There are no people between the put-in point and the take out. We did pass a couple of trapper cabins, but there are no towns, roads, bridges, trains - any sign of civilization. Saw a few airplanes at high altitude.
By far, the easiest way to handle the trip is a commercial raft trip. They handle everything after you arrive in Juneau unil you and in Yakitat. That's all the food, boats (including the skill of river running) and the short flight from the end at Dry Bay to Yakiat. My son and I bought a raft, took some white water rafting classes, and practiced white water rafting for a couple years before going. We sold the raft when we got back. Total cost for the two of us was under $2000. Commercial trips are much more but, again, provide all you need.
The rafting was actually pretty easy. The river starts as a clear stream and grows. The only major rapid was on day 2. It is about 7-8 miles long with no way out but down river. It is class 2/3 to 6 depending on the water level. Beyond that, the only rowing we did was to kep the boat off the bank. Most of the river is flat and swift running. Silt became a problem after a few days. Coffee was gritty and washing merely replaced old dirt with new. Bets plan was to scoop up a bucket full and let the mud settle over night. Still gritty but better. The water was very cold.
Rapids were mostly quick where a creek and rocks washed in. They were usually avoidable by simply going to the far side of the river. After the Alsec River enters the Tat, the river is huge, flat and swift. The last day was spent floating with the ice bergs from the Alsec Glacier. The glacier is bout 7 miles wide and quite a sight. We stayed a couple miles away from it (they are dangerous) but could hear it cracking all night.
At one point, the river was braided. Finding a route was hard and required some back tracking and some pulling the boat over ravel bars. Not really a problem.
Camping was no problem at all. We used gravel bars that are everywhere. Next to the water, the wind kept the bugs to none. We used moth balls to keep the bears away from the food. They came into cmp at night but never bothered us or anything else. Seeing a brown bear track in the sand next to where you were sleeping that was bigger than the span of your hand was sobering. But you can camp anywhere you want and there are plenty of places. In fact, there are only a very few "formal" campsites used by commercial rafters.Again, a commerial trip is the easiest and maybe safest way to go. The commercial trips carry shotguns to ward off aggressive bears if needed. Handguns are illegal to take into Canada, but we had a .44 magnun rolled up in the raft.
This was a trip of a lifetime - one my son and I will never forget.[/font]