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Backcountry Packrafting

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Till then… enjoy the video of Mark and Ed Plumb.

The backcountry packrafting at McCallum Creek is a rowdy ribbon of Class III whitewater draining steep, glaciated country near Rainbow Ridge along the Richardson Highway. The gradient averages approximately 170 feet/mile and is a very challenging, rock strewn creek, which is likely dangerous at higher water levels. The basin is fed by snowmelt, rainfall, and a couple glaciers in the headwaters, so the water level may vary considerably depending on the time of year and weather conditions.

When the water level is favorable, this is a “golden” backcountry packrafting trip since it begins and ends at the same location and does not require a car shuttle. Park in the gravel pit at milepost 206.5 and look for a narrow gravel road/ATV trail that leaves the highway just north of the gravel pit, or bushwhack from the gravel pit towards the creek and you will intersect this road. The gravel road parallels an unnamed creek and eventually turns into a game trail as it ascends a 4400 foot pass that leads towards upper McCallum Creek. Stay to the right as you descend toward the creek, the final pitch is steep and it is possible to get “cliffed-out”, but there are tongues of brush that provide a safe path to the valley floor. It’s about a 3 mile hike over the pass to McCallum Creek.

Some people book a stay at our Butterfly Cabin or Treehouse Cabin deep inside Skwentna, where you can hike, bicycle, canoe and experience the Resort in comfort — but still largely off the grid.


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