Chena River

Fairbanks, Alaska

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Beginning in low Mountains of eastern Alaska, the Chena is a subarctic clearwater river that flows westerly for 141 miles to its confluence with the Tanana River near Fairbanks. Draining about 1,980 square miles, the Chena ruts through forested Mountains and hills and traverses muskeg and scrub thickets. The upper 100 miles of the river are generally clear, though this has not always been the case. The Chena is typical of many Alaskan subarctic rivers that in the past were polluted by gold mining activities, which have now been drastically curtailed. Unfortunately, the lower reaches of the river, particularly the lower 30 miles, are polluted by domestic and industrial wastes from Fairbanks. Still, boaters in Fairbanks love the accessibility of the Chena, which is the most popular and intensely utilized sport-fishing river in Interior Alaska.

Chena River Professional Review and Guide

"Beginning in low Mountains of eastern Alaska, the Chena is a subarctic clearwater river that flows westerly for 141 miles to its confluence with the Tanana River near Fairbanks. Draining about 1,980 square miles, the Chena ruts through forested Mountains and hills and traverses muskeg and scrub thickets. The upper 100 miles of the river are generally clear, though this has not always been the case.

The Chena is typical of many Alaskan subarctic rivers that in the past were polluted by gold mining activities, which have now been drastically curtailed. Unfortunately, the lower reaches of the river, particularly the lower 30 miles, are polluted by domestic and industrial wastes from Fairbanks. Still, boaters in Fairbanks love the accessibility of the Chena, which is the most popular and intensely utilized sport-fishing river in Interior Alaska."

Activity Type: Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing
Nearby City: Fairbanks
Distance: 70
Duration: 2-4 days
Class: Class I-II
Season: June through September
Local Contacts: Alaska Division of Parks; state; private.
Driving Directions: Directions to Chena River

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May 2018