Tsirku Rafting


Custom Dates Available for Your Group


Southeast Alaska





Custom Dates Available for Your Group


Southeast Alaska



From the ice of Glacier Bay to the world renowned Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve. Rafting the Tsirku River is a journey through a rugged land of rock, ice and wildlife.


In a tangle of mountains at the end of the famed Inside Passage lies the small fishing town of Haines Alaska, population 2,200. With North America’s longest and deepest fjord in the front yard and some of America’s tallest peaks out-back, Haines is an ideal place to base our adventures.

Getting to Haines is an adventure in its-self but the real adventure starts the morning of our first day together. You’ll hop into a 2 person bush-plane; just you and the pilot soaring low over the forests and rivers searching for moose and bear. You’ll land by a grey glacial lake just a stone’s throw from the LeBlondeau Glacier which pours out of Glacier Bay National Park just to the south. After setting-up camp in this spectacular location we spend the afternoon scrambling on the rocks and exploring around the glacier. The gray of the lake dotted by floating icebergs, blue of the glacier and the green of the trees makes outstanding scene. We’ll keep our eyes peeled for mountain goats in the rocks, moose in the willows and wolves on the gravel flats.

With this good start, our second day is devoted to exploring deeper into the mountains into country too rugged to allow airplane access. The narrow valley and braided channels of the river beckon us to explore to the very head of the valley where the Tsirku Glacier creates an icy wall. If conditions permit we may be able to skirt the edge of the glacier and climb high into the alpine areas for endless vistas of mountains, river and glaciers stretching to the horizon. It is a spectacular kingdom of rock and ice and we have a full day to explore the mountains or relax in camp.

On our third day we inflate the raft and negotiate a small rapid. Once past the rapids, we enter the forested portion of the watershed, tundra gives way to lush coastal rain forest and the river gains size. The valley widens the trees grow enormous and after rounding “Devils Elbow” we find the first spring-fed river of the trip. Stow your paddle and grab your fishing rod. The deep gravels of the Little Salmon River provide spawning habitat for salmon among other fish. We’ll definitely be on the lookout for bears here as they like to fish even more than we do. Below the Little Salmon River we enter the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve and we can expect to see lots of eagles perched on driftwood along the river. After a day on the river we return to the road.

Once we are back in civilization we can drive you to the airport for your flights back to Juneau and beyond.

Last updated: April 23, 2024


What follows is a general flow of events. Expect the unexpected and prepare to be flexible.

Day 0

Meet your guide for a pre-trip meeting at your hotel in Haines at 5 pm. Lodging included.

Day 1

Weather permitting we fly, one at a time into the Upper Tsirku and land next to the glacier. Set up camp and let the fun begin!

Day 2

A full day to hike in the upper Tsirku. We could hike to the very head of the valley and day-hike into the peaks above the glacier. Or stay closer to camp and paddle around in the glacial lake or scamper on the ice. It is dramatic and challenging country and there is no end to the adventures we can invent.

Day 3

Down the River. We’ll paddle and row our raft captained by your guide through the initial rapids and down through the braids. Once we pass the rapids we enter the forest and tundra gives way to lush greenery on the banks. If water levels and time permit we’ll have a chance to explore and fish in the Little Salmon River before paddling the remaining miles to the Chilkat River and the road.

We had a guide whose judgement and advice I trusted unconditionally. I am sure we had the great fortune to benefit from her many years of guiding, especially regarding the food she selected to bring. I found it incredible that the meals never tasted like they were selected for camping but also it always seemed to be very efficient, starting from the good coffee in the morning, to lunches that included gourmet cheeses, to the dinners she prepared that were better than those in many restaurants.


- Kirsten , LA, USA



2 nights camping on the Tsirku River

Boating, camping and safety equipment

Food while in the field

Professional Guide Service


Transportation to Haines

Food in Haines

Non- camp Lodging

Alcoholic beverages

Personal clothing and gear per our Equipment List

Gratuity for guides


The weather in Southeast Alaska is highly variable. It can be almost summery with temperatures up to 75 F with sunshine or we can be visited by powerful storms with heavy rain and temperatures closer to 40 degress. The weather inland tends to be drier and cooler with the coast a bit warmer and damp. Each year is different and each day will be different. Pack for the cold and wet, but bring a short-sleeve shirt in case summer is lovely this year. Weather data is available at here.


Jimmy Bluefeather by Kim Heacox

Love Finds You in Glacier Bay by Tricia Goyer and Ocieanna Fleiss

Across the Shaman’s River by Dan Henry

"The wilderness was spectacular, the leadership perfect."
"I am just finishing my tenth trip with you guys. As always, the trip was more than I expected and I had a great time. See you next year!"
"Of all outfitters with whom we have worked (and that is quite a number), you were by far the most organized and responsive."
"That feeling of wide open wonder, the possibilities for nearly limitless wandering, and the image of those proud caribou...that will stay with me a long time"
"Our guide was an encyclopedia on legs. He was always willing and ready to teach, to talk, to listen, to do another hike, or to lie low in camp if we were beat. He truly gave us the trip we wanted!"
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Eileen - Canning River