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King (chinook)  Salmon

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July 1-August 10  |  (907) 822-5822  |  Directions

Klutina River Rafting

Salmon Grove offers half day, full day and multi day Alaska river rafting trips on the Klutina River in the Copper River region of south-central, Alaska. The Klutina River is our home river and our office is located on the south shore of the Klutina River at the Old Richardson Highway bridge. Our Klutina River trips depart and conclude at our river-front office located at 100 Old Richardson Highway, Copper Center, Alaska 99573.


The word Klutina literally means fast water in the local Alaska Native language. The Klutina River is very fast, flowing up to 14 mph. The river water is a  turquoise blue-green color but can run brown at any time due to rain, erosion and permafrost melt. Waters flowing out of Klutina Lake at the outlet are deep and smooth. The river quickly braids and when the braids come back together you can expect the start of the rapids. The Klutina has intermittent class III rapids starting from river mile 19 continuing all the way down to the confluence with the Copper River. Water levels can change daily with weather conditions, rain, glacier melt and freezing temperatures.  


The Klutina River is a tributary to the Copper River. The origin of the Klutina River is the terminus of the Klutina Glacier in the Chugach Mountains of South central Alaska. The river flows easterly from its outlet at Klutina Lake into the Copper River. The river passes through the town of Copper Center right before its confluence with the Copper River.

Much of the river is surrounded by steep banks where it is possible to view eagles and, if you are lucky, brown bears. During the early season the canyon walls are filled with wildflowers including the lovely tundra rose. You will not see a single man made structure along the river bank from the point of your put in until you return to the Richardson Highway.

Klutina River Salmon Fishing Season

The Copper River region is home to the best alaska fishing rivers. Every summer a massive number of red (sockeye) and king (chinook) salmon return to the Klutina River to spawn. The timing of the salmon runs can vary slightly from year to year but you can generally expect the salmon to arrive by the beginning of June.
The Klutina River king salmon accounts for a large percentage of the king salmon that enter the entire Copper River system. The Klutina River king salmon arrive in early June and continue to run until early Ausust.  The Alaska Department of Fish and Game regulates fishing on the Klutina River and Klutina River king salmon fishing season is open July 1 - August 10.  The majority of the king salmon return during the month of July. Unlike red salmon, the king salmon can be mainstream spawners and they are able to spawn in slack water, deep slow holes and eddies that are suitable along the  entire river. 

Red salmon can show up as early as the end of May and run steadily all the way into the beginning of August. Other years, we don't see many reds in August and the run seems to peak in July. Variation in the the exact run timing can be attributed to various environmental factors including temperature, river ice, snow melt, water levels and the exact time of spring break up when the river ice goes out.

The Copper River sockeye salmon that return to the Klutina River travel quickly upstream to the clear streams off Klutina Lake in search of their perfect gravel spawning beds.

We accept reservations over the phone  (907) 822-5822

2 nights stay at our Salmon Grove Klutina River Campground  is included when you book a fishing trip!

Copper River sockeye salmon spawning in gravel beds of Milo Creek, a tributary to Klutina Lake

Klutina River, Alaska

Fill out the form to start your reservation for the 2018 Alaska river rafting season.

Salmon Grove Campground & Fishing Charters

100 Old Richardson Highway, Copper Center, AK 99573

 (907) 822-5822