Eleven Days of Tatshenshini

March 10, 2017

Day 1 Tatshenshini

Day 1:  The river flows through a tight and technical canyon section. Most of the whitewater for the whole trip is on day one! This is the final and biggest rapid of the canyon.

Day 2 Tatshenshini

Day 2:  There are quiet days as well as the river meanders through forested areas. This is a great place to spot wildlife from the boats. We also try to take a few short walks for potential wildlife viewing opportunities.

Day 3 Tatshenshini

Day 3:  Enjoy a layover day and hike Sediments Creek, a popular hike on the Tat. Also, possibly glass some mountain goats across Sediments Creek from the top. It’s always nice getting views looking down on the river.

Day 4 Tatshenshini

Day 4:  The river starts to pick up incredible volume after you leave Sediments. As you pick up this additional water and volume the glacial valley really begins to open up and the views are incredible! Here we are camped at a place we call Eagles Perch.

Day 5 Tatshenshini

Day 5:  The river continues to grow in volume every day. Over the trip, you watch the volume increase by almost 100 times!

Day 6 Tatshenshini

Day 6:  Melt Creek and the confluence with the Alsek, often referred to as “The Center of the Universe,” provides a scenic overload in every direction! Here the Noisy Range sets the backdrop at the confluence.

Day 7 Tatshenshini

Day 7:  We sometime lay over near Melt Creek. The confluence is a great place to spot wildlife. This moose came trotting down the bank on the other side of the river then swam the river just below camp. Also saw a bear on the same gravel bar later that day.

Day 8 Tatshenshini

Day 8:  After leaving the confluence and now on the Alsek, the river gets BIG!!! Here, we hiked the Nose and this view is looking back towards the confluence. Can you find our orange tents on the gravel bar, lower left of the photo?

Day 9 Tatshenshini

Day 9:  Walker Glacier! Always a highlight on the Tat or Alsek. If water levels are right, we can take the boats into the glacial lake and row around the face of the glacier. Usually we can walk on the ice sheet. Over the years, we have watched this glacier begin to melt and recede and this area looks different every year. Before long, we may not even be able to walk on Walker Glacier. Couldn’t decide on the photo for day 9, so decided to make it a double!

Day 10 Tatshenshini

Day 10:  Alsek Lake, the scenery is all time here! When you hit a clear day at the lake and Mt Fairweather is towering above at 15,300 ft, which you are looking up at from basically sea level, you have hit the jackpot. In this photo, the lake is filled with icebergs and the views were incredible at sunrise. We will normally layover either at Walker Glacier or Alsek Lake, as both places are amazing campsites. Not many river trips will you see views like this!

Day 11 Tatshenshini

Day 11:  The final day, we wake up early to make our way to the exit of the lake and head for Dry Bay. In Dry Bay, the planes come in and take everyone to Yakutat for connecting flights home and the river gear back to Haines. As you leave the lake, you have to keep an eye out for traffic as small icebergs will often float out of the lake. When in a rubber raft, you certainly don’t want a collision with a sharp iceberg.

I hope you enjoyed the photo tour of our 11-day Tatsheshini trip as much as I enjoyed taking all the photos.  Find out more info on the Tatshenshini River page or join our trip 2017 trip July 30th – August 9th.

~Seth Tonsmeire
*This is a rough outline of our Tat schedule, but every trip is different and may vary by group, weather and other variables.