Fairbanks Paddlers

Fairbanks Paddlers

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Latest News from Fairbanks Paddlers

Arctic Refuge Visitor Survey

Have you done a trip in the Arctic Refuge this summer, or do you still have a trip planned?  If so, you should participate in the Fish & Wildlife Service survey of Refuge visitors. The poster below tells why it is important for you to make your preferences known.  To participate in the survey, contact the Arctic Refuge at 1-800-362-4546 or email roger_kaye@fws.gov.

2016 recreation users poster W

Six Mile Creek Whitewater & Bluegrass Festival – August 13, 2016

Six Mile Creek Whitewater & Bluegrass Festival – August 13, 2016

The 9th Annual Six Mile Creek Whitewater and Bluegrass Festival will be held Saturday, August 13th, 2016.

The purpose of the Six Mile Creek Whitewater and Bluegrass Festival is to bring the whitewater paddling community, the music and arts community, and the general public together to share a unique weekend of athletics, entertainment, the human connection and nature on the beautiful shores of Six Mile Creek.

Come experience the hardcore CHAOS of paddlers mass-start sprint racing through a narrow, whitewater canyon… guaranteed ear-to-ear grins! While you’re at it, come boogie on the shores of the river on Saturday night to some incredible, boot-stompin’ live music! EVERYTHING (live music, competition entry, festival entry, camping, parking) is FREE!!!!! As always, there will be a raffle for some sweet prizes, an awards ceremony for the races, live music, and a fire show once the sun goes down!


SATURDAY, AUGUST 13th, 2016:

11:00 am : all competitors/racers need to walk down to the main festival tent/dome on the shore of the river, grab a racing bib and sign your name, Bib number, and phone number on the sign up sheet. PLEASE return bibs to the main stage tent immediately after the races!

12:30 pm: racers and spectators leave main festival grounds at Boston Bar area and carpool/drive back north to the 1st canyon extreme race series site (5 minutes back towards Anchorage from the main festival site, about 1 mile north of the Seward Highway bridge over Canyon Creek, just before the Hope cut-off road… look for lots of parked cars off the side of the highway at 1:00pm.

1:00 pm – 1:30 pm : Downriver mass-start extreme race through the 3 biggest rapids of the 1st canyon (KAYAK, canoe, inflatable kayak)

2:00 pm: PACK RAFT mass-start extreme race through the 3 biggest rapids of the 1st canyon (pack rafts only)

2:30 pm: INFLATABLE POOL-TOY extreme mass-start race (inflatable pool-toy race…ride an alligator, shark, couch, whatever you want!… (normal whitewater gear is required (aka: drysuit, life jacket, helmet))… pack rafts don’t count as an inflatable pool-toy:^

4:00 pm: everyone drives back to main festival area, awards ceremony, bonfire party, & live music begins. AWARDS will be around 7:00pm!

MUSIC Schedule:

SATURDAY, AUGUST 13th, 2016 at the main festival grounds:

  • 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm: Squeeze Mama
  • 7:15 pm – 8:15 pm : The Goddamn Ranch Hand Band
  • 8:30 pm – 9:30 pm : Quela Narguela & the Rowdy Rutabagas
  • 9:45 pm – 11:30 pm : The Shoot Dangs
  • 11:45 pm – 1-ish am : Orion Donict (prepare to dance your faces off)


Share the event on Facebook and invite your friends at: https://www.facebook.com/events/629941750503852/

*** THERE WILL NOT be any food vendors this year or beer garden! Bring food/beer for yourself so you don’t get hungry/thirsty! This is a completely self-reliant festival ***

DIRECTIONS: Drive 1 hour south of Anchorage on the Seward Highway towards the town of Hope. Main festival grounds are located at mile 3.4 of Hope Road. Look for festival signs.

PARKING: You can park off the shoulder of the road, but DO NOT park over the white lines or you will be towed. Don’t block anyone in and make sure sure sure your car is completely off the road. They are very serious about towing, so please spread the word!!! Please be respectful and don’t park on anyone’s private property! Be creative and use your common sense.
*** there is a good chance that you might have to drop camping gear off at the festival area, and go drive your car down the road a ways and find a shoulder big enough to pull off over the white line. There is another large camping area around mile marker 1.

