Squirrel River

Kiana, Alaska

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The Squirrel is a readily accessible arctic river traversing varied scenery, with outstanding hiking. This is a good family trip for experienced wilderness travelers. Originating in the Baird Mountains of the Brooks Range, the Squirrel River flows southeasterly for about 95 miles through a broad mountain-flanked valley forested with spruce, birch, aspen, and balsam poplar and enters the Kobuk River just upstream of the village of Kiana. Excellent hiking is available in the headwaters, where the Baird Mountains rise 2,500 to 4,500 feet in elevation. Crystal-clear, yet emerald-green in hue, the river traverses a range of northern ecosystems: alpine terrain, forested valleys, and expansive arctic tundra. The river braids over an extensive gravel floodplain, then forms a single channel as it flows past the Kiana Hills. Below the Kiana Hills, the lower river traverses open tundra, with the Kallarichuk Hills visible to the northeast.

Squirrel River Professional Review and Guide

"The Squirrel is a readily accessible arctic river traversing varied scenery, with outstanding hiking. This is a good family trip for experienced wilderness travelers. Originating in the Baird Mountains of the Brooks Range, the Squirrel River flows southeasterly for about 95 miles through a broad mountain-flanked valley forested with spruce, birch, aspen, and balsam poplar and enters the Kobuk River just upstream of the village of Kiana. Excellent hiking is available in the headwaters, where the Baird Mountains rise 2,500 to 4,500 feet in elevation.

Crystal-clear, yet emerald-green in hue, the river traverses a range of northern ecosystems: alpine terrain, forested valleys, and expansive arctic tundra. The river braids over an extensive gravel floodplain, then forms a single channel as it flows past the Kiana Hills. Below the Kiana Hills, the lower river traverses open tundra, with the Kallarichuk Hills visible to the northeast."

Activity Type: Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing
Nearby City: Kiana
Distance: 85
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: 5-7 days
Class: Class I
Season: Mid-June through early August
Local Contacts: Bureau of Land Management, Anchorage; NANA Regional Corporation; state.
Driving Directions: Directions to Squirrel River

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May 2018