Copper River

Copper River

Wilderness Rafting Trip

ADventure Level
Easy to Moderate
River Category
Class II (Easy)

Straightforward rapids with wide, clear channels which are evident without scouting. Occasional maneuvering may be required, but rocks and medium-sized waves are easily missed by trained paddlers. Swimmers are seldom injured and group assistance, while helpful, is seldom needed. Rapids that are at the upper end of this difficulty range are designated “Class II+”. Suitable for age 5 and older including the physically challenged.

Class III (Moderate)

Rapids with moderate, irregular waves which may be difficult to avoid. Complex maneuvers in fast current and good boat control in tight passages or around ledges are often required; large waves or strainers may be present but are easily avoided. Strong eddies and powerful current effects can be found, particularly on large-volume rivers. Injuries while swimming are rare; self-rescue is usually easy but group assistance may be required to avoid long swims. Rapids that are at the lower or upper end of this difficulty range are designated “Class III-” or “Class III+” respectively. Suitable for those who don’t mind getting a little wet from splash, minimum age 10.

Copper Basin TO CORDOVA
AUG 1 – AUG 31, 2021
age Limit
Ages 12 & 70
Maximum Size/Weight/Height
265 Lbs, and 6 Ft. 6 Inches, Girth 50 Inches.
Check-in Time
6+ days
Minimum Group Size
6 participants or by special arrangement.
Trip Highlights
  • All meals, transportation logistics and equipment (if needed) provided.
  • Big expansive glacial river with amazing glacier views.
  • Abundant wildlife viewing.
  • Secluded 5-day float in the Alaska back-country.
Trip Description

Discover the true Alaskan Widerness

Float through the vast grandeur of this historic Alaskan wilderness! This 6-day/5-night raft trip floats the extent of Alaska’s fourth largest river, the ‘Copper River’. This massive high volume waterway is the boundary for the largest National Park in America, ‘Wrangell St. Elias.’ With over 12.5 million acres of wild lands, this is a huge and rugged country. Abundant with mountain vistas and wildlife, it traces the historical path used by the first Alaskan explorers. Navigating a passage between the massive peaks of the Chugach Mountain Range, based in the interior it flows south outward to the ocean delta and coastal town of Cordova. This classic Alaskan town has no roads and can only be reached by boat or plane access. Highlights of this trip include rich Alaska history with remnants of Alaska’s copper mining and fishing culture. Floating within sight of the ‘Childs’ Glacier, panoramic views of some of the largest volcanoes and mountains in the world, such as Mt. Blackburner at 17,000 feet elevation. With calving glaciers, massive icebergs, towering peaks and abundant wildlife, this trip is full of everything Alaskana. Not to mention amazing riverside camping and camaraderie along the way with evening campfires and fresh-cooked meals with this epic Alaskan backdrop. NOVA will assist and provide all the trip logistics, including your return flight from Cordova to Anchorage. All camping gear, river gear and meals for 5 days are included.

Recommended Options: Stay in a local hotel in Cordova on the final day and enjoy dinner at one of the local restaurants while visiting the sites of this famous small coastal city before flying back to the city of Anchorage on day 7. Another return option on day 7: Return to Anchorage by ferry boat via the town of ‘Whittier’ and then take the rail train on to Anchorage.

All whitewater and camping gear provided. NOVA will provide you a complete itinerary and Must-Pack item list prior to departure.

NOVA can accommodate most food requests or dietary preferences. Bring along personal beverages and snacks for the trip. Meal menus are flexible, open to suggestions and determined by budget levels and special requests. Contact our office for details.

Want to add additional days to your multi-day tour for a longer, more custom itinerary? NOVA may be able to accommodate extra days on the water. Contact the office for details.


We operate with two rafts minimum on this trip. This requires a party of six minimum to conduct a trip. Parties of less than four can submit dates of their choice for us to try and develop with others to join. We can create and build trips for small groups that stay in development, until additions book to fill the minimum or pay the entirety. Parties of less can submit dates of their choice for us to try and develop.


Water levels can dramatically change or alter the characteristics and nature of rivers and creeks in Alaska. Natural free flowing waterways are unpredictable and have ever evolving variables compared to dam release controlled waterways. Higher water levels usually result in an increase in difficulty, intensity and risk. Nova has implemented cut-off levels for operating tours as a safety standard for this highly respected section of water. Levels also force tour adjustments like boat sizes, equipment changes, group/load sizes in each boat, and even canceling. Proper weight and power distribution in the rafts is a major key to successful safe navigation. Guides are authorized to make these decisions based on monitoring usgs water level gauges prior to trips launch along with denial of participants from engaging in the activity at any time. Water levels, weather and other variables can also affect the duration of a tour by changing the volume and speed of the current. Our office staff will inform all reservations in advance about any forecasted water level changes that may jeopardize or cancel the tour. Full refunds are issued if cancellations occur and/or rescheduling for runnable levels on another upcoming date is made.

