Information About

Kelsall River

Quick Facts

Open in The Map Kelsall River on The Map


59 ° 31' 53" N,
136 ° 1' 60" W



Nearest City


Tributary to

Chilkat River


Nataga Creek, Rosaunt Creek,


5 mi (8.05 km)


138 ft (42.06 m)


Kelsall River in Detail.

Getting There

To get to the Kelsall River take the turn off from Mosquito Lake, from the Haines Highway (around mile 26). As you're heading down Mosquito Lake Rd you'll pass the school, it will be on your left. Right before the road dips down along the boat launch for the lake, there is a dirt road the breaks off up to the left. Sometimes the road looks old and abandoned. Turn there and keep going. The road follows the Chilkat River for a short period before turning up the Kelsall Valley. If you stick to the main road and stay low the road will take you right to the Kelsall River and there's even a nice foot/atv bridge that crosses the river.


Heads in glacier 5 mi. SE of Mount Kelsall in British Columbia, flows W and SE to Chilkat River, 10 mi upstream from the mouth of the Klekhini River, 3.4 mi. W of Klutshah Mtn. and 26 mi. NW to Skagway, St. Elias Mts.

The Kelsall River heads at Kelsall Lake in British Columbia. It swiftly exits the lake and begins down a narrow gorge before widening out to a swift descending mountain river. The river empties into the Chilkat River. Areas around the Kelsall River were used in the filming of Disney's "White Fang" by Jack London.

When traveling around the Kelsall be prepared for bear encounters. There have been bear attacks up around the river over the years. Both black and brown bears are abundant in the area. The Kelsall River corridor is also a popular place for local moose hunting.

Chum salmon, and sockeye salmon make it up the Kelsall River.


Naming: Named by United States and Canada in 1916 for R. Kelsall, a member of the British Columbia-Yukon boundary surveying party in 1908. The Tlingit name "Jelchhini," meaning "crow river," was published as "Jelchitni" by Aurel and Aruthur Krause (1883). The local name was reported as "Bear Creek" by C. W. Wright (1904) USGS. The name "Kelsall River" was published in 1923 on IBC Sheet 9 (1951 atlas).

Kelsall River Gallery

Pictures of, from, or near Kelsall River.