Our annual Upper Chena Paddle and Potluck will take place on Saturday May 19. This year we’ll launch at the first bridge (approx. Mile 37 Chena Hot Springs Road) and take out at the mile 31.4 river access (South Fork trailhead and near Colorado Creek trailhead).
For those in the know, 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 Cabin. However, a stalwart FP member cleaned that up this winter- thanks TP! [Note: this is tentative, as I plan to canoe this stretch before the 19th and make sure there are no serious new hazards. If there are, we'll select a different stretch. If anyone else floats it before I post a trip reminder, please let me know how it looks.]
Another difference this year is that we’ll pack our food, grill, chairs, etc into the boats and have our potluck on a “remote” gravel bar along the way. Kayakers should bring treats to reward the canoeists that will inevitably be carrying their stuff! 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. More on that later!
Meet at the First Bridge (big gravel bar on right, accessed by signed dirt road just before the bridge) at 11 am. We’ll unload gear, run a couple vehicles down to the take out, and launch by 11:30. Plan to be off the river mid to 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 and catch eddies. The Upper Chena is Class I, and woody debris in the river constitutes the main hazard.
Its not required, but I’d appreciate knowing if you plan to come. E-mail me at email@example.com or phone 457-6723.
Hope to see you on the river!