Cancellation Policy

Day trip cancellations made at least 5 days in advance will receive a full deposit refund. Groups of 10+ need to provide a 14-day notice for full deposit refund. Multi-Day trips require a 30-day notice for full deposit refund. In the event NOVA cancels, you will receive a full refund of your payments. Any absence of a booked tour that is operating or If cancellations are not made within the timeframes given Nova retains the deposit made. All Nova trips require a 50% deposit except SIX MILE CREEK which due to high demand requires a 100% deposit.

Unless Nova cancels your trip, for all cancellations by customers who booked using our online platform you will be required to cover the booking fee cost.


There are inherent risks associated with river travel and outdoor activities that everyone must accept and understand. Variable uneven terrain, sharp rocks, slippery rocks, and changing weather are common. Some safety hazards will always exist and are beyond human control such as water levels and erosion. Rivers and all moving waterways can be dangerous and deadly. Rescue in these environments and features is not only technical and difficult but in some cases not possible at all. Safety standards are in place for these reasons and must be followed. Guides manage risk by interpreting and recognizing hazards that average boaters and guests are unaware of. Many traveling on the mellow sections have a false sense of security because of the friendly inviting nature of the easy river. Whitewater with rapids on the Class system of III, IV or V sections deserve respect. Individuals traveling on rivers, creeks or streams without professional guides should possess the proper knowledge, experience, and equipment.

**All participants on all our tours must follow our guidelines, procedures and sign a waiver. Only parents or legal guardians may sign for youth minors. We do not allow infants on our tours. We do not allow pets on our tours.

You may preview or pre-sign our waiver document, by clicking here.


Local Alaskans with proof of State issued ID at tour check-in receive a 10% single discount off the individual tour price.

Make it a COMBO: Add a whitewater rafting trip and save 10% off the highest cost trip!. Add a Matanuska Glacier adventure and save 10% off the highest cost trip! **Glacier tours are in a different area of Alaska. Located 4 hours north of Sixmile Creek and 2 hours north of Anchorage at the Matanuska Glacier.

**Discounts only apply to clients participating on both trips

**Discounts applied at trip check-in with the balance due

  • Our July trips are currently fully booked.
    Please contact us to check specific dates of availability; midseason trips are pretty full, but we still have some early season and late season availability.
  • NOVA is an advocate and steward for keeping wild places in Alaska wild. Please follow responsible travel and ‘leave no trace’ ethics when visiting these amazing places.
  • NOVA tours operate regardless of most weather conditions, we go rain or shine in Alaska.
    Waterways and weather can sometimes be cold in Alaska. Please, dress appropriately or bring along some warm synthetic layers and socks for your tour comfort. Cotton layers are not preferred in cold environments or when wet.
  • All standard river gear required for this tour is provided by NOVA including a pfd (personal floatation device), pair of water shoes, river helmet, and full dry-suit. The dry-suit is only a waterproof shell with no warm insulation, please bring your own warm comfortable layers for underneath the dry-suit. Once you are in the dry-suit restroom breaks are difficult to accommodate, please consider facilities pre-trip.


Copper River

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  • NOTE: Park fees may apply as noted in the tour details, and will be added to your final payment.


Rave Reviews


I, and several relatives, went on this rafting trip early August 2019 and we all had a blast. The trip was down a beautiful waterway that allowed enough relaxed rafting to enjoy the natural beauty, while being punctuated by exciting rapids. The dry suits made for a comfortable trip and our guide (Scotty) provided quick-witted humor and entertainment during the calmer stretches.
If you are considering this rafting trip, but have not fully committed, I encourage you to “pull the trigger” and sign up – you will not be disappointed! These folks are 100% safety oriented and will ensure a safe yet exciting trip. Take along a waterproof action cam to record the adventure.

Sam L  | Trip date: August 2019

We rafted the 6 mile with nova and did the glacier trek. Both were phenomenal. We had Scotty for our rafting trip and he, as well as all of the guides, were very safety conscious. They prepared you for every situation that could happen and we absolutely loved our experience. For our glacier trek, our guide was Coffee. Again, an amazing experience. We did more than we thought we would, including repelling down a 70 foot ice wall! It was so much fun and Coffee made us feel super safe. Nova is an amazing company with only the best guides. I wouldn’t use anyone else in Alaska!

Lauren M.  | Trip date: July 2020

This was our 2nd time rafting in Alaska. Both times dry suits were provided and worked well. Three boats went on the trip with 5 patrons and one guide in each. Two of the boats utilized big oars in the back for the guide and the guests paddled occasionally as instructed. The 3rd boat had a group of young men and they did a “paddle trip” without the oars and using just regular paddles. The trip was fun. Not too rough. No one fell out of the boat. It wasn’t as scenic as the Nenana River outside Denali, but a good trip.

Berry TN  | Trip date: August 2019