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Thread: Chulitna RIver Takeout ?

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    Member Birdstrike's Avatar
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    Default Chulitna RIver Takeout ?

    I'm planning on floating the Chulitna this weekend from the East Fork put-in to the Princess Lodge take-out. Is there adequate parking at the Princess Lodge take-out to leave a car for a few days or somewhere nearby? I don't want to add another day and float further to Talkeetna or Sunshine. Also, is vehice vandalism an issue at the put-in/take-out?

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    Default

    I did that same float about 2 weeks ago. There were about 4 vehicles at the princess take out. The only problem that I see is if they decide to close the access when your car is in there. You can also park closer to the hwy but not sure about vandalism being so close to the road. Any other questions you have I'd be happy to help if I can.
    Mike

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    Last weekend we floated that section but continued on to take out where the highway crosses the Big Susitna. Adds another day, but it's a nice part of the river. We camped on an island just below Talkeetna.

    I saw one truck at the Princes Lodge takeout, but I don't trust the gate to be open. A few years ago it was closed all the time, but in recent years has been open a lot. I wonder if there's a way to contact the property owner to get permission and/or a commitment to have the gate open when you need it?

    Getting out at Talkeetna is another option. So is manually packing the gear up the hill at the Princess Lodge takeout. Not that I want to do that again.

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    Thanks to all. We're leaving Friday morning. Hopefully I'll have time to post a trip report and pics early next week.

    The KCK listserver was also a great resource. I got 6 replys the first day I posted my take-out question.

  5. #5

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    the owner of the takeout lot is a friend and neighbor of mine. he is under some pressure from DOT and other "stakeholders" in the area to NOT permit access to the launch. you can expect a buff gate to be erected in the next few weeks. until then........ at your own risk. thankfully these rules don't apply to everyone in the area(me). :-) take care, abel6wt

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    Default speeds?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Strutz View Post
    Last weekend we floated that section but continued on to take out where the highway crosses the Big Susitna. Adds another day, but it's a nice part of the river. We camped on an island just below Talkeetna.

    I saw one truck at the Princes Lodge takeout, but I don't trust the gate to be open. A few years ago it was closed all the time, but in recent years has been open a lot. I wonder if there's a way to contact the property owner to get permission and/or a commitment to have the gate open when you need it?

    Getting out at Talkeetna is another option. So is manually packing the gear up the hill at the Princess Lodge takeout. Not that I want to do that again.
    Did you happen to have a GPS with and get any speeds you were traveling?

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    "Did you happen to have a GPS with and get any speeds you were traveling?"

    Yes, we averaged 5.4 MPH to Denali Princes Lodge. It slowed slightly after that, averaging 5.3 overall. Actually, the slowest part is the first 10 miles, but it picks up then. I clocked 98.8 miles from the East Fork bridge to the Parks Hwy bridge at mile 103.

    The log jam is right at 3.1 miles from the put in. It was a nice spot so we camped there for the night.

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    Default more info please

    Log jam???

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    We floated from the East Fork to the Princess Lodge from Friday to Sunday. Jim is spot on about the logjam. It's fully across the river and consists of 4 cottonwoods. A chainsaw would make short work of it, but we didn't have one. It's an easy portage around it. We only had 4 adults and 4 medium size kids so we had to de-rig the 2 boats. A group behind us had 11 adults (2 kayakers) and simply muscled their boats the 100' or so that is required. It only took us bout 30 minutes to move our boats and gear.

    The kings are in from Honolulu creek up. Take a rod and read the regs (single hook/no bait). We caught a few small ones (and released) at Honolulu creek. I couldn't hook one at the Middle Fork even though there were half a dozen or so hanging at the confluence.

    No bears spotted even though most sandy gravel bars had tracks. This was my first trip on the Chulitna. The braided section goes on, and on, and on. It's a relief to finally leave that behind. Perhaps if the weather had cooperated and we could have enjoyed the scenery through that section, it would have been less torturous. At least the water was high through the braids and we had few shallow areas to deal with. Be careful picking channels along the tree line. The water was high for us and flowing into the forest in spots.

    I'd estimate 16 hours total float time between the East Fork to the Princess Lodge.

    Enjoy your trip!

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    Default stihl

    I'm thinkning hauling a saw along would be easier than the portage. Thanks for the info.

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    Default Hey Birdstrike

    PM Sent ----------------

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    Default log jams = fish habitat

    please do not cut out log jams.

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    Woody structure is an importat part of a healthy river. However, logjams (strainers) can be a death trap to boaters that get caught trying to manuever a heavily loaded raft in fast water. The Chulitna is definitely not missing woody fish habitat. Cutting out a 1 logjam so that the river remains safe and navigable is not going to hurt the fish population.

    Just my $.02

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    I agree, Birdstrike. The fish in the Chulitna will not miss a few trees, and that thing is a potential killer. It's at the end of a left turn, and if you're not watching you could easily broach a boat and roll under it.

    I have previously seen a bunch of logs piled up in this spot, but this is the first time I've seen logs stretching clear across the river here. Even with those logs gone there will be plenty of wood piled up right there creating slow currents and eddies for the fish.

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    Default coordinates

    did you by chance mark that spot on your gps? if you did can you forward the waypoint to me?

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    I did not mark it but I put in on river right just below the bridge, and the GPS said 3.12 miles.

  17. #17

    Default fairly easy spot and portage

    Those logs seem to be fairly easy to spot and portage around. Less than 100 feet if you just drag straight past. Below is a picture of the logs. I just drug my boat to the left. Took less than 10 minutes to get by.

    Also, for fishing. I have never had great luck in the east fork proper for trout. I caught a few at the first feeder stream on river left this weekend but nothing with any size or frequency. I caught 5-6 where the middle fork dumps in. With how many salmon the stream gets I really thought there would be more trout. Has anyone else experienced this or do others just slay the bows?
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Default no can do

    I didn't even try to cut it out; the two bottom logs were half way into the gravel on the bottom. I did cut out the log on the gravel bar so it is a really short smooth drag over the rocks.

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