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Thread: Chulitna River take-out at McKinley Princess bridge

  1. #1
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    Default Chulitna River take-out at McKinley Princess bridge

    I visited this over the Labor Day weekend and noticed that the gate down the private road to the river (upstream, river left side) has a new sticker stating that the gate will be closed to further public use as of 10/31/2011. There were 3 to 4 rigs parked at the staging area and one more down at the beach this weekend, so I know people have become accustomed to leaving their trucks and trailers there -- but it looks like those days may be ending. I know there has been some discussion about ownership of this property and whether an "iron ranger" or some other mechanism for compensating the landowner might be found to keep access open. If someone has a line of communication with the landowner, please let them know that there are likely several others willing to pay for this. I think kayakers on the Green in NC have worked out a key and payment system (available at a nearby store) that might serve as a model (especially if the property is owned by the McKinley View folks just up the road).

    I'd also note that there was a slightly deflated raft on a beach on river right about a quarter mile downstream -- and seems to have a rough road down to the beach from the highway. This might be another landowner that might entertain a fee-for-access option. Otherwise, I think future East Fork trips for me will involve another day of floating down to the Big Su bridge at Sunshine -- which has good car/trailer access, as many have noted. It took us about 6.5 hours to float from the Princess Bridge to Sunshine on this trip (but we had mostly downstream winds and I rowed steadily although not hard).

  2. #2
    Member scott_rn's Avatar
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    I think the princess guides use the ramp just downstream of the bridge, but they have access. Someone posted on here they used that ramp but had to carry all their gear to the gate.

    I liked that river enough I'd sure be happy to pay a fee to use that access.

  3. #3

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    Does anyone have anymore information about this? My hunting buddy and I come from Kansas and we have used that for the last 4 years. Sure your suck to get the whole way up to Alaska and find out that our hunting trip was a bust. If we know in advance, we could look for another placed to hunt. We would also be more than happy to pay to use the road to the river. Thanks for any help.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by slickmcit View Post
    Does anyone have anymore information about this? My hunting buddy and I come from Kansas and we have used that for the last 4 years. Sure your suck to get the whole way up to Alaska and find out that our hunting trip was a bust. If we know in advance, we could look for another placed to hunt. We would also be more than happy to pay to use the road to the river. Thanks for any help.
    I don't have any further information on this take out. But as an alternative you can float for another day and take out at Talkeetna or go a little further and take out on the Susitna River at Sunshine. I wouldn't let lack of access at the Princess Lodge take out stop you from coming up to do your trip.

    Good luck,

    Jeff

  5. #5

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    Thanks for the info. We are coming up in July to scout and look around and will drive up and see what we can do. We have a jet boat. How long by jet boat to the take out at Talkeetna?

  6. #6

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    From Princess Lodge bridge to Talkeetna via jet boat? Not sure but can't be more than a couple hours. Most people launch their rafts / catarafts on the East Fork Chulitna River upstream farther north on the Parks Hwy and float downstream to the take out. Did you plan on jet boating downstream or did you have a different put-in in mind?

  7. #7

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    We have been putting in at the Princess Lodge and going north to the Toko river and then back in about 20 miles. How far north is the East Fork of teh Chulitna River? I see a creek about 5 mile north of the Lodge on google maps.

  8. #8
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    The East fork put in is quite a way North (highway mile 186) of the bridge at Princess Lodge. And unless the water is real high I doubt it is large enough for you to get down and back up in a jet boat. Also, none of the side streams coming in from the highway side are large enough either. If the Princess Lodge put in is closed, just go back to Talkeetna and put in there. They have a nice boat launch on the North side of town. I think that adds about 20-30 river miles though, so you might need more fuel.

  9. #9

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    Thanks for taking the time to help so out of state hunters. We apperciate it.

  10. #10

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    Any new news on if this is open or who owns the ramp?

  11. #11

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    Owned by Princess Lodge. Limited to no public access.

  12. #12

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    We are taling about the ramp on the north west side of the road right?

  13. #13

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    Yes, that is the one.

  14. #14

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    Called and talked to them. I really want to say a lot,but I will refrain. The answer was NO!!!!

  15. #15

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    This access point is not owned by Princess. It is owned by a guy from Fairbanks. That doesn't change its status(private, closed to the public), but just thought i'd mention it.

  16. #16
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    Interesting. This take out has been open for our group the past two years. Granted, we float the Chulitna in May but I'm curious why they would close it mid-season.

  17. #17

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    Just talked to him. Nice guy. Thanks for all the help.

  18. #18
    Member Steve Springer's Avatar
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    What did he say, got a phone number for the rest of us?

  19. #19

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    I had to do a lot of leg work for my self and the 2 guys that I hunt with so at this time I realy do feel like I should give out any information. Sorry.

  20. #20
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Owned by NUCHALAWOYA LLC in Fairbanks according to the Mat-Su Borough tax website.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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