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Thread: Wind River - East Fork Chandalar River

  1. #1
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    Default Wind River - East Fork Chandalar River

    Has anyone ever paddled the East Fort Chandalar River?

    I intend to paddle the Wind River and to continue down the East Fork Chandalar River and paddle further down to Venetie. Unfortunatly I was not able to find any information about the lower East Fork Chandalar River. Are there any difficulties before it empties?

    Tank you for any answer.

  2. #2
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Some direction

    HGR,

    Some thoughts: There's a very sketchy outline of this area in Rene Limeres' and Gunnar Pedersen's "Alaska Fishing". If you have a copy, take a look (but I wouldn't buy the book just for this). I do know that there are shallow rocky sections all through the forks of the Chandalar, depending on whater levels. You should expect some rapids too. Regrettably, I don't know much about the East Fork. If I wanted to learn exactly what it looks like, go to the BLM office on the 4th floor of the Federal Building in downtown Anchorage. They have high-altitude photographs of the whole area. The resolution of these images is so good you can see individual trees. Great resource.

    That said, I have also heard that the folks out at Venetie are really protective of their land, which encompasses essentially the eastern shores of the East Fork, all the way to Venetie. Don't be surprised if they ask you for a user fee. Rumor has it that they really don't like non-locals out there, but this may be changing. If it were me, I'd float either the North or Middle Forks (I have info on those, btw, along with info on the Wind River) and take out on a gravel bar well before you get to Venetie. This avoids any conflict whatsoever.

    You taking a canoe out there? Inflatable? What boat?

    Hope it helps!

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
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    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
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  3. #3
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    Dear Mike!

    Thank you very much for your answer. My mayor destination will be the headwaters of the Wind River as well as the area just above the confluence of the East Fork Chandalar River with the Chandalar River itself. I donít need to know the exact conditions of the East Fork Chandalar. My interest is just to know if it can be paddled. A few rapids up to WW II and shallow water will not be a real problem. I hope that there is not to much WW III and sections to line the boat. Your comments concerning Venetie are very useful for me. I will have to paddle down the complete river to Venetie but in this case I can plan my last camps and days.

    Until now I always used an inflatable canoe from Grabner (Grabner adventure). But all my previous trips in Alaska have been on bigger rivers (Noatak, Sheenjek, Yukon, Canning River). As I estimate the headwaters of the Wind River as extremely shallow I will now take a look on an inflatable Kayak also made by Grabner. But this is not fixed yet.

    Your suggestion to take the Middle Fork Chandalar River is interesting. Unfortunatly there are absolutely no written sources and approximate classifications concerning this river. However the Wind River itself seems to be an excellent trip especially as I am interested in hiking in this area.

    Thanx a lot
    Hubert

  4. #4
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Middle Fork Chandalar River

    Hubert,

    Sounds like you have a pretty solid plan already, but in case you're interested, here are some details about the Middle Fork.

    You can put in in the vicinity of Ackerman Lake. From there it is 75 miles of Class I-II, with a gradient of 9.2 fpm. From there it's another 65 miles to Venetie..

    Hope it helps!

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  5. #5
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    Default

    Wind River is Class I - II. Packboat 150 (setup as solo) worked great. Can be a serious drag during low water the first couple miles from unnamed lake put in. East Fork Chandlar is Class I. The rest is up to you and your sense of adventure and exploration. I found Venetie and Arctic Village residents friendly. I just didn't walk around town with a 338 Weatherby Magnum during moose season and stick cameras in their faces to take photo's of the community. They made no attempt to charge me access fee.

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