Killik River

Barrow, Alaska

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Rising amid the massive peaks of the Endicott Mountains in the central Brooks Range, the Killik River flows northward through an open, treeless, glaciated valley for 135 miles, where it joins the Colville River. The Killik's classic U-shaped river valley has deep blue lakes, sand dunes, large lateral moraines, and rolling alpine tundra. Dramatic 6,000-to 7,000-foot peaks surrounded the headwaters. In the upper river the valley is about 2 miles wide and offers good hiking. As the river flows through the arctic foothills, the valley opens up, becoming 3 to 5 miles wide. Below Sunday Rapids, fossils are evident in rock outcroppings. The river becomes braided several miles above its confluence with the Okokmilaga River, coursing swiftly through willow islands, then across broad gravel flats that create aufeis in winter.

Killik River Professional Review and Guide

"Rising amid the massive peaks of the Endicott Mountains in the central Brooks Range, the Killik River flows northward through an open, treeless, glaciated valley for 135 miles, where it joins the Colville River. The Killik's classic U-shaped river valley has deep blue lakes, sand dunes, large lateral moraines, and rolling alpine tundra.

Dramatic 6,000-to 7,000-foot peaks surrounded the headwaters. In the upper river the valley is about 2 miles wide and offers good hiking. As the river flows through the arctic foothills, the valley opens up, becoming 3 to 5 miles wide. Below Sunday Rapids, fossils are evident in rock outcroppings. The river becomes braided several miles above its confluence with the Okokmilaga River, coursing swiftly through willow islands, then across broad gravel flats that create aufeis in winter."

Activity Type: Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing
Nearby City: Barrow
Distance: 105
Duration: 7-10 days
Class: Class I-III
Season: Late June through mid-August
Additional Use: Boating
Local Contacts: Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve; National PetroletUll Reserve (Bureau of Land Management, Fairbanks); private (Native lands).
Driving Directions: Directions to Killik River

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May 2018