Matanuska River: Hicks Creek to Chickaloon

Forums Alaska Rivers Mat-Su Valley Region Matanuska River: Hicks Creek to Chickaloon

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    Jule Harle
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      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.

      QUICK RIVER STATS:
      Difficulty: II
      Length: 20 miles
      Gauge: NWS Matanuska at Glacier Park gauge https://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?gage=maga2&wfo=pafc
      Shuttle: 20 miles
      Put-in: Hicks Creek access, MP 96 on Glenn Hwy

      Takeout: Downstream of Chickaloon confluence

      Character: Below Hicks Creek the Matanuska is very braided & mostly class II.  Occasionally, the river channelizes and moves faster, with a class III breaking wave or hole to negotiate. The greatest challenges are reading the river when it suddenly braids out- while avoiding wood on the gravel bars & banks.  Upstream winds can pick up and become quite strong, especially in the afternoon.

      About 1 mile upstream of the Chickaloon confluence, the Mat channelizes & goes through a mini canyon.  There’s no noteworthy rapids, but a stark change in scenery & rock formations when compared to the upper stretches.  When you see an old cable/tramway crossing, the Chickaloon enters a few hundred feet down, on the right.  It is possible to take out here, although better options exist downstream on the right. 

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    Forums Alaska Rivers Mat-Su Valley Region Matanuska River: Hicks Creek to Chickaloon