The Nenana River Festival is the longest running annual river festival in Alaska. The event has been rescheduled to August 1-2 from its original dates in July.
The 2014 River Fest kicks off with a barbecue at Denali Outdoor Center on Friday evening, August 1st.
The downriver race from Jonesville Bridge to Twin Rocks starts on Saturday, August 2nd at noon. Racers can sign up at Kingfisher Creek before the race on Saturday. The wildwater race will be followed by a boatercross and rodeo. After party at the 49th state brewery!
The Nenana River Wildwater Festival is always a great time to get together with boaters from across the state and to paddle the big water Nenana rapids.
See the event page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/674850055927694/
The 2014 Willow Creek Whitewater Festival will be held Saturday, May 31 and Sunday June 1.
Day One Events: Saturday
9:00 Sign up for Boatercross Race at SSK, start in order of sign up.
11:30 Sign up ends, Mandatory Boaters Meeting.
12:00 Everyone head to Redgate in shuttle trucks.
12:30 Boatercross race starts - K1, PR/IK.
After the Boatercross Race will be the Redgate Downriver Race to Shirley Towne, with a mass start by class.
Awards ceremony and party will be at Susitna Sled and Kayak following the races.
Day Two Events: Sunday
9:00 Sign Up for Rodeo - Start in order of sign up.
11:00 Sign up ends, set shuttle and work your way to Three Knuckle Rock playwave.
1:00 Rodeo starts
3:00 Meet at Susitna Sled and Kayak for Awards Ceremony.
Free Camping at Susitna Sled and Kayak Friday and Saturday night.
Groups of four charge down the first rapid of Redgate or five fingers plus the first drop on Redgate. First two advance to next round.
Red Gate Down River Race :
Mass start,pack raft/IK first, then Intermediate/advanced K1, then expert K1. First across the finish line in each class wins.
Throw down at Three Knuckle Rock, Peer vote detirmines win.
Entry Fee: $15 per Person: Gets you into all four events
Red Gate Downriver:
Volunteers are needed for timers, judges, shuttle drivers, and safety boaters.
Contact James or Deb at Susitna Sled and Kayak @ 495-1505 for more details.
If anyone from Fairbanks will be going, please contact John Schauer ( 457-3962 or 460-6290 ) about taking the Fairbanks Paddlers’ bibs to the event.
The weekly Bubble Street Cartoon, by Paul Mason
We’re continuing our traditional Wednesday night floats down the Chena River through town this summer. We’ll meet at 6:00 at Graehl Landing (just upstream from the Wendell Avenue bridge, but don’t forget that the bridge is closed this week), move as many vehicles as possible down to the take-out at Pioneer Park (just upstream from the Peger Road bridge), and launch promptly from Graehl at 6:30. You’ll need a craft to paddle, a life jacket and probably some spare clothes in a dry bag.
At Pioneer Park we can relax and have a picnic. I’ll have the club barbeque and will bring condiments, paper plates, plastic flatware and some sort of basic food. Everyone else can bring more food, or not. There is usually plenty.
Paddlers on the Chena River
Thanks to all who came out for the Chena River cleanup on Wednesday. We had a good turnout with 22 people in 12 boats. It was a lovely evening: calm, sunny and warm. We removed 440 pounds of trash from the riverbank. Royce’s crew on the raft retrieved several weighty items, including a 6-foot pipe anchored in a chunk of concrete, that drove the total way up (last year we worked hard and had 180 pounds). More trash will inevitably appear as the summer progresses, so we should try to remove whatever we can on Wednesday night floats throughout the summer.
We’ll register the results at the National River Cleanup website as soon as they get set up for receiving that information.
Thanks again to all who came out!
Chena River Cleanup 2014 crew and results
Our annual Upper Chena Paddle and Potluck will take place on Saturday May 17. This year we’ll launch at the first bridge (approximately Mile 37 Chena Hot Springs Road) and take out at the mile 31.4 river access (the Nugget Creek winter trailhead). This section has been challenging in recent years due to a new log-infested channel just upstream of the takeout in the vicinity of the Chena River Public Use Cabin. There is a particularly dangerous set of logs extending 3/4 of the way across the channel at the downstream end of this section. We’ll show you where it is. Depending on water level there may be a sneak around it down a narrow channel on river left.
This year we’ll pack our food, grill, tables chairs, etc into the boats and have our potluck on a “remote” gravel bar along the way. We hope there will be enough canoes to help carry stuff for the kayakers. The trip will occur rain or shine; we will have the club BAT (big a** tarp) in case of the former.
There may also be a short and entertaining safety demo at lunch time.
Meet at the First Bridge (big gravel bar downstream from the bridge, accessed by signed dirt road on the right just before the bridge, then left at the fork out to the gravel bar) at 10 am. We’ll unload gear, run a couple vehicles down to the take out, and launch by 10:30. Plan to be off the river by late afternoon. It takes about an hour to get to
the first bridge from downtown Fairbanks.
To come on this trip, you will need to be a current FP member (we’ll have membership applications/renewals with us), wear a PFD, carry spare clothes and rain gear, and be at least an advanced beginner paddler with experience in swift water and the ability to confidently maneuver a boat to avoid sweepers and strainers. The Upper Chena is Class I, and woody debris in the river constitutes the main hazard.
It’s not required, but I’d appreciate knowing if you plan to come. E-mail me or phone 488-3205.
Hope to see you on the river!