CAMPING: * Free camping! around the main festival grounds, no room for RV’s at the main festival area though, tent camping only. There are plenty of free camping areas along the road to Hope, just be creative. There’s a large field, so just find a spot to nestle into, it’s a beautiful camping area! There is also an official campground about 10 miles down the road past the town of Hope. Once again, be creative and use your common sense.

  • PLEASE PACK OUT YOUR OWN TRASH!!!! It would be awesome to have everyone’s help on Sunday morning cleaning up the area… the Chugach National Forest rangers will be assessing the area after the festival and it needs to be BETTER than it was before the festival to have the festival next year… I need everyone’s participation to do this (pick up any trash/paper, fluff up the grass where your tent was, pick up any left-over food on the ground, etc)

** If you get to the main festival grounds at 1:00pm on Saturday and wonder where folks are at… YOU’RE MISSING THE HIGHLIGHT OF THE FESTIVAL!!!!… the extreme, mass-start sprint races 5 minutes back up the road!! (look for lots of parked cars off the Seward Hwy about a mile north of the Hope Road junction).

DIRECTIONS to the extreme race area mentioned above: *Competitors & spectators will leave the main festival grounds & drive up the road to the 1st canyon race area just off the Seward Highway about 1 mile north of the Canyon Creek bridge overpass on Saturday at 1:00p.m. sharp…*** you’ll notice people leaving the main festival area, just use your intuition and follow them***

  • If you want to volunteer, all you have to do is contribute somehow. I need volunteers to
  • make a fire pit/collect firewood
  • pick up trash and bring it to town/the Hope dump on Sunday morning
  • help break down the main stage on Sunday morning
  • help pack up Sunday morning
  • help direct people towards parking
  • river safety/rescue racers by boat/throwbag
    -etc etc etc

IF YOU WANT TO VOLUNTEER, please contact Tim Johnson at kayaker35@hotmail.com or just help at the festival when it looks like help is needed.

Competitors If you want to compete in the river races, you must have a proper life jacket and helmet… a drysuit is highly recommended because there are usually swimmers involved.

Chena River Cleanup 2016 – Summary

Chena Cleanup Crew 2016

Cleanup Crew and the results of their labors, Pioneer Park, 11 May 2016

Thanks to all of you who came out on the evening of May 11 to clean up the Chena River through town. About 20 people came out and together we pulled about 700 pounds of trash out of the river between Graehl Landing and Pioneer Park. This has been duly reported to American Rivers, which has been sponsoring river cleanups throughout the country and keeping track of the results. We are also recognized by the Tanana Valley Watershed Association for our commitment to keeping the banks of the Chena River cleaned up. Thanks again to everyone who came out.

truck and trash

Larry Fogleson’s truck with about half (the weightier half) of the take

Boat with Trash

Jason Fails with a well-loaded boat.

Canoe and Kayak Instructor Certification Courses

Canoe and Kayak Instructor Certification Courses

This June, the Fairbanks Paddlers club is hosting two Instructor Certification Workshops (ICW)  in the Fairbanks area.


Questions? PLEASE CONTACT MARY PAGEL – (907)987-6878 northernbluegrass57@gmail.com

Register for American Canoe Association ACA Instructor Certification Workshops (ICW):

The club’s purposes include encouraging water safety on rivers and lakes through training and instruction, and encouraging boaters to progress in their skill level and helping others to progress.  To further these goals, we have scheduled expert instructors to teach two  American Canoe Association ACA Instructor Certification Workshops (ICW).


Barb Cutter

Barb Cutter of Cutter Aquatics will be the Instructor Trainer. She will be assisted in the Canoe course by Don and Tracie Pendergrast.

Course Descriptions

Essentials of River Canoeing (ERC) read more…

Upper Nenana River / Reindeer Hills – June 11-12, 2016

Upper Nenana River / Reindeer Hills – June 11-12, 2016

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.


read more…

Just for Fun!


The latest Bubblestreet comic stripThe weekly Bubble Street Cartoon, by Paul Mason



Canoe Lessons Return to Fairbanks

The Fairbanks Paddlers have long wanted to stimulate paddle sports in the Interior. One way to do that is to teach people the skills to make them safe paddlers and to be comfortable on our waters; canoe instruction is now available.


Club members Tracie and Don Pendergrast (business membership) are now certified American Canoe Association canoe instructors and will offer five courses this summer. They are also working with Fairbanks Paddlers to train more certified instructors in the Fairbanks area.

read more…

Epic: Kayak Ultimate Open House – May 30

What happens when you combine two great sports, kayaking and ultimate frisbee?  You get Epic: Kayak Ultimate.


