Resurrection Creek “Lower Canyon”

Forums Alaska Rivers Girdwood and Hope Region Resurrection Creek “Lower Canyon”

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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: III
      Length: 4 miles
      Gauge: No gauge, use Sixmile for estimate https://waterdata.usgs.gov/monitoring-location/15271000/#parameterCode=00065&period=P7D&showMedian=false
      Shuttle: None

      Put-in: Varies, begin hiking from Resurrection Pass Trailhead (North)

      Takeout: Same trailhead

      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. In addition to salmon, bears and logjams, you may even float by someone recreational gold panning along the shores. For those seeking a longer hike with more whitewater, refer to the Cascades Section description.

      Water Level: Resurrection Creek has no gauge, however the Six Mile 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 Six mile is over 9.6 ft, a medium run between 9-9.4 ft, and anything under 8.8 ft being low and quite bony in the bottom stretches before the takeout bridge.

      Trip Begins: Drive down Resurrection Creek Rd for 4 miles to the trailhead parking area.  This is where the hike begins, as well as the takeout, unless doing the Lower Section where your paddle would end in the downtown Hope area. 

      Hike Description:  The easy-to-follow, well-marked trail leaves the Resurrection Trailhead, also conveniently your takeout, gradually going uphill through spruce-birch forest.   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. 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 and 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 returning down to the creek; begin here for a few more miles of class II paddling, including a longer wood portage.

      Lower Canyon Description:  From the miners trail, 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 2023 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/annoying to actually walk over or maneuver around. You’ve been warned 😉

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    Forums Alaska Rivers Girdwood and Hope Region Resurrection Creek “Lower Canyon”