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“Rafting and more”

Copper Oar Rafting Day Trip
Ranked #5 of 7 things to do in McCarthy
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Attraction details
Owner description: Copper Oar has been offering wilderness rafting and multi-sport adventures in Alaska’s largest national park, Wrangell-St. Elias, for over 20 years. Our one-day "raft and flightsee" trip features spectacular views, fun class II-III rapids, the magnificent Nizina Canyon, and a stunning bush plane flight from the river's edge back to McCarthy. We also offer multi-day wilderness adventures and multi-sport package trips. Copper Oar specializes in professional, personable guides, an in-depth knowledge of the local human and natural history, great food, and creating adventures of a lifetime!
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Rafting and more”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 20, 2012

Our family took the one-day raft/flightsee trip with Copper Oar. The guides and pilot were excellent and the scenery outstanding. On our lunch break our guides set up a buffet table (with tablecloth, dishes, napkins, great food) and camp stools for each guest. We felt safe on the plane that picked us up on the river bank. The "flightsee" was short but the scenery (river, canyon, glacier, icefall, mountains, former Kennicott mining town) is one-of-a-kind. The only disappointment was that we did not see much wildlife on the raft trip, but Copper Oar can't help that.

We actually did a package that included an all-day glacier hike (which, for us, was even better than the raft trip) and a tour of the main old mining building (which was also excellent).

After we had arranged the package, Copper Oar sent us detailed information about what to wear and what to bring.

All highly recommended.

(There are some other options for the flightseeing. We ended up in a van with three people who had done a longer flightsee tour of the glaciers, mountains and icefall. Based on their reaction, we will be adding that to our list when we go back.)

Visited July 2012
Thank Mary H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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39 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Romeoville, Illinois
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Unique Rafting Adventure”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 19, 2012

We took the day rafting trip with the flight out at the end. We stayed in McCarthy and walked to the "office" where the trip began. The scenery was magnificent and this was a great way to enjoy it. The water moved so quickly that we did not paddle and our guide mostly just kept us in the middle. I was worried that I would be cold, but we were given wet suits and rain gear and did not get wet at all. Before we came, trip literature cautioned us not to wear cotton clothing and we purchased special non cotton clothing for this trip that we did not need and probably will not wear again. Not sure why this cautionary note was given. The picnic lunch was great and the flight back over all that gorgeous scenery took our breath away. Pricey - what isn't in Alaska? - but worth it. We've rafted in many places, but never to a spot where there were no roads and we had to be flown out. Unique!

Visited June 2012
Thank worldsbestcruiser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Bloomfield, Michigan
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“One of the greatest trips we did in Alaska”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 18, 2012

Our family of five took the one day raft trip from Mcarthy. Our three children were 11, 9, and 8. We had one of the most memorable experiences of our entire two weeks in Alaska. The scenery was beautiful. All the details of the day were expertly taken care of. The fact that all the gear was taken care of for us made the packing so easy. The riverside lunch was the best! The guides were fantastic. Their experience with the river wad terrific. The best part was the fact that the guides were great with our kids. They had such a great time! Made this raft trip really special. It is the one part of our trip to Alaska that we are still talking about. In fact, my husband and I want to plan a longer raft trip in Wrangel St. Elias with Copper Oar.

Visited June 2012
Thank Michele F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
30 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Alaska trip highlight”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 15, 2012

We did the 3 day/2 night rafting trip from McCarthy to Chitina guided by Julie and Dale. Day one, which involved a leisurely start after a riverside lunch was sunny and (mostly) warm, and ended with a pleasant camp site after the Nizina gorge. Day 2 began with the sound of pattering rain on our tent at 1am, low clouds and glimpses of snowfall on the mountains we could see. It was really chilly and pretty miserable for the whole day, but Julie and Dale were great company and excellent at keeping our spirits and body warmth up. No sightings of bear or moose (boo!) but plenty of sightings of their footprints on our lunchtime hike.

The camp site on our second night was gorgeous; we pitched our tent in the middle of wildflowers, and warmed ourselves in front of a lovely campfire. Sleeping bags and mats provided by CooperOar were lovely and cosy.

The morning of day 3 - I opened my tent door to sunlight peeking through the mist. It slowly cleared to reveal the snow tipped mountains as Dale and Julie prepared a huge breakfast. That sense of being somewhere truly in the wilderness, plus the views of the mountains as we reached the end of the trip at Chitina meant the chilly fingers and toes became a distant memory. I took tons of photos, but none of them do the trip justice. I know we were very lucky to see the full mountain panorama at the end, but I think we paid the price with the cold the day before-which Dale (aka "Incrediboy") later informed us was the coldest he had ever experienced on the trip.

Bottom line is-it's worth it!

Visited July 2012
1 Thank SBux18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Amazing way to see the park!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 3, 2011

Our family, parents and 2 teenage boys, worked with Copper Oar to plan a 6 day trip into Wrangells St. Elias National Park. Everything about the trip and preparations was extraordinary! Gaia helped make reservations for the flightplane from Chitina to McCarthy; we were picked up in McCarthy and taken to Kennicott Lodge; day trips were pre-arranged for glacier hiking and walking through the copper mill. Then we went on a spectacular 3-day raft trip down the Kennicott, Chitina and Copper Rivers. The guides were experienced, fun and expert cooks. The animals were amazing (from grizzlies to eagles). I would highly recommend the entire experience for a family vacation which we will never forget.

Visited August 2011
Thank friedm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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