Moose Creek

The south side of the Alaska Range, the Talkeetnas, the Chugach mountains, the Kenai Peninsula and the Wrangells
elliott.will

Moose Creek

Post by elliott.will » Tue Sep 08, 2009 12:01 pm

For anyone familiar with the Mint Glacier area near Hatcher Pass:

I'm curious whether one could bring a packraft up to the Mint Glacier, over Grizzly Pass, and down to Moose Creek on the other side. How far north is Moose Creek navigable? Is this only a springtime float?

Thanks for any info!

Doug
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Re: Moose Creek

Post by Doug » Sun Apr 25, 2010 9:10 pm

Anyone have an idea or an observation already about when Moose Creek may be ready to host its first paddlers this season?

Late April? Early May? Mid-May? :P :P

MarkOathout
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Re: Moose Creek

Post by MarkOathout » Thu Apr 29, 2010 7:17 pm

Hey Doug,
It will be runnable mid May, but starts getting really fun above 300cfs. When it gets closer to 350 cfs it is one long rapid. I live in the valley and boat all these streams several times a year. If you like it at high water try Granite Creek, it's steeper, and has about a third more water. Watch your USGS gage and catch the evening spikes.

MarkOathout
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Re: Moose Creek

Post by MarkOathout » Wed May 26, 2010 11:09 am

It is starting to spike, watch the gauge put in around 10.00 pm for the best runs by far. Look for 300 cfs and above for rock free runs.
Yesterday,J. Gonski took his new pack raft down the Little Su to the park yesterday, same thing watch the gauge, the river will get bossy in the evenings. The trip went well and was exciting, if you are bored with the guard rail run try it. The river is much easier above sixteen mile, but there are still a couple of gnarly drops. The lower section is much steeper,violent, and not fun to swim.
Anyway, valley update.
mo

Akjohn

Re: Moose Creek

Post by Akjohn » Wed May 26, 2010 8:47 pm

Mark,

where is the put-in for this run and where are you taking out? Is there a way to skip the lower section?

MarkOathout
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Re: Moose Creek

Post by MarkOathout » Wed May 26, 2010 8:57 pm

Take out at the end of a road which leads to the creek at the end of the pavement of buffalo mine rd. To get to the put-in continue up the dirt road for about 3.5 miles, then you will take a road to the right which goes to the creek. Flow really makes a difference with this tiny stream so watch the gauge.
BTW the lower section lost a bunch of wood, only 4 or 5 portages and the best parts are clear.

Akjohn

Re: Moose Creek

Post by Akjohn » Wed May 26, 2010 9:10 pm

Thanks Mark. Sounds like we should be running it...right about now!

Akjohn

Re: Moose Creek

Post by Akjohn » Sat May 29, 2010 9:50 pm

Mark,

I floated Moose Creek today and it was a blast. The sweeper near the road is kind of a pain, but could easily be cut.

What is the put-in like for Granite? I am camped out on the Matanuska and I would like to hit that tomorrow. I am guessing you put in off a four-wheeler trail back jonesville rd. And take out at the highway. The problem is it is a maze back Jonesville. Any tips for getting over to Granite easier?

MarkOathout
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Re: Moose Creek

Post by MarkOathout » Sun May 30, 2010 2:13 pm

Hey,
Just got back from the Kennicot/Nizina trip, did it in two days one night, and it was high water. I saw Moose has still not hit 300 cfs, but getting closer. I am thinking about making a solo run tonight before I go back to work.
I am wanting to boat Granite, anytime, if you want to hook up. I take a wheeler to the knob then drag or haul boats down the hill towards the white rock slide on the other side of the creek. Up above this point, about a half a mile or so, is a waterfall that is supposed to be about six or eight feet. I am planning on putting in above this if it is clean enough, to live, and give it a go. From the picture I took of it from a distance it does seem fairly gnarly, and the falls looks to be in the middle of the drop.
Glad you enjoyed the float,contact me if you want to do a late night Moose run or something else.
MO

Akjohn

Re: Moose Creek

Post by Akjohn » Mon May 31, 2010 9:22 pm

The knob, white rock slide? I would like to check that out.

Sorry we missed you. We did Granite yesterday. We couldn't figure out where to access it off of Jonesville Rd. so we hiked up the creek a few miles and put-in. It was a pretty fun little creek, definitely more water than Moose. I would be game for a late night (after 4) run of either this week.

