Places to Paddle tm
Canoeing - Kayaking - Rafting

Stikine River from Telegraph Creek BC to Wrangell AK
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Copyright 2000 Alfonso Vazquez-Cuervo - See Terms of Use

Our Route Summary

  • Submitted by: Eric Yancey, Breakaway Adventures, Box 2107 Wrangell AK. 99929 (888-385-2488)
  • Date Submitted: 12/2000
  • Email:
  • Location: Wrangell, Alaska and British Columbia, Canada
  • Class: 2 typical
  • Distance Paddled: 160 miles
  • Water: fresh
  • Wildlife: Black and Brown Bear, Moose, Eagles and other birds

Entry and Exit

  • Directions: Wrangell can be reached via a 2 hour flight from Seattle Washington or the Alaska Marine Highway (ferry system) from Bellingham Washington. After arriving at Wrangell Alaska, boats and gear are loaded on a Breakaway Adventure's Jet Boat See Photo for your transport up the Stikine River to Telegraph Creek, BC (160 miles).
  • Fee: contact outfitter
  • Description: access via jet boat shuttle (see photo)
  • Parking: at outfitter
  • Facilities: at outfitter

What We Saw

You 6-7 day float trip begins in Telegraph Creek, BC.

Spend the night in the historic Stikine Riversong Lodge (See Photo at left), a Hudson bay trading post 100 years ago this is nicely appointed today, or start your trip and find a location to camp on the river.

The Stikine is not a whitewater class river but it is a high volume, high current river not to be taken for granted. The Stikine River is pretty much 160 miles of pristine and virtually uninhabited river. 160 miles may seem like a lot of distance to cover but remember that the current is helping you along averaging 7-9 miles per hr.

The Stikine begins as a single channel river but soon develops into multiple channels. Most of these "side sloughs" can be navigated but one must be careful as there are logjams in some and the current is quite fast, so the main channel is the safer bet.

Prime camp sites (See Photo below) can be pointed out on the way up stream or you can just pick any spot that hits your fancy when the time comes, (most all sites are undeveloped).

After approximately 60 miles you will witness the transformation of the Stikine River and surrounding terrain from the Cassiar high plateau region (See Photo below) to the Coastal Mountain range that borders between all of Southeast Alaska and British Columbia, at this point you will see many hanging glaciers on both sides of the river for the next 100 miles. (See Photo at right)

Striking waterfalls can also be witnessed on the Stikine.

When you reach the International boundary you are 33 miles from Wrangell AK. At this point you can either continue to camp out or choose to rent one of the Forest Service Rec. Cabins. (See Photo below). There are several to choose from as you continue towards Wrangell (you must book in advance).

On the U.S. side of the Stikine you might want to make a stop at Chief Shakes Hot Springs for a relaxing soak in the mineral water (no sulfur smell, thank heavens) (See Photo at right)
Points to remember the Stikine is a high volume river, so one must be able to control your craft at all times. There is little chance of immediate rescue if something goes wrong, so you must be able to handle emergencies on your own, there is no chance to "walk" out to roads.

But as long as you are competent in your skills and well prepared, or choose to go with a competent guide, you will be rewarded with some awesome scenery and a very memorable experience.

For a shorter adventure, you may also paddle from Shakes Lakes to Wrangell AK, a 35 mile paddle.