FA I R B A N K S D A I LY N E W S - M I N E R • N E W S M I N E R . C O M
2014 Visitors Guide
ADVERTISEMENT INDEX Accommodations
7 Gables Inn & Suites — 52 Abbey Archway Inn — 52 Ah, Rose Marie Bed & Breakfast — 50 Alpine Creek Lodge — 9 Alpine Lodge — 56 Aurora Express — 13 Best Western Valdez Harbor Inn — 80 Chatanika Lodge — 69 Chena Hot Springs Resort — 60 Downtown B&B Inn — 79 Eagle’s Rest RV Park and Cabins — 80 Fairbanks Golden Nugget Hotel — 56 Fairbanks Princess Riverside Lodge — 36 Gilpatrick’s Hotel Chitina — 78 Hotel North Pole — 61 Manley Roadhouse — 70 River’s Edge Resort — 21 Riverview RV Park & Resort — 62 Top of The World Hotel — 71 Totem Inn — 9 Waldo Arms Hotel — 75 Wedgewood Resort — 26 Westmark Fairbanks — 57
Activities, attractions, tours
Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks — 29 Alaska Mining Hall of Fame Museum — 15 Alaska Railroad — 11 Alaska Riverways Inc. — 40 Alaska Wilderness Enterprises — 6 Alaskan Tails of the Trails — 50 Anadyr Adventures — 11 Arctic Bowl — 48 Black Diamond Resort — 7 Blue Loon — 14 Chena Hot Springs Resort — 60 Chicken Gold Camp — 76 Denali ATV Adventures — 9 Denali Fly Fishing Guides — 9 Denali Outdoor Center — 7 Denali Raft Adventures — 5 Department of Transportation — 10 Doyon Tourism — 10 Fairbanks Community Museum — 32 Fairbanks Ice Museum — 25 Fairbanks Summer Arts Fesitival — 25 Fairbanks Taxi Services, Llc. — 58 Fairhill Community Church — 16 Festival Fairbanks — 23 Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum — 26
Friends Of Creamers Field — 26 G’day Charters — 79 Go North 4x4 & Truck Rental — 55 Golden Days/ Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce — 15 Golden Eagle Saloon — 14 Greater Fairbanks Racing Association — 24 Jingle In July/ Arthritis Foundation — 28 Journey Christian Church — 16 Kennicott Glacier Lodge — 75 Marina Air Service — 8 Moose Creek Baptist Church — 63 Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center — 21 North Star Golf Club — 28 Northern Alaska Tour Co. — 74 Opera Fairbanks — 47 Photosymphony Aurora Show — 29 Pioneer Air Museum — 31 Pioneer Museum — 31 Pioneer Park — 30 Running Reindeer Ranch — 68 Shark Tooth Charters — 79 Sirius Sled Dogs — 27 Stan Stephens Glacier & Wildlife Cruises — 80 Trans Arctic Circle Treks — 70 Tundra Tours — 71 UAF Large Animal Research Station — 19 University of Alaska Museum of North — 20 Warbelows Air Ventures — 38 Wickersham House Museum — 31 World Eskimo Indian Olympics — 35 Worship Directory — 17 Youth Sports Bingo — 39
Alaska Salmon Bake — 44 Alpine Creek Lodge — 9 Bad 2 Da Bone BBQ — 43 Big Daddy’s Bar-B-Q — 47 Blackbear Coffee House, Llc. —6 Boston’s Restaurant and Sports Bar — 45 College Town Pizzeria — 18 Cookie Jar — 42 Diner — 48 Food Factory — 46 Fushimi — 49 Gambardella’s Pasta Bella — 28 Great Harvest Bread Co. — 23 Hilltop Truck Stop — 72 Hot Licks Homemade Ice Cream — 18 Howling Dog — 48 Ivory Jacks — 68
Lavelle’s Bistro — 43 Lemongrass Thai Cuisine — 53 Mayflower Buffet — 42 McDonald’s — 27 Miguel’s Mexican Restaurant — 46 Palace Saloon & Theatre — 44 Pump House Restaurant And Saloon — 1 Silver Gulch Brewing — 48 Sipping Streams Tea — 19 Sourdough Fuel & Hot Stuff Foods — 45 Souvlaki Mediterranean & American Food — 31 Subway — 54 Taco Azteca and Mayan Palace Mexican Restaurant — 34 The Fudge Pot — 50 Turtle Club, The — 66 Two Rivers Lodge Restaurant — 59 Vallata — 68
Alaskan Photographic Repair — 24 All Transmissions, Inc. — 58 American Legion Post 11 — 32 Bentley Car Wash — 58 City Of North Pole — 63 Crowley Fuel — 13 Dollar Rent A Car — 58 Fairbanks Memorial Hospital — 27 Just Haircuts Barbershop — 28 KJNP Radio — 61 MACS Transit System — 67 North Pole Community Chamber Of Commerce — 61 Santa’s Seniors Center — 63 Tanana Valley Clinic — 39 Variety Motors — 58
2 Street Gallery — 53 A Weaver’s Yarn — 18 Airport Road Antique Store — 38 Alaska Feed Company — 26 Alaska House Art Gallery — 55 Alaska Raw Fur Co. — 54 Alaskan Prospectors — 5 Arctic Travelers Gift Shop — 50 Bag Ladies Of Fairbanks — 31 Co-Op Market Grocery And Deli — 50 Delta Meat & Sausage Co. — 64 Enchanted Forest Toys — 19 Explore Alaska — 50 Fox General Store — 66 Gold Hill Liquor & Fine Wines — 14 Great Alaska Bowl Company — 25 Gullivers Books — 18 ADVERTISEMENTS » 3
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
Dates to remember Museum Day: May 24 Midnight Sun Run: June 21 — Page 42 Midnight Sun Baseball Game: June 21 — Page 48 Midnight Sun Festival: June 22 — Page 58 Fourth of July celebrations in Fairbanks (at Pioneer Park), North Pole
and Ester: July 4 Fairbanks Shakespeare Theatre: July 11-27 — Page 67 Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival: July 13-27 — Page 12 Golden Days: July 16-20 — Page 65 World Eskimo-Indian Olympics: July 16-19 — Page 35 Tanana Valley State
Fair: Aug. 1-9 — Page 64 Alaska International Senior Games: Aug 8-17 — Page 46 Tanana Valley Sandhill Crane Festival: Aug. 22-24 Labor Day Celebration (Pioneer Park): Sept. 1 Equinox Marathon: Sept. 20
Important phone numbers Alaska DOT highway conditions: Dial 511 Explore Fairbanks visitor information: 456-5774 National Weather Service recorded forecasts: (800) 4720391 or 458-3745 Alaska State Troopers: 451-5100 Fairbanks Police Department: 450-6500 North Pole Police Department: 488-6902
Key websites Alaska Department of Fish and Game: www.adfg.alaska.gov Alaska State Parks: dnr.alaska.gov/parks Alaska Department of Transportation Highway information: 511.alaska.gov Explore Fairbanks visitor information: www.explorefairbanks.com National Weather Service Fairbanks: pafg.arh.noaa.gov U.S. Bureau of Land Management: www.blm.gov/ak Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: www. newsminer.com
Continued from 2
If Only ... A Fine Store — 50 Interior Fish Processors and Santa’s Smokehouse — 21 Knotty Shop — 63 Larson’s Fine Jewelry — 15
Literacy Council & Forget Me Not Bookstore — 24 Northern Source Images — 37 Oxford Assaying & Refining Group — 23 Pleasant Valley Store — 24 Screaming Weasel Gift Shop, The — 61 Sunshine Health Food Store — 34 Tanana Valley Farmers Market — 19 The Craft Market Gift Shop — 33
2014 Visitors Guide
TABLE OF CONTENTS Fairbanks history — 5 Frequently asked questions — 6 Denali State Park and Preserve — 7-13 Summer arts — 12 Hiking — 14 Chena Lake — 15 Alaska Railroad — 16 Large Animal Research Station — 18 Museum of the North — 20 Fairbanks area map — 22 10 cool things to do — 23 Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center — 24 Ice museum — 27 Downtown Fairbanks — 28 Pioneer Park — 30, 36-39 Fairbanks Community
Museum — 32 World Eskimo-Indian Olympics — 35 Riverboat Discovery — 40 Midnight Sun Run — 42 Golf — 43 Mushing — 44, 45 Senior Games — 46 Chena River floating — 47 Midnight Sun Goldpanners baseball game — 48 Baseball schedule — 49 Pipeline — 51 Running Reindeer Ranch — 52 Gold Dredge No. 8 — 54 Tanana Chief riverboat — 56 Farmers market — 57 Midnight sun Festival — 58 Chena Hot Spring — 59
North Pole — 61 Botanical Garden — 62 Salmon Bake, Golden Heart Revue — 63 Tanana Valley Fair — 64 Golden Days — 65 Antique auto museum — 66 Fairbanks Shakespeare Theatre — 67 Northern Lights — 68 Fishing — 69 Creamer’s Field — 70 Dalton, Elliot highways — 71 Alaska, Richardson highways — 73 Steese Highways — 74 Wrangell-St. Elias— 75 Taylor Highway — 76 Valdez fishing— 78 Valdez — 79
Look for new Tanana Lakes park By Amanda Bohman FOR THE NEWS-MINER
The local parks authority is opening a swim beach this summer on a lake about 10 minutes from Fairbanks’ city center. The new beach, on the south end of Fairbanks at the termination of Cushman Street, is a part of ongoing efforts to develop the Tanana Lakes Recreation Area. The 750 acres of wetlands, previously characterized by junk cars, pallet bonfires and gun shooting, are getting cleaned up and turned into a place for swimming, boating, hiking, picnicking and more. The park’s official opening is planned for Memorial Day weekend. “This is going to be a pretty primitive opening,” said Mike Bork, director of parks and recreation for the Fairbanks North Star Borough. “We are not going to have lifeguards on duty.” A concrete boat launch is being constructed on a second lake that connects to the Tanana River. Entry to the park will be free for now, Bork said.
If you go
What: Tanana Lakes Recreation Area Where: At the end of South Cushman Street just beyond the dike. Hours: Tentatively 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Cost: Free Phone: (907) 459-1070
The recreation area is the result of collaboration between government, business and nonprofits, which have spent $3 million to develop the area. So far, it’s about 25 percent developed. Promising collaborations are under way to establish a paint ball field, Frisbee golf course and off-road vehicle park, municipal officials said. But for now, the park has no electricity and no water. “The nice thing is so much of the area really is a blank slate,” Bork said. “We’re taking proposals.” Segments of a pedestrian trail encircle the swim lake, which is dotted with islands and peninsulas. “Eventually, it will be a threemile loop,” Bork said.
