The fourth annual Packraft Roundup is set for July 5-8, 2017. This year's packraftapalooza will be set in Swan Valley, Idaho. Waterways such as South Fork of the Snake, Snake River Canyon, Salt River, McCoy Creek, Bear Creek, Palisades Creek, Pine Creek, Blackfoot River, Falls River, Henry’s Fork, Teton River, Bitch Creek, and Robinson Creek offer a wide variety of adventurous packrafting for all ability levels. Our themes for this year’s Roundup are camaraderie, safety, and conservation of wild rivers; featuring safety clinics, gear raffles, interesting presentations, a delicious BBQ, and much more.

The Roundup will be proceeded by Swiftwater Rescue Training in Jackson Hole, Wyoming on July 3rd-5th. Come join us and reunite with paddling friends from all over the world for this amazing event.

Space is limited, so SIGN UP early!


This year, we are excited to launch APA-sponsored outings with a focus on visiting special landscapes and communities that are threatened by development, climate change, or other ecological malady. After each trip, we will document what we discover and advocate for protection and action in these places. APA packrafting outings will be led by skilled volunteers around the world, and allow APA members to explore amazing landscapes with other stakeholders, writers, filmmakers, policy-makers, and partner organizations. We are incredibly lucky that APA board-member and explorer extraordinaire Forrest McCarthy will be leading the first outing in April 2017 to the San Juan River in Utah’s contested Bear’s Ears National Monument. For more info, click HERE.

The results of the U.S. elections in 2016 were a major wake up call for all who care about our wild planet. The threats to our core values have never been so immediate or explicit. The APA is committed to the coming fight for wild places, wild rivers, and wild critters. We expect intense battles over the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Bears Ears National Monument, endangered species, wild and scenic rivers in the years ahead.

Let's face it: many who enjoy wild places and wild rivers have taken a free ride, leaving the hard work of conservation to others. That free ride is over. It's time for you to fight for your playground.

Luc Mehl, 2011 Golden Paddle Award winner, has launched a campaign that challenges all of us to be directly involved in conservation. Called "Stickers for Conservation," you earn beautiful artwork stickers by donating to conservation, by calling political leaders, or by writing op-ed letters to your local paper.


Says Luc: "The Stickers for Conservation project was born out of my recognition that I need to get proactive about conserving and preserving the wild places I love. I've been taking advantage of Alaska's wild lands my whole life, but only now, confronted with the objectives of the new federal administration, am I stepping up my conservation game. I've found amazing artists and generous sponsors to cover the cost of printing stickers. Stickers are released in batches of 100, and sent to anyone that makes a claim. Claims are for things like donating to (any) conservation group, writing letters, and calling representatives."

Launched in December 2016, the campaign has already generated $13,000 in donations to conservation organizations, and prompted hundreds of phone calls and letters to policy leaders. APA is proud to be sponsor of the Stickers for Conservation campaign.

For more about the Stickers for Conservation Campaign, visit Luc's tremendous website:

APA continues to work with Dinosaur National Monument officials to revise their River Management Plan so that packrafters may be allowed to plan trips that explore the Monument’s amazing backcountry during river trips. The last review of the RMP was 30 years ago, so we hope that the lengthy and expensive process of revising the plan will begin soon. That said, Dinosaur officials have bent over backwards to accommodate packrafts under the existing RMP. Let’s all take every opportunity to thank them for these efforts, while continually reminding them of our interest in RMP revisions that allow for bimodal packrafting expeditions. READ MORE...

APA’s advocacy for river paddling in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks will continue until packrafters can legally navigate some of the parks' wilderness waterways. However, our Board of Directors unanimously decided that this is not the time to pursue a legislative solution. Many other legislative actions that conflict with our wilderness values and the best interests of packrafters are currently being considered by Congress. Inevitably, any current legislative effort on Yellowstone would become entwined with other legislation that is detrimental to wilderness, wild rivers, and opportunities to experience these places. Meanwhile, APA remains open to working with the National Park Service in the development of objective science-based backcountry and river management plans that encourage opportunities for wilderness experience while protecting the parks' unparalleled natural heritage. READ MORE...

