Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve
Eagle itself is pretty far out there, but if you really want to disappear, you can explore Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve. This huge 2.5-million-acre park is primitive, with virtually no facilities or established transportation and only a skeleton Park Service staff. The park protects 115 miles of the Yukon River and the entire Charley River basin.
The park’s Visitors Center (1st Ave. and Fort Egbert Ave., Eagle, 907/547-2233, www.nps.gov/yuch, daily 8 a.m.–5 p.m. mid-May–early Sept.) has a selection of books and maps on the preserve, and the staff will plug in a video on request and can provide advice for those contemplating a trip.
Most park visitors float the Yukon by raft, kayak, or canoe, starting in Eagle (on the eastern margin) and taking out in Circle (on the western edge of the park). The float takes 5–10 days. Within the park are four public-use cabins available on a first-come, no-cost basis.
You can also charter a bush plane to drop you and a kayak or raft way up around the Charley headwaters and float down to the Yukon. You must be highly experienced, entirely self-sufficient, and have at least a tolerance for, if not a love of, mosquitoes. Check in at headquarters for advice and conditions, and to leave your intended itinerary.
© Don Pitcher from Moon Alaska, 10th Edition