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Momentum Expeditions Alaska Journal:
12 Days on the Tatshenshini & Alsek

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The gentle gurgle of the river. Wind making the fireweed dance. Towering mountains in every direction. Occasional thunderous noise from a nearby glacier. Eye-popping cold water when washing my face each morning. Tucking into a delicious, warming dinner at the end of a long day.

These are just some of the moments that are indelibly seared into my memory after rafting the Tatshenshini and Alsek Rivers with Momentum Alaska in July/August 2022. I have seen a lot of Alaska – and have certainly left the beaten path on occasion – but I have never been this far into this wild, and discovered so much untouched beauty as on this off-grid rafting trip.

While I underestimate my own experience growing up in Alaska, I don’t consider myself an outdoorsy or particularly adventurous person. So when I told people I was headed off on a 12-day river float in the Canadian and Alaskan wilderness, many were surprised. Heck – some of my fellow guests on this trip were shocked it was my first river trip. But, much like the polar plunge I took on Day 7, for some things, there’s no better way to do it than just jumping in completely.

Alaska Rafting Adventure Photo Journal Hero

I’ve written a separate, dedicated review of Momentum Expeditions in Alaska and my overall thoughts, but I knew it would be “too much” to include this day-by-day breakdown of my experience in that post too. So I’ve put a day-by-day breakdown here as a “photo journal” (much like I did for my California Photo Journal when we moved out of California in 2021). Sometimes, I just have to write for you reading and me who had the experience.

Below you’ll find a lot of details, behind-the-scenes views, and personal thoughts about what it was like to spend 12 days on my first-ever river floating adventure. It was, in short, unforgettable – and almost all for good reasons. (Just don’t ask about the rain at Alsek Lake or when I spotted a black bear while sitting on the Groover!)

Ready to see what this once-in-a-lifetime trip was really like?

In this post, I promote travel to destinations that are the traditional lands of the Champagne & Aishihik, Dënéndeh, and Tlingit peoples, the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians. With respect, I make a formal land acknowledgment, extending my appreciation and respect to the past and present people of these lands. To learn more about the peoples who call these lands home, I invite you to explore Native Land.

Day 1: Meeting in Haines

The first day of our rafting trip didn’t start until the evening; I actually arrived in Haines by ferry from Juneau that morning after sleeping in the Juneau airport the night before (hotels in Alaska were SO expensive in Summer 2022!). I spent the day exploring Haines on my own, including a delicious rhubarb fritter from Chilikat Restaurant, walking out to the Haines welcome sign, seeking out a Duck Fart at a local bar, and strolling down to the marina.

At the appointed time, I met my group in the lobby of the Hotel Halsingland where we were staying for the night. We went through a safety briefing and equipment demo, then went for a drink at nearby Port Chilkoot Distillery. Nothing like some alcohol to loosen the social awkwardness!

After happy hour drinks, we all trooped up to Old Field Kitchen for dinner. As you can see from the menu, it was fresh and delicious – and set the bar very high for meals on the rest of the trip. (You’ll soon see that our guides managed to keep that bar high through 12 days in the wilderness, a remarkable feat!)

As dinner ended, everyone made their way back to the Halsingland for a night of rest and an early morning departure to our put-in point on the Tatshenshini River. I’ll be honest, I was nervous – this is it! – but also happy that the waterproof bags they provided were way bigger than all the stuff I bought. (And secretly hoping that didn’t mean I’d forgotten something important!)

Day 2: Putting In at Dalton Post

I woke up early on our put-in day – Day 2 – to go for a run in the rain. This was, perhaps, not the smartest move since it meant I had wet gear with me before we even got to the river, but I needed to burn off some energy and continue my training program for my London 10K.

Once I was back, showered, packed, and assembled with the rest of the group, we set out for breakfast burritos at a local market and then loaded into our 16-passenger van. A local driver took us up across the U.S.-Canada border at Dalton Cache; crossing the borders with a big group was slow but we got there eventually!