The park has bathrooms near a picnic area, and portable toilets likely will be brought in this summer at the beach and the boat launch, Bork said. The park is sandwiched between an industrial area off Van Horn Road, the Tanana River and the municipal landfill on three sides. During a spring tour of the area, gunfire could be heard from Fort Wainwright, a nearby U.S. Army installation. A civilian rifle range also sits nearby. “Beep-beep-beep,” emanated from a nearby trucking yard. Patches of black spruce trees make up much of the flora along with birch and tamarack trees. Bork said the swim lake contains pike and a request was put to the state to stock the lake with other fish. Officials are also looking into acquiring ice fishing huts. The park is already attracting dog walkers. Little fanfare is planned for the opening in May, but there will be an open house sometime in July, Bork said. Contact freelance writer Amanda Bohman at email@example.com.
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
Prospectors and progress:
Fairbanks history littered with gold Former News-Miner reporter and columnist Dermot Cole is the author of several books about Fairbanks and Alaska.
By Dermot Cole
Fairbanks comes by its nickname “The Golden Heart City” naturally. It was a combination of good luck, bad luck and gold that lead to the establishment of the community in 1902. A year earlier, E.T. Barnette was trying to get to a spot much farther to the east and establish a trading post when shallow water and a fear of getting stuck prompted a steamboat captain to unload Barnette and his trading goods where Fairbanks is today. Barnette’s bad luck turned into good luck a year later when an Italian prospector named Feliz Pedros discovered gold about 16 miles north of Barnette’s stockpile. Pedro’s discovery and the location of Barnette’s trading goods launched a rush to Fairbanks that brought prospectors and merchants from other gold fields such as the Klondike, across the Canadian border in the Yukon. Between the 1902 gold discovery and 1910, the Fairbanks camp grew to more than 3,500 souls according to the 1910 census. But about 11,000 other people lived in small towns scattered amid the gold fields north of Fairbanks. Fairbanks is named for Charles W. Fairbanks, who represented
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Indiana in the U.S. Senate and served as vice president under President Teddy Roosevelt. The town was named in his honor as a tribute, proposed by Judge James Wickersham, who had told Barnette that he would locate his courthouse here if Barnette chose that name. Gold production and the town’s fortunes began to decline after 1910. It wasn’t until after the federal government finished building the Alaska Railroad in 1923 that Fairbanks enjoyed a resurgence. It happened because the railroad improved transportation services, allowing access to coal which replaced wood as a primary fuel, and large-scale gold dredging entered the picture. The floating dredges processed hundreds of thousands of tons of rock and kept the Fairbanks economy going until World War II. In the 1930s, the war clouds in Europe and the Pacific prompted Congress to create a cold-weather
test site in Fairbanks for the U.S. Army, but after hostilities began, the post became a key part of the growing military infrastructure in the territory. Ladd Field, now known as Fort Wainwright, was the transfer point for nearly 8,000 aircraft delivered to the Russians during World War II as part of the LendLease program to bolster the Soviet Union in the war against Germany. Fairbanks remained a key location for the military when the Cold War began, a legacy that continues today with the presence of thousands of troops at Fort Wainwright and Eielson Air Force Base. The economy today is supported not only by military spending but also by gold mining, the University of Alaska Fairbanks and by oil development activities on the North Slope. Today, the Golden Heart City and its suburbs are home to about 100,000 residents.
2014 Visitors Guide
Interior Q & A: Questions visitors frequently have firstname.lastname@example.org
When you visit the Interior and Fairbanks during the summer months, there are a lot of things that will pique your curiosity. So, here are a following Q&A is an attempt to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about the Golden Heart City. Q: Do people still mine gold in Fairbanks? A: Yes, especially with gold prices being as high as they are today. The largest open-pit gold mine in Alaska, Fort Knox Gold Mine, is 26 miles north of Fairbanks and an even bigger gold mine is being developed near Livengood, about 65 miles north of town. The Fort Knox mine has produced more than 5 million ounces of gold since it opened in 1996 and an estimated 3 million more ounces remain to be mined. The Pogo Gold Mine, an underground mine 85 miles southeast of Fairbanks, began operation in 2007 and produces about 340,000 ounces of gold per year. It has an estimated reserve of 5.6 million ounces. Q: Can you see the Northern Lights in the summer? A: Most of the time no, but starting in late August, the Northern Lights can become visible again, depending on the conditions. It’s technically summer until Sept. 21. The aurora borealis is generally visible from late
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The number of moose in game management unit 20B, which encompasses most of the road system surrounding Fairbanks from Salcha to Chena Hot Springs to Chatanika to Manley to Nenana, is estimated at approximately 20,000. Q: How many moose get hit by cars around Fairbanks? A: On average, about 150 moose are killed on Fairbanks area roads each year, most during the winter months when it is dark. The dead moose are salvaged by local charities so the meat does not go to waste. Q: How do people drive in winter? A: Carefully. Most people use studded tires or special winter tires for extra traction on the snow and ice. Studded tires can be used from Sept. 15 to May 1 in Fairbanks and other areas north of 60 degrees latitude and Sept 30 to April 15 in areas south of 60 degrees latitude. Q: Is it dark all day long in winter? A: Not really. The shortest day of the year is Dec. 21, the winter solstice, where there is only 3 hours, 43 minutes of official daylight. Q: Is it light all day long in the summer?: A: Look out the window at midnight and you tell us. The longest day of the year is June 21, the summer solstice, when there is 21 hours, 49 minutes of official daylight. At that point, in the last half of June and first half of July, it pretty much is light all day long. After June 21, we begin losing daylight to where it eventually diminishes by six or seven minutes per day.
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August to mid April. Northern Lights are present year round, but the long daylight hours in summer in northern latitudes prevent them from being visible. Q: Why are there electrical outlets in all the parking lots and why do people have extension cords sticking out the front of their vehicles? A: Because of the extreme cold temperatures in Fairbanks during the winter, most vehicles are equipped with several electric heating devices that facilitate ignition. The standard setup consists of an engine block heater that warms fluids in the cooling system, an oil pan heater that warms the oil and a battery blanket that warms the battery. It usually takes an hour or two after a vehicle is plugged in to warm it enough to start. Most employers provide “plugins” for employees. Q How long does the Chena River stay frozen? A: The Chena River usually freezes in late October or early November and remains frozen until late April or early May: One part of the river, about a mile-long stretch from the Aurora Energy peer plant on First Avenue to Pioneer Park, remains open year-round because of the warm water being discharged from the power plant. Q: How many moose live in Fairbanks? A: In the Fairbanks Management Area, which basically covers Fairbanks’ urban environment, there are an estimated 500 moose, according to surveys conducted by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. That area encompasses everything from Ester to North Pole to Fox.
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
Mount McKinley stands partially visible on Sept. 16, the first day of the Denali National Park Road Lottery. R.A. Dillon file photo
‘The Great One’ stands taller than all others By Kris Capps Kcapps@newsminer.com
When an Alaskan says “the mountain is out,” there is no doubt which mountain is filling the horizon. It is Mount McKinley, or “Denali,” as most Alaskans call it. The 20,320-foot Denali is the tallest mountain in North
America. It often is covered by clouds, but when visible, is a magnificent sight. The mountain is not the reason Denali National Park and Preserve was created, though. In 1917, the park was formed to protect the wildlife. Eventually expanded to 6 million acres, the park is home to moose, caribou, Dall sheep, wolves and grizzly bears.
More than 650 species of flowering plants eke out a living in the park, along with a variety of mosses and lichens. DENALI » 10
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2014 Visitors Guide
Denali State Park offers turnouts, camping, hiking By Kris Capps firstname.lastname@example.org
Most people driving through Denali State Park and Preserve don’t even realize they are in a state park. They are too busy looking out the car window. Yes, that really is Mount McKinley peeking out from behind the mountain range. At points along the highway, the mountain can be seen in full glory and that is worth stopping the car. There are several viewing areas specifically set aside for that along the highway. Sparsely developed, this park is best known for its hiking and its views. Denali State Park is 325,240 acres of wild country. So give in to the temptation to stop and admire the grandeur of Mount McKinley and the Alaska Range, at turnouts along the Parks Highway. Telescopes are
A Dahl sheep waits for a chance to cross the road in Denali National Park. Photo by R.A. Dillon
even provided at two viewpoints — 135 Mile and 163 Mile. If you are a feet-on-theground adventurer, Denali State Park offers a fabulous
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playground. Enjoy camping, hiking, backpacking up Kesugi Ridge, berry picking, floating the Chulitna River, paddling on Byers Lake, fishing and spotting wildlife. Questions are answered at the visitor center, adjacent to the Veteran’s Memorial at 147.1 Mile Parks Highway. There are three road-accessible campgrounds. Lower Troublesome Creek has 20 sites. Byers Lake has 68 sites and a hike-in or paddle-in lakeshore campground with six sites. Denali View North has 23 sites. Camping is rustic but convenient with picnic tables, fire pits, toilets and interpretive displays. Drinking water is available everywhere except the lakeshore campground. Black and grizzly bears are common in this area, so camp as if you are in bear country. Store your food in the food lockers provided at Byers Lake Campground. Bear-resistant containers are recommended at other campgrounds. Byers Lake has two public use cabins that can be rented yearround through the Department of Natural Resources. Reserve ahead of time, online. Hikers and backpackers can take advantage of a system of popular trails that connect to Kesugi Ridge. You can start hiking at Upper Troublesome Creek, 137.6 Mile Parks Highway, Byers Lake at 147 Mile Parks Highway, Ermine Hill at 156.5 Mile Parks Highway, and Little Coal Creek, 163.9 Mile Parks Highway. The primary Kesugi Ridge-Troublesome Creek Trail is 36 miles and has an elevation gain of 3,500 feet. Be sure you know how to read a map and have some route-finding skills. If you’re just driving through, keep your eyes on the road. The spectacular scenery will vie for your attention. For more information or to make campground reservations, visit dnr.alaska.gov/parks/ units/denali1.htm.
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
Bear cubs walk among buses full of visitors at Denali State Park and Preserve. News-Miner file photo
What can you do in half a day at Denali park? By Kris Capps firstname.lastname@example.org
Denali National Park and Preserve is a place that can take years to explore. But if you only have half a day, here are a few things you should not miss. The 14,000-square-foot Denali Visitor Center provides a world-class introduction to a world-class park, considered the crown jewel of the national park system. This should be
your first stop. Here, visitors can absorb an introduction to 6 million acres of wilderness, its history and the many types of wildlife and flora/fauna that call Denali home. The carpet even simulates a flowing river of gray and brown, leading to an exhibit area with HALF DAY » 12
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Continued from 7 Only plants adapted to long, cold winters and short growing seasons can survive in Denali’s subarctic climate. In addition, Denali is home to 39 species of mammals, 167 species of birds, 10 species of fish and one amphibian, the wood frog. There are no reptiles in Denali National Park. Dinosaur tracks, discovered in 2005, revealed for the first time that prehistoric creatures lived there. Get to the park by train, bus, car or even chartering a small airplane. The park road is a single, winding, primarily gravel road that meanders through the mountains and across rivers. It continues for 92 miles to the old mining community of Kantishna, now a visitors’ haven. Private vehicles are not permitted, though anyone can drive the first 15 miles to Savage River. After that, traffic is limited — except during the few days annually when winners of the Denali Road Lottery head into the park in their personal vehicles.
