#mypubliclandsroadtrip heads out this week for extreme adventures on your public lands. And there’s no better place to start that adventure than the wild and rugged landscapes of Alaska.
Until recently, floating Beaver Creek Wild and Scenic River through Alaska’s White Mountains National Recreation Area required either a pricey pickup flight by air taxi or a three-week commitment to float 360 miles all the way to the Yukon River and the Dalton Highway bridge (considered the country’s longest road-to-road river trip). The popularity of compact, light-weight packrafts has now added a third option – one that involves floating the most scenic part of the river and then hiking 30 to 50 miles back to the start through the heart of the 1-million-acre national recreation area.
The float itself is relaxing and scenic, with mostly class I whitewater. The hike out, on the other hand, is not for the faint-hearted – you’ll need to find your own route over jagged limestone ridges, across soggy tundra, and through ice-cold streams, all while swatting mosquitoes and watching out for bears. Your reward is an unforgettable hike through some of Interior Alaska’s best scenery, a landscape that most people only see in much chillier and darker conditions via the BLM’s extensive network of winter trails and public use cabins. Visit in summer, and you’ll likely have the place all to yourself!