5 minutes south of Girdwood on the Seward Highway, look for a Forest Service sign at a pullout on the left. If you pass the Peterson Creek Drainage, you've gone too far. From the parking, head down to Turnigan Arm, and walk back toward Girwood about 5 minutes to two 6 foot diameter culverts that funnel Kern Creek under the road and the railroad. The culvert to the south is often dry, you can walk through it. After going under the road and railroad, get onto the river right bank, and look for a faint trail into the woods. The trail is pleasant and beautiful at first, but quickly becomes less and less apparent, until even the most intrepid trail finder will become mired in thick devils club. Continue in this fashion as long as you can stand it, then drop down into the gorge.
Paddle through the river right culvert 100 meters to the Turnigan Arm, take a left, and paddle 5 minutes back to the car.
Here's an adventure for you - a beautiful creek 40 minutes away from Anchorage, with little recorded history of previous runs being done. While undoubtedly having been picked off in the past, rumours still abound about what is to be found. I won't ruin the adventure for you, but be ready for a mix of class IV and stiff class V drops in a steep gorge. Portaging is brutal, bears are possible, pins are probable, wood is certain, the rock is sharp and manky, and good fun is to be had by all. Good luck!
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The Final Drop
Kern Creek Ballroom
Kern Creek, Alaska
Kern Creek Final Drop
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