2014 Visitors Guide
If you go
What: Denali National Park and Preserve When: Park bus service begins May 20 each year and runs through the second Thursday after Labor Day. However, the entire road is not accessible by bus until June 8. Where: The park entrance is about 120 miles south of Fairbanks on the Parks Highway. Cost: $10 per person. No fee for youth age 15 and younger. This provides a seven-day entrance permit. Two fee-free days are Aug. 25, the National Park Service Birthday and Sept. 27, National Public Lands Day. Online: www.nps.gov/dena
The National Park Service allows as many as 400 permit winners per day to drive vehicles the entire length of the park road at the end of the tourist season, in mid-September. See the Denali National Park website for information on how to apply for this lottery. Limiting traffic is deliberate. This park is managed for the wildlife, not the people. Enjoying and appreciating the wilderness of Denali National Park is easy. Visit the Denali Visitor Center or the Wilderness Access Center to pick up a trail maps and check schedules of guided walks and other programs. There are trails in the entrance area that are free for
STATE of ALASKA DEPARTMENT of TRANSPORTATION & PUBLIC FACILITIES
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO For Parks Highway and other road construction updates, visit AlaskaNavigator.org.
Alaska Navigator.org ROAD CONSTRUCTION UPDATES STATE of ALASKA DEPARTMENT of TRANSPORTATION & PUBLIC FACILITIES
hiking anytime. They range in difficulty from easy to challenging. The park also offers hiking, bicycling and backcountry camping. Experienced park rangers lead special hikes, as well. Photography is encouraged in the park, but take care when photographing wildlife. There are guidelines on how close you should approach bears, eagles, caribou and other animals. There are guidelines for hiking, to help preserve fragile tundra plants that cling to life during the short season, on sunny slopes. Take special measures to enjoy wildlife from afar and to avoid chance encounters with bears. For a close-up view of how the park operates, visit the Denali Kennels, where a team of sled dogs lives year round. During the summer, these working dogs welcome visitors and their handlers provide an informative program. The dogs patrol the Denali wilderness during winter months. More Info: www.nps.gov/ dena
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
Buses, tours, shuttles: Getting around the park By Kris Capps email@example.com
The 92-mile road into Denali National Park and Preserve runs from the Parks Highway to the former mining community of Kantishna. The first 15 miles are paved and open to the public. Past that point, at the Savage River checkpoint, vehicle travel is restricted on the narrow, winding gravel surface. Buses shuttle visitors in and out of the park and drop off hikers and campers. Bus trips range from two to 12 hours, and visitors can take either a tour bus or a shuttle bus, or an all-day tour to/from Kantishna. Shuttle buses are less expensive and have fewer amenities, but travel farther into the park. Visitors can get off when they want to hike for awhile, then get back on TRANSPORT » 13
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Mount McKinley, North America’s tallest peak is just 4 hours by rail from Fairbanks. Available Activities: flightseeing, hiking, guided walking and sled dog kennel tours. Want to stay longer than a day? Ask about our hotel packages.
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2014 Visitors Guide
Summer arts, music festivals enrich Fairbanks, Denali By Kris Capps firstname.lastname@example.org
Musicians, dancers, artists and students from throughout the world will be in Fairbanks this summer for the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival, July 13-27. Awaken your inner artist at this annual gathering of teachers, performers and students, who love the fine arts. This gathering has been happening for 34 years. Classes are one week, one day or even just one hour. There’s something for everyone — music, visual arts, dance, healing arts, theatre, cooking and more. Festival provides highly qualified guest artists who offer multidisciplinary study and performance opportunities that increase personal growth and arts appreciation for all participations. It strives to enrich the lives of everyone who participates. Workshops are at all levels, including beginners. Think of it as summer camp for adults. You’ll make new friends,
Continued from 9 life-size models of a moose, a wolf and other creatures. Don’t forget to look up and see the eagle nest. A diorama of Denali National Park gives a glimpse of the vastness of the park. To get the full flavor of Denali, watch the 18-minute orientation film, “Heartbeats of Denali.” Those few moments will make you want to get on a bus and see some of the wilderness for yourself. A short way away is the Murie Science and Learning Center (www.murieslc.org). The lobby is filled with science-related exhibits, including a wolf display. Many years ago, the small school at Cantwell dissected a legally trapped wolf, boiled the bones, then rebuilt the wolf skeleton, under the auspices of a park expert. Along the way, they learn about wolves and their own environment. This is the premiere exhibit.
hone your artistic talents and have lots of fun. In recent years, Festival began offering mini-workshops, so even if you can’t take a full week or two weeks, you can engage in shorter classes that pique your interest. Who wouldn’t want to spend an hour or a few hours learning to make sushi, to play the spoons, to Stomp, Clap and Sing for Joy!, or to try a glass fusion project or steel pan? Music director Robert Franz will even teach a class on the art of conducting. There is also a workshop on “The Art of Logos.” Concerts will entertain almost every night, from Celtic to American Roots to the ever-popular Gospel. See www.fsaf.org for information and schedules. You can call (907) 474-8869 or email email@example.com, as well.
The Fairbanks Summer Arts
Check out the real-life dinosaur tracks, found several years ago, the first proof that dinosaurs roamed Denali. Local students were among those who discovered some of these tracks. The Murie Science and Learning Center offers popular family programs and field seminars throughout the summer. Check their website. Three times per day, rangers and Denali’s sled dogs offer a demonstration at the only working sled dog kennel in the park system. The dogs get hooked up to a sled on wheels and race around a looped trail. There’s no parking at the kennel, so catch the free shuttle at the Denali Visitor Center, 40 minutes before each show. Shows begin at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. If you want to get out and hike, but time is short, there are any number of trails in the entrance area or a bit further into the park. The 30-minute walk on the Morino Trial will lead you
Festival Orchestra will perform, for the third year, at the Denali Visitor Center, at Denali National Park on July 19 at 7 p.m. Admission is free. The Denali Music Festival concert will include “Denali Variations” by Samuel Hunter (Composer In Wilderness 2013), and “A Woodland Scene: “Round About Dusk” by Kenn McSperitt (Composer In Wilderness 2012). Both composers participated in the one-of-a-kind Composer In The Wilderness workshop, sponsored by Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival and Alaska Geographic at Denali National Park. These pieces were composed during their time at a field camp in the wilderness of Denali. That unique weeklong workshop continues in 2014, under the leadership of composer Stephen Lias, whose piece “Denali” was performed at the inaugural Denali Music Festival in 2012. ARTS » 16
through the site of a former homestead. The McKinley Station Trail can take an hour and reveals more Denali history. If you want to head toward the Nenana River and watch the rafts go by, take the bike path. It leads to the pedestrian bridge over the river. If you have time, take the free shuttle to Savage River, 15 miles into the park. If skies are clear, you will see Mount McKinley, about 80 miles away, at about 9.5 mile on the park road. The Savage Loop Trail is an enjoyable hike, far from civilization and you only need about an hour to do the entire loop. The new Mountain Vista stop — just before Savage River — is a great spot to get out and stretch your legs. If you are interested in activities outside the park, reserve a few hours for a raft ride down the Nenana River. Or drive your own all-terrain vehicle. Or hop on an airplane or helicopter for a memorable flight-seeing trip.
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
What To Wear:
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another bus, if seats are available. Visitors planning to hike, bike, camp, backpack or picnic in the park should take a shuttle bus. The shuttle is available for folks who just want to enjoy the scenery and wildlife viewing. Be sure and bring along food and water. There are no convenience stores along the way. Those who prefer a more deluxe trip can opt for one of the tours. A variety of tour lengths, prices and options are available. Fees vary and are in addition to the park entrance fee. Reservations for shuttles and tour buses can be made by calling 1-800-622-7275 or going online to www.reservedenali.com. You can also reserve a spot in person at the Wilderness Access Center reservation desk, up to two days in advance. Check the website at www.nps. gov/dena/planyourvisit for schedules and details.
Free courtesy buses take visitors around the entrance area of Denali National Park, connecting with hotels and restaurants just outside the park. Catch those buses at the Denali Visitor Center, Wilderness Access Center, Murie Science and Learning Center, Riley Creek Campground, Denali Park Post Office, Riley Creek Mercantile, Alaska Railroad Depot and trailheads that include Mountain Vista Loop and Savage River Loop. A free bus takes visitors to the Denali Sled Dog Kennels for each 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. demonstration. Board the bus at the Denali Visitor Center bus stop only 40 minutes before the demonstration is due to begin. Return 90 minutes later. Many businesses provide buses
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Weather at Denali can change in an instant. So be prepared. Summer temperatures can range from 33 to 75 degrees. In 2013, a heavy snowstorm hit on Memorial Day weekend. It is also not uncommon for snow to fall in July, especially at higher elevations. Park rangers suggest visitors dress in layers and bring a raincoat that can serve as a windbreaker. Mittens and a warm hat are a good precaution. Don’t forget mosquito repellent: Alaska mosquitoes are notorious, especially in certain areas of the park, such as Wonder Lake.
for people on their tours. There is a bus that travels between Miner’s Market in Healy and the Denali Park Salmon Bake in the Canyon area. That is available for $1 per trip.
Options inside park
Shuttle Bus: This is the more flexible and more economical option. You can get on and off at any time — except for wildlife restricted areas and seat availability. Narration is not included, but experienced drivers often provide it anyway. Depart from Wilderness Access Center only. Tundra Wilderness Tour: This 7-8 hour narrated tour goes to 53 Mile Toklat, and provides box lunch and hot beverage. Natural History Tour: 4 1/2 to 5 hour tour focuses on the natural and cultural history of the park and goes to Primrose Ridge at 17 Mile, just past the Savage River check station. Snack and beverage provided. Kantishna Experience: Oneday, 12-hour round-trip to Kant-
ishna that includes full lunch. A National Park Service interpretive ranger provides narration. Time is spent in Kantishna learning about its history. Windows Into the Wilderness: Narrated five to six-hour tour provides blend of history, science and opportunity to view wildlife and sweeping landscapes. Goes to Teklanika River at 30 Mile Park Road. At Mountain Vista , at 12 Mile, a cultural interpreter and science educator introduce visitors to the cultural and scientific significance of Denali. Excellent choice for families, since it includes demonstrations, activities and a walk. Snack and beverage provided.
