Delta Nat'L Wsr River

Bureau of Land Management, Alaska.

"Alaska’s Upper and Lower Tangle Lakes, the Tangle River, and the upper stretch of the Delta River were all designated as part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers system by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act in 1980. Consisting of approximately 44,617 acres, spread over 62 river miles, it was designated for its recreation, scenic, fisheries, wildlife, and cultural values. The watershed originates south of the Denali Highway and drains north through the Alaska Range. It provides excellent habitat for over 100 species of migrating birds and waterfowl, migrating caribou, grayling, whitefish, lake trout, and burbot. The arctic tundra with grasses and sedges make it popular for berry picking. Fall, winter and spring visitors will often witness subsistence hunting and gathering activities. Portions of the river corridor are also located within the Tangle Lakes Archaeological District and contain hundreds of archaeological sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Use of the area for hunting, mining, and subsisting are evidenced here for the last 10,000 years. There are several ways to explore and enjoy the Delta River system. Most visitors access their adventures through the popular BLM Tangle Lakes Campground or the Delta River Wayside, which are both accessible from the Denali Highway. Canoers enjoy extended trips into remote areas of Upper Tangle Lakes, where 15 primitive campsites along tundra-covered, rolling hills offer dramatic views of the Alaska Range. Shorter excursions into both Upper and Lower Tangle Lakes provide 25 campsites, popular to fly fishermen, birders, and boaters. Experienced Canoers prefer 2- to 3-day excursions down the Delta River, which require a few hours’ paddle through Lower Tangle Lakes and navigation of a 20-mile section of the Delta River. The trip includes sections of Class I, II and III rapids; 20 primitive campsites among steep, alluvial slopes and rock cliffs of the Alaska Range; a half-mile portage around unnavigable waterfalls; and challenging paddles through sections with strong headwinds or cold, silty, glacial water. The Lower Delta River to Black Rapids Glacier and beyond is only for the experienced kayaker or whitewater rafter. With high-standing waves and glacial silt, the area is not recommended for open canoes. Black Rapids Canyon is rated Class III-IV. For specific trip Delta Wild and Scenic River trip information please consult other links provided on this web page. "


"Lower Tangle Lakes and Upper Delta River trip: Put-in is at Tangle Lakes Campground (MP 21 Denali Highway) and take out is north of Phelan Creek (MP 212 Righardson Highway). If continuing on to Lower Delta River past MP 212 of the Richardson highway there is no designated take-out point but the Richardson Highway parallels the river in numerous locations. Upper Tangle Lakes trips: Put-in is at Delta National Wild and Scenic River Wayside ( MP 21.5 Denali Highway) and take-out is via float plan from Tangle Lakes or Dickey Lake. If continuing on to Middle fork of Gulkana RIver then take-out is at Sourdough Creek Campground (MP 147.5 Richardson Highway)."