John

MarkOathout
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Re: Moose Creek

Post by MarkOathout » Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:57 am

Any evening is good for me, you really need to go in by the knob to get the good parts of Granite. I have done the road hike also, it sucks, and we had a hard time getting very far up into the canyon.
355-6651 give a days notice and i'm down for a run. BTW: I caught Moose at 290 cfs the other night, it seemed like alot of the melt was coming from way high up, so the upper section was smokin. If I knew how to post a video I would, it actually looks awesome.

Doug
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Re: Moose Creek

Post by Doug » Thu Jul 01, 2010 10:20 am

Man the NOAA Moose Creek gauge really seems to be malfunctioning / misreporting. How do you really know water level there?

MarkOathout
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Re: Moose Creek

Post by MarkOathout » Thu Jul 01, 2010 11:31 am

Doug,
Are you using USGS site? The creek has been dreadfully low most of the year, It is about 160 cfs or so. I have not seen any problems except with the Matanuska, it said it was 20,000 cfs, and after it was calibrated was only 12,000 cfs.

MarkOathout
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Re: Moose Creek

Post by MarkOathout » Sun Aug 07, 2011 3:04 pm

Don't forget, when it rains, Moose Creek is a fun, after work, class III run. I finally threw a couple of clips together from previous runs.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZ3FzOY06CI

John N
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Re: Moose Creek

Post by John N » Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:50 am

Get it while it's hot!

Moose Creek is above 300 right now. Planning on an afternoon run.

Mark Oathout and I ran it at 285 last night. At that level it is the most fun Class III-III+ whitewater run I have done.

John N
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Re: Moose Creek

Post by John N » Sat Aug 20, 2011 11:05 am

August 2011 runs. This is definitely one of my favorite creeks!


John N
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Re: Moose Creek

Post by John N » Tue May 29, 2012 7:11 pm

Mark and I took out the two logs on the upper section today.

When the creek goes over 300 I'll be the dirtbag camping in the VW bus and hitching to the put-in.

John N
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Re: Moose Creek

Post by John N » Mon Jun 04, 2012 4:49 pm

We cleaned up the lower section today. Upper (end of Buffalo Mine to end of pavement) and lower (end of pavement to Glenn Hwy Bridge) can be run without exiting your boat.

MarkOathout
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Re: Moose Creek

Post by MarkOathout » Sat Jun 09, 2012 12:49 pm

Don't forget when the larger streams are to high, for many of us when packrafting, some of these smaller streams are a blast a high water. 300 last night, get out there, cleanse yourselves, do it now, it's yours...

John N
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Re: Moose Creek

Post by John N » Sun Jun 10, 2012 7:00 pm

There is a new log not far from the upper put-in. It is runnable at 270+ but could be a hazard with any less water. I plan on getting rid of it; however, I'm not sure how soon I'll get to it.

Jschu
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Re: Moose Creek

Post by Jschu » Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:40 am

I'm hoping to raft Moose Thursday evening. What do you Moose Creek veterans think this rain will do to the water level?
I don't see an increase on the hydrograph yet. Reading your posts, it looks like the current level 268 is ok to run, but more would be much better.
Jared

John N
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Re: Moose Creek

Post by John N » Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:57 am

It will probably go up some. It always gets higher in the evenings, especially on warm days.

My experience with Moose so far is:

Under 150, not runnable
150-200, bony but runnable
200-250, holes start developing
250-280ish, holes are larger-perhaps the hardest level. This is the level I have seen beginning boaters struggle with the most.
300+, very few holes, very few eddies, and a lot of splashy water
400, I can't wait!

Jschu
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Re: Moose Creek

Post by Jschu » Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:39 am

Thanks John. I appreciate the thorough response. Do you find the description of Moose Creek in "Fast and Cold" to be accurate? I heard changes have been made to the stream, that it has been cleaned up.

MarkOathout
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Re: Moose Creek

Post by MarkOathout » Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:49 am

The water between 250-280 is hard because of the ultra fast water speed, the holes, and rocks, in combination, makes it really hard, for the first mile to read and run. After the stream enters on the left, right down from the put-in, I would scout the next drop from the river right shore, it is ugly in places. It would also be worth the effort to walk 150 more yards to look at the section below the 2ft ledge drop, which is a half mile of continuous class III+ at 270+.

