Fairbanks Paddlers

Dedicated to having fun and being safe on Alaska's waters

Latest News from Fairbanks Paddlers

Piledriver Slough Membership Float – May 22, 2021

Piledriver Slough Membership Float – May 22, 2021

(note: Updated original map to show correct put-in and takeout – 5/20/21 9:30am)

Meet  at 10 AM at the take-out at Eielson Farm Road and Piledriver Slough.  Directions, head out the Richardson Highway, cross the Chena Flood Control, pass the Moose Creek Bluff, and on the right (south) side take Eielson Farm Road.  You’ll find two parking lots at Piledriver Slough.  Meet at 10 AM, we’ll leave many cars and bikes there, load boats and gear onto trailers, and shuttle to the put in, which is 6 bike miles away.

Shuttles: Fully vaccinated people can shuttle no problem.  For those who are not fully vaccinated, you need to work out your shuttle ahead of time, or plan on a bicycle shuttle.

There will be a pre-trip Zoom meeting on Wednesday evening at 7pm just before our scheduled board meeting. Please attend if possible.

Fairbanks Paddlers Piledriver Slough Trip Meeting followed by board meeting link:
Time: May 19, 2021 07:00 PM Alaska

Meeting ID: 977 0980 8243
Passcode: 151130

The Put In:  Continuing southeast on the Richardson you’ll notice a dirt road almost opposite the Eielson AFB Control Tower.  Turn right on it and follow it to its end, there is a small amount of parking there, with a trail down to the water.

We hope to be on the water by 11 AM, paddle a short distance and stop for a picnic lunch shortly.  Bring your own food, it’s probably still unwise to share.

This is event is insured by the American Canoe Association, so you’ll need to be a member of both the Fairbanks Paddlers and the ACA and sign the waiver.  ACA annual memberships are $40, event memberships are $10, FP memberships $10.  If one parent is an ACA annual member the club will pick up the cost for their children for the event.  You can join at the event (please bring cash or check).  ACA members bring your membership number.

We should be finished by 4 PM, many cars or bikes will be at the take out.  Please come, bring a lunch, mask up if necessary and maintain a safe distance on the land.

Boat Swap at Beaver Sports – May 15, 2021

Boat Swap at Beaver Sports – May 15, 2021

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 15, 2021 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.

Appropriate facial coverings will be required when conducting transactions or interacting with other boat swap participants.

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

Information about Chena Bridge Construction

Information about Chena Bridge Construction

Caitlin Frye with Alaska DOT&PF recently shared this information with the club about the effects of bridge construction on Chena River travel this summer:

Our construction teams here at DOT&PF have put together a flyer with some information about what to expect when traveling on the Chena River through our bridge construction projects this summer. Please feel free to share this with anyone who you think would be interested.

One of the key points is that, although the river will be mostly open this summer, if people choose to travel on the river through these construction zones at the University Bridge and the Wendell Bridge, they will need to know how to control their boats. We’ll have lots of signs along the river and at the boat launches in town warning people about what to expect, but people should consider floating a different part of the river if they are inexperienced.

We will be reaching out to other groups and businesses in town in the coming weeks, but we would also absolutely support all of your spreading the word to your friends and family so they are aware of what to expect. This will definitely be a different year for river travel, but we are confident that the improvements we’re making this year will make for better river experiences in the future.

Flyer Content (Text)

What to Expect During Bridge Construction

Alaska DOT&PF is replacing the University Avenue Bridge and the Wendell Avenue Bridge in 2021. If you are inexperienced or want to have a relaxing river trip, we suggest you avoid these construction zones. If you do travel through them, here’s what to expect.


-The channel under the bridge will be narrow, water will be moving faster, and there could be hazards in the water.
–Construction zones will be “no wake zones” so motorized boats will need to slow down.
-Height clearance will be similar to the Peger Bridge.


-You will see signs at the boat launches and along the river.
-River traffic traveling with the flow of the river will have the right-of-way under bridges, and opposing traffic will need to yield.
-Always wear a life jacket and never drink or use substances while navigating the river!


