Sheenjek River Raft Trip
Explore the Wild and Scenic Sheejek River
through the Arctic National Wildife Refuge
The Sheenjek River parallels the Coleen River, flowing from the south slopes of the Brooks Range, it drains into the Porcupine. The headwater of the Sheenjek cuts through breath taking limestone mountains, and slowly descends into boreal forest. Starting in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the Sheenjek carries a National Wild and Scenic distinction. As the river leaves the mountains and begins to snake through the lowlands, it enters the Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge.
Our Sheenjek river raft trip begins on a high alpine lake about 20 miles below the headwaters. Resting in the center of the flat river valley, the lake is surrounded by the breathtaking limestone peaks of the Brooks Range. We typically spend a day exploring before setting off down river. There is something to be discovered everywhere we look. It is hard to hike without stopping every few minutes to admire some Arctic treasure. Spectacular arrays of colors are splashed across the hill sides, painted by a variety of blooming flowers. Nesting birds fill the air with their lively calls of spring. In the open tundra and nearby hill sides it does not take long to spot one of the many critters that make the Sheenjek home. Wolves, grizzly, caribou, moose and wolverine have all adapted to live in this Arctic environment.
After a day of exploring, it’s time to pump up our rafts and break camp. As we float down river we are greeted by new discoveries around every corner. The river transitions from lazy sections, to small rifles framed by cut banks and wide gravel bars. A section of class ll river lies ahead. Boulders and small islands dot the swift channels, making for a fast ride. Outfitted with stable rafts and steered by a seasoned guide, no previous paddling experience is needed. A typical day consists of 5-6 hours on the river. We usually stop for a leisurely lunch, and take our time to do some exploring and cast for Arctic grayling. As with all our guided raft trips, we do not follow a strict itinerary, but shape our schedule around the weather, wildlife sightings and our groups’ desires. Our Sheenjek river raft trip covers 110 miles of river and takes 9 days.
The Sheenjek 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 9 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.