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Coleen River Rafting

Float the Coleen Wild and Scenic River

The Coleen River begins in the eastern corner of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. This south flowing river drains out of the Brooks Range for 180 miles to its confluence with the Porcupine River. The headwaters of the Coleen make up the continental divide of the Brooks Range. Just over the ridges is the headwater of the Kongakut, a north flowing river that drains into the Arctic Ocean. The Northern section of the Coleen has been listed as a Wild and Scenic river.

The Coleen River float trip is ideal for small groups wishing to explore Arctic Alaska. We begin our trip on the upper sections of the river. Surrounded by open tundra and back dropped by the splendor of the Brooks Range, the magnitude of the country is breathtaking. The Coleen meanders though the tundra making a snake of timber. As we travel south, the timber grows larger and begins to fan up the surrounding hills. The river runs clear and swift over a pebble bed; large gravel bars and tundra benches flanking its sides. As we quietly glide downstream, a keen eye is kept alert for the many critters that call this area home. Common game seen include moose, caribou, grizzly, wolf, wolverine, and occasionally, muskoxen. The surrounding hills are scarred with caribou trails left by the migrations of the Porcupine caribou herd.

As with all of our guided rafting trips, no previous canoe experience is needed. Utilizing stable self bailing rafts we can travel in comfort and safety. As we float down river, guests have the opportunity to gain confidence in their paddling abilities. While we strive to provide the highest level of safety and comfort for our clients, adverse weather and bugs should be expected. The prime time for making an Arctic raft trip is mid June through July. During this time of year the temperature can range from the low 40s, to the mid 80s. Thunderstorms and rain showers are not uncommon, but the weather is generally more stable than during the fall. The most common discomfort in the Arctic comes from Alaska’s most abundant wildlife…the mosquito! While these cheeky pests will most certainly introduce themselves, the use of bug nets and open breezy camp sites allows us to share the country with little discomfort.
As with all of our guided raft trips we take great pride in providing true wilderness experiences. Part of what makes our river raft trips so unique, is the opportunity to explore Arctic Alaska without running into other groups. By rafting rivers with low visitation and avoiding the busiest times of the season, it is very seldom that we see other groups while on the river. We also take great measures so as to leave little impact on the river systems we float. By doing so, we ensure others will have the opportunity to experience these truly wild places.
Porcupine River Camping

The Colleen River trip is a custom trip for two to six guests and one or  two guides offered in June or July. Dates can be arranged to meet your group’s schedule. The trip length is typically 7 days.

Contact us for custom trip pricing, which depends on group size and specific itinerary. Price includes guide, transportation to and from the river from Fairbanks, outfitting with camping and kitchen equipment, food, rafting gear, lifejackets and paddles or oars.