-Starting in mid-May and through most of the summer, daytime river traffic will be stopped intermittently for roughly 20 minutes at a time.
-The short closures will happen when the construction crew is placing girders over the channel or removing structures.
-We will notify river users at nearby boat launches and with flaggers at the river when the closures are taking place.
Created by the Alaska Dept. of Transportation & Public Facilities, April 2021. More info: 907-451-5307
Delta Clearwater Trip – April 24-25, 2021

Delta Clearwater Trip – April 24-25, 2021

Break-up is proceeding apace and we can see patches of flowing water in most interior riverways. Fairbanks Paddlers annually celebrate the arrival of spring with a trip on the Delta-Clearwater River near Delta Junction. This area has some of the first water to open up in the Interior each spring, so if our timing is right we may have an excellent opportunity to see many species of waterfowl (including swans) up close. This year the trip will be on the weekend of April 24-25, which is a little earlier than it has been in recent years. As usual, we will have a day trip and an overnight trip. Alan Batten will coordinate the day trip logistics on Sunday, April 25, and Don Pendergrast will be coordinator for the overnight trip leaving Saturday and finishing up on Sunday.

We will have a pre-trip zoom meeting for all participants. It is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, April 21 at 7 pm . People who are interested in either the day trip or the overnight should contact the appropriate trip coordinator to get a link to join. 

Alan’s (day trip) contact info is alanbatten@acsalaska.net, H: 488-3205, C: 378-6384.

Don’s (overnight trip) contact info is don@alaskacanoeschool.com, 907-371-4868

Please note that all participants must be current members of Fairbanks Paddlers. Memberships can be renewed at https://www.fairbankspaddlers.org/join/ or at the put-in. As we did in 2019 we are purchasing liability insurance for our trips through the American Canoe Association (ACA). This takes a big worry off the minds of those of us who volunteer to lead trips, and we hope it will lead to having more volunteers step forward. However, this does add another level of bureaucracy to our trips, so we hope you will all be patient with that. Each participant will need to be a member of the ACA, either an annual member or a member for a day. Annual memberships cost $40 (https://www.americancanoe.org/general/register_member_type.asp). Fairbanks Paddlers is an ACA Paddle America Club so we are on the list of clubs in the drop-down menu on the membership form. ACA members will need to know their ACA number when you show up for our trips. The other option is to become an ACA member for one day, which costs $10. Trip leaders will have this type of membership form at the put-in. Please understand that it is now necessary to be a member of both Fairbanks Paddlers and, at least for the day, the ACA. The ACA is an excellent organization that is very effective in promoting boating safety, education, waterway conservation, and river access. It deserves our support.

read more…

Fairbanks Paddlers COVID-19 Policy

Fairbanks Paddlers COVID-19 Policy

Updated April 15, 2021

General Overview

In accordance with the World Health Organization, the Center for Disease Control, the State of Alaska, and local health organizations the Fairbanks Paddlers Club guidelines for safe paddling and events reflects our commitment to safe paddling, public health, and community well being during the Covid-19 pandemic.

A key aspect of public health is that Covid-19 can be transmitted by subjects that have not developed symptoms, so the Fairbanks Paddlers has adopted a Covid-19 risk management policy based on the guidelines from the American Canoe Association, the American Packraft Association, and the State of Alaska Covid-19 Health Mandates. We encourage all paddlers to follow these or similar policies when paddling.

Fairbanks Paddlers’ Covid-19 Risk Management Plan

Covid Policy

The Fairbanks Paddlers’ Covid-19 Risk Management plan depends on the participants’ desire and willingness to keep themselves and their fellow paddlers healthy. To meet that end the Fairbanks Paddlers offers these guidelines. Please respect others and comply with the desires of the trip or event organizer. Be smart and keep each other healthy and safe.


No one exhibiting Covid-19 symptoms is allowed to participate. This includes a fever within 72 hours, or contact with someone who has Covid-19.


  1. Two weeks after people are vaccinated they are considered safe from Covid; however, the CDC and the State of Alaska guidelines still indicate that vaccinated individuals when in public settings wear a mask, maintain a 6 foot distance, cover coughs and sneezes, wash hands often and use hand sanitizer.
  2. Fully vaccinated individuals may choose to shuttle together, but should do so with automobile windows opened for good ventilation and all riders should be masked.


