Photograph by Whit Richardson, Aurora Photos
The opportunity for a true wilderness expedition experience in the U.S. is slowly disappearing. The best bet you have left is a float down the Tatshenshini-Alsek river system (which does, however, require that you start in Canada). It’s not so much the isolation that makes the standard nine-day to two-week, 140-mile (255-kilometer) trip from Yukon’s Dalton Post to Alaska’s Dry Bay so sublime as it is the scenery.
Flowing through a deep gorge, the Tatshenshini runs through lively Class III white water before slowing down for grizzly viewing. But that’s just a warm-up. When the river flows into the Alsek in British Columbia’s Tatshenshini-Alsek Park, it’s surrounded by massive glaciers, many of which calve giant chunks of ice into Lake Alsek. This lake, the largest glacier-dammed lake in North America, is the center of attraction on the river trip. (Consider taking a few extra days to hike the banks of the Tatshenshini and Walker Glacier inside the park.) Headed into Alaska, the Alsek leaves the glaciers, but chances are icebergs will be making the voyage to the sea alongside your raft.
Need to Know: Book a nine-day trip with Mountain Travel Sobek (www.mtsobek.com), starting at $2,995 per person.