- Class II-III
- River Length
- 88 miles
- 9 days
A multi-day trip down the Charley River is a great way to unplug from civilization and explore the gold-rush lands of the Klondike region in Northern Alaska.
The Charley River, a federally designated Wild & Scenic River, originates in the Tanana Uplands region of the Yukon Charley Rivers National Preserve. The Charley River flows through 1.1 million acres of protected watershed, its crystal clear waters flowing northward through the Mertie Mountains and the Klondike Region of Alaska.
The Charley River travels through open highlands, into constricted river canyons and back into open floodplains. The Charley features almost continuous whitewater, ranging in strength from playful riffles to solid intermediate drops with big waves and some holes. Views of the surrounding mountains and plains from the Charley River are striking. Interestingly the lands around the Charley River have never been glaciated and the geological sedimentary record in this area is intact back to 800 million years ago.
The Charley River still bears remnants from its gold-rush mining past, including old homesteads and trappers cabins along its banks. Visitors to the Charley River will likely see an abundance of wildlife, including sightings of Caribou, Bear, Moose, Dall Sheep and Wolves.
Multi-day trips down the Charley River are most often run in August, which is peak foliage season in this region where winter comes early. Nights increase in length during late summer along the Charley River, allowing visitors excellent opportunity to view the Aurora Borealis and starry night skies.
The Charley River put-in is most commonly accessed via bush plane from Fairbanks and its takeout at the confluence with the Yukon is fortuitously close to the small bush town of Circle, from which a road winds back to Fairbanks. The Charley River is very remote and is well suited for travelers with adventurous spirits. Trips are nine days and longer in length and there is no contact with civilization once on the river.