Epic Kayak Ultimate is having an Open House at Tanana Lakes paddle boat launch on Memorial Day, May 30 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.  You can learn to paddle, learn the basics of Epic, play in a casual game, and have a hot dog. All required equipment will be available to use, and the event is free.

Epic Kayak Ultimate is a high-intensity water sport, melding the skill and teamwork of Ultimate with the challenge of paddling. Invented in North Pole, Alaska by a small group of friends, it has grown over the years to expand to three states and hundreds of players. Now, Epic has grown to include competitive League action during the summer months in the Fairbanks area.

The sport is open to paddlers of all abilities.  Epic Leisure games are held Monday and Thursday nights at 7 p.m. Epic Kayak Ultimate League games are Wednesdays at 7 p.m. from June through mid August.

You can bring your own boat and gear, or use theirs.

Learn more on the website EpicKayakUltimate.org, on their Facebook Page, or email epickayakultimate@gmail.com.

Boat Swap at Beaver Sports – May 14

Boat Swap at Beaver Sports – May 14

Find a great deal on used boats or paddling gear, or sell the boats you haven’t paddled for a while!

Fairbanks Paddlers will be working with Beaver Sports to host a Boat Swap on May 14, 2016 under the awning outside the Beaver Sports Boat Shop on 3480 College Road.

  • 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. – Bring your non-motorized boats and paddling gear to sell
  • 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Find bargains on “new to you” boats and paddlesports gear
  • 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. – Find out if your gear sold and pick up your unsold items.

15% of sales will be donated to Fairbanks Paddlers. Please price your items accordingly.

If you are a Fairbanks Paddlers member and would like to volunteer to help, please contact John Schauer at (907)460-6290

Other questions? Please contact Fairbanks Paddlers at info@fairbankspaddlers.org

Chena River Cleanup – May 11, 2016

Chena River Cleanup – May 11, 2016

The Paddlers’ annual cleanup of the Chena River through town is scheduled for Wednesday, May 11 this year. This will also be the first of the Wednesday evening float trips for the summer. ( We are still looking for someone to coordinate Wednesday evening floats on the Chena). 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 at alanbatten@acsalaska.net, or at 488-3205.

Join Fairbanks Paddlers

Memberships run from
April 1 through March 31

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

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Upcoming Events

April 24, 2017
  • Boating night at Hamme Pool

    April 24, 2017 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
    Hamme Pool, 901 Airport Way, Fairbanks, AK 99701, USA
    See more details

April 29, 2017
  • Delta-Clearwater overnight trip

    April 29, 2017 @ 11:00 am - April 30, 2017 6:00 pm

    See more details

April 30, 2017
  • Delta-Clearwater day trip

    April 30, 2017 @ 10:00 am - 6:00 pm

    See more details

May 1, 2017
  • Boating night at Hamme Pool

    May 1, 2017 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
    Hamme Pool, 901 Airport Way, Fairbanks, AK 99701, USA
    See more details

May 4, 2017
  • Second Annual Reel Paddling Film Festival

    May 4, 2017 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
    University of Alaska Fairbanks, Schaible Auditorium
    See more details

May 6, 2017
  • Upper Chena Paddle and Potluck

    May 6, 2017 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

    See more details

May 8, 2017
  • Boating night at Hamme Pool

    May 8, 2017 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
    Hamme Pool, 901 Airport Way, Fairbanks, AK 99701, USA
    See more details

May 10, 2017
  • Chena River Cleanup

    May 10, 2017 @ 6:00 pm - 9:30 pm
    Graehl Park, Front St, Fairbanks, AK 99701, USA
    See more details

May 15, 2017
  • Boating night at Hamme Pool

    May 15, 2017 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
    Hamme Pool, 901 Airport Way, Fairbanks, AK 99701, USA
    See more details

May 20, 2017
  • Spring Boat Swap

    May 20, 2017 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
    Beaver Sports, 3480 College Rd, Fairbanks, AK 99709, USA
    See more details

June 10, 2017
  • Family Day on the Water

    June 10, 2017 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am
    Tanana Lakes Recreation Area, South Cushman St. Exd, Fairbanks, AK, United States
    See more details

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