Wild River

Bettles, Alaska

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The Wild River provides an ideal family float for intermediate boaters with wilderness skills. The river flows from Wild Lake-a long, deep, narrow lake in the Central Brooks Range, sitting in a broad U-shaped valley just south of the northern treeline. Sand beaches and white spruce forest make up the lake's 6-mile shoreline, and dramatic peaks rise above it. Upper slopes are covered with alpine tundra, and the hiking is superb. Some private cabins are at the lake. Robert Marshall, visiting Wild Lake in 1931, said it reminded him of Lake Placid in New York, with its steep mountains rising from the shoreline, but Wild Lake had "no thickly clustered camps nor noisy powerboats. Wild Lake does, however, have some private inholdings, with scattered cabins along the shore.

Wild River Professional Review and Guide

"The Wild River provides an ideal family float for intermediate boaters with wilderness skills. The river flows from Wild Lake-a long, deep, narrow lake in the Central Brooks Range, sitting in a broad U-shaped valley just south of the northern treeline. Sand beaches and white spruce forest make up the lake's 6-mile shoreline, and dramatic peaks rise above it.

Upper slopes are covered with alpine tundra, and the hiking is superb. Some private cabins are at the lake. Robert Marshall, visiting Wild Lake in 1931, said it reminded him of Lake Placid in New York, with its steep mountains rising from the shoreline, but Wild Lake had "no thickly clustered camps nor noisy powerboats. Wild Lake does, however, have some private inholdings, with scattered cabins along the shore."

Activity Type: Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing
Nearby City: Bettles
Distance: 63
Duration: 6 days
Class: Class I-II
Season: June through early July
Local Contacts: Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve; private.
Driving Directions: Directions to Wild River

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May 2018