Jschu
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Re: Moose Creek

Post by Jschu » Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:57 am

Thanks Mark, I appreciate the advice.
How does this section of Moose compare to "Baby Su", Lil Su from Fishook to Edgerton?

MarkOathout
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Re: Moose Creek

Post by MarkOathout » Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:16 am

Very similar to the first 200 yards of baby su, at a good flow, from the hatchers bridge down.

MarkOathout
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Re: Moose Creek

Post by MarkOathout » Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:31 am

Take note, when John and I mention holes, we are not talking about unpunchable holes. Most are easy to punch through, but they will mess you up if you don't hit them right, and there are more than you could count. But, as John mentioned, they begin to wash out at 300 then the creek has lots of splashy waves hitting us in the face.

Honestly, I think we are running it at higher flows than Embick did because he noted lots of rocks, which is true, but 95% are covered above 300. Also, he did note, for future boaters, that it would be much more dangerous at high flows because of wood, but now it is almost all gone, so now it's safer at high water.

Jschu
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Re: Moose Creek

Post by Jschu » Tue Jun 12, 2012 12:33 pm

Thanks Mark. Embick mentions a nasty waterfall and a low bridge. I heard these were no longer there. True?
The upper run sounds fun and challenging. Sounds like you and John have put in hours clearing the moose run. I floated from the bridge down to the mat, which is a mess of wood.

Jschu
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Re: Moose Creek

Post by Jschu » Thu Jun 14, 2012 11:14 am

Dumb question I guess. The story I heard was that the waterfall structure (and others) were somehow modified by miners and there was money spent to remove manmade obstacles to spawning salmon...

Jschu
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Re: Moose Creek

Post by Jschu » Fri Jun 15, 2012 9:34 am

Thanks for the info and tree removal, John N and Mark. Moose run went well yesterday at about 255. Portaged the strainer/sweeper that was not too far below put in at the gated bridge, it looked doable to someone braver than I. Nearly trampled by a moose mother of twins. Removed a strainer from the bottom of the right side of a small island just below where the creek is washing against the edge of the dirt road. We caught up with our escaped boat just below the landslide. Found a lost, but fat & friendly goose by the hammock. Good times all the way to the Glenn. No mandatory portages, but lots of scouting to run strainers at this level and numerous sweepers may be a problem with more water. Can't wait to run it again!

John N
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Re: Moose Creek

Post by John N » Sat Jun 16, 2012 6:58 pm

Attacked by a moose, lost a boat, and found a goose. You guys had quite a day!

Jschu
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Re: Moose Creek

Post by Jschu » Sat Jun 16, 2012 8:44 pm

Great day! John N, Nice video of the big rock at four water levels. The boat was lost at that rock, just above it, in a partial pin on the exposed rocks. Swimmer hopped out, boat took off. Your sheep creek vids are also baaaaad a$$, that's next on the list.

MarkOathout
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Re: Moose Creek

Post by MarkOathout » Mon Jun 25, 2012 5:07 pm

John and I ran the creek today at 340, and when thinking back on the run, I think he said it best, after our run, " you kinda feel like you got away with something." Two thumbs up.

John N
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Re: Moose Creek

Post by John N » Mon Jun 25, 2012 7:25 pm

Moose is a lot of fun at 300, and just plain crazy at 340+. If water levels stay high (looks like they're dropping) this should be on every class IV boaters hit list.

bradmeiklejohn
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Re: Moose Creek

Post by bradmeiklejohn » Sun Sep 16, 2012 8:46 pm

A crew of us checked out Moose Creek on a storm day of heavy rains and wind. The creek guage was right about 300 cfs when we put on and almost 350 cfs when we took out at the Glenn Hwy.

As others have written, Moose is a fast and fun ride, especially since Mark and John have cleared most of the wood out of the creek. We did encounter 4 fresh cottonwood sweepers, 3 together approx 1/4 mile below the upper take-out and a fourth about a mile below the old falls. The latter can be skirted by using a tiny channel that likely only runs at higher water levels.

