Ari and Mel Stiassny of Chugach Adventures

Chugach Story

Chugach Adventures (formerly known as Chugach Adventure Guides and Class V Whitewater) was founded by Mike Overcast and  Olympic gold medalist Tommy Moe in 1992, operating Whitewater Rafting  trips on Six Mile creek.  The company explored & pioneered the Spencer Glacier area in 2000 and partnered with the AK Railroad starting in 2001 to offer trips via the Glacier Discovery Train to Spencer Glacier.

Long-time Chugach guides and Girdwood locals, Melanee & Ari Stiassny, purchased the rafting business in the fall 2012 from Chugach Powder Guides.

Melanee & Ari Stiassny share a passion for Alaskan adventure with their three kids:  Mia (11), Col (8), & Taz (4). They have grown Chugach Adventures into Southcentral’s premier Summer Adventure Travel option within 7 years of owning & operating Chugach.   Ari & Melanee have expanded from a primarily Rafting centric company, into a multitude of options including Kayaking, Overnight Camping, Glacier Trekking, Glacier Salmon Bakes, and Heli Hiking Options .

Our Local Vision

We believe strongly in sharing our local stories and firsthand experiences of what we have seen and witnessed as our Glaciers change &  recede.  Chugach Adventures is one of the only guide service companies in Alaska with a local hire policy and we hold a firm belief that staying local and hiring local enable us to have the best guides & give the best quality to our guests.  Our long tenured guides have been with us since we started in 2013 and the level & service that these professional guides sets the gold standard.  If you are fortunate to spend a day with Illiya Pekich, Corey Anderson, Brooke Edwards, Erin Henszey,Emily Decker  and our other up & coming guides, than I know you will understand the passion which they share.

We are committed to finding ways to protect our environment and aim to share our knowledge to our guests.  We were awarded the AGA – Adventure Green Alaska – certification in 2014 and have continually year to year strive to become more sustainable each & every year.

We strongly believe in staying Local, hiring Local, raising our family in the Chugach, and sharing Girdwood & the Chugach To adventures from around the world.




Our Season

Our season starts in mid-May and runs through mid-September. These target dates generally shift from year to year depending on weather and river flow. Occasionally we have to push our start date back, due to the presence of deep snow. Please contact the office at 907-783-1860 to inquire about mid-May bookings.

Spencer Tour runs:  May 23, 2020 to September 16, 2020.



The rivers run by Chugach Adventure Guides are generally fed by melt water from deep winter snowpack and from high alpine glaciers. While making for great flow and an excellent river experience, this also makes for extremely cold waters. With this in mind, you will be provided with all necessary equipment to make your trip enjoyable and safe, but an extra pair of wool socks is always advised.

Contact Us Today

Call: (907) 783-1860


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