  1. Social distancing of 6 feet should be maintained both on land and on water (pay particular attention at put-ins and take-outs; loading and unloading craft; no rafting up on the water).
  2. Face masks are strongly encouraged at put-ins and take outs, and if ever non- household groups are in close proximity (less than six feet). Please bring an extra face mask to use if yours gets wet.
  3. Paddlers should avoid popular places and times in order to more effectively social distance. If you know there are likely to be other users, pick a different time or place to paddle.


Hygiene is the responsibility of each participant in Fairbanks Paddlers activities.

  1. Bring hand sanitizer.
  2. Sanitizing wipes or disinfectant sprays should be used when sharing equipment.
  3. If public restrooms are open only one person at a time should use them. If public
    restrooms are not available each individual is responsible for a “bathroom bag” (I.e. trowel, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, zip lock bags at a minimum).

Group Size

Group size is up to the activity coordinator. The CDC recommends “small” gatherings, but does not define small with a number. The key is taking proper precautions: masking, social distancing, travel/shuttle considerations, and good hygiene.


Fairbanks Paddlers believes that the greatest risk for Covid transmission is traveling to activities and shuttling between access points. These guidelines are to reduce that risk.

  1. Travel and shuttle must be worked out prior to the activity. It is not fair to others for
    someone to show up without making prior arrangements.
  2. The activity leader should hold a virtual meeting with all participants to work out de-
    tails and protocols prior to the activity. We are all now used to such meetings and
    they will help ensure safe Covid practices for all.
  3. Household members (pod members) can travel in a vehicle together. Fully vaccinated individuals may choose to travel or shuttle together, but should do so with automobile windows opened for good ventilation and all riders should be masked. No participant should be in an uncomfortable or unsafe travel situation.
  4. Use bicycle shuttles where appropriate.
  5. When traveling, minimize stops, avoid crowded places, wear a face mask when
    dealing with vendors, wash or sanitize hands before exiting and after returning to the vehicle.


  1. Tent sites must be 25 feet apart from non-household members.
  2. Common areas (i.e. campfires, cooking areas) should be used with appropriate social distancing or at different times.
  3. No sharing of food or drink.
Crowd-Sourced Virtual Paddling Show – March 18, 2021

Crowd-Sourced Virtual Paddling Show – March 18, 2021

Fairbanks Paddlers will host our third virtual slide show / video night of the season on Thursday, March 18 at 7pm Alaska Time over Zoom.

For this event, we have reached out to members to gather a number of short videos or slideshows of 3 to 15 minutes for a evening of crowd-sourced paddling imagery.

UPDATE: The show shaped up to be quite the mini-festival. More than 40 households joined us over Zoom on Thursday, March 18 at 7pm Alaska time. The session was recorded and posted to YouTube.

Presenters shared short videos and slide shows of 15 different paddling experiences:

  • Inna Rivkin – Beaver Creek and Middle Fork Koyukuk
  • Barry Whitehill – Birch Creek and Atigun / Sagavanirktok
  • Dave Hamilton – Atigun / Sagavanirktok
  • Jeremy Worrall – Gulkana and Nenana Reindeer Hills
  • John Schauer – Chatanika and Willow Creek
  • Brendan Wells – Tebay River
  • Shannon Busby & Evan Sterling – Copper River to Yakutat
  • Alayah Brunty & Nathalie Croteau – Paddling Access for All
  • Christine Huff – Underground Kayaking – Crystal City, Missouri
  • Don and Tracie Pendergrast and Cam Leonard – Boundary Waters
  • Ron Yarnell – Zambezi Canoeing

From Alaska to Africa, The show proved to be a fun mix of weekend trips and expeditions; placid waters, swift streams, and Class V whitewater.  Whether your water craft of choice is a canoe, kayak, packraft, inflatable kayak, raft or all of the above, you’ll see Alaskan boaters having fun in all of these. 

Zoom Meeting Link:

Topic: Fairbanks Paddlers Slide Show
Time: Mar 18, 2021 07:00 PM Alaska

Join Zoom Meeting




Meeting ID: 998 1725 1776
Passcode: 350869


2021 Paddling Film Festival Virtual World Tour

2021 Paddling Film Festival Virtual World Tour

Fairbanks Paddlers will host the Virtual Edition of the 2021 Paddling Film Festival. Since 2016, Fairbanks Paddlers has hosted the showing of paddlesports films. Board members and sponsors have selected a program from the full list of films available for showing, and the show has sold out at local venues. We had to cancel the planned 2020 festival due to COVID. However, we received permission to show four of the films over Zoom at our 2020 annual meeting in November. Video quality varied for members depending on their bandwidth.

