As usual, Wednesday has been left open for scheduled field trips. This year we are pleased to offer a choice of 5 field trips, two local to Fairbanks, one in the Chena River Recreation Area (close to Fairbanks), and two in or near Denali National Park (about a 2 hour drive south of Fairbanks). Payment will occur during the meeting, however signing up for your trip now will help us plan transportation and ensure that we have space for you, as several of the trips have limits on the number of participants. Alaskan weather is unpredictable; you should plan to wear layers, boots and bring raingear on all walking trips. Brief trip descriptions and prices are below, to sign up for the trips, fill out our google registration form.
LARS and the Permafrost Tunnel - $20 This trip will be divided into two main parts that will allow a chance to visit with both the present and past megafauna (amongst other things) of Alaska. The first part of the trip will involve visiting the Large Animal Research Station (LARS) (http://lars.iab.uaf.edu/index.php) at UAF, where herds of captive muskoxen, caribou and reindeer are kept for research into the biology of subarctic and arctic ungulates. The second part of the trip will involve a unique opportunity to take a guided walk through at least 40,000 years of frozen arctic history, with a visit to the Permafrost Tunnel created and maintained by the United States Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory(CRREL). The tunnel's walls expose a continuous cross-section of undisturbed, perennially frozen, fossil-rich soil, showing bones, plant fossils, and unique features of permafrost such as ice wedges and lenses. (http://www.alaska.edu/uaf/cem/ine/permafrost_tunnel/permafrost-tunnel.xml). Parkas will be provided; Bring money to buy your own lunch at a local eatery.
Creamer's Field and the Alaska Bird Observatory - $10 The second local offering, a birder special! This short trip will take visitors to Creamer's Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge, where there are nature trails, fields and ponds that provide a migratory stopover for many waterfowl and other bird species. The second week in August is near the peak time to see Sandhill Cranes, who migrate through interior Alaska in large numbers during early spring and late summer. Creamer's Field is a great spot to watch these birds. The Alaska Bird Observatory is a short walk from Creamer's Field, and then from here you will have the opportunity to visit the Tanana Valley Farmer's Market for lunch on your own.
Angel Rocks hike and soak - $25 (please bring $10 for entry to the hot springs) This trip will take visitors to the Chena Recreation Area, where you will go on a 3 mile hike, up to a beautiful lookout from a series of interesting rock formations (Angel Rocks). This trail traverses riparian, tundra, and boreal forest areas and is quite steep in some parts. To relax after the hike, you will then drive a few more miles to the end of the road to the Chena Hot Springs Resort, where you can sit back and relax in the naturally hot waters of the rock pool and outdoor Jacuzzi tubs. Lunch will be provided, dinner will be on your own upon your return to Fairbanks. Please ensure you have adequate footwear for the hike and a bathing suit and towel for the soak.
Denali tour and hike - $50 This trip will take visitors down to the famous Denali National Park. Approximately a 2hr drive from Fairbanks, the park is famous for its rugged landscape and abundant, easily-viewed wildlife, including grizzly bears, wolves, moose, dall sheep, caribou, and many species of birds. North America's highest peak, Denali (Mt McKinley) creates a awesome backdrop to the scenery provided the weather cooperates. You will be driven 15 miles into the park to Savage Creek, and from there you will be able to take a short hike to observe the wildlife, and enjoy the breathtaking scenery. Lunch will be provided, and dinner will be on your own in Fairbanks upon your return to town.
Denali white water rafting - $100 This trip will allow visitors a different view of Denali Park. Rafters will enjoy a 3-4 hour raft down the Nenana River, which flows northward through the heart of the Alaska Range and forms the eastern border of Denali National Park. The trip covers 11 miles of the river and includes some class III and IV white water areas. Paddling will be done by a tour guide, and drysuits and equipment will be provided. However, we recommend that you bring gloves and fleece layers, as well as a change of clothes – this is glacial water! Lunch will be provided, and there will be a dinner BBQ at the end of the trip. Strictly no children under 12 please.