Copper - 3. Chitina R. to Gulf of Alaska

Copper, Alaska, US


3. Chitina R. to Gulf of Alaska (Lower Copper)

Usual Difficulty II (for normal flows)
Length 115 Miles
Avg. Gradient 4 fpm

Blue Giants

Blue Giants
Photo of Kirk Martakas dodging icebergs on the Copper River by Aaron Underwood taken July 2000 @ 180,000 CFS

River Description

This is a great multiday trip on a very big and fast-moving river. Most take-out at the highway bridge outside Cordova although it is possible to continue through the Copper River Delta and out into the Gulf of Alaska if you're prepared for sea kayaking. A railroad once ran parrallel to the river but it has since been removed. There is continued talk of completing a road link that would connect Cordova to the rest of Alaska's road network. The environmental issues and the signifcant cost of maintaining a road along this river have so far kept it from being built.

For a longer journey you can begin your trip on the Middle Copper or Upper Copper. Alternatively, you could also start your run on the Chitina and it's tributaries that extend up into the St. Elias Mountains. Don't confuse this run with the Iliamna Copper, which is 600 miles to the West.

Additional Information

  • Check out Jim Strutz's online guide to the Copper River on the Knik Canoers and Kayakers website.
  • The description in Embick's guide, Fast and Cold, includes a description of the run and also some interesting historical background.

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2004-06-22 01:03:32


Rapid Descriptions

icon of message No rapids entered. If you know names, and locations of the rapids please contact and advise the StreamTeam member for this run.

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