Posts Tagged ‘chena_rec_area’

Fun on the South Fork of the Chena

Monday, June 1st, 2009

Tom and I hiked into Nugget Creek cabin in the Chena River State Recreation for a very fun pack rafting and hiking day trip. The South Fork of the Chena River is a fairly shallow and slow stream that winds its way though an almost complete cross section of the forest types available in the Interior.

We started at Mile 36.4 mile of Chena Hotsprings Road, and followed the Mist Creek trail for about 1/4 of a mile, before having to cross the Chena River. After attempting to simply ford across, we inflated our rafts and floated across, then packed them back up and continued up the trail.

Mist Creek Trail can be quite hard to follow at times.

For those of you who are burl obsessed, there where many, many burls along the way.

After about 6 miles we ended up at Nugget Creek cabin. The cabin is mainly visited in the winter and according to the log book, we where the first visitors since the melt.

After a quick bite to eat we inflated our rafts and headed out. The cabin is very nice in the winter, but is a mosquito trap in the summer, and while reading the log book we soon had more bugs inside than out.

And we are off!

The float was quite fun, and lasted about 6 hours. The only downsides to the float was the large number of sweepers that crossed the river completely and the short sections of shallow water. On the upside these appear to keep normal river traffic completely out.

One of the highlights of the float was the beautiful cliffs that abut the river.

Other river sights included some silty river banks, some of which where quite huge.

In the last couple of miles before hitting the main part of the Chena River the water slowed down a lot and things started to get pretty boring.

Once we hit the Chena, things sped back up, and we made it to our takeout in short order. Tom headed off on his bike to pickup the car and I packed up the rafts.

All in all, quite a marvelous trip! Very recommended as a nice mellow pack raft trip, though possibly better as a overnight as its a bit long as a day trip with 3 hours hiking and 6 hours of floating. One would hate to get out so late that one missed Mia’s!