Fairbanks Paddlers

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Latest News from Fairbanks Paddlers

Hot Springs Packrafting Presentation at Silver Gulch – Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Hot Springs Packrafting Presentation at Silver Gulch – Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Join us for a presentation on Packrafting to (and from) remote Alaskan Hot Springs on Wednesday, February 22, 2023 at Silver Gulch Brewing and Bottling Company in Fox, Alaska. Our January slideshow night at Silver Gulch was a huge success with over 80 people enjoying great food and beverage, camaraderie, and excellent stories and photos by Barry Whitehill and Ron Yarnell. You’ll want to arrive early to get a good seat for Ed Plumb’s presentation. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with the presentation beginning at 7:00. A limited menu of burgers, pizzas and appetizers, as well as beverages from the bar. Food service will stop when presentations begin. The presentation is free and open to the public.

Silver Gulch is located at 2195 Old Steese Highway North in Fox, Alaska.

Packrafting to (and from) Hot Springs – Ed Plumb

Ed Plumb will share stories and images of packrafting journeys through wild country to remote hot springs. Ed’s adventures have taken him to a number of rarely visited springs, as well as some that are better known.

Presenters for our March Show

The February show was originally planned as a double feature. We are hoping that we can reschedule Ned Rozell’e planned presentation on paddling the entire length of the Tanana River for March. That third event in the slide show movie night series was originally planned for March 22, but may be changed to March 29.
We are also looking for a few presenters willing to contribute short 5-15 minute mini-presentations to share in a crowd-sourced format. Our goal is to try to highlight Alaskan paddling trips with relatively easy access for local paddlers. If you have photos or video of an Alaskan paddling trip that you would like to share, please contact us at info@fairbankspaddlers.org.

Paddling Presentation Double Feature at Silver Gulch – January 25, 2023

Paddling Presentation Double Feature at Silver Gulch – January 25, 2023

Fairbanks Paddlers Slideshow/Movie Night winter/spring series returns with a double feature at an new venue: Silver Gulch Brewing and Bottling Company in Fox, Alaska. Silver Gulch has reopened on Thursday through Sunday evenings this fall and winter. They have generously agreed to open especially for Fairbanks Paddlers on Wednesday, January 25 for our presentation. Doors will open at 5:30 pm with a limited menu of appetizers, pizza, burgers plus beverages available from the bar. Presentations will start at 7 p.m.  Come early and enjoy good food, beverages and meet up with old friends and new ones from the paddling community. The presentation is free and open to the public.

Silver Gulch is located at 2195 Old Steese Highway North in Fox, Alaska.

Trans-Okavango Delta Kayak – 2022

Ron Yarnell and Stu Pechek will give a presentation of their group’s 180-mile paddle across the Okavango delta during the summer of 2022 in northeast Botswana of southern Africa. It’s exciting paddling amid elephants, hippos and crocodiles, with lions roaring somewhere close outside your tent at night! Our adventures were not just encounters with wildlife. There were times we weren’t sure we would make it!

The Summer of 1,000 River Miles; a Bucket List Check-off

Barry Whitehill set an ambitious goal of paddling a thousand river miles in Alaska and the Yukon during the summer of 2022. Barry will share his photos, stories, and experiences of the multiple rivers he checked off of his bucket list in meeting this goal.

Upcoming Shows

We are planning on additional presentations in February and March. On February 22, we are planning another double feature at Silver Gulch with Ned Rozelle and Ed Plumb. Ned will be sharing his experience in paddling the entire length of the Tanana River, and Ed will be presenting about packrafting trips to remote hot springs.

Our March presentation is tentatively scheduled for March 22. We hope to return to the popular “crowd-sourced” format in which we feature multiple presenters with mini-slide shows or short movies. Our goal is to try to highlight Alaskan paddling trips with relatively easy access for local paddlers. If you have a short 5-15 minute presentation that you would like to share, please contact us at info@fairbankspaddlers.org.

Annual Meeting – Friday, December 2, 2022

Annual Meeting – Friday, December 2, 2022

Join us for Fairbanks Paddlers Annual Meeting on be Friday, December 2nd at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 4448 Pikes Landing Road (across from the Princess Hotel off Airport Way). The public is welcome to attend, and we encourage new members to join us.


  • 6:30     Doors open. Meet and greet old friends and new. Talk paddling trips. Help set out food.
  • 7:00     Potluck Dinner. If your name starts with a letter between A and Z bring food! A roast turkey will be provided.
  • 7:30    Short Business Meeting. We’ll review the year’s activities and elect board members.
  • 7:50    Guest Presenters: Jule Harle, Maggie Harings, and Patrick Higgins.

Presentation: Small Boats, Big Adventures: Packrafting in Alaska

This year our featured guest presentation will be by three members of the new Alaska Chapter of the American Packraft Association (APA): Jule Harle, Maggie Harings, and Patrick Higgins.