Visitors headed to the backcountry for overnight stays should take the special camper bus, to accommodate their gear. These visitors require special backcountry permits obtained at the Backcountry Information Center, adjacent to the Wilderness Access Center.
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2014 Visitors Guide
Fairbanks has plenty of trails to stretch your legs By Tim Mowry TMOWRY@NEWSMINER.COM
Tired of sitting behind the wheel of an RV or riding around on giant tour bus? The Fairbanks area has plenty of hiking trails for visitors who
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want to get out and stretch their legs. From wide, cleared trails that double as cross-country ski trails during the winter to narrow, backcountry trails leading into the wilderness, the Interior has something to satisfy everyone from wimpy walkers to hard-core hikers. The Chena River State Recreation Area about 30 miles east of Fairbanks (www.dnr.alaska. gov/parks/units/chena) has the most developed system of hiking trails around Fairbanks. The 250,000-acre area along Chena Hot Springs Road has several developed hiking trails of varying lengths and difficulties. The Angel Rocks Trail is a local favorite. The steep 3.5-mile trail at 48.9 Mile Chena Hot Springs Road leads to several granite outcroppings and rewards hikers who climb 1,750 feet to the top with panoramic views of the Chena River valley. Adventure seekers can keep going and follow a ridge line all the way to Chena Hot Springs Resort, a distance of 8.3 miles, but they will have to arrange a shuttle to get back to
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their vehicles. The Granite Tors Trail is another popular hike in the state rec area. The 15-mile loop at 38.9 Mile Chena Hot Springs Road climbs above treeline to numerous rock formations called tors that are fun to climb on and explore. Another popular hiking spot is the White Mountains National Recreation Area about 50 miles north of Fairbanks (www.blm. gov/ak/st/en/prog/nics/white_ mtns.html). Hikers can park at a trailhead at 28 Mile of the Elliott Highway and hike 3.5 miles out the Summit Trail to the top of Wickersham Dome, where they are treated to an impressive view of the White Mountains, which were named for the color of the limestone rocks that dominate the landscape. This area is also a popular berry picking spot for locals later in the summer. Closer to town, the Birch Hill Recreation Area (www.co.fairbanks.ak.us/parksandrecreation/facilities/BH), a few miles north of Fairbanks, also has an extensive network of hiking trails. The trails serve as worldclass cross-country ski trails in the winter, but make terrific hiking trails when the snow melts in the summer. There are several different loops ranging in length from 1 to 10 kilometers and there are maps posted in the stadium and on the different trails. There also is parking and restroom facilities available in the main stadium. The University of Alaska Fairbanks also has a network of Nordic ski trails that make great hiking trails in the summer. HIKING » 15
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Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
Recreate at Chena Lake volleyball courts, a horseshoe pit, playground, multiple day-use picnic sites, two covered pavilions, When you want to get away two changing room/warm up from town and bask in some of buildings, two designated swimAlaska’s wondrous beauty, you ming areas, a boat rental, two don’t have to hop a charter flight fishing docks (one handicap accesor drive for endless miles. You can sible), a lake boat launch, potable travel just a few miles south of water stations and restrooms. North Pole and visit Chena Lake The River Park covers four miles Recreation Area. of the Chena River and boasts a A popular recreation spot for volleyball court and horseshoe residents and visitors alike, Chena pit. There is a covered pavilion, a Lake Recreation Area covers more changing room/warm up buildthan 2,000 acres and is comprised ing and a variety of picnic sites, of two segments. restrooms and fire rings. The The Lake Park, with a 260-acre highlight of the area is the 4.5 lake and broad sandy beaches, is kilometer self-guided nature trail where sunbathers and swimmers and the river boat launch. Both gather to relax and play under the sites have campgrounds. There are midnight sun. The park has three also five tent camping sites on the
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CHENA LAKE » 16
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Like Birch Hill, the UAF West Ridge trail system (www.uaf. edu/fs/northcampus) has multiple loops ranging in length from one to 10 kilometers. The 15-mile trail system can be accessed from multiple spots on campus and from trailheads at Ballaine Lake on Farmers Loop and on Sheep Creek Road. The start and finish of the 26.2-mile Equinox Marathon Trail is also located on the UAF campus. Another great place to take a walk is Creamer’s Field State Migratory Waterfowl Refuge (www.adfg.alaska.gov/index. cfm?adfg=creamersfield.main).
Located just a few miles from downtown Fairbanks on College Road, the refuge has about five miles of trails that wind around open fields and through the boreal forest. The two-mile boreal forest trail is probably the most popular trail at the refuge, featuring a long section of boardwalk that winds through the woods and has interpretive stations and viewing platforms along the way.
island located in the Lake Park. Access is only by boat. Chena Lake is stocked by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game with rainbow trout, silver salmon and arctic char. The Chena River, located in the River Park, has a fishing menu of grayling, northern pike, whitefish, burbot and an annual run of king salmon. Day-use fees are collected the Wednesday before Memorial Day through Labor Day, and fees entitle users to all parts of Chena Lake
Celebrating Fairbanks’ rich golden history for over 60 years!
The Alaska Mining Hall of Fame Foundation (AMHF) was established in 1997 to honor Alaska’ s Mining Pioneers. Since then about 100 men and women have been inducted.
WHERE: The AMHF Museum is located at 825 1st Avenue in downtown Fairbanks, also known as the Odd Fellow’ s Hall, it is on the National Historic Register. For More Information fairbankschamber.org/goldendays (907) 452-1105
Our Normal Hours will begin May 27th (day after Memorial Day) and continue through the summer
Please join us and learn more about Alaska’s Mining Pioneers and Alaska’s history
FEATURED: • Paystreak Newsletters that provide biographic summaries of the pioneers. • Biographies with plaques and numerous photos depicting Alaska’ s mining history. • Movie clips and other digital media are featured at the AMHF museum • Memorabilia are for sale; such as coffee cups and T-shirts
2014 Visitors Guide
Relax while traveling the state on the Alaska Railroad By Jeff Richardson firstname.lastname@example.org
The Alaska Railroad offers a unique vantage point for visitors to the Last Frontier, providing both industrial muscle and a relaxing way to see the vast state. The railroad hauled more than 5 million tons of freight in 2013, much of it consisting of petroleum and coal products. But it also serves as a busy passenger service, giving nearly 500,000 passengers a leisurely look at some otherwise inaccessible scenic areas. The railroad stretches from Seward on the Kenai Peninsula to the Fairbanks North Star Borough. With that territory to cover, it offers six separate passenger trains and a variety of runs. More than half of Alaska Railroad passengers arrived aboard cruise ships in 2013, with most of them taking the short runs
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July 12: Evening of salsa with Saber Cubano Dance. Learn to salsa in a one-hour class from 5-6 p.m., watch a professional
Come & Join Us! Journey Christian Church
from Whittier and Seward to Anchorage. Aside from those visitors, the most popular passenger train is the Denali Star, a daily summer service between Anchorage and Fairbanks, with stops in between at Talkeetna and Denali. The Aurora train runs from mid-September through mid-May, providing a winter weekend service between Anchorage and Fairbanks. Other summer passenger trains include the Coastal Classic (daily service between Anchorage and Seward), the Glacier Discovery (daily summer service from Anchorage to Whittier, with whistle-stops at Spencer Glacier and Grandview) and Hurricane Turn (a first-Thursday service between Anchorage and Hurricane, and Thursday through Sunday between Talkeetna and Hurricane). The railroad has a passenger service fleet of 44 railcars, including 11 passenger coaches and six dining cars. It
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907-457-5522 • 907-457-2167 101 City Lights Blvd., Fairbanks, AK 99712
Sunday worship at 10 a.m.
Contact staff writer Jeff Richardson at 459-7518.
performance at 7:30 p.m. and then join the fun of salsa dancing at 9 p.m. at Tonglen Lake Lodge. July 19: Jazz Quintet at Denali Wilderness Princess Resort’s Bistro at 9 p.m. July 20: String Quartet at Tonglen Lake Lodge, time TBA. July 25: Caitlin Warbelow/ Celtic crew at Tonglen Lake Lodge, 7:30 p.m. July 26: Steel Drums at 49th State Brewing Company, 7 p.m.
Worship Services Saturday at 7 p.m. • Sunday at 11 a.m.
also features a variety of cars specifically for enjoying scenery along the route, with six bi-level “ultradomes” with a glass-domed compartment with a viewing platform and reclining seats, and six Vista Dome Coaches, with reclining seats beneath a dome in the middle offering 360-degree views. Seven low-level dome coaches have seats arranged around tables, a small galley and service bars. The railroad also offers 10 vacation packages, running from two days to 10 days. Offerings include glacier cruises, Alaska’s National Parks by rail, a “Rails and Trails” package featuring backcountry hikes, and a basic tour featuring stops in Anchorage, Talkeetna and Denali. Information about the Alaska Railroad’s various passenger and vacation plans is available online at www.alaskarailroad. com.
Recreation Area. Free hospitality passes for senior citizens and the handicapped are available upon request. Fees range from $1 for bikers and walkers to $5 per vehicle. Tent camping is $10/night and the fee for vehicle campers is $12. Firewood is available and pedal boats, rowboats, canoes and kayaks can be rented. Residents use the area year around, especially the groomed cross-country ski trails and trails for running and walking. It also is a popular site year around for horseback riding, dog mushing, skijoring, snowmachining, cross-country skiing, running and walking. Interior Alaska Gun Dog Association hunt tests, Fairbanks Retriever Club field trials, and the annual trebuchet and catapult competition are summertime events. For more information, call (907) 488-1655 or check out www.chenalake.com.
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
Worship Directory – Visitors are always welcome! Each Friday, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner publishes additional local faith news.
FAIRBANKS AREA Bethel Church
www.bethelchurchak.org • 907-479-4380 (Conservative Baptist) 1310 Farmers Loop Rd. Worship: Sunday 9:15 a.m. & 11:00 a.m. Sunday School - all ages 11:00 a.m.
Bible Baptist Church
Immaculate Conception Church
2 Doyon Place 452-3533 Mass: Sat. 5:30 p.m., Sun. 7:30, 9:30, 11:00 a.m. Weekday Masses (Mon. through Fri.) 12:10 p.m. Church is open weekdays 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Jewish Congregation of Fairbanks 1744 Aurora Drive
Fridays 7:30pm • www.mosquitonet.com/~orhatzafon/
Journey Christian Church
Sun 8:30 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 6 p.m. & Wed 7 p.m.