Our drive took us into British Columbia, then into the Yukon Territory, before we turned down a very bumpy dirt road that descended to the river at Dalton Post. There we geared up: our first day on the river promised the most whitewater, which was an exciting idea to start.

We had a sandwich lunch (perhaps the least thrilling lunch, though it was made by the same local Haines market where we had breakfast and was tasty), and then loaded into the rafts to shove off.

The afternoon was – as promised – full of Class III and IV whitewater, subsequent maniacal laughter (from yours truly), and getting used to the rafts. I was assigned to ride with our “sweeper” guide Andy in the back raft, which made for great photo opportunities; my fellow guests were Barbara and Michael, who were delightful to talk with in between sections where the river gave me an unneeded shower. (My waterproof gear worked great, but my hair was completely soaked by the end!)

We arrived at our first camp where Silver Creek flows into the Tatshenshini, and the guides helped us all make camp for the first time. As guests, we were, for the most part, responsible for making and breaking our own tents each day, but it took a little education to figure out how they set up.

We then all sat down for a drink and happy hour snacks while we had an orientation on important parts of life in camp: the Groover (toilet system), meal schedules, bear safety, and more. Our lead guide, Jorge, did an excellent job – by my extremely high Alaskan-raised standards – of making me feel like we would be safe in camp, and also that I could go to any of our four guides for any needs I might have.

Our first dinner began to show off how the guides manage a mobile kitchen on the riverbanks – and also how great the food would be. We enjoyed beetroot pesto halibut, mixed greens with artichoke (I think), and the dessert was lemon cookies with blueberry jam, hand-whipped cream, and strawberries on top. The pictures don’t do justice to the flavors, but I climbed into my sleeping bag atop my cot in my tent full, happy, and hopeful for a night of rest while the river whispered gently in my ears.

Day 3: Silver Creek to Sediments Creek

Sticking to my internal clock, I rose early for coffee by the fire; I think it was this day that the guides realized we had some early risers in the group: myself, (another) Michael, and Dean were almost always among the first up and seeking caffeine to kickstart the day.

Breakfast was way beyond anything I’ve ever had after sleeping in a tent the night before: we had a balanced breakfast that included plenty of protein to ensure we were ready for a full day of relaxing on the rafts.

(After the first day, there were only a few small sections of rapids, or that required us to paddle.)

After breaking camp, we set off downriver again, passing through another canyon – this time one without rapids –, and made lunch on a rock bar in the middle of the river. Wonderfully, there were a number of animal tracks on the island, including bear, moose, and wolf, as well as otter, I think.

For lunch, we had a buffet of sorts: lunch meats, cheese, veggies, and fruits, with pitas and tortillas to facilitate enjoying them. This cold lunch was easy for the guides to set up and break down each day, and more than filling enough to provide energy for an afternoon’s floating to follow..

I didn’t include photos for every morning and afternoon, but wanted to share these that show how casual most days on the river were: it was a lot of sitting back, enjoying the view, chatting with fellow guests, and occasionally enjoying a cup of hot tea while it all drifted by.

Much like train travel – which I love for the same reason – floating on the Tatshenshini and Alsek rivers was an exercise in mindfulness: each view was constantly changing, and there was no going back. All I could do was appreciate everything my eyes could see and the company I had to share it with.

In the evening, we arrived at our second camp at the confluence of Sediments Creek and the Tat; we made camp while the guides set up our common area and prepared another awesome meal. As it was (apparently) Friday, we had a fiesta of carnitas tacos with fresh avocado.

The wonders of fresh avocado on the river were endlessly fascinating to some in our group – seriously, I can’t keep an avocado fresh at home, and these guides did it for 12 days on the river!

As Sediments Creek was our first layover (i.e. two-night) camp, many of us enjoyed a later evening of drinks by the fire and s’mores before turning in. There was – as always – a furious debate about the merits of different roasting techniques but I stuck to my rapid incineration technique.

