Matanuska River

1.5 Day Overnight Rafting Trip

Class II & III Whitewater

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Matanuska River
Trip Type: 1.5 Day Overnight Rafting Trip
Season: All summer, weekdays only
Start Time: 9:00 am
Duration: 1.5 days
Location: Matanuska Glacier off Glenn Highway
River Grade: Class II & III Whitewater
Age Limit: Can be adjusted to accommodate all family ages from minimum 5 years.
Price: $475 / person, $299 children 5 - 11
10% discount for 4 or more.
Reservations: Book Now!

This trip checks in at our Hicks Creek facility, 38100 W Glenn Highway, Glacier View, AK 99674. 96 miles from Anchorage on the  Glenn Highway National Scenic Byway.


A popular and affordable wilderness rafting trip.

This river raft trip combines the exciting rapids of the Lion Head run with a seldom-traveled segment of the Matanuska River near Anchorage, Alaska. Enjoy 30 miles of river touring from the Matanuska Glacier to Chickaloon, Alaska.

The trip starts with a run through the Lion Head rapids, and ends with a mellow float along the scenic segment below the glaciers and the magnificent peaks of the Chugach Range. Mid-way, you’ll be treated to a fine dinner prepared by your guide. Kick back and allow this area to overtake your senses.

There are opportunities to explore several side drainages for wildlife tracks in this area.

Because of the easy logistics, this trip is very affordable for families and can include youngsters under 12 who are excluded from the whitewater segment and like all our multi-day trips, everything you need for camping is included.

"We would like to thank you again for the 2 day Matanuska rafting trip. You gave us a great time in Alaska. Keep us on your mailing list for a longer trip next year. "

Werner Copray, Germany

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River ClassificationsX

So you can better understand the classification of rivers and decide whether it will be suitable for you, we have listed the six classes as provided by the American Whitewater Affiliation, along with our professional opinion and policy for suitability. (Please note: these descriptions and ratings listed for individual rivers, can vary considerably with differing water levels. Please use the ratings as a general guideline only).

Download our waiver here.


Class I

Easy. Fast-moving water with riffles and small waves. Suitable for anyone age 5 and older, including the physically challenged.


Class II

Straightforward rapids with wide, clear channels. Occasional maneuvering may be required, but rocks and medium sized waves are easily avoided. Suitable for same as class I.


Class III

Rapids with moderate, irregular waves which may be difficult to avoid. Large waves and strainers may be present but are easily avoided. Injuries while swimming are rare. Suitable for those who don't mind getting a little wet, otherwise same as class I and II.


Class IV

Intense, powerful but predictable rapids requiring precise boat handling in turbulent water. Depending on the character of the river, it may feature large, unavoidable waves and holes or constricted passagesdemanding fast maneuvers under pressure. risk of injury to swimmers is moderate to high, and water conditions may make self rescue difficult. Suitable for those 12 and older, in good physical condition, and comfortable with the remote prospect of swimming for self rescue. With NOVA's experienced guides, this level is recommended for first-timers as well as those with prior experience.


Class V

Obstructed or very violent rapids which expose a participant to above average endangerment. Drops may contain large, unavoidable waves and holes or steep, conjested chutes with complex, demanding routes. Rapids may continue for long distances between pools, demanding a high level of fitness. Suitable for those who are comfortable with water, able to swim and in good physical condition. NOVA requires all participants to engage in a supervised practice self rescue river swim ( with lifejacket and dry suit, of course) before the trip to help demistyfy the experience. Minimum age 16 years.


Class VI

These runs often exemplify the extremes of difficulty. Experts only! Rescues may be impossible. This class does not represent drops thought to be unrunnable, but may include rapids which are only occasionally run.