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Anchorage Kayaking, Rafting and Canoeing

Finding wilderness by way of water can be a refreshing and exhilarating way to enjoy summer days in Anchorage. Choose from relaxing and scenic floats, longer and wilder rides, or multi-day wilderness adventures.

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Kayaking isn't only for saltwater. You can kayak and get a mountain or glacier view from freshwater as well.
Kayaking isn't only for saltwater. You can kayak and get a mountain or glacier view from freshwater as well. ©Nicole Geils

Ranging from the relatively easy-going Matanuska River to the guaranteed-to-get-you-wet Class IV and V rapids of Sixmile Creek, whitewater rafting near Anchorage is rip-roaring fun.

A little farther south from Sixmile Creek is the world famous Kenai River. Keeping in step with most Alaska rafting trips, the Kenai passes through spectacular country the entire route. Enjoy the scenery or choose a fishing float for world-class salmon and trout. Canoeists often enjoy various sections of this turquoise river too.

Kayaking on a glacier-fed lake is another fun adventure, especially at stunning Eklutna Lake where you can arrange to have a bike waiting for the return trip. If floating down a river while staying dry is more your style, canoe among glaciers at Spencer Lake. The world-renowned Prince William Sound (Whittier), Resurrection Bay (Seward) and Kachemak Bay (Homer) all offer outstanding sea kayaking.

Several lakes within the Anchorage city limits are perfect for canoeing and kayaking, many of which are stocked with rainbow trout. Popular spots include Jewel, Cheney and Campbell Point lakes, as well as Westchester Lagoon. In addition, the Matanuska-Susitna (Mat-Su) Valley, just 45 miles north, is dotted with good fishing and canoeing lakes including the Nancy Lake chain's series of public-use cabins.

Jet boat tours are another thrilling way to explore Alaska’s backcountry. Navigate Knik River to the face of the massive Knik Glacier or Twentymile River to Twentymile Glacier.

Rafts, kayaks and canoes are available for rent in Anchorage and other areas of Southcentral Alaska.