- Class II-III+
- River Length
- 50 miles
- 1-5 days
- June to August
The Gulkana River offers an opportunity to experience a multi-day Alaska river trip without the complicated and expensive access hurdles that most other rivers in the state pose. The Gulkana River, a federally designated Wild & Scenic River, drains the interior Alaskan Range to the south of Fairbanks. The Gulkana River is one if the most popular multi-day trips in Alaska due to its easy accessibility. Roads are cut through the thick forests around the Gulkana, creating easy vehicle put-in and take-out locations, a rarity in the wilderness of Alaska!
The Gulkana River stretches through heavily forested river canyons with occasional intermediate level whitewater. Rapids on the Gulkana range from easy riffles and splashy waves to the more difficult Canyon Rapids, featuring large boulders that choke the river channel and form large holes for boats to maneuver around. The Gulkana is home to one of the most easily accessed fisheries in the state of Alaska, with great fishing for King and Sockeye Salmon. Visitors can enjoy wildlife viewing with common sightings of Eagles, Bear and Moose. For visitors with less time, jet boats also provide accelerated trips on the Gulkana lasting a full day in length.
Trips along the Gulkana are typically 4-5 days in length and the river is most easily accessed from the city of Fairbanks via vehicle access to put-in and takeout.