Regal Cinemas Movie Theater 455-4433 • www.journeyalaska.org Services at 10:00 a.m.
Christ Lutheran Church (ELCA)
1300 Peger Rd. Ph: 474-9032 Fx: 479-3327 Weekend Masses: May 25 - August 24 Sat. 5:00 p.m., Sun. 10:00 a.m. & 6:30 p.m. Weekday Masses: Tue. – Fri. 5:30 p.m. email: email@example.com
452-1407 32 Adak Ave. 328-1423 Off the Steese Highway at College Road E.
Bible believing — Old fashioned singing Plenty of parking for RVʼs Free transportation from motels & campgrounds www.BibleBaptistFairbanks.com Doug Duffett, Pastor (907) 388-9815
Farmerʼs Loop & Iniakuk Ave. near UAF 479-4947 Sunday Worship: 9:30 a.m. (Memorial Day - Labor Day) www.clcfairbanks.org • firstname.lastname@example.org “All Are Welcome. No Exceptions”
Church of Christ
645 11th Avenue 456-4921 Sunday 10:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m. & 6:00 p.m. Wednesday 7:00 p.m.
Denali Bible Chapel
1201 Lathrop Street 456-5157 Service: 10:30 a.m. www.DenaliBibleChapel.org
Fairbanks First United Methodist Church
915 Second Avenue 452-2956 Sunday: 9:30 a.m. Traditional • 11:30 a.m. Contemporary www.fairbanksfirst.org • email@example.com
Fairbanks Lutheran Church
1012 Cowles Street (ELCA) 452-3425 Summer Sunday Worship: 8:30 a.m. Heritage 10:00 a.m. Celebration II www.fairbankslutheranchurch.org / firstname.lastname@example.org
St. Mark’s University Catholic Church UAF Campus 474-6776 email@example.com Sunday Mass: 10:30 a.m. (May 25 - Aug. 31)
Mass held Margaret Murie Life Science Bldg Auditorium
St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church
1029 First Avenue 456-5235 Eucharists: Sunday 8 a.m., 9:15 a.m. & 11:15 a.m. Wed. 9:30 am & 7 pm, Compline at 12 am Sun. - Fri. www.stmatthewschurch.org
St. Paul Church
Independent Traditional Methodist Worship Pastor Ben Bohart – 474-9206 Sunday School 9:45 a.m. Worship 11 a.m. 907 Union Dr., by Dog Mushers 479-7998 A Friendly Little Country Church
St. Raphael Catholic Church
1125 Old Steese Hwy. North 457-6603 Mass: Saturday 5:30 p.m. & Sunday 9:30 a.m.
Zion Lutheran Church (LCMS) 2982 Davis Road 456-7660 Worship with us Saturday 5:00 p.m. or Sunday 8:30 a.m. & 11:00 a.m. www.zionfairbanks.org
Fairbanks Seventh-day Adventist Church
Fairhill Community Church of God
Mile 249, Parks Hwy. Healy 683-2303 Sun. Sch. 10 a.m., Church 11a.m., Wed. 7 p.m.
1811 Farmerʼs Loop Road 479-6070 9:30 am Saturday, www.fairbanksadventistchurch.org
fairhillchurch.com (See ad on facing page)
First Baptist Church of Fairbanks
Sacred Heart Cathedral
805 Sixth Avenue - Downtown 456-4923 Sunday Morning: 11:00 a.m. www.firstbaptistfairbanks.com
Hamilton Acres Baptist Church 138 Farewell Avenue Independent Sunday 9:45 a.m., 11:00 a.m. & 6:00 p.m. Pastor Bruce Hamilton
Valley Chapel - Assembly of God NORTH POLE AREA Moose Creek Baptist Church
3518 Hope Street, North Pole 488-2407 Sunday Service 11:00 a.m.• www.moosecreekbaptist.org
St. Nicholas Catholic Church
707 St. Nicholas Drive, North Pole
Mass: Daily 9am, Sat. 5pm, Sun. 9am, Noon & 2pm (Latin)
Reconciliation: Saturday 4 p.m. or by appointment
2014 Visitors Guide
Take a look at some big animals at the Large Animal Research Station college
IF YOU GO
By Wes Morrow
What: Large Animal Research Station When: 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday from June 3 to Aug. 30. Tours offered at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. Where: 2220 Yankovich Road, next to UAF. Cost: Tours, $10/person, $9/ senior, $6/student, Free/ children 5 and younger. Phone: 474-5724 Online: www.lars.uaf.edu
Alaska is known for big things. The state itself is much larger than any other in the union and Denali, “The Great One,” is the highest peak in North American by several
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thousand feet. In addition to geography, Alaska has an extensive population of great-sized animals, including moose, caribou and reindeer. Spend some time on the trails around the interior and before long you will likely see one of these animals. Even if you don’t leave town, you may find yourself at some point witness to a moose meandering down the road. Visitors to Fairbanks can have a guaranteed sighting of several different species of these beautiful beasts up close and personal, however, without ever leaving town by taking a short drive to the Large Animal Research Station (LARS). The Robert E. White Large Animal Research Station is locatednear the University of Alaska Fairbanks, at 2220 Yankovich Road. It is home to three
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Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
A pair of curious musk oxen are pictured Dec. 17, 2007, at the Large Animal Research Station.
Continued from 18 herds of large herbivorous land mammals — caribou, reindeer and musk oxen. LARS’ herds contain about 20 caribou, 20 musk oxen and just fewer than 40 reindeer. The 20-some musk oxen represent the vestige of a population that once propagated throughout the northern latitudes of North America. After being over-hunted in Alaska more than a century ago, they were transplanted back into the region from Greenland in the 1960s. LARS offers tours of its herds throughout the summer. A trained naturalist guides visitors through the station three times per day. The station hosts its open house this year on May 31 and begins tours June 3. Tours last about 45 minutes to an hour. In addition to seeing the animals, visitors will learn about natural history and ecology and will be able to feel hide, horn and antler samples. Tour guides also discuss the research
News-Miner file photo
taking place at LARS. Even when the station is closed or not offering tours, visitors can stop by the station to see the animals from beyond the fence. The station’s parking lot is open 24/7 and station staff say animals can often be seen going about their way along the fence line. LARS has a gift shop on-site
as well, where visitors can purchase qiviut, the under-wool of the musk ox. The shop sells qiviut samples, raw qiviut to process and spin, as well as qiviut yarn from LARS musk oxen and garments that have been knit from qiviut. Contact staff writer Weston Morrow at 459-7520.
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2014 Visitors Guide
Science, arts, archaeology and more: Museum of the North By Gary Black firstname.lastname@example.org
The University of Alaska Museum of the North is the premiere scientific and historic museum for the state’s collegiate system, and it’s housed right here in Fairbanks. NORTH » 21
If you go
What: The University of Alaska Museum of the North Where: 907 Yukon Drive on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus Hours: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, June 1 through Aug. 31 Phone: 474-7505
Admission: $12 Adult; $7 (children ages 1-15); $8 adult with Alaska ID; $5 Alaska children Online: www.www.uaf.edu/ museum FYI: Be sure to check the museum’s website for special events throughout the summer and admission rates.
Explore the North Tour the
9 AM – 7 PM Daily museum.uaf.edu 907.474.7505
University of Alaska Museum of the North 907 Yukon Drive Fairbanks, AK 99775 UA1970-306-7
UAF is an AA/EO employer and educational institution.
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
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visitors near the entrance. This summer, the museum is celebrating scientific research in the far north with the exhibit “Arctic Odyssey: Voyages of the R/V Sikuliaq.” The exhibit examines arctic research in the Last Frontier and how the research vessel aides scientists in studying the North. Also available this
summer, the museum will again host behind-the-scenes tours in which visitors get to see museum scientists at work and visit rarely seen collections. The museum building is famed for its modern design, invoking images of glaciers, spring breakup, alpine ridges and the northern lights.
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The museum is home to 1.4 million artifacts and specimens, divided into 10 collections, or disciplines: archaeology, birds, documentary film, earth sciences, ethnology/history, fine arts, fishes/marine invertebrates, insects, mammals and plants. The collections form the foundation for the museum’s research and exhibits, from art and sculpture to displays of gold and minerals to animals and insects found all over the state. One of the most stunning attractions is Blue Babe, a 36,000-yearold mummified steppe bison which is permanently on display. Also look for Otto — you can’t miss the giant grizzly, who greets
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Sh ee re
pC ek Phillips Field Rd
Chena Hot Springs Rd
Immaculate Conception Church Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Centerlk
w er • Alaska PublicivLands R Information Center • Fairbanks Convention and Visitors Bureau
Brandt St y St
e Wendell Av
t Lacey S
e 5th Av
Mushers Hall Yankovich
tte St Barne
Fairbanks & Vicinity e
ichardso n Hwy
I V E R
Musk Ox Farm
St ee se Hw y St Ke llu m
Co wl es St
Tanana Valley Fairgrounds s Hwy Park
UA Museum of the North University of Alaska Fairbanks Creamer’s Field
Alaska Railroad Depot R I V A E N
Pioneer Park Growden Memorial Park Fairbanks Airport
2014 Visitors Guide
VISITORS GUIDE 22
Fairbanks area map
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
Ten cool things to do in Fairbanks and the Interior By Tim Mowry TMOWRY@NEWSMINER.COM
You finally made it to Alaska; now what the heck are you going to do? Here’s a list of 10 things, in no particular order, that you should try to do during your stay in Fairbanks and the Interior.
1. Dance with mosquitoes
At least that’s what it will look like as you’re flailing about trying to avoid getting bit by the blood thirsty beasts. Alaska is famous for its mosquitoes and nowhere is that more true than the Interior, where the bugs are big, hungry and plentiful. If you don’t go home with at least a few mosquito bites, you haven’t experienced the real Alaska. And please, feel free to take as many home with you as you like, dead or alive.
2. Find a moose
There aren’t any moose farms in Alaska so you will have to find one on your own, but that shouldn’t be a problem, espe-
cially around Fairbanks, which is home to some of the state’s healthiest moose populations. Just keep your eyes open as you drive down the road and chances are good you will spot one, hopefully not in front of your vehicle.
3. Take a photo at the Antler Arch Located along the Chena River bike path in downtown Fairbanks, just a short walk
from the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitor Center, the arch is made up of more than 100 moose and caribou antlers that were collected from hunters across the Interior, some of which are pretty darn impressive. The arch was completed in 2010 at a cost of $25,000.
