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Old 04-12-2014, 12:10 AM   #16
Tom S
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crashmaster View Post
What about a home made pack raft?
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Old 04-12-2014, 12:37 AM   #17
ThatGuy
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It can be our own Darien Gap!
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Old 04-12-2014, 06:55 AM   #18
KHuddy
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Copper River Highway

From the Milepost:

DOT&PF, March 28, 2012: The Alaska Dept. of Transportation & Public Facilities reminds residents and visitors in the Cordova area that the Copper River Highway remains closed indefinitely at Mile 36 due to safety concerns at Bridge No. 339. This closure will remain in effect until the bridge is replaced, which is estimated to be several years away. DOT&PF closed Bridge No. 339 in August of 2011. The bridge is one of 11 bridges crossing the Copper River Delta. Naturally occurring changes to the water flow between channels across the delta led to a dramatic increase in the amount of water running under the bridge. Due to the increased amount of water, 50 feet of "scour," or erosion, was observed at the bridge in 2011. The scour lowered the channel bottom and compromised the bridge structure.. [See Mile 36 entry for more details.].

The Copper River Highway begins where the Ferry Terminal road intersects with Orca Road and leads 48.6 miles northeast from Cordova across Million Dollar Bridge at the Copper River. This is a good gravel road with several U.S. Forest Service hiking trails and interpretive stops. Stop at the USFS office in Cordova for current road/trail conditions. The highway is not maintained in winter beyond Mile 12.4. Snow may prevent access to many points along the highway well into spring. The Copper River Highway was designated a Scenic Byway in May 2011.
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Old 04-12-2014, 11:47 AM   #19
Rackemcrackem
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The current in the Copper River at Mile 36 is often in the range of 8-10 knots and the channel is at least 300 yards wide. It's a big, mean river and I don't think a packraft is gonna make it across there!

During the past couple of summers, the Cordova-based owner of Orca Adventures Lodge has occasionally been running passengers from the Mile 36 river channel in an approximately 30' aluminum bowpicker converted to a landing craft. He runs several miles upriver to the Million Dollar Bridge area. The price of admission is steep, approaching the neighborhood of the fare for a small plane charter.

Late in the summer of 2009, the tributary less than a mile upriver from the Million Dollar Bridge was essentially dry and I rode across on my TW200. Sometimes it's a dry wash, sometimes a raging torrent. I didn't explore beyond, though, as the alders were very thick. I've been told that a trail was brushed through the alders for several miles since that time. Water flow at any tributary or in the main river channels is highly variable.

I think the strategy for passage along the lower sections of the old railbed would involve a lot of brush removal and many adventures of an amphibious nature. The upper sections would likely include spelunking through tunnels and rock climbing around/over trestle abutments, cliffs and blocked tunnels, in addition to periodic deep (and probably swift) water navigation.

Sounds like the perfect adventure for someone who is thick of wallet, strong of back and weak of mind. Please report back after a few months and tell us how it went!

Rackemcrackem screwed with this post 04-12-2014 at 08:18 PM
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Old 04-12-2014, 03:09 PM   #20
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For quite some time, I have been fascinated by this possibility. I rode from Cordova to the Million Dollar Bridge in 1985 on a new R80. Then in 2003, I rode from Chitina to Kennicott on a DR 650. On the '85 trip, we rode past the Million Dollar Bridge maybe 2 miles. Trestle was long gone at at an impassable river which others have noted--no way to go further.
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Old 04-12-2014, 09:35 PM   #21
Frostbit
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beezerjuice View Post
For quite some time, I have been fascinated by this possibility. I rode from Cordova to the Million Dollar Bridge in 1985 on a new R80. Then in 2003, I rode from Chitina to Kennicott on a DR 650. On the '85 trip, we rode past the Million Dollar Bridge maybe 2 miles. Trestle was long gone at at an impassable river which others have noted--no way to go further.
Here's the spot your talking about...



Nothing else to do but go pack rafting...



It's not that easy to even get as far as the Million Dollar Bridge anymore...





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Old 04-12-2014, 11:35 PM   #22
Rackemcrackem
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It's not that easy to even get as far as the Million Dollar Bridge anymore...








...and you rode there during some NICE weather!
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Old 04-13-2014, 07:16 AM   #23
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Yes, I consider myself fortunate to have made the trip. And in '85, there was way less water at "end of road" per your first shot. One of the trestle bents was still there, lying on its side on the down stream side
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