug spray.
Six Mile Creek – Class V Witewater
Located on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula, Sixmile Creek is a whitewater
rafting paradise less than 35 minutes from Cooper Landing.
Set in the Chugach National forest near Hope, Alaska, Sixmile Creek is a run for whitewater enthusiasts desiring the highest difficulty level in a guided whitewater trip. Dropping over 50 feet per mile as it flows out of the Chugach Mountains, Sixmile Creek, near Cooper Landing has cut its way through three separate canyons offering memorable Class IV and Class V Alaska whitewater rafting.
Rising over 500 feet in places, these towering canyon walls are draped in a lush carpet of old growth rain-forest with cascading waterfalls pouring in from the sides. Crystal clear water with healthy salmon runs make this a river runner’s dream. Safely running Sixmile’s narrowly constricted passageways takes a coordinated team effort with technical and precise paddling. Working closely with your guide, you’ll be paddling while (s)he handles the oars. This oar paddling combination gives you power when you need it, as well as precise maneuvering capability.
- For those up to the challenge, Sixmile is the ride of a lifetime!
- All passengers must be physically capable of passing
our paddler’s practice swim.
- Whitewater Rafting Physical Requirements
Due to the difficulty of paddling Class V whitewater it is absolutely necessary that all passengers be physically capable of meeting this rigorous challenge.
At the river expect to perform a practice swim into the river current and then into an eddy.
Raft trips on Sixmile Creek are Class IV and V white water, so be sensible about your physical limits. Due to insurance restrictions persons with heart conditions, epilepsy and pregnant women cannot participate.