4. Go to North Pole We’re not talking about the
TOP 10 » 26
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2014 Visitors Guide
A good starting point — Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center By Jeff Richardson firstname.lastname@example.org
People interested in exploring the Interior can get a pretty good start on their trip with a single visit to the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center. Explore Fairbanks, Alaska Public Lands Information Center, Tanana Chiefs Conference Cultural Programs, the Alaska Geographic bookstore and Denakkanaaga Native Elders organization all share space in the building at 101 Dunkel St.,
Alaska lifestyles past and present and the history of the area from its first people, early exploration, gold stampede and oil pipeline are detailed ... on the banks of the Chena River, providing a variety of cultural programs, exhibits and events. The center also includes “How We Live,” an in-depth display of the Interior’s history and people. The walk-through exhibit hall greets visitors with everyday sounds of the Interior, beginning with a raven’s call, Athabascan fiddle music, the deep roar of a float plane taking
off and the musical honking of migrating geese. The exhibit trail winds through life-sized dioramas depicting the seasons, flora and fauna of the Interior. A replica fish camp, hunting camp and public use cabin add to the realism. The area’s rich cultural history and highlights of the modern community are included, such as the University of Alaska Fairbanks, artwork, World Eskimo-Indian Olympics, Fairbanks Symphony, the international ice sculpture competition and much more. VISITORS » 25
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Thousands of used books from which to choose! 517 Gaffney Rd. • 456-6210 LiteracyCouncilofAlaska.org
All trails lead to… Pleasant Valley Store
23.5 Mile Chena Hot Springs Road • (907) 488-9501 • 9 a.m.–8 p.m. 18505098 5-10-14
Gas • Groceries • Sporting Goods • Ice Alaskan Gifts • Information Alaska Hunting/Fishing License • Post Office
P.O. Box 71127, Fairbanks, AK 99707
Downtown Fairbanks 551 2nd Ave., Suite 221 Lavery Bldg. (upstairs)
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
Continued from 24 Alaska lifestyles past and present and the history of the area from its first people, early exploration, gold stampede and oil pipeline are detailed through a wide range of locally donated art and artifacts. The center is adjacent to Griffin Park and is near bike and walk paths. It offers parking, wireless Internet and restrooms. Visitors can stow their gear in lockers while they explore Fairbanks or can watch daily free films about Alaska in the center’s 100-seat theater. A 1905 pioneer cabin on the center’s grounds is in the process of being restored, and glass tile mosaics depicting traditional Athabascan beadwork designs adorn the sidewalks. The services offered by the center’s organizations are many. A variety of events available at the center can be seen at www.morris thompsoncenter.org/programs.
There is much to do and see in the Interior, and the friendly folks at Explore Fairbanks — formerly known as the Fairbanks Convention and Visitors Bureau — will help plan an itinerary of local attractions that fits your schedule. The staff is all local and can answer questions and share personal stories
^ Lunch Bites, 12:15 pm @ Great Hall, UAF Morris Thompson Center ^ Evening concerts and classes (complete list online)
www.fsaf.org · 474-8869
Fairbanks Ice Museum Visitors will experience winter in Alaska.
Alaska Geographic is a nonprofit bookstore dedicated to “connecting people to Alaska’s parks, forests and refuges.” Browse Alaska reading material — children’s books, wilderness adventure, Alaska history and collections from some of the state’s finest photographers. You’ll also find detailed maps of Alaska’s wild areas, DVDs covering a wide range of Alaska history and culture, and Native arts and crafts. The bookstore is open daily during the summer months. For more information, call 459-3710 or visit alaskageographic.org.
TCC cultural programs
The Tanana Chiefs Conference, a consortium of 42 villages of Interior Alaska, promotes Alaska Native unity and self-determination. TCC Cultural Programs hosts cultural programs and events Monday through Friday during the summer at the center. For more information, call 459-3741, visit tananachiefs.org or stop by the center.
Finest selection of Made in Alaska gifts anywhere, from gourmet food to woodenware and ulus! Receive $5.00 in Bowl Bucks with this ad
www.woodbowl.com 1-907-474-9663 • 4630 Old Airport Road
Shows start on the hour from 9 A.M. to 8 P.M.
For reservations call 907-451-8222
For adventuresome visitors, the Public Lands Information Center is dedicated to promoting knowledge and use of “natural, cultural and historic resources on Alaska’s public lands.” The information center has resources for hiking, camping and fishing and can help with backcountry trip planning. The information center’s services include resource education programs, interpretive services and fee collection. The center also sponsors daily natural history or cultural films in the theater.
Alaska Geographic bookstore
Old Airport Way
500 2nd Avenue • Fairbanks, AK
Alaska Public Lands Information Center
The public lands office is open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily Memorial Day through Labor Day. For more information, call (907) 459-3730 or visit alaskacenters. gov.
Join us! F July 13 – July 27
It’s the “Coolest Show in Alaska!” Don’t miss it.
of year-round life in Fairbanks. Staff fluent in German and Japanese are available to assist international travelers. The bureau offers hundreds of brochures for attractions, dining, shopping, camping and outdoor adventures in the Interior and across Alaska. Explore Fairbanks provides a number of services for visitors. They include free courtesy phones for local and credit card calls; public computers for visitors to make travel arrangements and check email; maps of Alaska and the Fairbanks area; and daily listings of available accommodations. For more information, call 456-5774 or visit www.explorefairbanks.com.
America's northern most bowl mill invites you to come watch our manufacturing process!
Daily Performances & Workshops
Freeze Frame Presentation, huge ice displays, ice slide for the kids to enjoy and much more.
2014 Visitors Guide
Continued from 23 North Pole, we’re talking about North Pole, Alaska, which is just a 15-minute drive down the Richardson Highway from Fairbanks. Take a drive down Santa Claus Lane, the town’s main street, and stop in at the Santa Claus House to get a picture of the giant Santa Claus out front. It’s worth it just to tell people back home you went to North Pole, Alaska.
5. Fairbanks Ice Museum
Get a taste of what Fairbanks feels like in the winter by taking a tour of the Fairbanks Ice Museum on Second Avenue in downtown Fairbanks. Billed as “The 24 Hour Front Desk
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6. Stay up late
One of the things Alaska is famous for in the summer is the amount of daylight and it’s no exaggeration. During the months of June and July it’s light pretty much 24 hours a day in Fairbanks, which means you can stay up as late as you want to do everything from take a walk, go for a run, play a round of golf , or listen to the birds singing at 2 a.m.
while you’re here. You can visit Gold Dredge No. 8, a commercial gold-panning operation located at 9 Mile on the Old Steese Highway where customers are guaranteed to find gold, or you can buy a gold pan at a local hardware store and strike out on your own. There are several road-accessible creeks along the Steese Highway north of town that offer a chance to find some color, including Pedro Creek, the area where Felix Pedro struck it rich more than 100 years ago.
9. Drink a local beer
7. Go for a sled dog ride
There may not be any snow on the ground and your dog sled might have wheels but there are several mushing tour companies (see page 45) in Fairbanks that offer cart rides during the summer months to give tourists an idea of what it’s like to be behind a dog team. It’s worth it just to say that you did it, not to mention the fact that it’s a blast.
Fairbanks is home two microbreweries —HooDoo Brewery at 1951 Fox Ave. in the Alaska Railroad industrial yard and Silver Gulch Brewing & Bottling in Fox, about 11 miles north of town on the Steese Highway. Both offer a selection of tasty and potent microbrews that are served on site. HooDoo Brewery has limited hour (3-8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday) while Silver Gulch is open seven days per week and features a full-menu restaurant.
8. Pan for gold
10. Eat a local food
The discovery of gold by Felix Pedro in 1902 is what put Fairbanks on the map (see page 22), hence the nickname the Golden Heart City, so it only makes sense to try your hand at gold panning
Farmhouse Visitor Center & Giftshop Summer Hours: Daily 9:30am - 5pm Guided Nature Walks leave from the Farmhouse Mon - Sat, 10am & Wed. evenings - 7pm
Additional walks can be arranged for groups of six or more with a minimum of one week advance notice.
Tanana Valley Sandhill Crane Festival Fri., Aug. 22 – Sun., Aug. 24 Full schedule and events listing at www.creamersfield.org
Over 85 rare vehicles. From horseless carriages to elegant Art Deco classics. Historic fashions from the 18th to mid-20th Century.
Coolest Show in Town,” the ice museum features daily ice carving demonstrations and photo ops with ice sculptures, as well as a multi-media show every hour.
You can’t buy moose, caribou or other Alaska game meat but you might be able to talk a local into serving you up a moose burger or caribou steak. Some local cafes and diners, i.e. the Loose Moose Cafe and Sam’s Sourdough Cafe, serve up reindeer sausage. If nothing else, stop by the Tanana Valley Farmers Market (Wednesday and Saturday) on College Road and buy some locally grown produce, jam or vinegar. You can always get an ice cream cone at Fairbanks’ favorite ice cream shop, Hot Lick’s, at 3453 College Road, too. All the ice cream is made in Fairbanks and they even use locally picked blueberries and cranberries for their blueberry and cranberry cones.
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
Staying cool at the Ice Museum By Bob Eley FOR THE NEWS-MINER
It can get pretty warm in Fairbanks during the summer months when the sun is shining almost 24 hours a day, but one place where you can cool off is the Fairbanks Ice Museum. Located at the corner of Second Avenue and Lacey Street, in the old Lacey Street Theater, the Ice Museum is operated by Ice Alaska, the organization that hosts the World Ice Art Championships in late February and March here in Fairbanks at the George Horner Ice Park. The World Ice Art Championships take place during a period of about two weeks, then the magnificent sculptures remain on display through the end of March. The Ice Museum offers hourly shows from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days per week from May 10 through mid-September and management is hoping to remain open year-round with limited hours in the winter. The shows at 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. are a photo symphony “The Aurora Experience!” by LeRoy Zimmerman. Zimmerman’s show is billed as a “widescreen, panoramic, visual masterpiece.” ICE MUSEUM » 29
If you go
in Fairbanks and North Pole.
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What: Fairbanks Ice Museum When: 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.: The Aurora Experience!; Hourly 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Ice Alaska Ice Art Show. Where: Second Avenue and Lacey Street Cost: Aurora Experience $10; Ice Alaska show $15 adults, $14 seniors and military, $10 children 6-17. Phone: 451-8222 Online: www.icemuseum.com
Start Your Day Right at McDonald’s
2014 Visitors Guide
Hit downtown for food, shopping and sights Staff Report email@example.com
Downtown Fairbanks is a mix of old meets new — historic architecture, busy shopping, art galleries, museums and great food all can be found within a small radius. Here’s a few highlights to check out.