Day 4: Layover at Sediments Creek

Ah, the joys of a layover day! While I loved exploring new parts of the river – and was certainly ready when the time came to leave our last layover camp (spoilers!) – it was nice to have a day where we didn’t have to break camp, pack up, and load the rafts before mid-morning.

Our day at Sediments Creek Camp started foggy, but I predicted blue skies and we were rewarded with a day of patchy weather starting by breakfast. Speaking of breakfast, it’s worth noting that today was the first day I noticed ingredients being reused: the guides did an excellent job throughout the trip of ensuring that anything close to going bad or stale (tortillas from yesterday’s lunch, an avocado that got bruised, etc.) was incorporated into the next day’s meals to avoid food waste. And it was all still delicious!

After breakfast, most of the group set out on a hike up to a vista point near camp. It was an aggressive climb: good training for my running routine, but killer on my “bad knee” on the way down (still waiting for it to heal after Death Valley!). While atop the mountain slope, we saw a field of fireweed, spotted mountain goats on the slopes above, and watched eagles soaring down below our viewpoint. Oh, and that’s not counting the sweeping views of glacially carved valleys that the Tatshenshini and its tributaries now occupy.

After all that “hard work” climbing up and down a mountain (our guide Mark estimated it was about 750ft of elevation change), we arrived back at camp for hot lunch and an afternoon of downtime. I spent it taking a chilly river bath and doing some laundry; I packed only enough to require cycling through some clothes, in part to test how well they held up to hand-washing and river rinsing.

Dinner was another tasty experience, but the highlight of our meal was when guide Andy prepared river Bananas foster with rum to flambée the whole thing. Several of us sat up late chatting around the fire, and I spotted a bear crossing the same meadow we had hiked to earlier in the day; I was a bit nervous going to bed but the guides seemed prepared and I slept deeply – adjusting to my new abode.

Day 5: Sediments Creek to O’Connor

We awoke on Day 5 to break camp; it felt like a good time as we had both adventured and relaxed in the Sediments Creek area and were keen to explore somewhere new. Before hitting the river, we had another fabulous breakfast – guide Glenn came up with the idea for brie-stuffed French toast and it’s a game-changer.

Before we boarded the boats, I decided to mix it up and had everyone draw a guide’s name out of a hat – the goal was to randomize our boat assignments and have people sitting with new people they maybe hadn’t had a chance to meet or chat with yet. I ended up in a ladies-only raft (there were four ladies and three of us ended up on a single raft!) with guide Glenn. After hitting the river, we enjoyed a winding route along the foot of the Sediments Peaks and Alsek Ranges.

We stopped for lunch at Alki Camp; it’s an overnight stop for some but we made our time there short – in part due to the extremely fresh bear and wolf prints we spotted immediately after arriving. (I later found salmon skin on the edge of the river near our lunch spot which would explain any bear’s desire to investigate the area.)

Upon leaving Alki, we entered Monkey Wrench Rapid, the only other rapids we encountered on the river. These Class III rapids were fun and not nearly as wet as the Tatshenshini Canyon rapids; it was at the bottom of the rapids I realized I left my GoPro at Alki after lunch – oh no! As I said though, there was no going back, so we hoped that the next group to come down the river might stop there and pick it up to try and return it.

The rest of the afternoon was more relaxing, and we arrived at the confluence of the O’Connor and Tatshenshini rivers. A strong wind was coming up the Tatshenshini from downriver; O’Connor Camp sits at the top of the “Wind Tunnel,” which our lead guide Jorge described as one of the most challenging parts of the river for the guides to navigate. He wanted us to have an early start to tackle that challenging chapter of the Tat the following morning, so we endured strong winds and blowing dust – it’s all part of the adventure!

Dinner and snacks were once again amazing! We had a very protein-heavy dinner, which the guides called Asado Night, with flank steak and sausages. S’mores made a repeat dessert appearance to the dismay of none and delight of all.

