Doubtful River (II) from Doubtless Hut


One of a series of ‘teaser’ trip pages for those heading to the 2017 NZ Packrafting Meetup. Thanks to Hugh Canard for the information. I’m hopeful that the Meetup will result in a little more info plus a few photos so we can expand these pages.

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Doubtful River (II?)
So far, we’re unaware of anyone having paddled this river, so the class is an educated guess.

You could either walk in directly from the Boyle Village via the Tui track (1h30mins to the Doubtful), or begin walking in from just downstream of the Boyle confluence on the Doubtful Valley track.

Its about 2 hours to Doubtful Hut (2 bunks) and a further 1hr 30mins to Doubtless Hut (6 bunks).

Looking on the map, it would appear that the logical place to start padding would be at the confluence of the Doubtless and Doubtful Rivers. Its likely that this trip would need a bit of rain to bring it into condition. There appears to be a short gorge section just below Doubtful Hut, although Google imagery suggests that it doesn’t look too gnarly. The track is marked as closely following the river, so could be used as an escape or to scout that section on the way in.

Visual. Likely to need a bit of rain to bring it into condition.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Kate lord says:

    Colin Kinnison and Kate Lord did this trip a couple of months ago- photos to come soon!

    After leaving SH7 (Lewis Pass road) and fording the Boyle River continue up the valley. The trail follows the river up the valley allowing for scouting of rapids. The trail has washed away at some points making for some fun scrambling. After 2 hours walking you reach Doubtful Hut. There are many lovely DOC huts but this is not one of them. It is a decrepit, leaky hut with bonus mice. It would be suggestible to either bring you tent or to walk another 2hrs up the valley to the cute and dry Doubtless Hut. We find that we walk normally to DOC suggested times but found this walk to take us 1.5 hours longer to reach Doubtless Hut.

    We originally planned on packrafting out from Doubtless hut. After we had inflated and started down the river we realised that this was not going to be possible due to the lack of water. This lead to an extended hike a raft on a leash period. In retrospect we concluded that starting from the confluence of Devilskin Stream provided the best paddle/water/walk ratio. From the confluence of Devilskin stream the river consist of mainly grade 1-2+ rapids. These can all be scouted from the banks and portaged if required. This appears to be a river that would allow for some great paddling with slightly more water than what found it with- 0.64 at the Hope River at Glen Wye.

    Overall it had some nice paddling, with some enjoyable scenery does not appear to live up to standards set by some of the neighbouring valleys

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