Downtown Market You can find the best in arts and crafts as well as an ample supply of food and fresh produce from Fairbanks farmers every summer Monday at the Downtown Market. Vendors set up stands from 4-8 p.m. each Monday from June to September in Golden Heart Plaza on First Avenue. Crafts and handmade items often include woodworking, jewelry, art, pottery, clothing and locally made soaps, lotions and beauty products. When harvesting kicks in during the full swing of summer, Fairbanks’ farming communities
mbardella's a G Pasta Bella
the Downtown Association of Fairbanks and has grown in size since its inception in 2011. For more information about the market, visit www.downtownfairbanks.com. The market opens the first Monday in June and runs each Monday through mid-September.
The scene downtown
The architecture of the buildings in downtown Fairbanks tells the young city’s history. As a guide to these buildings, Explore Fairbanks created a self-guided audio tour, which is available at the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center. It’s also available as a mobile device app on the Downtown Association of Fairbanks website. Be advised that many stops on the tour are private homes, including several early 20th century cabins. Admire them from the outside, but please don’t bother the residents. DOWNTOWN » 29
Summer hours: Mon.–Sat. 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Sunday Noon–10 p.m. Pasta, Pizza, Beef, Seafood Homemade Breads & Cheesecakes Garden Patio Seating & Cozy Dining Rooms
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converge in the plaza with booths of onions, potatoes, tomatoes, broccoli, cabbage, leeks, zucchini, and every other vegetable or flowering plant that grows well in Alaska’s cool summer climate. At the beginning of summer, expect to see lots of seedlings and starters until harvest starts, usually mid- to late June. In addition to produce and locally grown food, the market has expanded in recent years as a hub of Monday night entertainment with musicians and bands strolling the area performing free concerts. Often, especially during campaign season, politicians will take advantage of the crowds to give soap box speeches or to reach out to constituents. One of the more popular events at the Downtown Market started last summer with a program called Chef at the Market, in which chefs from Fairbanks restaurants use locally grown produce to prepare a meal right at the market. You even get to sample some of the delights that are whipped up on the spot. The market is sponsored by
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
Continued from 28
Highlights of the audio tour include: • Golden Heart Plaza: Walk across the foot bridge behind Immaculate Conception Church to the south side of the Chena River, and you’re at Golden Heart Plaza, a central plaza decorated with flowers in the summertime. It’s also the summer home of the Downtown Market every Monday night. In the winter, the frozen Chena River is used for cross country skiing, sled dog races and snowmachining. • One block south of the river is Second Avenue, the former entertainment hub of Fairbanks. The Mecca bar is one holdover from the string of bars that once lined this street. The Co-Op Plaza, a former movie theater, now holds a diner, coffee shop and several craft shops. Fourth Avenue, two blocks further south, was Fairbanks’ red light district into the 1950s. • Several of Fairbanks’ grandest structures are civic buildings along Cushman Street. Several have been re-purposed throughout the years. City Hall (at Ninth Avenue and Cushman Street) is the former Main School, while the old City Hall (Fifth and Cushman) now houses the Fairbanks Community Museum. The old courthouse (Second and Cushman) is a commercial building. • Clay Street Cemetery: Fairbanks’ first cemetery is located just outside downtown on the eastern edge of Fifth
Continued from 27
Downtown Fairbanks is a mix of shopping experiences, from gift and jewelry stores to unique antique shops and a plethora of art galleries. Avenue. More than 2,000 Alaskans were buried there between 1903 and 1978. • The Daily-News Miner (on north side of the Cushman Street bridge), first founded as the Daily Miner in 1903, publishes a daily newspaper as well as this guide. Be sure to smile for the Arctic Cam, a popular webcam that looks over the parking lot toward the Big I bar and the Chena River. • Across Cushman Street is Immaculate Conception Church, Fairbanks’ first Catholic Church. Originally built in 1904, it was moved from the south side of the river in 1911.
Go shopping and get hungry
Downtown Fairbanks is a mix of shopping experiences, from gift and jewelry stores to unique antique shops and a plethora of art galleries. Second and Third avenues offer ample stores to peruse through for that perfect item to take home, and several clothing and fur stores also make downtown home.
work and, for the adventurous, the chance to go down an ice slide that has been expanded compared to those of previous years, according to Ice Alaska’s Dick Brickley. Admission to one of the Ice Alaska shows is $15 for adults, $14 for senior citizens and
Want to Have Some Fun? Watch baseball under the midnight sun or watch games live online! www.goldpanners.com/ Twitter @goldpanners
When you’re there, don’t forget to eat. Several small sandwich and coffee shops call downtown home as well as the more traditional restaurant with full service waitstaff. When it comes to clothing, Big Ray’s offers everything you need to make you feel like you actually live here. From Xtratuffs to steeltoed boots, Big Ray’s is the place to go. The shop is full of outdoors gear as well as more fashionable gear and clothing needed for the sometimes fickle Fairbanks weather. Frank’s Menswear offers you a more upscale clothing choice if you’re looking to go out on the town. For Alaska knick-knacks to bring home to family and friends, downtown Fairbanks has shops on almost every street. The Fudge Pot serves soup, sandwiches and espresso and trinkets. Also, as the name implies, lots of fudge. Two Street Station and Soapy Smith’s are great spots for a latte, lunch or a cold beverage. If Only ... A Fine Store, offers up fine goods, clever gift ideas and local art. It’s a great place to find a gift for anyone, from babies to adults. You can’t miss the store’s greeter, Martha, who stands on the sidewalk ushering visitors in regardless of whether it’s raining or shining. Arctic Travelers Gift Shop also offers an equally wide range of products. There are plenty of other shops in downtown. Check out the Downtown Association of Fairbanks’ website at www. downtownfairbanks.com for a more thorough list of downtown businesses.
military personnel and $10 for children age 6 through 17. If you want to stay cool in Fairbanks this summer, visit the Fairbanks Ice Museum.
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Zimmerman has been a photographer for more than 40 years and has traveled the globe capturing images of the Aurora Borealis. The cost of the show is $10. The hourly shows from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. are produced by Ice Alaska. The show features a film on the World Ice Art Championships, an ice carving demonstration you can watch from the comfort of your seats, the opportunity to view ice sculptures and see an ice carver at
2014 Visitors Guide
Fairbanks’ Pioneer Park has something for everyone By Bob Eley FOR THE NEWS-MINER
Pioneer Park offers a little bit of everything for visitors to the Golden Heart City. With eight museums, nine attractions, seven shops, at least seven places to get some
grub, many arts events, a playground, picnic areas and more on the 40-acre site, the historic theme park gives the visitor an opportunity to learn a lot about the Interior and early Fairbanks. PIONEER PARK » 33
PIONEER PARK Alaska’s Only Historical Themed Park
Airport Way & Peger Rd. • Fairbanks, Alaska • 459-1095 Visitor Information www.fnsb.us/PioneerPark • email: firstname.lastname@example.org Park Office: (907)459-1087 • 2300 Airport Way, Fairbanks, AK 99701
• Gold Rush Town (Shops) • Pioneer Aviation Museum • Mini Golf & Carousel • Native Culture Exhibits • Kayak & Bicycle Rentals • Crooked Creek & Whiskey Island Railroad • Square & Round Dance Hall
• Palace Theater Show • Alaska Salmon Bake • Pioneer Museum & Big Stampede Show • Railroad Museum • National Historic Landmarks • Picnic Shelters & Playground • Free WiFi parkwide
June 1 – August 31 • GAZEBO NIGHTS - Live entertainment nightly at 7p.m. - FREE • FINE ARTS GALLERY & GIFT SHOP open Noon. - 8p.m. daily - FREE
• MONTHLY LITERARY READINGS FREE – Contact Arts Association for times • TIPS – Totally Impromptu Performance Series
All Activities are in the Alaska Centennial Center for the Arts-Bear Gallery, Theater or outside at the Gazebo. For info call Fairbanks Arts Association 456-6485 17503852-5-10-14VG
Relive the past and explore the treasures of the Golden Heart.
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
P I ON E E R PARK Visit Real Alaskans
Visit one of Fairbanks’ oldest homes
In Business Since 1972
Located in Pioneer Park
Bring in this coupon & receive a
Open Daily 12 n – 8 pm
Memorial Day to Labor Day
Operated by the TananaYukon Historical Society
FREE SOFT DRINK with any food purchase
Admission FREE, but donations are welcome. For additional information, please call
Listed on the National Register of Historical Places
Get a taste of real Fairbanks history. This is a must see!
Open Daily 11 a.m.– 8 p.m. PIONEER PARK CABIN #25 ON THE BOARDWALK
Email: email@example.com www.fairbanks-tyhs.org
Wickersham House Museum
Souvlaki • Spinach Pies Stuffed Grape Leaves Greek Salads Baklava & much more
PIONEER MUSEUM GOLD RUSH TOWN • PIONEER PARK
PIONEER MUSEUM Take a trip through HISTORY
BIG STAMPEDE SHOW Gold Rush Saga
456-8579 Donations Accepted
Adults $4 • Ages 6-16 $2 • Under 6 FREE
www.fnsb.us/pioneerpark/attractions • firstname.lastname@example.org • Call 456-8579 for winter hours
Featuring: Chilkoot Pass, Shooting the Rapids, Dawson and on to Artifacts, photos, and other displays of Fairbanks’ golden past. Fairbanks . . . Gold Rush paintings OPEN DAILY 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. by C. Rusty Heurlin. Narrated by poet laureate, Ruben Gaines.
Step into the Gold Dome & You’re In A Special Place!
The Bag Ladies of Fairbanks
Interior & Arctic Alaska’s Aeronautical History. 16 Aircraft, 31 Engines, Memorabilia, Artifacts, Photos, Stories & More.
but must be accompanied by an adult
Call (907) 451-0037 for information.
$3.00 Single, $7.00 Family Children Under 12 FREE
We offer many locally handcrafted Alaskan gifts, soaps, books, jewelry, candles, fabric and bags. Why not stop by the espresso coffee counter for our great home made soup and sandwiches while enjoying it in a century old log cabin!
