Resurrection Creek (Guidebook)

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    Jule Harle

      Difficulty: III
      Length: 4 miles
      Time: 45 minutes
      Gradient: 70 fpm
      Gauge: No gauge, use Sixmile for an estimate
      Shuttle: None
      Put in: Lower Canyon: 60.83883, -149.63162 Cascades: 60.78625, -149.67387
      Take out: Resurrection Pass Trailhead (North) 60.86970, -149.63025

      HIKE RUNDOWN: (this is a box)
      Difficulty: Easy, trail
      Elevation: +250 ft,- 80 ft
      Length: 2.5 miles
      Time: 1-1.5 hours

      Character: Resurrection Creek is a great half day adventure with straightforward hiking that rewards you with a short but incredibly scenic class III canyon. The creek is home to multiple salmon runs throughout the season, so be cautious of bears, especially along blind bends. The creek was also rich with gold- yielding between 30,000-40,000 ounces of gold since 1895. In addition to salmon, bears & logjams, you may even see recreational gold panning alongside the shores.
      For those seeking a longer hike with more whitewater, the upstream “Cascades” section delivers 3 highly technical “creeky” rapids if flows are low (sixmile gauge under 9 ft). With higher flows, above 9.3 ft, the rapids become much pushier with larger (and likely retentive) holes.
      Water Level: Resurrection Creek has no gauge, however the Sixmile gauge can be used to estimate water levels, as it is only one valley over. Expect Resurrection Creek to feel high, fast and pushy if Sixmile is over 9.6 ft, a medium run between 9-9.4 ft, and anything under 8.8 ft would feel low and quite boney in the bottom stretches before the takeout bridge.

      Trip Begins: Drive down the Hope cutoff road until mile 15; turn onto Resurrection Creek road and drive for 4 miles until the parking trailhead area. This is where the hike begins, as well as the takeout. (floating downstream to the town of Hope is an option, but expect numerous wood portages)

      Trip Ends: Same as beginning

      Hike Description: The easy-to-follow, well-marked trail leaves the Resurrection Trailhead (this is also conveniently your takeout) & goes gradually uphill through spruce-birch forest. One of Southcentral Alaska’s most popular trail systems, expect to share the trail with other backpackers & mountain bikers. The trail travels 38 miles through the Kenai Mountains, linking historic gold mining areas near Hope all the way to Cooper Landing.
      There are multiple put in options for this creek, depending on how much hiking, walking around wood and paddling whitewater your party is seeking.
      The most convenient put in is 2.5 miles in from the trailhead; there is a miner’s trail on the left side of the main trail that goes down to the creek, putting you in just above the class III canyon. It’s easy to miss, but is marked with a yellow “Federal Mining Claim” Sign, near waypoint 60.83717, -149.63309. Follow this trail a few hundred feet down to the creek. Starting your run here bypasses most of the wood portages and is a shortcut to the whitewater & canyon scenery.
      (Another obvious put in is the first camping area, 4.2 miles from the trailhead; after the camp site signage the trail goes uphill briefly before coming down and returning to the creek; put on here for a few more miles of class II-III paddling, including a llonger wood portage.)

      River Description: From here the creek begins with a swift class II boogie character for a few minutes before you enter the class III canyon stretch. Keep your eyes peeled for trees; in 2021 there was one river wide log ¼ mile downstream from this put in, easy to walk around on the left.
      There are multiple drops in the canyon, all read and run with small eddies upstream for those who want to get a better look; again, stay alert for wood here. The canyon is short and sweet and as it’s only ¼ mile long, may leave you wanting more action. When the rapids subside, you’ll continue downstream for almost 2 more miles of class II+ floating. Take out upstream of the bridge on the right.
      Continuing downstream to Hope on the lower class II section is possible, however many people report that it’s not worth the hassle, as there are reliably numerous spots with problem river wide wood that come up quick and are somewhat tricky to actually walk over or around. You’ve been warned 😉
      This river (Res Creek) is a little bit tricky; the commonly done section is what is above. However, there is an additional seldomly paddled whitewater stretch (Cascades) above this more popular section. I am including the Cascades writeup; ideally it would be in the same writeup as Resurrection Creek, but it would go after it with a similar layout, but with less trailhead, local area details, etc. (both runs are on the same map; the map would go after the descriptions.
      Most creeks in the book will only have 1 set of boxes/descriptions, however there will be a handful that would have a similar write up layout to this one.

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