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Thread: Anywhere to launch in Fairbanks yet?

  1. #1

    Default Anywhere to launch in Fairbanks yet?

    Looking for a place to launch the boat this weekend. Is there anywhere opened up? I went around this time last year and launched from Pikes, but they stock piled a bunch of snow on the ramp. The Tanana (or should I say Chena) off Chena Pump Road is still iced out a little ways, but plenty of water just beyond the ice. The Tanana hardly flows through there any longer and it seems to be all Chena River water now.

    It looked like the launch on University Avenue might be open, but I didn't pull in there to see. Is that a "pay to launch" spot now?

  2. #2

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    Called Chena Wayside off University Avenue today, they won't open the gates until May 15th. Someplace has to be open!

  3. #3
    Member Akgramps's Avatar
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    Have you checked the Boatel............?
    “Nothing worth doing is easy”
    TR

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    Member aktyler's Avatar
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    there are several homes in island homes area that have private launches in their backyards... maybe if you kiss ***** a bit one of them will let you use it

  5. #5
    Member Bsj425's Avatar
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    The launch on ft wainwright is open year round.... Just need to get a pass from the visitor center to get on post if you don't have a DOD I'd card..

  6. #6
    Member f0zzy2's Avatar
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    Boatel is always open, good call Akgramps.

  7. #7

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    Couldn't get out this weekend, ended up doing soccer dad duties for half of it. Hopefully sometime this week I'll get out. Looks like the river is pretty much all opened up now, even above the utilities. Pike's still has a 6' tall snow pile half way down their launch ramp. Are there any formalities to launching at the Boatel?

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    Default Pikes Boat Launch- BE CAREFUL

    At Pikes Boat Launch in Fairbanks, there is a 'world class' drop off at the end of their concrete ramp. By personal experiece last spring: the drop-off is 1' - 1-1/2' from top of concrete to river bottom. It is a real doozy.

    At high water in the summer, no one notices, but in the spring and fall, it is a real hazard.

    If you must launch at this ramp, bring repair parts for your trailer.
    Too bad the owner of the launch doesn't place bull rock or large gravel at the bottom edge of the concretre ramp.

    Some have taken to launching to the left or right of the concrete ramp, but all it would take is a little effort on the owners part to fix this abrupt edge.

    (To be clear; we are discussing Pikes Landing boat launch, between Pikes Landing Restaurant and Pikes Waterfront Lodge, on Airport Road in Fairbanks.)

  9. #9
    Member Akgramps's Avatar
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    Yeah, Pikes at low water requires a angled offload and load, usually on the down river side, not too bad if you avoid the ramp.
    No formalities at the Boatel, just like any other ramp, park out of the way when done. I havent checked it yet, sometimes thet push snow down it and since its on the northside, there might still be a pile sitting there.

    Its plenty steep so if any ice on the ramp it gets real interesting, looks like the river is coming up, should be good to go next weekend.......J
    “Nothing worth doing is easy”
    TR

  10. #10

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    When we are running the Chena, I almost always launch at Pikes, so I'm familiar with the concrete drop. I've spoken with them about it, but they didn't seem too concerned with it. I launch off the gravel on the upstream side. With the water level coming up, I might try launching at Chena Small Tracks. I've seen a few people launch there, but I haven't tried it yet. I know there is a large sandbar about 10 feet out which is why I've avoided it.

  11. #11
    Member H20Dogg's Avatar
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    A good place to launch is Grail Park up by pro music, the only thing is there is only a couple of parking spots for trailers. Also Nordale bridge has a launch but I just checked tonight and there was an ice jam

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    Member akiceman25's Avatar
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    +1 on Grail park.. can't quite see the launch from this webcam but river looks niiiiiiiiiiice! http://www.promusicalaska.com/

    I'll swing by there in a couple hours and let ya know what the launch looks like.
    I am serious... and don't call me Shirley.

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    Member Akgramps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akiceman25 View Post
    +1 on Grail park.. can't quite see the launch from this webcam but river looks niiiiiiiiiiice! http://www.promusicalaska.com/

    I'll swing by there in a couple hours and let ya know what the launch looks like.
    I forgot about that one, the river is up, I am sure you could launch there.......
    “Nothing worth doing is easy”
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  14. #14
    Member Ellamar's Avatar
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    Woke up this morning to lots of ice chunks still coming down the river. Could still be a good slug of ice to come from the upper river, so be careful.

    A few years ago I was sitting on my deck with a cold one and the river was somewhat clear like it is now. A brand new Thunderjet came cruising upriver dodging the occasional ice chunk. About 10 minutes later he comes downstream at a fast clip...followed by a wall of ice from bank to bank about 10 minutes after that. I bet he set record time at the landing getting his truck, backing the trailer down and loading his boat up!!

  15. #15
    Member akiceman25's Avatar
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    Yep, the launch at Grail park is wide open. Enjoy!

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    I am serious... and don't call me Shirley.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KM2K7sV-K74

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    Member Bsj425's Avatar
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    Huge ice jam just above nordale was out on the ATV yesterday so lots of ice still up there.

  17. #17
    Member Akgramps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ellamar View Post
    Woke up this morning to lots of ice chunks still coming down the river. Could still be a good slug of ice to come from the upper river, so be careful.

    A few years ago I was sitting on my deck with a cold one and the river was somewhat clear like it is now. A brand new Thunderjet came cruising upriver dodging the occasional ice chunk. About 10 minutes later he comes downstream at a fast clip...followed by a wall of ice from bank to bank about 10 minutes after that. I bet he set record time at the landing getting his truck, backing the trailer down and loading his boat up!!
    Thats a good reminder, that would be rather exciting....................!
    “Nothing worth doing is easy”
    TR

  18. #18
    Member H20Dogg's Avatar
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    There is also one at Moose creek dam in North Pole, a buddy told me it was open.

  19. #19

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    Looks like no shortage of places to launch now, but too much garbage in the river. Last year I got out at Pikes in mid April before the ice went out above the utilities. The river was nice and clear, and there was plenty of ice to play on. Thanks for all the reports!

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