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Thread: Birch Creek Conditions?

  1. #1
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    Default Birch Creek Conditions?

    Has anybody visited Birch Creek recently? We are planning to put two canoes in the river on June 21. Thank you for any input on the river conditions north of Fairbanks. - John Hakala

  2. #2
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    Everything is really high right now. I'd get in touch with the BLM Eastern Interior Field Office, see what they say.
    Mushing Tech: squeezing the romance out of dog mushing one post at a time

  3. #3
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    Default Birch Creek June 20-25

    My son and I paddled Birch Creek from June 20-25 with two canoes. It was an excellent trip but the water levels were very low. Photos attached. Glad that we had canoes. We met four heavily loaded rafts about half way through the lower section that had been on the water for eight nights. Three were 16' catarafts that needed to be portaged around multiple rocky areas.


    Dinner - Birch Creek.jpgLow Levels .jpg

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the pics. What model of canoe is that Mad River?

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    It is a Mad River Explorer. This was his first real river trip in the boat and it handled the conditions very well. I paddled a Wenonah Rendezvous. Both boats have Royalex hulls.

    Fishing.jpgRiver Lunch.jpg

  6. #6
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    We were just a few days ahead of you -- June 15-24. Here's my short report:

    We were in two 14' self bailers, the water was low and were dragging a lot. At least a couple times an hour the first day. Once we had to unload everything, pack the boats around a section and then reload it all. A real pain since we don't float light. The river gained in size from side streams as we went along in spite of dropping water levels. The river had been moderately high the week before we began but it didn't last.

    We were passed by a Fairbanks Boy Scout troop in 9 canoes. They started two days after us and finished two days before. I would not do this river in rafts again unless I knew the water would be high. The canoes really did not have any trouble with the low water except flipping one on a drop the lead boat didn't see in time to portage.

    Typically of June in interior AK, the mosquitoes were horrid. Headnets and massive doses of DEET were required. It is a beautiful float, but not really prime time in large rafts unless the water is up. Canoes are the preferred craft for this river. It is similar in character to the Fortymile, which has more/deeper water even when low.

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