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Thread: Advice for a good "drive-to" trip?

  1. #1
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    Default Advice for a good "drive-to" trip?

    Hello everyone, just joined and have really been enjoying reading through the posts. I'm looking for some advice on planning a drive-to raft trip for my wife and I to take this summer.

    We usually float the Kenai every summer with the grandkids and a couple of summers ago we did the Upper Gulkana and had a blast. We're looking for someplace new and adventurous that doesn't require a bank-breaking fly-in.

    Thanks,
    Tim

  2. #2
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default An idea

    Hi Tim,

    Welcome to the forums! This is a fantastic place for info and to get connected with folks, as you are seeing.

    You might take a look at the Fortymile. There are some bridge-to-bridge floats you could do there. But you have to watch the water levels there; it can be pretty shallow in places, especially upstream of Chicken.

    Jim Strutz is a great resource for trips like this, and I'm sure he'll chime in. He's the real deal, and can give you tons of tips.

    Hope it helps!

    -Mike
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    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
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    Default Yep Yep Mike

    2nd Mr. Strahan's Motion Jim is the real deal hopefully he will chime in.

    Couple of options in Fairbanks area:

    Chena River mile 40 to the Flood Control Project Dam - 3-5 days

    Birch Creek - 7-10 days

    Chatanika from camp ground to camp ground - 2-3 days

    Nenena River off the Denali Hgwy take out on the Parks Hgwy prior to the Big Water 2-3 days

    All nice floats.

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    Hi Mike,

    Thanks...I found Jim's website and checked out the report on Fortymile as well as the other trips he has listed. Great resource with some excellent information.

    Tim

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    Thanks,

    I've never heard of the Birch Creek float...what's it like?

    Tim

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    Member AK-Bandit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akvidpro View Post
    Thanks,

    I've never heard of the Birch Creek float...what's it like?

    Tim
    I found this the other day. I might be looking into planning a trip here.

    http://www.blm.gov/ak/st/en/prog/nlc...our_visit.html

  7. #7
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    I'm sure you have read Jim's awesome write up on his site of the Chulitna River. I highly recommend this trip. A little splashy splashy early on, and some channel picking about halfway through, but nothing too intense. It feels remote, but you are only a couple miles from the road most of the way.

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    Hey Bandit,

    I pulled this quote off of the BLM site you refered to:

    "Birch Creek's headwater region (river miles 0 to 10) is characterized by shallow, fast water in a narrow stream channel with deep pools. Sweepers can occur along most of the river but especially along the upper reaches. Expect to “walk” your canoe or raft for most of this section due to shallow water."

    10 miles of dragging doesn't sound like that much fun. That being said, it does sound like a neat float maybe for a smaller inflatable and light load.

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    Lever Action,

    That does sound like fun for a "quickie" float when time is limited.

    Tim

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    It isn't as long as some of the other ones, but I wouldn't call it a "quickie float." There is a thread on here that describes a forum member's trip where he floated it in 2 days, but that sounded like a death march to me. Although the road is close, it is not easily accessible and is only an option in an emergency. We have floated it 2 years in a row in late August/early September from the East Fork to Talkeeta and it was a 3.5 - 4 day trip. We're going to try it in mid-August this year, when the water levels are hopefully a little higher. I hope you find some fun trips this summer!

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    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
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    Default Birch

    Just keep an eye on the summer flows and the dragging part is limited if light.

    Than again if the water is low it is a float drag versus a float trip. Spring not bad normal years and again after the rains begin.

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    Choosing is the hard part...thanks!

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    I think the Fortymile is still my favorite, but the Nelchina/Tazlina runs a close second. Still, there are many other good ones and I'm happy to have done several of them.

    The only issues with the Fortymile is the long drive from Anchorage, and the slowness of the flow at low water levels.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Strutz View Post
    I think the Fortymile is still my favorite...
    Jim, it does sound like a very nice trip and my wife has always wanted to visit Chicken. Now...would it be too much to ask for a summer untainted by the smog from forest fires??

    I for one, appreciate the wealth of information you have shared on your site. Thank you.

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    Tonsina.

    I did it in summer 2002 iirc, the log jam described in Fast & Cold was gone and the landowners at the halfway point let us use their takeout, ran it 3 times in 2 days.

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