We are working with the Coconino National Forest and local stakeholders to protect the riparian environment of Fossil Creek, Arizona, while preserving opportunities for packrafting on this unique watercourse. For APA and its members, Fossil Creek is of paramount importance as a venue for packrafting in the southwestern U.S. because of its uniquely magnificent geology and hydrology, and its rareness as a perennial navigable stream in an otherwise vast dry desert. The APA Board and staff have therefore collaborated extensively with local and regional paddlers and hikers, and American Whitewater, to carefully craft comments on the Draft CRMP. READ MORE...

Now in its 6th year, the coveted Golden Paddle Award started out as a gag gift to Roman Dial on his 50th birthday. The Paddle has made its way around the world and back, traveling to India, Tasmania, and Belgium before returning this year to its roots in Alaska. The award is intended to recognize people who have made significant contributions to packrafting. Past winners are Roman Dial, Luc Mehl, Zorba Laloo, Sheri Tingey, John McLaine, and Willem Vandoorne. 

This year the prize goes to Bretwood "Hig" Higman and Erin McKittrick of Seldovia, Alaska. This husband-and-wife team have completed some of the most remarkable packraft journeys ever launched, most notably their 4,000 mile "ground truth trek" in 2008 from Seattle to the tip of the Alaska Peninsula. Along their travels they have highlighted many of the pressing conservation issues facing wildlands in Alaska and Canada, and lately they have brought their two very young children along.


Hig and Erin have inspired many with their humble style yet audacious vision, which is apparent on their website, We are pleased to recognize their significant contributions to packrafting and the conservation of wild places by awarding them the Golden Paddle.

2011 and 2015 Golden Paddle winners Luc Mehl and Willem Vandoorne have been working hard on highly useful articles on packraft trip planning. Even seasoned adventurers will find a lot of good advice in their recent pieces. We commend and thank them for putting these together...

Data-Driven Trip Planning Workshop, by Luc Mehl

Packraft Trip Planning in Wilderness Areas, by Willem Vandoorne

Over the past few weeks, we have been busy upgrading the APA a WordPress platform, showcasing the stunning photography of Jim Harris, Zorba Laloo, Luc Mehl, Dan Ransom, Moe Witschard, and many others. We have vastly improved the "Our Work" section with thorough descriptions of APA's projects and campaigns; particularly our work on packrafting safety, Leave No Trace, aquatic invasive species, and packrafter advocacy in wildlands conservation. And our site is now smartphone compatible! Not every page is populated yet, but keep coming back as the site will continue to grow. Many thanks to APA VP Thomas Turiano for heading up this effort. Be sure to like and follow American Packrafting Association on Facebook to keep up with website update announcements and packrafting news.

The American Packrafting Association advocates for conservation and protects access to the rivers we love. The larger our membership, the stronger our voice. If you are not a member, please take two minutes of your time to join us. It is still FREE TO JOIN. And tell your friends to do the same. Join HERE.

We do need some money to continue our efforts, and welcome your support. APA is organized and recognized as a non-profit association, and donations to APA are deductible to the extent allowed by law. You can donate through PayPal on our Donate page, or by mailing a check to:

American Packrafting Association
P.O. Box 13
Wilson, WY  83014

APA has logo stickers that look great on your helmet, paddle, bumper, and coffee mug.  If you would like to get two of these stickers and support APA, put a $1 bill in a self-addressed stamped envelope and mail it to the address above.

We also now have beautiful full-color brochures that explain the mission of APA. If you would like to help us distribute these flyers, drop us a note and we will send some your way. Click HERE download a brochure.

We would like to thank our sponsors, Alpacka Raft, Alaska Kayak Academy, Hyperlite Mountain Gear, and Kokopelli Packraft for their support.

Please join us in welcoming Joseph Bell and Sarah Tingey to the APA Board of Directors! We are always looking for good people to help us run APA, so if you want to get involved please drop us a note. 

We will see you on the trails and on the water!

APA Board of Directors

Brad Meiklejohn, President, Eagle River, AK
Thomas Turiano, Vice President, Wilson, WY
Sarah Tingey, Treasurer, Mancos, CO
Moe Witschard, Bozeman, MT
Theresa Lundquist, Jackson, WY
Forrest McCarthy, Jackson, WY
David Nix, Salt Lake City, UT
Roman Dial, Anchorage, AK
Joseph Bell, Van Nuys, CA

Copyright © 2017 American Packrafting Association, All rights reserved.

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