BEFORE YOU GO...

Trip and Guest Information

Before embarking on your adventure, please review some of our most frequently asked questions, as well as our policies and procedures.

PADDLE OPTIONS

We offer several options for running this river trip. You can choose from:
  • Oar rafts controlled just by a guide allowing guests the opportunity to sight-see and fully enjoy the adventure.
  • Oar rafts that allow guests to paddle-assist. This is ideal for those who want some paddle participation with the guide.
  • Full paddle rafting. This requires all guests to paddle in a guided team effort. Perfect for the adrenaline junkies!
We can also modify the trip experience by using larger or smaller rafts depending on water levels and guest wishes (easy or challenging).

ADVENTURE LEVEL CLASSIFICATIONS

NOVA trips are active participation adventures by nature and involve various levels of physical exertion. Some of our trips take place in remote settings where exposure to the elements—including cold water, sun, wind and rain—is a given. Some trips are dependent on your comfort, speed, strength and expectations. Please review the detailed adventure level classifications for all of our tours.

WHAT TO BRING FOR RIVER TRIPS

Wear long pants, warm socks, with an extra layer on top; Fleece, modern synthetics or wool are preferable to cotton; fleece jackets, sweatshirts and pullovers without hoods, jogging pants, jeans (or jeans with long underwear – remember layers of clothing will help keep you warmer and more comfortable). Our dry-suits are shells that keep you dry only with room to wear warm clothing underneath. All waters in Alaska are cold, please dress warmly even on hot sunny days; NOVA provides everything you need for the river trip including dry-suits to wear over your clothing (these suits have attached latex-socks to keep your socks dry), PFD, river booties, gloves and helmet.

 

WHAT TO BRING FOR GLACIER ADVENTURES

Wear long pants and always bring along your sunglasses, sunscreen, a spare warm jacket or sweater and rain layers. A small daypack for the longer trips with snacks or lunch and water, lightweight gloves and hat. Hiking boots that cover the ankles with stiff soles are recommended if you want to wear your own or use our hiking boots at no additional charge. For all glacier adventures we’ll outfit you with boots, crampons and helmet; also a trekking pole if you desire. For Treks and Ice-climbing NOVA additionally provides all ice-climbing hardware.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Contact us if you have any additional questions no answered below.

Yes. If your personal favorite is available, we can certainly accommodate you and our guides do love to be requested.

Yes, we recommend booking a private trip to do what you like when you like.

Yes. We go rain or shine, so please dress appropriately for the weather of the day. There are always tradeoffs, the Glacier has more blue color visible on grey rainy days and as for the river, well you are dressed to get wet!

No experience needed; we do take lots of first-timers out on our Glacier Adventures, Scenic Family Float or LionHead Whitewater Rafting. For Six Mile Creek,prior rafting experience is highly recommended; you must be able to swim and comfortable with the prospect of self-rescue. There is a fun, mandatory, in- river swim to help you prepare for and demystify river swimming prior to rafting on either the 2-canyon or 3-canyon Six Mile Creek trips.

NOVA welcomes groups large or small! Group rafting can be the perfect activity for your corporate event or team building, bachelor/bachelorette or wedding party or just you and your BFF’s! NOVA offers many trip throughout the day or the evening, depending on client wishes. We are happy to create a custom raft adventure for your group, and offer a 10 percent discount for groups of 10 or more. 

Between 1 ½ – 2 hour drive either South or North of Anchorage, depending on trip.  See OUR LOCATIONS page for details. 

SIX MILE CREEK IS SOUTH OF ANCHORAGE:

Take the Seward Highway south towards Seward. Enjoy the views of this National Scenic Byway until mile maker 57 and the Hope Road intersection. It is a well-marked junction and the Hope Road only turns one-way.Turn onto the Hope Road, travel about 100 yards and turn into the first driveway (public rest area) on the right. The NOVA crew and vehicles will be there waiting for you.

The drive is about 1 hour 20 minutes from Anchorage, 45 minutes from Girdwood, 60 minutes from Seward, 90 minutes from Soldotna.

ALL OTHER NOVA TRIPS ARE NE OF ANCHORAGE:

Check-in is at our Hicks Creek facility, mile 96 Glenn Highway (38100 West Glenn Hwy for GPS users).Take the Glenn Hwy (Hwy #1) and head north from Anchorage; you’ll be traveling on the Glenn Highway National Scenic Byway all the way to Hicks Creek. About 1 hour out Anchorage you will take the overpass to Palmer and continue on the Glenn Hwy (Hwy #1) east through Palmer then Sutton and Chickaloon; go past the old NOVA office at mile 76 in Chickaloon and drive 20 more minutes up the Hwy to Hicks Creek at mile 96 of the Glenn Hwy. Watch for the NOVA sign on left at Trailhead Rd. after crossing the Hicks Creek Bridge; take that left and follow the NOVA driveway underneath the highway bridge to the main building for check-in. The drive to Hicks Creek should take about 1 hour 50 minutes from Anchorage, 50 minutes from Palmer.

We like to keep our trips small; our guide to client ratio on the glacier for Hikes is 1:6, for Treks and Ice-climbing 1:4. Raft trips can vary depending on water flow and size and weight of participants, with an average of 6 people per raft.

NO, there is no public transportation out of Anchorage, a rental car is your only option.

We do not provide any rental gear. All necessary gear is provided free of charge for NOVA trips only.

 

FOR RIVER TRIPS PLEASE BRING: 

Wear long pants, warm socks, with an extra layer on top; Fleece, modern synthetics or wool are preferable to cotton; fleece jackets, sweatshirts and pullovers without hoods, jogging pants, jeans (or jeans with long underwear – remember layers of clothing will help keep you warmer and more comfortable). Our dry-suits are shells that keep you dry only with room to wear warm clothing underneath. All waters in Alaska are cold, please dress warmly even on hot sunny days; NOVA provides everything you need for the river trip including dry-suits to wear over your clothing (these suits have attached latex-socks to keep your socks dry), PFD, river booties, gloves and helmet.

 

FOR GLACIER TRIPS PLEASE BRING: 

Wear long pants and always bring along your sunglasses, sunscreen, a spare warm jacket or sweater and rain layers. A small daypack for the longer trips with snacks or lunch and water, lightweight gloves and hat. Hiking boots that cover the ankles with stiff soles are recommended if you want to wear your own or use our hiking boots at no additional charge. For all glacier adventures we’ll outfit you with boots, crampons and helmet; also a trekking pole if you desire. For Treks and Ice-climbing NOVA additionally provides all ice-climbing hardware.

Created by the American Whitewater Association, the river classification reflects the technical difficulty and skill level required using roman numerals I to VI. To better understand the classification of rivers and decide whether it will be suitable for you, check out the Whitewater Classifications page on our website.

Matanuska Glacier Park is privately owned and charges per person every time you go thru the gate; Alaska State passes do not apply. Regular 2017 entry fee at gate is $30 per person; but NOVA clientele receive a discounted rate (see below), which is added to the cost of your tour if noted in the tour details.

  • Teens (12-17): $20 
  • Adults (18+): $25 
  • Alaska Residents, Military and Seniors (65+): $20

There is plenty of Sunshine all Summer long in Alaska, so it depends more on your itinerary. Photographers seem to prefer the evening glacier hikes where the low angle of light is more dramatic. Also the ‘high-water’ of the day on Alaska’s glacier rivers like LionHead is the 7:00 PM run as glacier rivers actually crest at night; great for party runs for groups of 6 or more.