Matanuska Float

Matanuska River

Scenic Glacier Float

Adventure Level
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.

*Family float trip with waves and splashes.

Trip Minimum
4 People

*Groups less than 4 may join others with consent to build tour

Reservation Minimum
2 People
Hicks Creek Facility

38100 W Glenn Highway, Glacier View, AK 99674 Mile 96

age Limit
Ages 5 – 70
Max. Size/Weight/Height
250 Lbs, and 6 Ft. 6 Inches, Girth 50 Inches.
Check-in Time
10:30 AM

Approximately 1+ hours on the water and 2+ total average time

The Perfect River Float for families

Not looking for whitewater or rapids? How about something more mellow and scenic? Families look no further! This is your quick and easy family float raft trip. A perfect, fun, class II introduction to the world of rivers for youth, seniors and beginners alike. This one to two hour float trip is long enough for kids or mixed groups with a variety of abilities to enjoy the water. The float has stunning views of the rugged Talkeetna Mountain Range and the towering Chugach Mountain Range with its hanging glaciers and peaks all divided by this same great river, the Matanuska. The upper section is the Lionshead whitewater trip and this family float is the slower, lower section just downstream. Launching at the bridge-crossing, it’s swift and splashy and even has some fun waves for the kids. The guides on this tour use center-frame oars, requiring no paddling necessary and ensuring more control for the guide than paddle rafting. There are no guarantees when it comes to wildlife sightings, but this section does see a good amount of moose activity in the season. The tour takes-out or terminates at our main check-in office which is riverside where your vehicle will remain parked for the duration of the tour. We bus-up and float-back to this original meeting location. Drysuits are not required for this comfortable rafting tour. Only rain or splash gear, a pfd life jacket and some rain boots. NOVA can provide all of the required gear, but feel free to bring your own rain gear and boots if you have some. Kickback and enjoy the sights and splashes of this fun and exciting beginner run. Located only two hours north of Anchorage on the Glenn highway in the area of Glacier View.


Groups of 10 to 30 people receive discount of 10% off. 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 Matanuska Glacier adventure and save 10% off both of your tours! This rafting tour is located in the same area of Alaska as our Glacier tours, great for sameday combos.

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


38100 W Glenn Highway, Glacier View, AK 99674

Located 96.5 miles north of Anchorage, this is the staging area for all Matanuska glacier and river trips.


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.

Tour Highlights
  • Scenic views of the majestic Matanuska Glacier on highway transit.
  • Great river adventure for small kids and grandparents.
  • Perfect introduction to the river world.
  • Quick and easy paced tour.
  • Overlaps nicely with morning LionHead for groups who split into two groups.
  • Must have ability to swim but no experience necessary.
  • 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 river boots, and full rain gear. The rain gear is only a splash shell with no warm insulation, please bring your own warm comfortable layers for underneath the rain gear. If you have your own boots or splash/rain gear feel free to bring it for the tour.
  • Once you are out on the water restroom breaks are difficult to accommodate, please consider facilities pre-trip.
Water levels

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.

Inherent Risks

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.

COvid-19 Update

Parties less than 4 must agree to share a raft with other parties where distancing cannot be maintained feasibly at 6 foot under all possible circumstances during a whitewater raft trip by giving consent to mix non-household members. We recommend creating your own group of friends, family or household members who have had sufficient exposure time together to rule out infection to fill your own boat. 4-5 people is ideal per boat for this tour. Fill your own boat!

Please bring your personal face mask for the tour office check-in process and during vehicle transport. We do require social distancing to the best of your groups ability, whenever possible. Try to build reservations and bookings as one household to minimize exposure. Consent may be gained or required to mix with other non-household members during tours. For more Covid-19 questions or concerns, please contact our office.

You are not required to wear a face mask during the tour on the boat.

Matanuska Float

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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