MarkOathout
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Re: Moose Creek

Post by MarkOathout » Thu Sep 20, 2012 1:13 pm

I went up to look at Moose entertaining the idea of running some of it. Ha ha ha, I wimpered away like a little puppy. Anyway here is some vid. where you can hear boulders rolling down the stream, I could hear them a hundered yards away.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJWPtqwPwLg&feature=plcp

Gerhardt
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Re: Moose Creek

Post by Gerhardt » Thu Sep 20, 2012 2:21 pm

That's INSANE! I can't believe that... this is what it looked like a little over 2 weeks ago..
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F35rtt8x ... r_embedded

JustinWholey
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Re: Moose Creek

Post by JustinWholey » Sun Sep 30, 2012 12:00 am

Floated Moose Creek for the first time today. Flow averaged 225 cfs. Wood, wood, and more wood We ended up scouting most of the creek because of what we saw on the drive in. We stopped counting at 10 channel-wide strainers/sweepers. I imagine the recent flooding did quite a number on the creek. In one cutbank section next to the road, boulders were rolling down into the water. The water in between all the obstacles was sure fun though.

Jschu
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Re: Moose Creek

Post by Jschu » Sun Sep 30, 2012 7:29 am

Sounds like an after ice up cleanout job is needed, my saw is ready.

MarkOathout
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Re: Moose Creek

Post by MarkOathout » Mon Oct 01, 2012 8:07 am

Lets get up there, when the water drops to a really boney level, and clean it up before next spring. I can pack a chainsaw in the back of an IK, works great and saves alot of time. Contact me if interested

John N
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Re: Moose Creek

Post by John N » Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:58 am

I'm game for that as well. I'll probably pull a sled with a saw and ski Moose, Granite, and probably Gravel this year. I'd also like to do some snowmachine scouting of little Willow and Honolulu.

Jschu
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Re: Moose Creek

Post by Jschu » Thu Oct 04, 2012 7:58 pm

Yep skis and sled would work great. Skiing creeks is a blast.
I have a big plastic case for my chainsaw that would protect an inflatable boat, if you don't want to wait for freeze up. Cleats or screws in boots for icy rocks.

JustinWholey
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Re: Moose Creek

Post by JustinWholey » Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:57 pm

Here is a video from the float on 9/29/12. The gauge read 225 cfs. Super fun creek!


jrobert
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Re: Moose Creek

Post by jrobert » Sat May 18, 2013 10:37 pm

Anybody run Moose Creek yet in 2013? Are there many sweepers after last year's late floods?

John N
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Re: Moose Creek

Post by John N » Tue May 21, 2013 5:07 am

I've been working on it. I have more wood to cut. The stream got pretty tore up last year.

MarkOathout
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Re: Moose Creek

Post by MarkOathout » Wed May 29, 2013 7:22 am

The boy and I went up to take a look at Moose Creek, and was expecting a dismal situation. However, the flood was so devestating it seems to have left most trees scattered down the banks, with several strainers still present though. The creek has totally changed course in more than one spot. The put-in bridge is decimated, covered with trees and rocks, basically buried, while the creek moved 100 ft river right. Number two also moved right, and is now a wave train instead of of a rocky drop. Guard Rocks are easier looking, while the two ft ledge looked really sticky on the river left side, and the slide looked awesome as usual. Overall, the lines looked to be cleaner from what I saw. I think John may have some real info soon, if not we will give a report in a few days when I can break free to play. Watch the corners, and look ahead, way ahead, the ice ledges will make conveinant stopping much harder.

Ema1980
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Re: Moose Creek

Post by Ema1980 » Thu May 30, 2013 7:46 am

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MarkOathout
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Re: Moose Creek

Post by MarkOathout » Fri Jun 07, 2013 7:45 pm

Moose is a new run; new routes, new rapids, some wood, and some sticky holes under a couple of 2ft ledges. The creek seems cleaner as far as boulders choking the lines, and a couple of new rapids are pretty darn good. On your way down, the second time the creek comes to the road, you will go down a long straight stretch towards a steep cliff on the left, immediatly around the corner is a log sticking out, barrel for the rocks on the left shore to escape going under the second log, alittle tricky. Other than that spot, it's pretty clean overall, and fun too.

John N
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Re: Moose Creek

Post by John N » Fri Jun 07, 2013 8:59 pm

Yup, good summary. This is of course the upper section, from the "bridge that no longer exists" to the end of the pavement.

John N
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Re: Moose Creek

Post by John N » Mon Jun 10, 2013 5:13 pm

Word of warning:

There is a new tree down not far from the put-in. It appears someone cut it last night trying to get across the creek. I cleaned the branches off it and cut it loose, however; it is still crossing the river. You can easily float over it, but it was making a pretty nasty little drop today when I left.

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