Luckily, the wind died down around midnight and I was able to sleep well this night; trying to fall asleep in a gusty wind reminded me of my trip to Rancho Cacachilas in Baja Mexico a few years ago when I slept so poorly because the wind was whispering all night long.

Day 6: O’Connor to Melt Creek

Rise and shine, it’s wind tunnel time! We awoke to break camp on a beautifully sunny day; one of the best we’d yet had on the river. Our goal today was to traverse the Wind Tunnel, which includes a series of challenging S-turns and several confluences with tributaries, to arrive at Melt Creek for our next layover camp.

Everyone was in good spirits under the blue skies, and we set out on a good schedule – but first had a photo shoot! One of my fellow guests, Dan, was a former travel photographer and wanted to capture all the guides on their loaded rafts; I made sure to grab a silly snapshot for my own storytelling, as it far better captures the personalities of the four guides who make the rivers their livelihood and lifestyle.

Our day’s float was once again full of stunning natural beauty and yet different from previous days; each day presented a new perspective on the forces of nature that carved this wild space. We also spotted our first major wildlife: a young grizzly bear on the banks of the river! We stopped for lunch at what I think was Henshi Creek; we passed so many tributaries this day that it’s hard for me to be sure even reviewing a map.

As we approached Melt Creek camp, our guides realized that the river had changed somewhat since their last visit, and we needed to do a few technical maneuvers. The first required an ambitious back paddle across the confluence of Melt Creek, and then we had to get out and portage our laden rafts over a rock bar to a calmer section of river that gave access to the spot where we planned to tie up.

Once we arrived in camp, it was old hat at this point: everyone picked spots for their tents, the guides set up the common areas, and we settled in for Happy Hour snacks, drinks, and dinner. Unfortunately, the blue skies of the morning gave up and it started to rain around dinnertime; both the guides and us guests stayed positive though, which – in the face of all the weather and bugs and other (mis)adventures we had on this trip – was definitely a highlight of the whole experience.

Day 7: Layover at Melt Creek

Our optimism the previous night was not misplaced – we awoke to blue skies for our layover day at Melt Creek. When we arrived yesterday, guide Jorge said that it was his favorite camp, and with such nice weather, I began to see why. Around us, the mountains began to reveal themselves and the glaciers they held. There was some beauty to behold in every direction as we had breakfast.

After breakfast, the majority of the group set out to hike up the rocky creekbed of islands left by Melt Creek as it has carved a small delta before meeting the Tatshenshini. While we didn’t hike far, it took the better part of an hour to reach the main channel of the creek, and we spent some time walking upstream for a better view of the glacially-fed stream.

After a long, hot hike back under the bright sun, our group arrived at camp with a wild idea: take a polar plunge in the frigid waters of Melt Creek where it ran past our campsite. About half of the group decided to take the plunge, literally – myself among them! Yes, it was absolutely freezing, and I got silty sand everywhere, but it was an exhilarating way to cool off, and we were rewarded with lunch afterward.

Most of the group spent the rest of the afternoon just relaxing; I can’t really tell you what I did, as I don’t recall, but I’m sure it included a combination of reading, chatting with my fellow guests, and admiring the views. Time passed at a leisurely pace on these layover days, but also in the dreamlike blink of an eye.

For dinner, we enjoyed a make-your-own ramen dinner, yet another cuisine I never expected to enjoy on the river. (We had, at this point, enjoyed Mexican, Italian, Argentine, and Thai!) Once again, some of us sat up late enjoying the end of a relaxing day and watching the light change during the long twilight hours of an Alaskan summer.

Day 8: Melt Creek to Walker Glacier

Momentum Photo Journal - Day 8 - Morning View

On the river again – that was on everyone’s minds as we woke under cloudy skies at Melt Creek. I was sad to break camp and leave; like Jorge, this was my favorite campsite on the trip, and I am so glad we got to enjoy two nights and a full day there.