This year, the club has opted to become a local host for the Virtual World Tour.Tickets can be purchased to rent each program at the links below. The ticket allows you to stream the movies for a 3 day rental period. Using the code FairbanksPaddlers10 gives a 10% discount on the purchase. Fairbanks Paddlers receives 10% of ticket proceeds when they are purchased from the host links below.

The films are the same as those offered in 2020.  The full list of films has been divided into these three programs:

  • Adrenaline Program (5 films, 1 1/2 hours)
  • Culture Program (9 films, 1 3/4 hours)
  • Adventure Program (4 films, 2 hours)

The full list of films for each program can be seen in the links to tickets below. (At our annual meeting, we showed two films from the Adrenaline Program and one from the Culture Program.)

2021 Virtual World Tour Tickets

2021 World Tour – Adrenaline Program

2021 World Tour – Culture Program

Adventure Program

2021 World Tour – Adventure Program

Support Fairbanks Paddlers, and enjoy the great collections of paddlesports films!

Choose your movie nights and…
Get your tickets! 

Tikchik River Presentation – February 25, 2021

Tikchik River Presentation – February 25, 2021

UPDATE: John’s Presentation was very well received with over 60 households attending over Zoom meeting. Most most participants reported a good viewing experience, but limited bandwidth affected viewing quality for some. The presentation was recorded and uploaded to YouTube, including the questions and answers at the end of the meeting.

John Morack will be presenting “River of Salmon, Bears, and Flowers”,  a slide show of a trip on the remote Tikchik River, Thursday, February 25 at 7 pm Alaska time. This will be a virtual presentation delivered by Zoom.

John reports that the Tikchik is an easy wilderness trip (Class 1 and 2), so it is perfect for beginners. There is great hiking nearby, beautiful scenery and lots of bears. The best part is that there are so few people making the trip that the bears are pretty people shy. You need a permit from State Parks, but they limit the number of people in the area at any one time so you basically have the whole place to yourself. We didn’t see anyone until we got near the fishing camps at the end of the trip.

This will be Fairbanks Paddlers second presentation of our 2021 virtual slide show series. The zoom meeting link is:


or http://bit.ly/tikchikshow

Our first virtual presentation, Don and Tracie Pendergrast’s Chandalar River slide show was very well received. It was so successful that we reached our Zoom license capacity of 100 participants early in the show. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the foresight to record the meeting. Don and Tracie plan to record their narration and we will share a link to their show soon.

Chandalar River – Virtual Slide Show – February 5, 2021

Chandalar River – Virtual Slide Show – February 5, 2021

UPDATE: Don and Tracie’s Virtual Slideshow was so popular, that we reached our Zoom meeting capacity of 100 participants early in the evening. Some folks were unable to join after we reached our limit. Although we didn’t record the meeting, Don and Tracie recorded their narration and shared the presentation to YouTube. You can now view it here: 

Fairbanks Paddlers is kicking off our 2021 Virtual Slide Show series Friday, February 5 at 7 pm.

Join Don and Tracie Pendergrast and friends for a paddle through the heart of the southern Brooks Range and along its foothills on the Chandalar River.

This month long, 500 mile paddle started on the Chandalar Shelf on the Dalton Highway and ended in Venetie, Alaska. The trip encompassed the majority of the river drainage including the North, Middle and East Forks of the Chandalar River.  They paddled by ghost towns, across lakes, down rapids and through a broad expanse of nature that included traditional G’witchin homelands in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the Venetie Indian Reservation and Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge.

Chandalar River 2009
Attendees will be added to a drawing for door prizes ( screen prizes? ) of a Fairbanks Paddlers hats, T-shirts, and stickers. Non-members are welcome to join the meeting. We encourage folks who are not current or life members to join the club.

We have several other virtual presentations planned. Announcements coming soon, and we will share them at the Chandalar show.

Here is the link to the Zoom Meeting:


or https://bit.ly/chandalarshow

Chandalar Map

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 December 5, 2022 to February 5, 2023.

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