Raft guides with McCarthy River Tours - Explore McCarthy

About Us

Your Trusted Alaska Wilderness Guides

Notable Local Outfitter Firsts by McCarthy River Tours

  • Outfitting ALL of our guests with the proper safety equipment
  • Drysuits
  • Helmets
  • Type V Highfloat PFDs
  • Guides certified in Swiftwater Rescue
  • First McCarthy Rafting company to offer trips on the Tana River. (And our track record out there is incomparable)
  • Plunging from an Iceberg into a Glacial Lake (Drysuits!)
  • Sourcing foods from Alaska producers

Our Mission

To offer the best in the industry Rafting and Adventure trips by concentrating on guest experience, high-quality equipment, local history, locally sourced foods, and materials, and focus on the Alaskan Wilderness Experience.

Our Core Values

  • Our guests are at the core of everything we do.
  • Safety, Comfort & Adventure.
  • We are dedicated to the Alaskan Wilderness Experience.
  • We are certified and adhere to Leave No Trace ethics.
  • Supporting our local Alaska communities by buying local and volunteering.

Our Promise to Our Guests

To provide you with an Authentic, Knowledgeable, Safety Oriented, Immersive adventure experience on your Alaska Vacation.

Sunset over the Chitina River - Explore McCarthy

McCarthy River Tours was founded in 2010 in the spirit of exploring the great rivers of Wrangell St. Elias National Park.

Our Founder, Nik Merlino, first came to the Kennecott Valley in 1990, when he was ten years old. Over the years he has hiked, rafted, explored, worked for other local businesses, saved his money, and set out to create a rafting company that would provide you with an unforgettable Alaskan experience. Unlike other companies that provide a “cookie-cutter” vacation, McCarthy River Tours believes that smaller is better! With smaller guide-to-client ratios, customized multi-day menus, and trip itineraries for our guests, we want you to feel immersed not just in the sheer beauty of the Alaskan wilderness, but in Alaskan culture as well.


Why Drysuits?

We raft rivers that originate from glaciers, often frozen as ice not 48 hours before we raft on them, the temperature of the water can hover in the mid-30s. A dry suit not only supplies a much-needed barrier from the cold water in an emergency situation, but it turns an average day on the river from avoiding every possible splash that might run down the front of your rain gear into a day cooling off in the big waves on a hot day and keeping warm while your insulating layers are safely dry on a rainy day.

How is Multi-Day Food?

We know that food is important. It is the fuel that keeps your furnace going, it helps create the internal heat that keeps you warm on a cold day, and it gives you the extra energy to be able to paddle through the next set of rapids! As you can see, we take our river food seriously! On our multi-day raft trips, you can expect to be blown away by culinary masterpieces in a wilderness setting. Grilled Salmon, fresh-baked brownies, eggs benedict, Reindeer sausage, grilled pizza(!), and so much more awaits the hungry paddler at camp!

We do not use freeze-dried food, just because you are in the wilderness, does not mean that you have to eat a backpacker’s meal! We have forged relationships with local & statewide farmers to be able to supply our trips with a myriad of locally produced meats and vegetables.

Want to Know More About Our Guides?

Check out our Guide Bio Page!

What’s Next?

Have Questions?

No Problem! Give us a call or send us a message, we are happy to help with any questions!

Thank you for your interest in Alaska Adventure & McCarthy River Tours, we appreciate the opportunity to be a part of your Alaska Adventure!
We look forward to boating with you soon!

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