This year, we've gotten approval to set up a rental kiosk at Tanana Lakes, the new recreational area on the southern end of Fairbanks. We're out there renting out canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, and even unicorns every day from noon to 9pm (though we try to show up a little early on weekends, and may head out early if the weather is particularly nasty).
In other news, we also have two ACA-certified canoe and kayak instructors, certified to teach through level 2! We schedule classes every Tuesday, but if you're interested in a class and Tuesday won't work for you, let us know and we can get something set up for you. We also have group rates available!
We still plan to run regular trips this year too, of course! Our Chatanika trip is coming up this weekend, and we plan to run Birch Creek starting June 1st.
And, as ever, we promote Epic: Kayak Ultimate, so if you don't need a class and don't have time for a trip, but want something a little more exciting than a serene afternoon of paddling on a lake, join us for a game of Epic (easiest explained as Ultimate Frisbee from kayaks)! Public games are Monday and Thursday evenings from 7-9 pm at Tanana Lakes, and if you want to join (or cheer on) our competitive league, our league games are Wednesday nights at 7:00 pm.
Tangle Lakes, August 2015
This Tangle Lakes trip was a little more intense than the last few this summer. We didn't put in until almost 11 pm on Friday night and reached the takeout point Sunday afternoon. We pushed steadily, but not hard.
The trip was kicked off with a beautiful blue moon that started out fuschia in color, then turned orange as it climbed in the sky.
We caught and kept two lake trout and a big grayling that we named Leonard. One of the lakers was easily twelve pounds and, as an added perk, had a grayling in his mouth when he was caught!
There was plenty of wildlife to be seen. A moose, a caribou, a few bald eagles, and plenty of beavers. We got to see one of the beavers dragging a tree down to build an addition onto its summer home. Three or four terns hovered around while we fished, thinking about snatching our fishing lures out of the air as we cast. (Fortunately, none of them followed through with their apparent desire for shiny things.)
We found a bald eagle feather by the edge of the river. Afterward, we noticed the eagles seemed to be following us. Clearly, they were wondering what we had done with the feather. I guess their eagle eyes somehow missed the part where we left the feather on the shore.
One of the group members along was a geologist, and we all really enjoyed learning about some of the fossils and interesting landscape we see every trip. Apparently, the takeout point is an excellent spot for crinoids.
As always, the rapids were thrilling! We had a couple of close calls, but nobody went in the river. Feeling the boat going just beyond the edge of control was a good reminder not to stick our chests out too far. Even when it seems like a small thing, the river can be a challenge. Remember to keep paddling! A single paddle stroke can be the difference between flipping the boat and going where you want to go.
Tangle Lakes, July 2015
Tangle Lakes was a wonderful place to spend the fourth of July weekend, and we clearly weren't the only ones who thought so. Although the word "crowded" probably wouldn't apply, nevertheless, there were more people out enjoying the wilderness than usual. Everyone we met was cheerful and friendly, giving our fairly-large group of ten an opportunity to meet many new potential friends. The weather was nice, the bugs not bad, and the flowers were still blooming vibrantly. The wildlife were out enjoying the weather as much as we were, and everyone appeared to have a fantastic time!
Not a fishing trip so much as a catching trip, we had several group members who were delighted as they went fishing for the first time and pulled in a grayling with almost every cast! One of our younger group members even caught a whitefish, which astonished our guide. In over thirty years of running Tangle Lakes, the guide had only seen a whitefish caught here three times before. Another group member was thrilled to find the geocache hidden at the portage.
Tangle Lakes, June 2015
This Tangle Lakes trip was a blast! More relaxing than the Gulkana, Tangle Lakes boasts incredible scenery! The flowers were in full bloom, splashing everything with a vibrant array of colors.
The weather was warm, but not hot, and although it threatened to rain for a brief period, the precipitation kindly decided to leave us alone after all. The place was pretty well deserted, too, so we had peace, quiet, and our choice of campsites.
The portage at Tangle Lakes had rougher terrain than Gulkana’s, but it was also beautiful. We trekked around to get a good view of the waterfall and were certainly not disappointed with what we saw.
It was after the portage that the faster water began. The rapids here were fairly gentle, and in most places, the bigger waves could easily be avoided. Or aimed for.
We caught a few lake trout, but the real biters were the grayling. For almost the entire trip, the grayling were practically jumping onto the lines. One member of our group caught a lake trout that had a grayling in its mouth already, which was really funny. It was a spectacular catch, too, because the fish was netted just as it flipped the line.
We also saw plenty of other wildlife: beavers were everywhere, and we saw several muskrats and bald eagles. We watched a songbird giving itself a morning bath, and once we saw a moose swimming for apparently no reason other than the joy of swimming. We saw some gigantic grizzly paw prints, but fortunately, no bears made an appearance during the trip. We also got threatened by several arctic terns who were unhappy at how close we had accidentally gotten to their nests. I love how brave those little birds are to defend their homes against five people who are all so much larger than they are.
From a trip participant:
This was my first trip with Alaska Dream Adventures. I was expecting this Hungry Hollow excursion to be the best trip I've ever experienced, and I still underestimated it!
The weather was a little chilly when we first started, but not cold enough to be unpleasant. On day two, it warmed up, and for the rest of the trip, the weather couldn't have been better! The water level was a little too low to start where we had planned, so we put in at Paxson Lake instead of Hungry Hollow. The water was clear, and the fishing was good. When we got tired of fishing, we had fun tossing a Frisbee around for a while as well. A moose and her baby were splashing around in the water by the shore. They looked like they were having fun too.
The first night, two trout made a great dinner for the five of us on the trip. The guides were excellent teachers as well as being helpful and knowledgeable. They happily taught me tricks to paddling and fishing, taught me how to filet a fish, gave me the guidance I needed to start a campfire on my own, and even showed me some animal tracks.
We portaged around the falls and enjoyed several consecutive miles of Class II Plus rapids, which was really fun and exciting! With instruction from the guides, I felt like I quickly got the hang of what to avoid and where to be. Splashing into the biggest waves was one of my favorite parts of the whole trip! Not a single person tipped over, although we stopped a couple times to bail water out of boats.
The exciting, faster-moving sections of water were broken up perfectly with long stretches of calm, peaceful floating. We saw quite a bit of wildlife, including a few more moose, a couple beavers, and several bald eagles. Two of the bald eagles were sitting on branches hanging fairly low over the water, and they casually watched as we floated almost directly underneath them. It was entertaining watching a seagull harass a hawk until the hawk flew away in irritation. Watching a tern fishing was a spectacular sight as well.
I've been to much of Europe and most of the US, and I can honestly say that I've never been to a place that is as unbelievably spectacular as the wilds of Alaska. I can't imagine how this trip could have been better!
Schedule of 2015 trips
Schedule of 2015 trips .
June 12-16 Hungry Hollow trip $550 per person
June 19-22 Tangle Lakes trip $425 per person
July 3-5 Tangle Lakes trip $350 per person
further scheduling is depending on interest and requests. There are plenty of dates, let us know what you want to see:)