Newhalen River

Nondalton, Alaska

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For a short but outstanding whitewater run on one of Southwest Alaska's most productive sockeye and rainbow trout fishing rivers, the Newhalen does not disappoint It is one of the few rivers in the region that is accessible without the use of a charter floatplane. The sheer numbers of sockeye salmon that migrate up to its headwaters offer a world class viewing and fishing experience. Beginning at Sixmile Lake, the Newhalen flows southerly for 22 miles to empty into Iliamna Lake at the village of Newhalen. A large, swift, and unusually turquoise-blue river, the Newhalen is rarely run in its entirety due to waterfalls and difficult Class IV whitewater below the falls. The upper 11 miles, to Upper Landing at the end of the Iliamna Road, are a pleasant Class I paddle. If you decide to continue down the river past Upper Landing, pull out on the left side of the river at the sharp right-hand bend at Mile 17 in order to avoid a nearly river-wide Class V ledge. Then portage on a trail for more than a mile to skirt the ledge.
The Alaska River Guide

DESCRIPTION FROM:

The Alaska River Guide

by Karen Jettmar (Menasha Ridge Press)

For a short but outstanding whitewater run on one of Southwest Alaska's most productive sockeye and rainbow trout fishing rivers, the Newhalen does not disappoint It is one of the few rivers in the region that is accessible without the use of a charter floatplane. The sheer numbers of sockeye salmon that migrate up to its headwaters offer a world class viewing and fishing experience. Beginning at Sixmile Lake, the Newhalen flows southerly for 22 miles to empty into Iliamna Lake at the village of Newhalen.

A large, swift, and unusually turquoise-blue river, the Newhalen is rarely run in its entirety due to waterfalls and difficult Class IV whitewater below the falls. The upper 11 miles, to Upper Landing at the end of the Iliamna Road, are a pleasant Class I paddle. If you decide to continue down the river past Upper Landing, pull out on the left side of the river at the sharp right-hand bend at Mile 17 in order to avoid a nearly river-wide Class V ledge. Then portage on a trail for more than a mile to skirt the ledge.

© 2008 Karen Jettmar/Menasha Ridge Press. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing
Nearby City: Nondalton
Distance: 22
Duration: 1 day
Class: Class I-V
Season: June through September
Local Contacts: Alaska Peninsula Corporation; Iliamna Natives Ltd.; Bureau of Land Management, Anchorage.
Driving Directions: Directions to Newhalen River

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May 2018