Granite Creek (Hope)

Forums Alaska Rivers Girdwood and Hope Region Granite Creek (Hope)

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    Jule Harle

      SOURCE: The Alaska Packraft Guidebook: Premier Rivers & Creeks in the 49th State (1st ed) Copyright: 2022 by Jule Harle.  Refer to the guidebook for additional info, photos, waypoints or detailed river maps. Author permission required to reproduce, duplicate or transfer following content.

      Difficulty: II
      Length: 2-3 miles
      Gauge: No gauge, use Sixmile for reference:
      Shuttle: 2.5 miles

      Put-in: Bertha Creek Campground

      Takeout: Highway bridge OR Granite Creek Campground

      Character: The beautiful views of the Kenai Mountains you get while paddling through spruce forest make this run worth doing- not to mention the easy roadside access. Granite Creek has a “beginner friendly,” reputation, however, the fast moving water combined with riverbanks thick with brush & logs can make the run intimidating for novices. While the whitewater & technical nature of the creek do not top class II, the consequences of swimming aren’t as beginner friendly as the rating would suggest- as swimming to shore is impossible in many areas due to the ongoing wood hazards throughout the run.  Scotty Orr described this run as “Sh*tty class II’s with epic views.” Ha!

      Water Level: Granite Creek has no gauge, but the Six Mile gauge can be used to get a fairly accurate reading, as Granite has about 1/5 to 1/6 the flow of Six Mile. 9.7 ft is considered low & possibly too bony, where 9.7-10.2 ft is a more ideal level. However, once the Six Mile gauge is over 10.5 ft, the eddies disappear & the creek feels swift. Higher flows on this section have been described as “terrifying class II,” as the absence of eddies combined with fast turns, blind bends & wood along the shore can feel pretty scary for newer paddlers. If it’s someone’s first time on moving water, Granite Creek is probably not a good idea with higher flows. 

      River Description: Granite Creek is a quick & twisting stream throughout it’s entirety, especially the first 1.5 miles. Strainers & alders constantly reach into the river, inviting caution around the blind bends. About 1/2 mile into the run, awaits an especially precarious woody spot where the creek makes a right turn followed by an immediate by left. This spot is notorious for holding wood; requiring eddy hopping & boat scouting abilities to check on current conditions. If in doubt, get out and look, as many beginners find themselves in trouble in this wood choked bend. There aren’t any notable rapids, but you’ll navigate the occasional class II wave train & dodge rocks throughout the run. As you continue downstream, there are a few sharp bends that require you to paddle away from the rock rimmed walls, but are fairly straightforward.

      The further you go downstream, the better the views get as the valley opens up even more. Take out when you get to the highway bridge, continue down to the campground, or keep going further downstream to run the East Fork of Six Mile Creek.

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    Forums Alaska Rivers Girdwood and Hope Region Granite Creek (Hope)