We broke camp and made our way back onto the Tatshenshini – but not for long! Today was the day when the Tat met the Alsek River, about 30 minutes ride downriver from Melt Creek. While the Tatshenshini had swelled over the course of our week floating on it, thanks to the many tributaries that joined, the Alsek was huger still; the river quickly became more like a fast-flowing lake than a river, and it was hard to spot any wildlife on either side of the river due to its width.

Once we successfully navigated onto the Alsek, the skies began to clear and we enjoyed incredible views of the St. Elias Range on our left and the Alsek Range on our right. At one point, before stopping for lunch on another rocky island of the river, we crossed the border between Canada and the U.S.; the U.S. maintains a wide swath of trimmed forest that marks the border, which was visible on both sides of the river.

This was another lesson in mindfulness: there was no adequate way to capture the surreality of crossing a border and who in their right mind cuts and maintains a wide strip of forest just to denote the border?! So instead of trying to take photos or videos, I just experienced bizarre awe and floated by.

Not long after crossing the border, we turned a corner passing a massive rock wall – called the End of the World because it looks like there’s nowhere to go – and arrived at Walker Glacier, our camp for the next night.

Walker Glacier is so-named because decades ago, rafters could make camp and then walk right up to the glacier – and even onto it. Today, like the vast majority of glaciers, Walker has receded so much that you can only enjoy views from afar. After making camp under a baking-hot sun, the group took a muddy walk to a better vista, spotting fresh bear prints along the way. My silt-caked Chacos will never be the same.

Back in camp for the afternoon, we enjoyed our standard happy hour snacks and drinks; while others in camp relaxed, I decided to be productive by cutting firewood for the evening’s fire and future camps. (Guide Jorge let us know that firewood becomes more scarce further downriver, so I collected and prepared a large bundle here.)

After dinner and an evening around the fire, the last of us stragglers – usually the same who rose early each morning – watched the moonrise and alpenglow before turning in. In my case, I could see part of Walker Glacier right out my tent flap and was eager to see it under morning light the next day.

Day 9: Walker Glacier to Purple Haze

Alas, such a view was not to be! As you can see, we awoke to a thick layer of fog – the thickest yet, which didn’t burn off all day. We started the day with a creative breakfast idea I’m keen to try at home: oatmeal mole with chorizo and avocado. (Avocados! Still! It’s Day 9, people!)

While breaking down camp, I spotted a black bear on the sand bar across from us; it was making a bee-line (or should I say bear-line) right toward our campsite, so I notified our guides and they went into a more assertive bear safety mode. In particular, they made sure the bear saw and heard us, and then two of our guides – Jorge and Glen – did some patrolling around our camp perimeter to make sure the bear didn’t come into camp and catch us unawares.

As I mentioned at the top, I was extremely impressed to see Momentum’s bear safety plan in action – it’s exactly what I would do, as an Alaskan, to keep myself safe – and that’s the highest compliment I can give.

After we finished breaking camp, we loaded back into the rafts and took a short detour into Walker Lake, the body of water in front of Walker Glacier. Our goal was to acquire glacial ice for drinks, even though the weather was no longer sunny and hot, it’s always nice to have fresh, clear, hundreds-of-years-old ice to chill your Happy Hour drinks with.

Next, we rafted a short time downstream to Dipper Creek, a good spot for fresh water. We made this our lunch spot, and had a chance to explore the small beach and waterfall that would give us fresh liquid sustenance for the remainder of our trip.

Back on the rafts after lunch, we spent the remainder of the day floating down to our next camp, called Purple Haze. To be honest, I didn’t shoot many photos; the clouds were low and obscuring the glaciers and mountains that hold them.

Purple Haze is so named because of the wildflowers that bloom here during the summer months. While we didn’t see any of the namesake River Fireweed, there were Indian Paintbrush in several different colors, as well as other wildflowers I’m less familiar with. There were also mosquitos… lots of them. Most of us grabbed chairs and put them out on the bank of the river, where a gentle breeze deterred at least some of them from annoying us to death.

