Kennicott Glacier Lake & River Rafting – 4 Hour

Price 4 Hours
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Kennicott Glacier Lake & River Rafting – 4 Hour

per person

Our day Kennicott River rafting trips are a fun-filled Glacier Lake & Class II-III splashy Alaska river adventure. Our trip starts at the terminus of the Kennicott Glacier, where the receding ice has created a magnificent lake that has formed in the last twenty years. Paddle around icebergs, watch the dynamic nature of a large valley glacier and take the plunge (literally)! Our first in McCarthy drysuit outfitting means you can jump from an iceberg!  After experiencing the grand beauty of a new landscape, we paddle to the mouth of the Kennicott river and raft the fun waves as your guide expertly maneuvers around any dangers and into maximum fun!

Difficulty Level: Moderate
The Kennicott Glacier Lake & River Raft is a moderate trip for those adventurers looking to journey a little further into the Alaskan Bush. This river trip is moderate because you will be paddling and actively participating. You must reserve in advance if your group prefers a Center Rig Oar Boat (your guide rows from the center of the boat and do most of the work. You can paddle or hold on and enjoy the ride!),


4 Hours

Departure Time

9AM and 2PM Daily





  • Private Reservations by Boat
  • Trips Available from the last weekend in May through the first weekend in September
    • 1 Guest: 1 Guide / $450 per person
    • 2 Guests: 1 Guide / $225 per person
    • 3 Guests: 1 Guide / $185 per person
    • 4 Guests: 1 Guide / $165 per person
    • 5 Guests: 1 Guide / $145 per person
    • 6+ Guests: 1 Guide / $125 per person

Kennicott Lake & River

  • Float along the face of a 25-mile glacier
  • Jump from an Iceberg into the glacial waters
  • Expert paddle instruction
  • Enjoy the best rapids on the Kennicott River
  • Explore the glacial lake ecology
  • Local knowledge of the natural & human history of the Kennicott Valley
  • Drysuits – Raft Class III Whitewater and relish every splash
  • Drysuit
  • Floatation device
  • Paddle
  • Expert guide
  • Helmet
  • River shoes
  • Warm base layers
  • Sunglasses
  • Water bottle
  • Camera
  • Warm socks
  • Sunscreen
  • Snacks/sack lunch
  • Gratuity for your guide (10-20% of the trip cost is recommended)

This trip is eligible for an Oar Boat Upgrade – Your guide does all the work, you sit back and enjoy the ride. Groups with children 10 & under must go on an oar guided boat. Reserve in advance.

  • Departure Time
    9AM and 2PM Daily
  • Included
    Expert Guide
    Floatation Device
    River Shoes
15 minutes prior to trip time - meet up at shop for waivers and trip prep
9am OR 2pm - Suit up
  • Drysuit care and wear instruction
  • PFD and helmet fitting
  • Hike to the lake
9:30/45 OR 2:30/45 Lake tour
  • Short walk from our office to lake
  • Safety equipment check & flat water boating safety talk
  • Explore the glacier face
  • Jump into an ice cold glacier lake in a drysuit
10:45 OR 3:45 -Get ready for the river
  • Swiftwater Safety talk
  • Safety Equipment check
    • PFD tightening
    • Helmet Buckle
    • Drysuit Zippers
11am or 4pm
  • Launch onto the river
    • Float out of the lake into classIII whitewater
    • Run rapids with names like “land of the giants” “El Diablo” “Ah Shoot” and “Clown Car”


  • Sam S.

    July 25, 2011 at 10:16 am

    Totally Worth The Long Drive – MRTO Was The Highlight of Our Week!
    When I heard we were going to paddle around a lake, I thought at first, “what’s the point?” I wanted excitement! But I got it. My friends and I took a half-day trip; we got mixed weather, but the views were still amazing. And when the sun came out, we jumped in the glacier water in our dry suits, which kept us completely dry, but we DID feel the cold! We paddled right up to the toe of the glacier, where the ice peters out into rocky ice dunes, and got to see some rockslides down the ice into the lake! It was so cool to see the ancient formation changing shape as we watched. Nic was our guide, and he answered all our questions about the glacier, mountains, and other natural and historical fun facts. He was a pillar of competence and safety but also had a blast with us. It was my first time on a raft, so I can’t compare it to anything, but I loved it. Paddling down the river was such a thrill– plenty of rapids so that we got pretty well soaked, but didn’t ever fear for our lives or anything. Next time I want to make a multi-day trip because this one was over way too soon. As my buddy said, there wasn’t a single moment of suckiness!