Jule Harle

Jule Harle

Jule is owner of Alaska Packraft School and author of the new, self-published Alaska Packraft Guidebook. Some of you may have met Jule at her book signing at HooDoo Brewing this summer. She began her love affair with rivers in the Southern Appalachians as a kayaker and raft guide before moving to Alaska in 2007.  She’s been guiding wilderness backpacking, rafting, sea kayaking & packrafting trips throughout AK since 2008.  Jule is  passionate about helping people explore wild places, but especially teaching river paddling, safety, skill development & helping people plan trips.  She lives in Girdwood as a yoga teacher and holistic mental health therapist in the winter, but switches to “guide/instructor mode” in the summer months, running the Alaska Packraft School. Jule also serves as Treasurer for the Alaska Chapter of APA.

Certifications & Experience: Swiftwater Rescue Technician certified, ACA L3 Whitewater Kayak Instructor, Wilderness First Responder.

Maggie Harings

Maggie Harings

Maggie is the chair for the Alaska Chapter of the APA. She studies Pacific salmon and runs a small outdoor photography business. Her love for paddling stems from countless family trips to the Boundary Waters from the age of one. These experiences paved the way for several years spent rafting big water in Idaho and the rest of the mountain west. In 2017, she made the move north to Alaska, bought a well-loved packraft, and now seeks to support those eager to enter the world of Alaska boating by providing welcoming experiences for all abilities and comfort levels on the water. Last spring, Maggie presented a popular session at our Trip Packing Workshop at Beaver Sports.

Certifications & Experience: L4 ACA Swiftwater Rescue, Outdoor Leadership certification, Wilderness First Aid.



Patrick Higgins

Patrick Higgins

Patrick works for Turnagain Kayak Adventure Center based out of Hope, Alaska in the summer and in the winter works for Alaska Pacific University and Hilltop Ski Area. Patrick’s life goals are to stay dry while living in a van down by the river! Patrick was the first to be certified by American Canoe Association (ACA) as an instructor for their newly introduced discipline of Packrafting. He was recognized as the Instructor of the Month for September 2022 by ACA. Patrick is Vice Chair for the APA Alaska Chapter.

Certifications & Experience: ACA L3 Packrafting Instructor Trainer, L4 Whitewater Kayaking Instructor Trainer, L2 Sea Kayak Instructor Trainer, L4 Swift Water Rescue Instructor, L5 Whitewater Kayaking Instructor, L4 Whitewater SUP Instructor, BCU Coach Level 1, Wilderness First Responder.

Alaska Packraft Guidebook Signings & Raffles, July 26-27, 2022

Alaska Packraft Guidebook Signings & Raffles, July 26-27, 2022

Jule Harle with Alaska Packraft School will be signing her new book, “The Alaska Packraft Guidebook: Premier Rivers & Creeks in the 49th State”  at two upcoming events:

HooDoo Brewing in Fairbanks
Tuesday, July 26 from 6-8 p.m.

Meet Jule Harle at the HooDoo Brewing Co to get a signed copy of her new Alaska Packraft Guidebook.

You can foam over the FIRST EVER packraft specific river guide while drinking delicious beer & hanging out with other river enthusiasts.  What better way to spend a Tuesday night!?  But come early, Northern Alaska Packrafts is giving away a FREE BEER TOKEN to the first 20 book customers.   Each book purchase also gets you a raffle ticket & chance to win an Alpacka Bow bag among other items.

Raffle at 7:45pm; must be present to win
Cash or check only for book purchases

New Wave Adventure Outpost in Denali
Wednesday, July 27 from 7-9 p.m.

Another gathering in Denali the following night: Guidebook Release Party at the New Wave Adventure Outpost.  Here, Jule will take some time to talk about the book: how it came to be, the entire process from trip reports to self-publishing and how to use the content to best execute your next packraft trip in AK.

About Jule Harle:

Jule has been whitewater kayaking, packrafting and rafting Alaskan rivers since moving here in 2007.  She guided multi-day wilderness backpacking, packrafting or rafting trips & instructed river safety courses throughout the state for 15 seasons before completing the guidebook & founding the Alaska Packraft School in 2022.   Out of a passion for wilderness adventure & whitewater paddling and sharing that magic with others, the school was born.  She is a certified ACA instructor in both packraft & whitewater kayak disciplines.  She serves on the boards for the ACA Safety, Education & Instruction Council’s Packrafting endorsement  the American Packrafting Association’s Alaska Chapter.   She lives in Girdwood most of the year, but escapes in the shoulder seasons to paddle warm whitewater & explore new rivers.

Piledriver Slough Float, July 21, 2022

Piledriver Slough Float, July 21, 2022

Don Pendergrast is coordinating a float on upper Piledriver Slough Thursday night, July 21, 2022.

Participants should meet at 6:00 PM at the crossing of Eielson Farm Road over Piledriver Slough. This will be the take out point. We can then set the shuttle, leaving as many cars as possible at the take out (Eielson Farm Road) and shuttling people, boats, and gear to the put in upstream.

