US Whitewater > Alaska > Susitna River



Alaska whitewater, Susitna River

Matanuska-Susitna county, Denali Highway Bridge to Talkeetna section whitewater kayaking, rafting, and paddling information.


CLASS III-V+     153 miles
Devils canyon on the Susitna is deemed the ''Mt. Everest'' of white water kayaking. Swims are deadly and rescue almost impossible without a helicopter (exception: a few crazy bush pilots have landed to rescue paddlers in over their heads, but some of the rescued claim it was safer to paddle the river). Also, the Big Susitna actually drains a huge area so it can come up as much as 15,000 cfs in the time it takes to get to the canyon from
    the put-in. Only expert paddlers with extensive knowledge of big water class five and survival paddling should consider running Devils Canyon. Says Jeff Shelton

This section of Susitna River is 153 miles long and
is rated by American Whitewater as a class III-V+ section. If you're coming from Anchorage it's not a long drive at all to the put-in location, as you can see on the road map further down. The beautiful scenery of Alaska and the water flowing gracefully down Susitna River are in themselves reasons enough to come here to paddle. If you've been out of state whitewater rafting and kayaking you might find the rivers here more demanding, so if  
you're not from around here don't forget that a lot of the rivers here are not suitable for beginners. A good workout and just being out on the river for a while will make you glad you came. A stretch of this length does require some preparations, so make sure you pack enough food along with your camping gear. You can pitch a tent or park your RV at a nearby campground. Whether you're whitewater rafting or kayaking there are not so many other good rivers for that around here. The wild scenery of the Alaska Range is great. Susitna River doesn't have a lot of paddling sections, the Denali Highway Bridge to Talkeetna section is the only one.

Susitna River, Denali Highway Bridge to Talkeetna road map
Printable road map with the put-in and take-out locations clearly marked.


Detailed Map

Stats for this river stretch

Local weather forecast

These outdoors activities are available near Susitna River.
 Whitewater Near Susitna River:
Talkeetna River, Matanuska-Susitna Borough, 6 miles away
      Class III-IV - 54 miles long (Stephan Lake to Susitna River at Talkeetna Village)
Sheep River, Matanuska-Susitna Borough, 21 miles away
      Class IV(V+) - 50 miles long (Close to Glacier to Talkeetna River)
Kings River, Matanuska-Susitna Borough Borough, 26 miles away
      Class V+ - 20 miles long (Upper Kings to Glenn Highway)
Nenana River, Denali Borough, 27 miles away
      Class II-III - 8 miles long (Carlo Creek to McKinley Village)
Granite Creek, Matanuska-Susitna Borough, 27 miles away
      Class IV-V+ - 16 miles long (2600-foot level to Glenn Highway)
Nenana River, Denali Borough, 30 miles away
      Class III - 10.5 miles long (McKinley Village to Riley Creek)
 Ski Areas Near Susitna River:
Alyeska, Alaska , 59 miles away, 2500 foot drop, 9 lifts, 68 runs
Alpenglow At Arctic Valley, Alaska , 75 miles away, 1400 foot drop, 4 lifts, 25 runs
Hilltop, Alaska , 81 miles away, 294 foot drop, 3 lifts, 10 runs
Moose Mountain, Alaska , 91 miles away, 1300 foot drop, 0 lifts, 36 runs
 Hotels Near Susitna River:
McKinley Creekside Cabins, Denali National Park , 30 miles away
Denali Park, Healy , 39 miles away
Alaska Garden Gate B&B, Palmer , 41 miles away
Hatcher Pass Bed And Breakfast, Palmer , 41 miles away
Alaska Garden Gate B B And Cot, Palmer , 47 miles away
 Campgrounds Near Susitna River:
Eagle Crest RV Park and Cabins, Whiskey Gulch, 17 miles away

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Some content, including Reach Name, Class, Coordinates, and Length, comes from American Whitewater with permission.