Upper Chena Paddle and Potluck, 2010
The Paddlers’ annual cleanup of the Chena River through town is scheduled for Wednesday, May 14 this year. This will also be the first of the Wednesday evening float trips for the summer. We will meet at Graehl Landing (just upstream from the Wendell Street bridge) at 6:00 p.m., set shuttle to the Pioneer Park landing at Peger Road, and plan on launching from Graehl promptly at 6:30. Once on the water people travel more or less at their own pace, stopping to pick up trash on the riverbanks. Usually, everybody is out of the water by 9:00 or 10:00.
Cleaning up the Chena River is one of the contributions our club makes to the community of Fairbanks, and is also a commitment we have made to the Adopt-a-Stream program of the Tanana Valley Watershed Association. For this activity we are recognized by two nice signs placed by the TVWA near the river at Graehl and Pioneer Park. Our cleanup is also registered with the American Rivers National River Cleanup campaign.
Trash bags will be provided. Participants should bring mud boots, raincoat, gloves, warm clothes, extra clothes, mosquito repellent, drinking water and something to snack on as well as some sort of craft to paddle. Don’t forget your life-jacket!
We will attempt to separate out clean aluminum in separate bags for recycling. We need to take the trash directly to the dump (as opposed to sticking it in dumpsters) so that the Borough can keep track of the volunteer cleanup effort and so that we can report our haul to American Rivers. My truck will be available for stuffing full of trash at the take-out.
For more information contact Alan Batten, or at 488-3205.
Chena River Cleanup Crew and Results, 2013
It’s time to renew your membership or join Fairbanks Paddlers for the first time. Memberships go from April 1 through March 31 of each year. Individual memberships are $10 per year, and household memberships are $15. You can fill out the online membership form, or print a membership form and mail it or bring it to an activity.
The club is still working on its 2014 trip schedule. We would love to have some members step up and lead some new trips.
The club also has a variety of equipment available for club members to use on river trips. These include a rescue beacon, large river tarp, toilet systems, a canoe trailer, a grill, event bibs, slalom gates, and a first aid kit (for club-sponsored trips).
Membership Form (1094)
A one-credit Introduction to Whitewater Kayaking class will be offered this summer through the UAF Outdoor Adventures program and UAF Community and Technical College’s Recreation department. The course will be taught by Fairbanks Paddler’s member John Schauer.
Kayaking: Whitewater: RECR F140Y T01- 1 Credit Field Fee – $254
An introduction to whitewater kayaking. Topics will include equipment selection, safety considerations and hazard assessment, introduction to group and river running, eddy turns, scouting, river running, ferrying, trip planning considerations.
Summer 2014 Schedule
- June 24: Classroom and Pool Session – Kayak outfitting and safety basics – Basic paddling and maneuvering skills
- June 26: Chena Lakes – Flatwater paddling skill demonstration and rescue practice
- June 28-29: Upper Chena Overnight– Paddling and rescue techniques on moving flatwater, eddy turns and ferrying
- July 1-2: Swiftwater/Whitewater Paddling Trip– (River location TBD based on water levels and group readiness)
Most equipment is provided through the Outdoor Adventures program. Participants wishing to use their own boats and gear need to have it inspected and approved before the start of the class.
For more information please contact Outdoor Adventures at (907) 474-6027
Spring is here and it is time to start paddling. The Fairbanks Paddlers day trip on the Delta-Clearwater will be held on Saturday, May 3, 2014.
Please contact June Thomasson, jmthomasson [at] alaska.edu (479-2434) if you plan to participate or if you have questions.
If you are not a current member of Fairbanks Paddlers or need to renew your membership, you can renew your membership online, download a membership form from the website, and either send in your completed form and fee ($10 individual or $15 family) or bring these to June at the trip. Membership forms will also be available at the put-in.
This is a flat-water trip that moves from the crystal clear Delta Clearwater River onto a slough of the Tanana then a short paddle up a creek to Clearwater Lake and across the lake to the take-out. From the Clearwater State Recreation Site to Clearwater Lake is about 12 miles and takes 4-8 hours depending on the wind direction and water conditions. Occasionally, depending on water level, the initial turn up the creek requires some strategy but there will be many of us there to help if this area creates any obstacle. A map and further river information is available at the parks and rec web site: Alaska State Parks Float Guide. It includes a link to a map.
What to bring:
Canoes and kayaks are the most common boats on this trip; going up the creek with a raft could be challenging. All participants should bring and wear a personal flotation device (life jacket). Migrating ducks, geese and swans commonly make the lake their first stop in the interior, so bring your binoculars. Bring a dry change of clothes in a water proof bag and a variety of layers so you are prepared for the temperature, which can be distinctly cooler or warmer than Fairbanks. Also bring lunch and drinks so you are properly fueled. We will stop for lunch on a gravel bar.
The day trip is an all day affair. We will be on the river about 6 hours.
Here are directions provided by Brad Snow some years ago:
Drive S on Richardson Hwy. from North Pole Badger Road (McDonalds) 72.75 mi to Tanana River Bridge at Big Delta. Continue 6.75mi S on Richardson to L on Jack Warren 4.55mi to L on Tripple H Rd. .75mi to R on Clearwater Lake Rd. .18mi to L into Clearwater Lake public parking.
Retrace to L 1.4mi on Jack Warren to R on Aspen .44mi to LR jog to .58mi on Souhrada Rd. to L 3.2mi on Remington Rd. to L into Clearwater State Rec. Site. Follow the signs to the boat putin.
For geeks (all coordinates in WGS84 format):
Putin: N64 3.445′ W145 26.503′
Takeout: N64 4.926′ W145 35.378′
Clearwater Lake Turnoff from the Tanana River: N64 6.285′ W145 35.201
(These coordinates were taken from DeLorme Topo USA and may be 10-80′ off)