Dinner at Purple Haze was my favorite by far; the guides made Korean Beef with jade pearl rice. Korean is one of my favorite cuisines, and I never imagined we would be enjoying it freshly made in the Alaskan wilderness!

Driven in by the mosquitos, most of us turned in early in the hopes of a better day tomorrow.

Day 10: Purple Haze to Alsek Lake

Goodbye pretty rocks,
Goodbye dry socks,
Goodbye mosquitos that come in flocks.

This was the poem we composed as we broke camp at Purple Haze, trying our best to keep spirits up against a gentle rain that did nothing to dissuade the mosquitos from their relentless feast. Some even made it inside gear and head nets to try and eat us within our own protective layers!

We set out from Purple Haze after breakfast and made our way south with our final layover camp at Alsek in mind. The rain we had at camp became steadily worse, quickly transforming into a driving storm that soaked us all, guides and guests alike. My Momentum-provided waterproof gear – which had performed admirably against the rapids early in the trip – did little to keep me dry as I became literally soaked head to toe.

Most people were, I think, secretly miserable and not-so-secretly cold and wet by the time we made it to camp at Alsek Lake. This was our final camp – and final layover – where we’d stay for two nights before heading to our take-out point in Dry Bay.

We arrived at camp with stronger winds than ever, and the guides spent the whole afternoon attempting to set up camp against the sheets of rain and blustery winds. At one point, there was so much water coming down that part of the hillside behind our camp that collapsed into a rock slide!

After changing into dry layers, I spent the afternoon tending the fire under one of our communal tarps; most other people retired into their tents to nap and maybe dry out a bit. (Honestly, I was probably warmer and drier by the fire, as the rain was relentless outside my shelter.) That evening, we all hung out in close quarters by the fire, enjoying a piping hot soup dinner and hot chocolate spiked with peppermint schnapps to fight off the chill.

Day 11: Layover at Alsek Lake

I awoke on our final full day of the trip in higher – and somewhat drier – spirits: it wasn’t currently raining! The clouds were still threatening, but not actively precipitating… I’ll take it!

After breakfast, we went on an adventure in the rafts. You might have noticed I said our final layover spot was Alsek Lake; the Alsek River flows into Alsek Lake not far from its terminus in the Pacific Ocean, and there meets with several glaciers that also flow/melt into the lake (including the namesake Alsek Glacier).

In any case, we were staying on the banks of a lake for our final camp, and decided to take the rafts out to explore. See, being glacially fed, there are icebergs in Alsek Lake – huge ones we would hear crack off of the glaciers, or crumble apart in thunderous noises throughout our stay.

Paddling among the icebergs was a special treat. I’ve never been in such a large lake with as many icebergs, never mind being in such a small watercraft to do it. Our guides were careful to keep a safe distance from the big bergs, but we were able to approach a few smaller ones and even scoop a couple up to take back to camp. Best of all, the rain held off during our excursion, so we didn’t have extra layers to try and dry out again!

Back in camp, everyone spent the afternoon either in their tents or under the communal shelter; I did the latter, tending the fire and devising a system to dry out the wet wood before placing it on the flames and suspending various wet gloves, socks, hats, and sweaters near enough the fire to dry them.

Our final dinner was delicious, as each meal had been. I had heard before this trip – as had other guests who told me the same – that Momentum is known for their fantastic food, and I can absolutely endorse this reputation. We had fresh, high quality ingredients throughout our entire 12-day trip, and meals were flavorful even when the rain, mosquitos, or wind tried to depress our spirits.

Our final dessert was a special occasion for two reasons: first, it was actually the 45th anniversary of one couple, Kathy and George, and second that it was Bourbon apple crumble, specially made by guide Andy who hails from Tennessee and clearly knows the secrets to make people smile after a grey, rainy day.