Description of the put in: As we drive east on the Richardson Hwy with Eielson AFB on the left, you’ll see a very large hanger with a red roof. As you pass that hanger look for a gravel road on the right and take that road. Shortly you’ll come to a cross road, go left and you’ll quickly be driving along a lake on your left. Halfway down the lake is a road on the right, go right, and that road will take you to the slough. Stop, unload and get ready for the evening’s float.

But remember we’ll all meet at 6:00 PM at the take out (Eielson Farm Road and Piledriver Slough). We’ll have our canoe trailer and can carry several boats and gear and two or three passengers (if they are N95 masked).

This float will take a couple of hours, I suggest bringing a picnic dinner to eat as we float. You may want to bring something to share with others, but I don’t think given the length of the float and the 30 mile drive we will have time to barbecue after the float, and I don’t intended to bring the grill.

Here are some photos to help you find the put in and take out points. Please call, text (907-371-4868) or email (Don@alaskacanoeschool.com) Don if you plan on joining the group so he has an idea of who and how many are planning on attending.

Wednesday Night Social at Tanana Lakes – July 6, 2022

Wednesday Night Social at Tanana Lakes – July 6, 2022

We’ll have a Wednesday night pot luck social at the Pavilion at Tanana Lakes on Wednesday evening, July 6 at 6:00.

Bring something to put on the grill or share with the group. Condiments and paper plates/cups will be provided. Bring a boat and explore the lakes! Or just show up and meet folks. The pavilion is on the north shore of Cushman Lake (the big one), a little east of the swimming beach.

Prospective new members are welcome.

Wednesday Night Social at Tanana Lakes – June 8, 2022

Wednesday Night Social at Tanana Lakes – June 8, 2022

Join Fairbanks Paddlers for a pot luck social with a Dutch Oven snack at the Kiwanis Pavilion at Tanana Lakes at 7pm on Wednesday, June 8th.

Bring something to put on the grill or share with the group. You can bring a boat to paddle on the lakes, or just show up to meet folks and share your river trip plans for the summer. Prospective new members are welcome.


Chena River Clean Up – June 11, 2022

Chena River Clean Up – June 11, 2022

This year Fairbanks Paddlers club is a sponsor of the Fairbanks Stream Cleanup Day. It is June 11th, and we hope you’ll join in. Take a look at the flyer below for details.

It would be good to let us know if you are planning on joining.
RSVP both: Cynthia.nelson@alaska.gov and info@fairbankspaddlers.org

The Fairbanks Paddlers “normal section” is on the Chena between Graehl Landing and Pioneer Park. That’s what we’ll concentrate on, but we want to help wherever we’re needed. Bring your boat if you can, we’ll work out the shuttle at Lion’s Park, as you see the city and borough will provide all the cleanup supplies.

Here’s our chance to shine!

Download the Flyer as a PDF:
2022-Stream-Cleanup-Day-Flyer.pdf (643 downloads)

Alaska Canoe School – Moving and Flatwater Rescue Class. June 12, 2022

Alaska Canoe School – Moving and Flatwater Rescue Class. June 12, 2022

Alaska Canoe School is offering a Moving and Flatwater Rescue class June 12, 2022. This 8 hour course will cover rescue scenarios common on Interior Alaska lakes and rivers. You will practice rescuing yourself and others. This course should not be confused with swift water rescue; we will not be practicing in big water or rapids.
For more information go to https://alaskacanoeschool.com/courses/moving-and-flat-water-rescue-988/ or contact Don or Tracie Pendergrast.
River Trip Packing Workshop – May 12, 2022

River Trip Packing Workshop – May 12, 2022

How Should I Pack for a River Trip?

River trips as a category cover a lot of territory: from solo kayaking odysseys, to canoe tripping, to group rafting, to packraft adventures. How to pack for a river trip depends in large part on what kind of craft you’re using.

Join us on May 12 at 7pm at Beaver Sports to cover some of the fundamentals for an individual paddler or rafter: an overview of some river trip essentials, especially what type of gear is appropriate for your craft, how to distribute weight, and how to secure your gear – from packrafts and whitewater kayaks where space is a premium, to canoes and IKs, and even big rafts. Presenters will offer short demonstrations on packing different watercraft.  Each will share favorite camping, kitchen, paddling and safety equipment, as well as appropriate river wear for different rivers and trip styles. Participants can rotate between several different presentations which will be repeated.

Trying to decide what type of gear to bring for your trip? We’ll have a range of gear on display, including ultra light stoves to group camp stoves and various styles of water filters.

American Canoe Association

Join Fairbanks Paddlers

Memberships run from
April 1 through March 31

$10 Individual
$15 Household
$150 Business
$100 Lifetime

Upcoming Events

Nothing from March 20, 2023 to May 20, 2023.

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