Visionary Wild, LLC • 2200 19th St. NW, Ste 806, Washington, DC 20009

E-mail: info@visionarywild.com    •    Tel: 1-202-558-9596 (9am to 5pm, EST).

Justin Black – Managing Director: 1-202-302-9030 • Email: justin@visionarywild.com

Sara Robb – Operations Assistant: sara@visionarywild.com

We look forward to hearing from you!

 

Limit 10 spaces | $10,995* Register
Expedition August 18 - September 1, 2017 | View other workshops

Alsek River with Carr Clifton and Jerry Dodrill

Map via Google

 

Join master photographers Carr Clifton and Jerry Dodrill in rafting through the stunning landscape of the world's largest contiguous protected wilderness, complete with a helicopter portage for an aerial view of treacherous Class VI whitewater in Turn Back Canyon. Starting in Yukon Territory, Canada and ending at the estuary of the Alsek River in Alaska, raft through the Tatshenshini-Alsek Park, bordered by Kluane National Park and Reserve, Glacier Bay National Park, and Wrangell-St. Elias National Park.

The alpine splendor and wildlife of the tundra and lakes will make for a very rewarding excursion for the passionate photographer. Expect to see bald eagles and other birds, such as semi-palmated plovers, spotted sandpipers, northern phalaropes, American pipits, and more. Other possible sightings of wildlife include grizzly bear, moose, mountain goat, beaver, wolf, muskrat, wolverine, mink, weasel, snowshoe rabbit, hoary marmot, and Alaska red fox. In addition to visits from the northern wildlife that co-habitat around the Alsek River, enjoy a landscape filled with natural wonder where untouched snow, scattered icebergs, and glacier activity captivate our inner curiosities to see such unspoiled and precious scenery.

From the nights of August 20 to 30, our group will make camp along the river each night. Enjoy delicious meals and tales of the river around a crackling riverside campfire beneath the stars, or even the Northern Lights if we're lucky. We provide spacious tents with ample vestibule room for your gear. Guides will show you how to set up tents the first night camping in order for you to set up your own tent throughout the trip with assistance from the guides.

Each 18-foot, self-bailing raft seats five people total with one guide at the oars providing expert leadership and familiarity with the river and region. Instructors Carr and Jerry will rotate among the rafts to guarantee that they are available to everyone. Paddling is not necessary as navigation from the guides is sufficient in floating on course down the Alsek River.

Click "read more" below right for the itinerary, photo gallery, and more information...

ITINERARY

This itinerary is all-inclusive from pickup to drop-off at the airport in Juneau (JNU).

18 Aug. Fri: Juneau - Arrive in Juneau, Alaska. Ground transportation provided to your hotel for the night. Dinner at one of Juneau's finest dining establishments with instructors and those who have arrived in town. Overnight at Best Western Country Lane Inn. (D)

19 Aug. Sat: Haines - Hot breakfast provided at the Best Western. Transfer back to the airport for 11am chartered air taxi to Haines, Alaska.  Short transfer to the Victoria-era Halsingland Hotel to drop off luggage. Enjoy lunch in town and visit convenience stores and grocery stores located near to the hotel in Haines for last minute shopping before camping along the Alsek River. Check-in at the hotel around 3:00pm, followed by 4:00pm introductory session with instructors. During the 5:00pm pre-trip meeting with raft guides, they will distribute personal camping equipment, rain gear, dry bags, and rubber boots. We will share a festive group dinner in town at one of Haine's finest dining establishments. Overnight at Halsingland Hotel. (B, L, D)

20 Aug. Sun: Haines Junction, Yukon Territory, Canada - Start the day with a group breakfast. At 8:00 a.m. board a van for a beautiful 3½-hour drive (155 miles) up the Chilkat River Valley to Haines Junction in Yukon Territory, Canada. After lunch, we drive for about another hour to the Dezadeash River. Launch rafts and float down the Dezadeash to the confluence with the Kaskawulsh River. In case of high winds, the guides may elect to stay at this campsite overnight and start the raft trip instead early the next morning. (B, L, D)

21 Aug. Mon - 26 Aug. Sat: Alsek River - Continue rafting down the Alsek River. Pass Lowell Glacier and large bedrock islands. There will be plenty of hiking opportunities, especially as the raft crosses fields of wildflowers and trees with leaves turning colors as autumn approaches. Enjoy outstanding views of the St. Elias range, and on clear days, Mounts Kennedy, Hubbard, and Alverstone. As you paddle through the Alsek Range, there will be more wildlife present, including bears and the Alaska red fox. After passing Tweedsmuir Glacier, we move ashore at the Turnback Canyon where rapids become too strong to raft through. (B, L, D)