As our last night wound down, most people turned in early; we had 4:30am wakeup to start breaking camp to raft down to Dry Bay and make our flight to Juneau on time. I spent time packing my gear – almost all of it wet or damp in some capacity – before sleeping one last night on my almost-comfortable, almost-used-to-it cot and sleeping bag.

Day 12: Alsek Lake to Dry Bay & Juneau

Jorge’s early morning wake-up was, to be completely honest, entirely unwelcome when it arrived the next day. The rain had returned in earnest, it was early, and I nearly missed breakfast and coffee for packing the last of my stuff properly.

Never the less, I rallied enough to channel my dour mood into humor as we broke camp and boarded the rafts one last time. To say the weather was opposite of our beautiful days at Sediments Camp and Melt Creek Camp earlier in the trip was an understatement:

Momentum Photo Journal - Day 12 - Foggy Rafting

On my final raft ride with friends Michael and Scott, we joked that we felt like the orcs paddling into Osgiliath in the fog, for all my fellow Lord of the Rings nerds out there.

We left Alsek Lake and paddled back onto the Alsek River headed downstream, in and out of heavy rain and fog, for about two hours. At one point, I nodded off just to pass the time; there wasn’t anything to see anyway!

Once we arrived at Dry Bay, an entire new chapter of the trip began: breaking down the rafts, organizing the gear, and getting ready to fly back to Juneau.

The Dry Bay experience was unique: we met a local couple who transported us and all our gear to the inland landing strip, where we re-organized our gear again and waited for two planes to arrive. The first was a gear plane, which was loaded up with more than I thought possible, and took several trips to return everything to Haines for the next river run. The other plane(s) were our personal transport, arranged through Alaska Seaplanes, to return us to Juneau.

The flight back to Juneau was, if possible, as beautiful as anything we saw during our 12-day trip. I saw glaciers and mountains from the air, and admired the textures and colors of the coastline as we flew around the edge of Glacier Bay National Park. (While I’ve shared resources on visiting Glacier Bay by boat, I am now torn on whether flightseeing might be the better option – it’s that beautiful!).

Our trip ended when the wheels touched down in Juneau. We all went into the airport to re-pack our gear out of the waterproof bags and back into our own luggage; it felt strange to wear new clothes after so many days in my river gear.

Final goodbyes were said to our guides – Jorge, Andy, Mark, and Glen – who were flying back to Haines to prepare for the next group of guests a few days later, and several of us with later flights and ferries went to dinner together before parting ways.

It was, truly, the kind of trip I could never forget, and these photos – all 140+ of them – hardly do it justice. Be sure to check out my full Momentum Review for all the other details and thoughts I couldn’t include here (5,000 words later!), and let me know: what questions do you have about my Momentum Alaska experience, or any of the photos I shared? Let me know below so I can convince you to take the plunge and book this Alaskan adventure for yourself!

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I was born on the East Coast and currently live in the Midwest – but my heart will always be out West. I lived for 15 years in Alaska, as well as four years each in California and Washington. I share travel resources and stories based on my personal experience and knowledge.


  • Terrel Drendel

    Valerie, Hi. I just finished reading your one trip report about your Tat River trip with Momentum. My husband and I leave this Friday for the same trip. He organized the trip so we know all 11 people on the trip. We did a Momentum trip in the Rouge River and so we know Jorge who will on our trip. Here is a crazy question, do you know if they had loops inside the tents to hang a hanger. I always bring one on my trips and they always come in handy. We also have a tiny lantern and wondering if a loop to hang that as well. I’ll read your report on shoes, but I have water boots that they told us to bring, after all your remarks about sand and silt, I’m wondering if I should bring my hiking boots thst are water proof. They told us tennis type shoes would be fine. Thoughts? Where do I find your other report you mention at the end for more detailed information? Thanks for a great review. Have you done the Galápagos Islands yet? That was a great trip!

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