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Thread: Kantishna river to Lake Minchumina

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    Default Kantishna river to Lake Minchumina

    Anyone run this in the boat? I'm looking to run it late this June.

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    Member 907pride's Avatar
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    Well, it doesn't look impossible. I've been very interested in this area the past year and have taken a look into the trip you are talking about. You would head up the Kantishna until you get to Chilchukabena Lake and hang a right on Muddy river. You have to be careful though because about 1 mile up muddy river you have to hang a right or you will end up going up birch creek, which is the larger body of water at that point. Also, it's a pretty good trip up the Kantishna. I traced the route and it's roughly 150 miles from the mouth of the Kantishna on the Tanana to just get to the confluence of Muddy river and the Kantishna. Thats a pretty good run. Also, it depends on where you launch from. Just to get to the Kantishna from Manley is an additional 30 miles and from Nenana it's an additional 68 miles. I also did a rough trace of Muddy River and I came up with 52 miles to get to the lake and then another 5 miles to get across the lake to the airport on the West side. So if you are running from Nenana that would be a rough total of 275 miles from Nenana to the airport at Lake Minchumina. Thats just one way. It's 550 miles round trip.

    I'm probably not telling you anything you don't already know. If you end up doing the trip I would love to hear about it. I don't think my jetboat could even haul enough fuel for the entire round trip. To do that round trip I would use about 155 gallons. I sure hope your boat gets better gas mileage than mine does.

    Good luck with your adventure.

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    GlacierShaker

    I've run the river once in June. There is a short section of braided fast moving water just after the McKinley R. and Birch Crk. come together and form the Kantishna R. that could be tricky, gravel bottom, small narrow channels. The lower Kantishna has a lot of sand/ silt bars. The muddy is slow and deep. There is a shallow bar just as you get to Lake Minchumina. There are a number of cabins along the river, pretty widely spaced as you get further along, a couple are occupied full time. I carry an aviation handheld radio as there is daily air traffic in the area and not much river traffic. Water level could be an issue some years. You might be able to get a fuel supply flown in from Fairbanks on the mail plane.

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    Thanks for the info guys. Good stuff. I've flown into Minchumina 3 times last year and messed around did some fishing. I didn't follow the Kantishna too closely on the lake end but picked it up more around Bear creek and back to Tanana river. I wanted to get idea on miles and such. I think I'll go from Manley and give it a shot. I'll get to muddy river and assess my fuel situation and see if I can make the lake. I'll get my tundra tires back on this weekend and then fly up there and really get a good look at it. There was a big inboard when I was there one time so they are for sure getting in there. I'll post after trip.

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    Member 907pride's Avatar
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    I know that you are going to fly it but I figured I'd give you an overhead view that you can print and have with you in your boat. This may help you out figuring how to get into Muddy River. This is allot better than you can get on Google Earth. This is the overhead view of where the Kantishna is formed. Muddy river is the tiny river that it headed straight North.

    Let us know how the trip goes.
    Kantishna.jpg

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    I'm going to see if I can run some of that Birch creek when I get up there. Thanks for the photo. June 19 is my date to run.

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    Please let us know how your trip goes. Sounds like a fun one and a neat area for sure.

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    Just a heads up... Once your up the river past John Hansen Lake a bit your in the new additions to the Park. Park to the left and Preserve to the right. The State claims all navigable waters up to high water mark. The Park has a chopper, it hovered over me one day until I threw a rock at it.
    I've run up the Kantishna a few times, but only once in June, It is still pretty wild country. Lower part gets a lot of hunter traffic in the fall. In the winter it is trapped. A few air boats go up the Bear Paw to remote cabins. Everybody thinks it's their River, and wonder why your on their river. It's still a great trip, enjoy. June is a quiet time out there.

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    Member Akgramps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yanert View Post
    Just a heads up... Once your up the river past John Hansen Lake a bit your in the new additions to the Park. Park to the left and Preserve to the right. The State claims all navigable waters up to high water mark. The Park has a chopper, it hovered over me one day until I threw a rock at it.
    I've run up the Kantishna a few times, but only once in June, It is still pretty wild country. Lower part gets a lot of hunter traffic in the fall. In the winter it is trapped. A few air boats go up the Bear Paw to remote cabins. Everybody thinks it's their River, and wonder why your on their river. It's still a great trip, enjoy. June is a quiet time out there.
    Yanert, I have heard you could run most of it with a prop.....? What do you think?
    “Nothing worth doing is easy”
    TR

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    The kantishna has been run a few times with a prop in the fairly recent past. I'd make sure there was a good water level. There are several prop boats on Lake Minchumina that got there by way of the Kantishna. You,ll have a harder time getting out of Manley Slough than with the Kantishna if you choose to use the slough, I'd go out to the barge landing if leaving from Manley.

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    Yeah I was going to use the Tanana landing. I was there two years ago and it was fine. I guess it's not always usable or in good shape? Anyway I know how people are about "strangers" on "their" rivers. Here in the interior I deal with it all the time. My boat sticks out and I run most rivers in the interior as much as some of the land owners I'm sure in the last 30 years. My land is on a lake so I fly in only. I do know how to razz them a little if I get a strange read on them. I just tell them I work for Princess tours and I'm scouting the river for guided rafting tours and such. 3-5 day excursions starting next week bringing the busses full of Japanese right from the airport. On and on. I can tell a good story when I have too to. I respect peoples property and if they are there before me it's all yours. But to try to push a little and be possessive of the river I play along and turn it on them. I just out for the adventure of what's around the next bend. I have a bucket list of rivers to run. If weather holds and if the lake is out by then it should be a hell of a trip.

