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Thread: Boat trip suggestions for Fairbanks area

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    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    Default Boat trip suggestions for Fairbanks area

    I will be headed up to Fairbanks in a motor home soon, and we plan on dragging the boat along to play around in Harding lake. The boat is a Duckworh 24' jet with a 460. I am looking for suggestions for another trip that is safe, easy and scenic. No skinny water situations please. I am looking for somewhere I can launch and run around for a few hours. Any suggestions are appreciated.

    Jim

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    Member Akgramps's Avatar
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    jrogers, as much rain as we have had lately, (and it looks like it could continue for afew days) there is enough water to go anywhere.!
    The chena runs right through town and there are numerous landings, not particualrily scenic unless you start to get into the upper chena, which is certainly very doable right now. You could put in at the nordale bridge and that will put you up river and more scenic.
    The salcha is a beautiful river and someone told me today it is expected to come up 7 feet? can that be right?
    It can go up and back down quickly. there are numerous cabins on the salcha and people go a long ways w/ib's, we were up 40 milles a couple a weeks ago and still saw some big boats, you will cross it on the way to harding. good luck & have fun

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    The Salcha is a beautiful river and perhaps the best clear water river in the interior. It can get a bit skinny at times but, generally, if this gauge is over 7.5 feet it is an easy run. http://waterdata.usgs.gov/usa/nwis/uv?site_no=15484000

    At its current level I wouldn't go on it.

    Another is the Clearwater River in Delta Junction, as the name implies it is very clear and since it is spring fed it pretty much maintains a decent level. It isn't all that long but it is scenic. Just upstream from the landing there is a wide spot where one has to be on step to get through, but other than that its a pretty easy ride. Watch for sweepers though.

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    Here's the gauge for the Chena, our rule of thumb is anything over one foot is good to go.

    http://waterdata.usgs.gov/usa/nwis/uv?site_no=15514000

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    Member Akgramps's Avatar
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    Jrog,
    Even another site to check water flow/levels, they do some predicting as well. You can select the river you are interested in and even go up or downstream from there.

    http://aprfc.arh.noaa.gov/ahps2/inde...0,7,8,2,9,15,6

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    Default Stick to the bigger rivers

    That 24'er is far too big for the Clearwater, plus it gets rather skinny in spots. Stick to the Chena now (high water) or the Salcha (nearing flood stage), but watch out for the trees and personal property floating down. Standing rollers are also present in the Salcha, so you will take a good pounding coming back down. The lakes are a great place to relax. Birch is only 15 miles from Harding.

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    Hey Skinny, I think you are right the Clearwater is to narrow for that boat, I'm used to going up there in my 16 ft Hewes.

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    JR, Did you make the trip to the interior?
    Try any rivers?
    Good trip I hope!

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    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    Based on the comments here and the weather forecast, I ended up going south to Homer instead. We stayed on the spit and halibut fished for three days as well as did a boat trip to Seldovia. On the way home I realized that I had not even used the windshield wipers the whole trip, and it was sunny in Homer most of the time.

    Thanks for all of the input on where to go in the Fairbanks area, and where not to go. I think we will have to shoot for next summer to do the Fairbanks trip at this point.

    Jim

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