27 Aug. Sun: Portage - A helicopter will fly in to ferry everyone and the equipment to the gravel flats south of the canyon, where the river is wider and there are numerous braided channels. The vegetation is greener, and bald eagles perch along the mossy cliffs of the Icefield and Noisey Ranges. Depending on the time of portage, the group will relaunch the rafts and drift through the wide valley to the majestic confluence of the Tatshenshini and Alsek Rivers. (B, L, D)

28 Aug. Mon: Tatshenshini River - Continue rafting down the river through deep forested canyons while passing more glaciers in the direction of the Gulf of Alaska. A large glacier, called the “Walker Glacier” by river-runners, offers a venue for those who are eager to try a glacier hike. (B, L, D)

29 Aug. Tues - 30 Aug. Weds: Alsek Bay - Float towards Alsek Bay (Alsek Lake) where a variety of species of birds reside. The Alsek and Grand Plateau Glaciers flow into Alsek Bay. Icebergs from these glacier will form around the Bay. The guides will row to the best locations for spotting wildlife and photographing the uniquely shaped icebergs. (B, L, D)

31 Aug. Thurs: Back to Juneau - Drift by the plains beyond Alsek Bay and arrive at the Dry Bay Fishing Company outpost along the estuary of the Alsek River. A small aircraft will meet the group for a charter flight to Yakutat in time for your scheduled Alas­kan Airlines service to Juneau. Check-in back into the Best Western Country Lane Inn and enjoy a final group dinner. Overnight at Best Western Country Lane Inn. (B, L, D)

1 Sept. Fri: Flights Home - Fly back home at anytime today. As most flights homeward on Thursday necessitate a forced overnight in Seattle before connecting with onward-bound flights, this itinerary ends today so that accommodations could be included in Juneau to ease your travels back home.

PLEASE NOTE:

  • VISA: You will need a passport as proof of nationality to enter Canada. Please check visa requirements if you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen. Your passport must be valid for six months beyond completion of the trip.
  • TRAVEL INSURANCE: We always strongly recommend arranging travel insurance. Travelguard.com is excellent.
  • FLIGHTS: Charter flights from Juneau to Haines and from Yakutat to Juneau are included. Please contact us if you would like recommendations regarding flights to and from Juneau (airport code: JNU).
  • GRATUITIES: Our raft guides work very hard to make our experience there the best it can be, and Visionary Wild budgets for a baseline group tip to ensure their services are acknowledged. Guests are encouraged to tip additionally to recognize exceptional service.

 

Carr Clifton

Carr Clifton, award-winning photogrid
ely recognized for his distinctive and
artistic landscapes of remote regions. He has dedicated h

Carr Clifton, award-winning photographer and documentary filmmaker, has spent thirty years exploring and documenting the endangered, wild landscapes most people will never know.  An accomplished wilderness guide and traveler, Clifton is widely recognized for his distinctive and artistic landscapes of remote regions.  He has dedicated himself to his art which, he says “isn’t only framing the image in the camera, but getting myself to the wildest places where I do my best work.”  Clifton’s wilderness skills have allowed him entrance into the solitude of some of the world’s most remote and least populated regions.

A native Californian living in the northern Sierra Nevada near Taylorsville, California, Clifton began photographing in 1977 after seeking advice and inspiration from his mentor and neighbor, master landscape photographer Philip Hyde.  After graduating from Colorado Mountain College in Glenwood Springs, Colorado with a degree in Commercial Photography, Clifton began his freelance career in photography documenting landscapes from Arctic Alaska to the Amazon Basin in Brazil; from the Queen Charlotte Islands of British Columbia to the hardwood forests of New England.

Best known for his five exhibit format books showcasing his work, Clifton’s portfolio comprises thousands of editorial, corporate and advertising credits and the award-winning documentary, Three Women, Three Hundred Miles.   A member of the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP), Clifton has worked extensively with international, national and local conservation organizations whose vision, diligence and unswerving commitment have protected some of the last wild, living places.  His highly acclaimed book, Wild by Law, was the result of his collaboration with Earth Justice – a visual documentation of the impact environmental law has made on our nation’s institutions and conservation policies.

Exhibitions including Clifton’s prints have been displayed at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute, The Nikon House, The California Academy of Science, San Diego Natural History Museum and Mountain Light Gallery.  Recent awards include the Detroit Creative Director’s Silver Caddy Award for outstanding landscape photography in advertising, International Color Awards and the Theodore Roosevelt Association Founders Medal for outstanding expeditionary achievement.  Clifton’s fine art prints have been purchased for display by environmental, corporate and private collections worldwide. 