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    If you don't mind me asking....how are you going to make that trip, from a fuel (refuel) perspective? What kind of boat are you running this in?

    Just curious and and always looking for ideas....thx

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    Quote Originally Posted by cjjeeper View Post
    If you don't mind me asking....how are you going to make that trip, from a fuel (refuel) perspective? What kind of boat are you running this in?

    Just curious and and always looking for ideas....thx
    I have a sport jon with 175 pump. I'll carry about 150 gallons and gear from 2 people. I burn loaded right at 7 gph. I should do better then 7 on this trip. I figure I'll dump 15 gallon poly every 2 hours of run time. When I get to the muddy river I'll see what I have left and see if I can do 50 more miles to the lake. Then it's all downhill on the way back. I'll leave from Manley.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GlacierShaker View Post
    I have a sport jon with 175 pump. I'll carry about 150 gallons and gear from 2 people. I burn loaded right at 7 gph. I should do better then 7 on this trip. I figure I'll dump 15 gallon poly every 2 hours of run time. When I get to the muddy river I'll see what I have left and see if I can do 50 more miles to the lake. Then it's all downhill on the way back. I'll leave from Manley.
    Thanks for the reply. Sounds like a full boat, and a great trip.

    Are those Polly's jugs or squared? In other words are they stackable? I have a hard time seeing 10 15 gallon jugs in my boat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cjjeeper View Post
    Thanks for the reply. Sounds like a full boat, and a great trip.

    Are those Polly's jugs or squared? In other words are they stackable? I have a hard time seeing 10 15 gallon jugs in my boat.
    Well I have 2 28 gallon tanks on each side of the doghouse. Then I'll take 6 15 gallon polys. I have 2 square and like 6 round so I'll see how they are going to fit. I'm thinking 3 on each side right in front of each window. I see right over them when they tight against the counsel. I was thinking of a 30 or 50 to put in front of each window but then I'm always carrying the weight of the fuel. I'd rather toss the 15's off every 2 or so hours as the fuel burns.

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    How many miles to the Sushana river?

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    Well anyone interested here's how my trip went down. Wednesday morning launched from Manley slough. I ran up river to Kantishna then up. I went 9 hours and 10 minutes. I got to 183 miles and had to turn back cause lack of fuel. I got just past John Hansen Lake. I could only imagine how many more miles to the muddy river. 60 or so? I just didn't have the fuel to get up that far. The trip back was 6 hours and 14 minutes. Leaving Manley fully loaded up river running at 4,400 rpms (which is where she wanted to run) I was going 18 mph. I burned 9.3 per hour first 56 gallons. I backed off to 3,800 on next 56 gallons and did 8 gallons per hour. Then down river I was running 4,200 rpms and going 30-31 and pretty light by this time and was good on fuel to get back. I had stashed 3 15 gallon poly's about every 2 hours heading up. On way down I knew I was heavy on fuel so I ran hard to get back so I could run Salcha river Saturday night. I really wanted to get to minchumina. Would I do it again? Very unlikely. I'll fly there and rent a boat to fish.

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    Member Akgramps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GlacierShaker View Post
    Well anyone interested here's how my trip went down. Wednesday morning launched from Manley slough. I ran up river to Kantishna then up. I went 9 hours and 10 minutes. I got to 183 miles and had to turn back cause lack of fuel. I got just past John Hansen Lake. I could only imagine how many more miles to the muddy river. 60 or so? I just didn't have the fuel to get up that far. The trip back was 6 hours and 14 minutes. Leaving Manley fully loaded up river running at 4,400 rpms (which is where she wanted to run) I was going 18 mph. I burned 9.3 per hour first 56 gallons. I backed off to 3,800 on next 56 gallons and did 8 gallons per hour. Then down river I was running 4,200 rpms and going 30-31 and pretty light by this time and was good on fuel to get back. I had stashed 3 15 gallon poly's about every 2 hours heading up. On way down I knew I was heavy on fuel so I ran hard to get back so I could run Salcha river Saturday night. I really wanted to get to minchumina. Would I do it again? Very unlikely. I'll fly there and rent a boat to fish.
    Thanks for the update.
    Do you think could you have gotten to the same place with a prop?
    Feed any skeeters along the way...........?
    “Nothing worth doing is easy”
    TR

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    Bugs bugs and more bugs. Horseflies were the worst. No gravel bars all mud bars and banks. The few boats I saw on banks at properties where all prop. I'm sure prop would be fine to where I turned around.

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    Quote Originally Posted by yanert View Post
    ......Everybody thinks it's their River, and wonder why your on their river.......
    The bushrats can be worse than end-of-the-roaders. They can make West Virginia hollows appear like the heights of civilization. Sometimes a bottle of Crown Royal can make them behave themselves for your trip in, but it's best to give them time to finish it before the return trip through............

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