Selawik River

Selawik, Alaska

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From its headwaters in the Zane Hills, the Selawik River gathers water from the surrounding Kobuk lowlands and flows between the Kiliovilik Range and the Purcell Mountains and out onto the flats of Selawik National Wildlife Refuge. The upper river offers views of the mountains to the north and south. Downriver, the country flattens out and the river traverses miles of rich wetlands teeming with bird life. The river meanders slowly for more than 200 miles to Selawik Lake, which drains into Hotham Inlet and then into Kotzebue Sound and the Chukchi Sea. The current decreases drastically on the lower river (below the Kugarak River), where the Selawik becomes a single channel up to 125 feet wide. On the lower river, traveling in the early morning or late evening is usually best for avoiding upriver winds.

Selawik River Professional Review and Guide

"From its headwaters in the Zane Hills, the Selawik River gathers water from the surrounding Kobuk lowlands and flows between the Kiliovilik Range and the Purcell Mountains and out onto the flats of Selawik National Wildlife Refuge. The upper river offers views of the mountains to the north and south. Downriver, the country flattens out and the river traverses miles of rich wetlands teeming with bird life.

The river meanders slowly for more than 200 miles to Selawik Lake, which drains into Hotham Inlet and then into Kotzebue Sound and the Chukchi Sea. The current decreases drastically on the lower river (below the Kugarak River), where the Selawik becomes a single channel up to 125 feet wide. On the lower river, traveling in the early morning or late evening is usually best for avoiding upriver winds."

Activity Type: Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing
Nearby City: Selawik
Distance: 207
Duration: 14-16 days
Class: Class I
Season: Late June through early September
Local Contacts: Selawik National Wildlife Refuge; NANA Regional Corporation. The Selawik is a National Wild River.
Driving Directions: Directions to Selawik River

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May 2018