June Thomasson will be leading this year’s Upper Nenana River overnight trip on the “Reindeer Hills” section on June 11-12. June would welcome a co-trip leader who also knows this section of the river. Please contact June at (360) 348-0012 or jthomasson_99 at yahoo.com by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, June 8 if you’re interested in joining the trip. You must be a current club member to participate in the trip.
On the Reindeer Hills section we float the Nenana River between 18 mile Denali Highway and the “Windy Bridge” on the Parks Highway a few miles north of Cantwell. We will put-in on Saturday, June 11, spending the night on the river and taking out late Sunday afternoon. The tentative plan is to meet at 11 am at the Windy Bridge takeout and leave shuttle vehicles there. Participants may want to coordinate driving together and sharing gas costs.
The put-in is on the Denali Highway, about 18 miles east of Cantwell. The river parallels the road for a few miles, then cuts north behind the Reindeer Hills, returning to the take-out on the
Parks Highway at “Windy Bridge”. It is a fast-moving, glacial-fed river requiring maneuvering and river reading skills. This section is class 1-2. A set of rapids, perhaps a mile (or three?) long starts near where the river turns away from the Denali Highway. They are straightforward with waves up to two feet high but no large obstacles. However, there are a few large rocks near the waterline lurking near the tail end of the rapidy section so those must be watched for. There are sweepers and strainers as on most interior rivers. It is definitely a step up from the upper Chena, but not as challenging as lower sections of the Nenana. If you are comfortable on the upper Chena and are looking for a little more challenge, this may be the trip for you. It is beautiful, scenery-wise, especially after the river leaves the road and goes into the hills. We camp at one of a couple of places: there’s the Brushkasna Creek site, and there are a couple of islands and a site on
river left above Brushkasna Creek that make good campsites too. We should get off the river Sunday afternoon at around 4 or 5 p.m.
We could easily have some rain on the trip and the nights can be quite chilly, sometimes even freezing. The river water is extremely cold. A drysuit and fleece layering would be nice; rain gear and extra clothes are a must. Participants must be current members of the club. You can join online with Paypal, or we’ll have membership forms on hand for those who need them at the put-in.
Everyone should bring their own lunches. We’ll try to coordinate dinner for Saturday night. Maybe we can all bring a little something to share. Depending on group size, we may also coordinate a group breakfast.