Skolai to Nizina Multi-Sport Itinerary
DAY 1 – We will pick you up in Anchorage this morning for the scenic 8 hour drive to the tiny town of McCarthy, in the middle of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. After 5 hours of driving through the spectacular Chugach Mountains, we will find ourselves in the hamlet of Chitina, where the road turns to gravel for the remaining 60 miles. Somewhere around here we will stop for lunch before completing the drive.
This evening you will have the option of staying in our rustic bunkhouse (no amenities) or in a local lodge or B&B, which we are happy to arrange for you. You will meet with your guide this evening to go over your gear and get ready for tomorrow’s departure into the backcountry.
DAY 2 – We will meet our bush pilots this morning and fly to Skolai Pass, passing over the Nizina River (which we will be rafting later in the trip), the Mile High Cliffs, and the Nizina Glacier. The spectacular ice-covered landscape is awe-inspiring. This afternoon we begin our hike.
DAYS 3-8 – We have 7 ½ days to reach the toe of the Nizina Glacier where our rafts will be waiting. Our route will take us across Skolai Creek, up Frederika Creek and the mighty Frederika Glacier to a high pass where we will have views of not only picturesque Frederika Peak, but, on a clear day, the high peaks of both the Wrangell and St. Elias Ranges.
We will then hike down to the Rohn Glacier and follow it all the way down to where the Nizina River flows out of the ice and off downstream. Depending on the speed of the group, we may have a chance for a layover day, where we can drop the big packs and ascend a small peak or wander through an alpine valley, returning to the same camp at night.
DAY 9 – We complete our hike this morning at meet our rafts, rigged and ready, around mid-day. After a scrumptious deli lunch, we pack our packs into drybags and head off down the river. We camp tonight beneath the Mile-High cliffs at the mouth of the Chitistone Valley.
DAY 10 – We continue down the Nizina River, through wide, braided channels, past the remains of a historical steel bridge, incongruous with the wilderness we are traveling through, and camp in a canyon just above the confluence with the Kennicott River.
DAY 11 – Today we complete our river journey where the Nizina meet the Chitina River. Our trusty bush pilots meet us again to return us to “civilization” in McCarthy. Our wood-fired sauna is a great treat after all our adventures. You will once again have the choice of our rustic bunkhouse or local accommodations of your choice.
DAY 12 – Today you will return to Anchorage by van (or we are happy to arrange flights for an additional cost) and be off on your way home.
Like all of our multi-day, multi-sport trips, the Skolai-to-Nizina Multi-Sport Adventure includes professional, experienced guides with extensive local knowledge and medical training. We provide all food for the backcountry portions of your trip, including hot and delicious meals morning and evening and plenty of lunch food and snacks for mid-day nourishment while on the trail. On the river, you can expect excellent, fresh food, including fruits and vegetables, meats and cheeses, and many other items that are truly a luxury in this wilderness environment. St. Elias Guides and Copper Oar Rafting also provide group gear, including stoves, pots, and tents. You are responsible for your personal gear, including warm clothing, rain gear, boots, sleeping bags and pads and other items detailed in our equipment lists.
“A fantastic experience — wild Alaska at its best!”
Click on the markers below to view important points along your trip. Check out that zoom feature!