Jerry Dodrill

Jerry Dodrill is an award-winning landscape and adventure photographer who in the early years of his career was a protégé of the legendary Galen Rowell. An unrelenting passion for photography and outdoor adventures made it clear that Jerry was not destined for a desk job. An avid climber for twenty years, he feels equally at home in a rocky bivouac or a soft bed. In college, pre-med classes gave way to studies in fine art and weekends spent scaling Yosemite's granite walls. Photography was at first a byproduct of his adventures but quickly became his artistic medium of choice as he captured each experience with a concise aesthetic and quality of light revealing his inspiration.

Jerry's adventures have led him around the globe. He has climbed all the major walls in Yosemite Valley, at crags across the West, close to a hundred summits in the Sierra, and peaks in Bolivia, Argentina, Kyrgyzstan, and China. His full embrace of the many disciplines of climbing have led to many adventures and tales best told late at night around a raging campfire.

Jerry holds degrees in fine art and photography, which in 1997 led him to work for acclaimed photographer Galen Rowell at Mountain Light in Berkeley. There, he managed Galen's gallery space and workshops, an amazing experience (akin to a photographer's bootcamp).

Since 2000, he has been pursuing his own adventures and photography career. Jerry's immense talent and creative eye have been well recognized through international awards and exhibition in fine galleries, such as the Ansel Adams in Yosemite, Mountain Light, Mumm Napa Valley, and the Banff Center for Mountain Culture. Through his numerous workshops for Mountain Light Gallery, Visionary Wild, and Sierra Nevada College, and college-level teaching at Pacific Union College in Napa Valley, he has proven himself as a highly engaging and effective photography teacher and workshops leader.

After running his own gallery on California's North Coast for five years, he now resides in the Sonoma County town of Sebastopol, California, focusing on commercial and editorial assignment photography, exhibitions of his work, and sharing his vision and expertise with others. Jerry's work has been featured in many ad campaigns, books, and publications and is represented by Aurora Photos. Editorial and commercial clients include The North Face, Vanity Fair, Sunset, Men's Journal, Outside, Alpinist, Rock & Ice, and Climbing magazines. Expert in Photoshop and digital color management, Jerry is regularly sought out as a color pre-press manager for high-end photo books, and as a fine digital printmaker. He was also recently recruited as a design consultant for the exciting new outdoors-oriented photo pack company MindShift Gear, a spin-off from Think Tank Photo.

Visit Jerry's website

Visit Jerry's blog

Jerry Dodrill portrait: © Grant Ordelheide.

Highlights

  • Photograph one of the world's most dramatic wilderness landscapes
  • Excellent opportunities to get close to bears, icebergs, and wildflowers
  • Generous expert photographic instruction throughout the trip by Carr Clifton and Jerry Dodrill
  • Excellent guiding and support by the expert raft guides of Alaska Discovery

Accommodations & Travel

 
  • Two nights at the Best Western Country Lane Inn, conveniently located by the airport, four miles from Mendenhall Glacier, and a short shuttle or taxi ride to downtown Juneau.
  • One night at the Halsingland Hotel, a National Historic Landmark with many rooms featuring original decorative Belgian fireplaces or claw-footed bathtubs.
  • Includes all meals and non-alcoholic beverages from dinner on August 18 to breakfast on September 1 (beer or wine included with pre- and post-rafting group dinners on August 18, 19, and 31).
  • This is a true wilderness camping experience. We will provide spacious three-person tents to be shared by two guests per tent. Guests should feel comfortable helping with tent set-up, dish clean-up, and raft portaging. Toilet facilities are provided.
  • Any extra luggage that you take with you to Haines but would not like to take with you while on the raft trip can be sent back to Juneau at no extra charge.
airplane iconcar iconboat iconfoot iconweather icon
Arrive in Juneau (JNU) in the afternoon of August 18 and depart anytime on September 1. We recommend contacting Delta and Alaska Airlines for available flights. All transfers are provided from your arrival in Juneau on August 18 to your departure from Juneau on September 1. You will raft between 6 and 12 miles (4-5 hours) a day, with rapids ranging from class II to big class IV. We use an 18-foot, self-bailing rafts with one guide at the oars. Hiking most likely everyday, sometime on uneven and rocky terrain. Temps at this time of year typically range from 55˚F and 65°F but can soar as high as 80°F. Evening lows are generally between 40˚F and 50˚F. Light rain is possible and overcast skies are likely.