  • Jenny A.

    July 1, 2017 at 10:14 am

    Thrilling (yet safe!) Experience
    This was my favorite thing we did in Wrangell – St. Elias (and there were many other candidates–we had a packed four days there). Kevin was a fabulous rafting guide and made us feel at ease the entire time. Getting to paddle around the lake before hitting the river was nice. We got to see lots of interesting ice formations and get comfortable with paddling techniques before heading out to the rapids. Once we did get out on the river, it was a fast and fun ride along a watercourse that had recently swelled in size due to heavy rains. It was fun to careen through the rapids knowing that Kevin had things well in hand. My only complaint was that it was over too soon! I highly recommend this experience. It’s great for kids too.

  • Malise

    August 1, 2017 at 10:12 am

    I Give This One A “Paddle High 5”!
    Wanting to get outdoors in Wrangell-St Elias National Park without a strenuous hike, we chose a rafting adventure with McCarthy River Tours and Outfitters that we saw as an option in our Alaska TourSaver Book. We met up with Ethan and Sam at their McCarthy location and were fitted with top-of-the-line gear (dry suit to protect us from the frigid water), and off we went for a short van ride to get to the launch spot. Sam went over rafting safety and, once in the boat, got us to practice our strokes in coordination to successfully power through tough spots on the river. Sam also made certain that our feet were secured to the raft so that we wouldn’t fall out if we hit a bump/rock, and he went over information that would keep us safe and let’s have a fun time.

    During the lake part of the trip, we landed the raft on the icy moraine of the Kennecott Glacier and easily climbed up about 10 feet to the edge to look down on a beautiful blue pool of water surrounded by brown ice. The Kennecott Glacier moraine is huge (fills the whole valley), and in the distance, we could hear the rock-laden ice falling from the brown moon-scape-looking terrain. We could see water dripping from jagged outcrops from under places already melting from the underside of the moraine. This piedmont glacier moraine was unlike anything we had ever seen or experienced. Surreal!
    It was a unique experience as we paddled into the river current. I had been rafting in several states, but this trip was nothing like my past trips. First, the water was gray, full of glacial silt so you couldn’t see the rocks underneath the running water. Second, although it was a Class 2 – 3 at this point (the water on the river was very low), there were very few flat spots, so we only had 20-30 seconds of rest before we were following Sam’s next paddling direction for the next set of rapids. It was really exciting! Still, I did have time to enjoy the scenery along the river – the leaves were turning yellow, and the magenta-colored fireweed was almost finished flowering near the top of the plants. Fall was in the air, and the water was very chilly. The dry suits provided by McCarthy River Tours kept us warm and dry; the only cold part of me was my feet – wear warm wool socks for sure!

    Awesome trip! We had many “paddle High-5sk” (where everyone raises their paddle overhead to touch and then slams it in the water to celebrate success) along the route and lots of laughs along the way. I would make this trip again, especially with Sam and Ethan watching out for us and guiding us along.

  • Becky C.

    June 1, 2022 at 10:05 am

    Trip Of The Summer!
    We made the half-day rafting trip on the Kennicott river with my parents. Ron was our guide, and it was fantastic — we explored the lake and the icebergs. We swam in the chilly water (in dry suits) and listened to the rocks dropping off the glacier. What an experience! Then, of course, came the river rafting– a safety talk well prepared us, then set off down the river. I got a good washing by getting splashed by the waves and had a great time. 10/10 recommend! I would repeat the whole trip in a heartbeat!

  • Rochelle S.

    July 1, 2022 at 10:09 am

    First Time Rafting, Had A BLAST!
    We had a great time on our rafting trip with Mads and Sarah. I had never been rafting before and was a little apprehensive, but the ladies made me comfortable. They made the trip so much fun!! From the time we put on our dry suits, we went over safety instructions, photo ops, and especially the trip! Next time I might even jump in!

  • George M.

    July 1, 2022 at 10:10 am

    The Four-Hour Glacier Lake / Kennicott River Trip Was Fantastic.
    We had four families with teens, 15 people total, and we had a blast. Instead of just looking at the scenery, you get to be a part of it as you paddle around the lake and then run the river under the bridge. Our guides, Gwen, Ally, and Sarah, were enthusiastic and seemed to enjoy what they were doing, which was contagious. They provide everything you need, so go have some fun.