Upper McDonald Creek

A Glacier packrafting classic for those few people tracking such things: McDonald Creek from just below Longfellow to Mineral (where the seasonal floating ban takes effect).  Great, consistent action, not too severe, and as of today only one river wide wood jam and one serious rapid.  Said rapid, comes in the obvious spot not far above Mineral, where the north wall pinches close to the creek.  At high water (today) it’s burly, with wood in very bad places.  I walked around, but will probably come back in late July.

The old trail along the north bank is surprisingly clear in many places, and overall the hike up to Longfellow is worth doing just for itself, or as access to the un-named pass south into Camas Creek (near the Heaven’s Peak lookout).  Hiking from Packers to Longfellow took something like 2.5 hours.  Floating down to Mineral, including the 500 meter portage, might have taken 35 minutes.  Packrafting; not only about efficiency, but about seeing the country differently.

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