"Steese NCA-Birch Ck print-41" by Bureau of Land Management Alaska , public domain

Birch Creek

Wild and Scenic River - Alaska

Birch Creek Wild and Scenic River flows from the windswept ridges and alpine tundra of the Steese National Conservation Area into the broad expanse of the Yukon Flats in central Alaska. The river offers one-week float trips notable not only for scenery and remoteness but for convenience – floaters can access both ends of the ‘wild’ river segment from BLM recreation sites along the Steese Highway. Although visited primarily in summer, Birch Creek offers many winter activities for fans of primitive backcountry experiences. For a few days each February, the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race between Fairbanks and Whitehorse attracts dog teams and mushers.

maps

Visitor Map of Steese National Conservation Area (NCA) in Alaska. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).Steese - Visitor Map

Visitor Map of Steese National Conservation Area (NCA) in Alaska. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Visitor Map of Pinnell Mountain National Recreation Trail (NRT) in the Fairbanks District Office area in Alaska. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).Pinnell Mountain - Visitor Map

Visitor Map of Pinnell Mountain National Recreation Trail (NRT) in the Fairbanks District Office area in Alaska. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Map of Winter Caribou Hunter Access in Fortymile / Steese Highway, Game Management Unit 25C (GMU) area in Alaska. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).GMU 25C - Fortymile Caribou Hunter Access Winter 2020/2021

Map of Winter Caribou Hunter Access in Fortymile / Steese Highway, Game Management Unit 25C (GMU) area in Alaska. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Map of Federal Subsistence Hunt in the Steese Highway, Game Management Unit 25C (GMU) area in Alaska. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).GMU 25C - Steese Highway 2020

Map of Federal Subsistence Hunt in the Steese Highway, Game Management Unit 25C (GMU) area in Alaska. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

brochures

Brochure and Map of Birch Creek Wild and Scenic River (WSR) in Alaska. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).Birch Creek - Brochure and Map

Brochure and Map of Birch Creek Wild and Scenic River (WSR) in Alaska. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Birch Creek WSR https://www.blm.gov/programs/national-conservation-lands/alaska/birch-creek-wsr https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birch_Creek_(Yukon_River_tributary) Birch Creek Wild and Scenic River flows from the windswept ridges and alpine tundra of the Steese National Conservation Area into the broad expanse of the Yukon Flats in central Alaska. The river offers one-week float trips notable not only for scenery and remoteness but for convenience – floaters can access both ends of the ‘wild’ river segment from BLM recreation sites along the Steese Highway. Although visited primarily in summer, Birch Creek offers many winter activities for fans of primitive backcountry experiences. For a few days each February, the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race between Fairbanks and Whitehorse attracts dog teams and mushers.
Recreation Birch Creek (Ikhèenjik River) is one of Alaska’s 25 wild and scenic rivers. The Bureau of Land Management administers Birch Creek to provide high-quality but undeveloped recreational opportunities, to protect water quality and archeological sites, and to preserve the character of the river. The Birch Creek drainage encompasses nearly 1.4 million acres or about 2,187 square miles. Birch Creek offers outstanding recreation opportunities for boaters experienced with raft, kayak, or canoe. It is one of very few clear water rivers in Alaska with road access at two locations on an otherwise undisturbed river segment. Float trips usually take at least 50 hours of actual water time to travel from Upper Birch Creek Wayside to Lower Birch Creek Wayside, a distance of 110 miles. One hundred twenty-six miles of Birch Creek have been designated wild under the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. The wild and scenic river corridor is closed to all-terrain vehicles during the summer season (May 1– Oct. 14). Many floaters make this trip over a 7- to 10day period, taking leisurely days to fish, hike, hunt, and enjoy the scenery. Maximum river flows usually occur in early May as a result of break-up or in late July or early August after summer rains. During June, water levels usually drop, resulting in shallows, exposed rocks and logs, sweepers, and rock gardens. The Bureau of Land Management encourages visitors to minimize their impacts on public lands by observing “Leave No Trace” principles. You can assure the enjoyment of other visitors to Birch Creek by doing the following: • If water levels allow, camp on gravel bars or durable upland surfaces. • • • • Leave campsites clean. Observe wildlife from a distance. Be considerate of other visitors. Bury human waste at least 200 feet from water; dispose of other waste properly. Pack it in, pack it out. Bureau of Land Management Fairbanks District Office 222 University Avenue Fairbanks, Alaska 99709-3816 Local: 907-474-2200 Toll Free: 1-800-437-7021 www.blm.gov/alaska Visit us on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/BLMAlaska Follow us on Twitter at: www.twitter.com/BLMAlaska BLMAK/GI-00/015+8354+020 REV 2020 Birch Creek (Ikhèenjik River) Wild and Scenic River Bluffs along Birch Creek are a great place to observe peregrine falcons and other raptors. For some people, Birch Creek represents an unforgettable float experience that offers not only quiet enjoyment of nature but also convenient road access at either end. For others the river provides entry to moose habitat during hunting season. And for still others, Birch Creek’s transition from a swift headwater stream to a broad, meandering river presents a special window into the “life stages” of an Interior Alaska waterway. Safety All visitors should carry U.S. Geological Survey 15-minute (1:63,360) topographic maps covering Birch Creek Wild and Scenic River. Be aware that the river has changed course in several locations since the last map updates. A georeferenced PDF map of the Steese National Conservation Area, including Birch Creek Wild and Scenic River, is available on the BLM website for download to tablets and smart phones. See the map for a link. Always file a trip plan with a friend. Write down where you are going, when you plan to return, a description of your vehicle, and your license plate number. River-water temperatures range from a high of 60 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer to near-freezing in the fall. Even on a hot day, water temperatures are still cold. Be able to recognize and treat hypothermia. Drinking or cooking water from the river or side streams should be treated before use. Weather conditions can change rapidly at any time of the year. Thunderstorms upriver can cause water levels to rise rapidly downriver; secure your boat at night. This river can exert tremendous force during high-water events, and sweepers are an ever-present danger. Take survival gear and be prepared for the unexpected. In the winter, plan for high winds, deep snow, and extreme weather changes. Temperatures may be as much as 25 degrees colder than in Fairbanks. Overflow ice and open leads can create hazardous conditions. Summer temperatures can reach the 80s and occasionally the 90s, but daily variations can be extreme. Freezing temperatures have occurred in every month of the year. In Birch Creek’s upper reaches, floaters often alternate between dragging their boats through fast riffles and floating across small pools. As tributaries join Birch Creek, it changes from a headwater Class I creek to a larger river with stretches of Class II or Class III whitewater as classified by the International Scale of River Difficulty. Most rapids occur between Clums Fork and Wolf Creek. The lower segment slows and widens as the river starts to meander through the Yukon Flats. During winter Birch Creek offers experiences that can test a person’s skill, provide adventure, and reveal aspects of the river not seen by summ

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