Dillingham, Nishlik Lake, Tikchik River, Tikchik Lake, Anchorage
Day 1 – Dillingham
Arrive in Dillingham via commercial air service from Anchorage and head to the local field office of the Alaska Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation to purchase a $100 permit to float the Tikchik River from Nishlik Lake to Tikchik Lake, an easy, 60-mile journey that will take about four days. Arranging air-taxi service to your starting point at Nishlik Lake should be done in advance. Rafts and other gear are available for rent in Dillingham, or bring your own. It’s a good idea to purchase most groceries and other supplies in Anchorage before flying to Dillingham to save money and ensure you have everything you need for the journey. Tips on clothing and other gear essentials are available online at the Wood-Tikchik State Park web page.
Day 2 – Nishlik Lake
Your air taxi will drop you and your gear at Nishlik Lake, with arrangements to pick you up at Tikchik Lake in about four days (or as many more than that as you care to spend on the river). From Nishlik Lake you will float the Tikchik River to the next lake, Tikchik Lake, some 60 miles south. For now, just enjoy arrival day and get organized for the trip to come. Camping is permitted throughout the park, and park managers request guests “leave no trace” when camping, packing out garbage with them. When water levels are low, gravel beaches are a particularly nice place to set up camp and enjoy a fire.
Days 3-6 – Tikchik River
As your float takes you toward Tikchik Lake on the Tikchik River, you’re sure to spot plenty of wildlife, including bears, moose, caribou, fox, eagles, osprey, loons, ducks and much more. If you like fishing, you’ll be in heaven, fishing all along the way for rainbow trout, grayling, Artic char and other trout species or for one of the five species of Pacific salmon, depending on what is running while you’re on the river. A fishing permit is required for resident and non-resident fishers, so be sure to buy one in Anchorage or Dillingham before your trip gets underway.
Day 7 – Tikchik Lake
Your air taxi will pick you up today at your specified time and location. Once back in Dillingham, check in to a local hotel or B&B and enjoy a hot shower and the comfort of a hot meal that wasn’t prepared over a camp stove.
Day 8 – Anchorage
Fly back to Anchorage from Dillingham and check into one of the city’s higher-end hotels for some real pampering –a trip to the spa, or gourmet dinner out or maybe just reliving your adventure over locally crafted beers at one of Anchorage’s many award-winning breweries. Congratulations! You’ve seen a part of Alaska well off the beaten track and wilder than many people will ever experience.