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The easiest put in is underneath Highway 1 at the Placer River bridge. From this primitive (gravel) boat launch you can turn south and paddle upstream into the Placer River delta. The river abounds with fish, waterfowl, and moose, and though I've never seen old Ursus Horrilibus here, his tracks are all over both banks so you might want to bring some bear spray (or something stronger?).
Anyway, as you proceed upstream you will go through a variety of terrain. Most of it is smooth and easy to paddle against the current. There are however, some stretches where you must get out and portage over a steeper area. These are few and easy to get around though.
It’s about a two to three mile deep delta, which you can traverse any way, so long as you keep heading upstream. As you get further upstream you will notice the geology gradually changes from Turnagain Arm mud to stony glacial sediment. Eventually you will clear the delta and come to the main channel of the Placer River.
If you're not at muscle failure yet you can continue on up to Luebner Lake (a lake formed by the pooling of the glacier melt) or all the way to Spenard Glacier (this will require significant portaging though). If not then just turn your boat around and enjoy cruising at 6-10 mph back to the bridge where you put in.
This trip is an outstanding workout, and the only way to view the very scenic Placer River Valley without paying.
Just a warning......unless you are looking for a creative suicide method, do not, do not paddle under the Placer River Bridge and out into the Turnagain Arm. With its massive tidal flux, huge bore tides, and quicksand like mud, the Turnagain Arm is not for the kayaker with hopes of returning without a cost guard rescue chopper.
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