OPEN DAILY 11 A.M. – 8 P.M. • 455-1269 Memorial Day to Labor Day
Noon–8 p.m. • 7 Days A Week May 15 thru September 10
Cabin 2 in Pioneer Park
2014 Visitors Guide
Fairbanks Community Museum delivers insights into city’s history If you go
For anyone interested in the rich history of Fairbanks and its culture, visit the Fairbanks Community Museum located in the heart of the Golden Heart City at 410 Cushman St. Occupying Historic City Hall, the museum provides visitors with a glimpse of the events, attractions and developments that have placed Fairbanks on the map. From the start of the Klondike Gold Rush at the turn of the 19th century, to the dawn of the sport of dog mushing, to the epic flood of 1967, the museum has six rooms filled with iconic photographs, artifacts and knickknacks captivating the attention of the viewer, providing them with a few laughs and giving the visitor insight into early Alaska life. Visitors enter the museum through an igloo and step into winter in Fairbanks and the Interior. Photographs adorn the walls portraying sub-zero temperatures and how locals cope in the long dark winter months. There also is a photo display from the first Winter Carnival in 1934. Two cases display beautiful, traditional garments such as muk-
What: Fairbanks Community Museum When: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. most Sundays. Where: Historic City Hall, 410 Cushman St. Admission: Free, donations greatly appreciated. Phone: 457-3669 Online: www fairbanks communitymuseum.com
luks and parkas made in Galena, about 400 miles down the Chena, Tanana and Yukon rivers from Fairbanks. A yellow T-shirt bears satiric witness to one of the coldest winters in Alaska history. A 1962 Bombardier Skidoo snowmachine rests in the center of the room, and there’s a list of 101 Things Fairbanksans Do In the Winter. Passing into the second room, visitors are confronted with the tragic flood of 1967. Photographs provide documentation of the city submerged in water after the Chena River rose 6 1/2 feet above flood stage in August. A video montage plays next to a panel dedicated to the Chena Riv-
American Legion Post #11
452-2228 129 1st Ave. Fairbanks, Alaska 99701
er Flood Control Project. Passing through another threshold, you can learn about the tens of thousands of gold prospectors who stampeded from the West Coast to Skagway to Dawson City, Yukon. Some of them eventually helped found the gold rush town of Fairbanks. An adjoining room has photographs about the gold rushes in Alaska from Nome to Valdez. There also are numerous photographs of early Fairbanks and maps to show how the city has developed through the years. A fifth room features a monthly display of local artists, with an artists reception held on the first Friday of each month. A sixth room is dedicated to dog mushing, Alaska’s state sport. The Driving Spirit exhibit, created in the mid 1980s, depicts the history of mushing. The exhibit originally went on display at the Alaska Museum of the North on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus and found a permanent home at the Fairbanks Community Museum in 1997. You can see a variety of different sleds, including one dating back to the 1920s and a children’s sled built in the late 1930s. An original Yukon Quest trophy in on display, complimented by artwork from numerous different artists, including a painting of Leonhard Seppala, the final musher serum to Home during the 1925 diphtheria outbreak. The museum is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on most Sundays. Admission is free; however, donations are gladly accepted. For more information, call 457-3669.
Exhibits Winter in Fairbanks The Great Flood
Klondike Gold Rush
The Driving Spirit (Dog Mushing) Monthly Art Show
5th Avenue & Cushman Street
in Historic City Hall Monday thru Friday 11am – 7pm Most Sundays 11am – 3pm
SION S I M D A E FRE (907) 457-3669
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
Continued from 30
Most of the buildings in Gold Rush Town are homes of prominent Fairbanks founders, moved to the location when the park opened as the “Alaska ’67 Centennial Exposition,” in 1967 to celebrate the 100 years since United States purchased Alaska from Russia. Originally known as Alaskaland, the name was changed to Pioneer Park by the Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly in 2002. There are eight historic exhibitions on the on premises located at 2500 Airport Way — Alaska Native Museum, Harding Car, Kitty Hensley House, Pioneer Air Museum, Pioneer Museum, Riverboat Nenana, Tanana Valley Railroad Museum and the Wickersham House.
THE IRT T-SH LE C I NT SA GIGA EOUT S CLO Up to
Look for the Red Moose on the Roof!
This is one of the Best shops I’ve been in, in Alaska.”
• LARGEST SELECTION OF MADE IN ALASKA GIFTS & ARTWORK • VINTAGE JEWLERY & OLD ALASKANA • ULU KNIVES & ICE AGE FOSSILS • ONE-OF-A-KIND NATIVE CARVINGS
Visit this 100 year old frame building in Fairbanks, built in 1910 by E.R. Peoples, an early Fairbanks pioneer. ENJOY SHOPPING IN THE UNIQUE ATMOSPHERE OF THE CRAFT MARKET STOCKED WITH AUTHENTIC ALASKA GIFT ITEMS, MANY CRAFTED HERE BY LOCAL ARTISTS. Made in Alaska.
401 5th Avenue, Fairbanks, Alaska (907) 452-5495, Open Daily In Business Over 35 years
e We Ar Here!
. 6th Ave
PIONEER PARK » 34
“This Place is incredible”
ts Shir 1 t a e Sw 1, Get Buy REE F
Fairbanks Arts Association, Just Originals, Little Willow and Oh So Wonderful. If you are looking for some food, there’s plenty of it, with the Alaska Salmon Bake, Frosty Paws, Gold Rush Ice Cream Parlour, Mama Grizzly’s Grill, More than Just Cupcakes, Souvlaki, The Bag Ladies of Fairbanks and possibly
Alaska Gift Shop
. 5th Ave
Other attractions in the park include the Alaska Outdoor Rentals and Guides, Bear Gallery, Big Stampede Show, Crooked Creek Railroad, Lucky Fox Gold Mine, Mini-Golf Fairbanks, Red & Reola’s Carousel, Square Dance Hall and the Palace Theater. You can do plenty of shopping on the grounds, as well. Shops include Betsy’s Photography, Bush Babies, CHARMS by CJ,
% ff 0 5 tireOstock
e 3r d A v . 4th Ave
People lounge on the lawn as the steam engine takes passengers for a ride May 26, 2012, at Pioneer Park. News-Miner file photo
2014 Visitors Guide
Continued from 33
others all offering up something to pleasure your palate. If you’re into the arts, the Bear Gallery in the Centennial Center for the Arts offers monthly shows and there are Gazebo Nights fea-
turing different local musicians or storytellers at 7 every night at the gazebo. There’s a square dance hall, as well. Pioneer Park features two large playgrounds stocked with plenty of equipment, a picnic area, a mini-golf course, a bocce court, a carousel and a miniature train that takes passengers for a ride
ANY ONE I T EM!
Expires Aug. 30, 2014.
around the perimeter of the park. The park is open year-round. Concession hours are from noon8 p.m. daily from Memorial Day to Labor Day weekends. There is no general admission fee; however, some museums have admission charges while others gladly accept donations. Pioneer Park also welcomes RV visitors to stay in the parking lot for $15 per night for a maximum of four consecutive nights. No reservations are required, however, the RV must be registered at the Riverboat Nenana upon arrival. There are no hook-ups available. Potable water is available on-site. For more information about Pioneer Park, go to www.co.fair banks.ak.us/pioneerpark.
If you go
The local Mom & Pop store of Fairbanks, has been independently owned for over 37 years. We carry a large selection of products and our trained staff is here to help you. Come see our extensive line of bulk herbs, the largest in Alaska! Sunshine encourages and promotes locally produced products, and supports cottage industry in Alaska. We ship to the Bush and the lower ‘48!
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What: Pioneer Park Where: Main entrance on Airport Way between Peger Road and Wilbur Street When: Concessions open from noon-8 p.m. from Memorial Day to Labor Day weekends. Cost: Admission is free, cost of attractions varies. Phone: 456-1087 Online: www.co.fairbanks.ak.us/ pioneerpark
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Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
Native games and culture on display at WEIO events By Danny Martin DMARTIN@NEWSMINER.COM
Contestants in the skin category of the Native Baby Contest gather for the judging during the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics on July 18, 2013, at the Carlson Center. Eric Engman/News-Miner
Information about WEIO and descriptions of its games are available at www.weio.org. WEIO attracts visitors from around the nation and competitors from throughout Alaska and, in past years, from Canada and Greenland. WEIO has been featured in publications such as People and Cosmopolitan magazines and USA Today. It’s also enjoyed exposure on national television programs, such as ABC’s “Good Morning America,” ESPN ’s “Spor tsCenter ” and NBC ’s
“Tonight Show” when Jay Leno was its host. In 2009, WEIO was inducted into the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame in Anchorage for the events category. “We’ve got a good board of governors that’s worked hard the last few years to make everything work smoothly,’’ Johnston said. “Everybody does their part and does what it takes to make the whole event more enjoyable.” Contact sports editor Danny Martin at 459-7586 or follow him on Twitter:@newsminersports.
Experience Centuries Old Traditions at the
World Eskimo-Indian Olympics
J uly 1 6–19
Carlson Center, Fairbanks
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There’s a few changes scheduled for this year’s World Eskimo-Indian Olympics, but they don’t affect its status as one of the most anticipated and unforgettable summer events in Alaska. The 53rd edition of the celebration of Native games and culture is scheduled for July 16-19 at the Carlson Center. Nicole Johnston, chair of the WEIO Board of Governors, said that a few events will be rotated each year. For example, the arm pull is being replaced this year by the neck pull, and the arm pull will return in 2015. The arm pull is based on a traditional survival skill of bringing a quarry out of a hole in the ice. In the event, two athletes sit and face one another and have one leg crossing over the other’s opposite leg. The participants then lock arms at the elbows and begin pulling the opponent toward himself or herself in the best-of-three competition. The neck pull starts with a thick leather loop placed around the necks of two competitors. The competitors then prop themselves into push-up positions on a floor that is marked by a center line and two back lines. A winner is determined when one athlete pulls the other’s hands across his back line. Johnston said the board of governors also is looking at having the dance groups perform for a full afternoon at one venue, where they would be critiqued by judges. Afterward, the groups would have an evening performance at the Carlson Center. “I think it would make it easy for the dance groups to dance for fun and not worry about being judged. It would be more of a fun performance in the evening,’’ she said. The challenge for the WEIO administration is finding a venue large enough for spectators and having a stage with enough space for a large group of dancers. “Some dance groups have 30 to 40 people and about 15 drummers,’’ Johnston said.
2014 Visitors Guide
SS Nenana anchors Pioneer Park By Bob Eley FOR THE NEWS-MINER
Pioneer Park, operated by the Fairbanks North Star Borough Parks and Recreation Department, runs three historic facilities on the grounds — the Riverboat Nenana, the Harding Car and the Native Museum. All three attractions are free and offer different views of the rich history of Fairbanks and the Interior. The three attractions are open from noon to 8 p.m. daily from Memorial Day to Labor Day weekends. Located in the center of Pioneer Park is the SS Nenana, a sternwheeler renovated by the Fairbanks Historical Preservation Foundation, and operated by Pioneer Park. The renovation of the SS Nenana began in 1987 and the “Last Lady of the River” was declared a National Landmark in 1992, thanks to the efforts of John D. “Jack” Williams and the other influential Fairbanksans who formed the foundation. The SS Nenana is the largest
steamed sternwheeler ever built west of the Mississippi River and the second largest wooden vessel in existence. The sternwheeler has more than 11,930 square feet of interior exhibit area space and 10,000 square feet of exterior decks. The 300-foot diorama with an oil background mural depicts, in incredible detail, life in the 22 villages along the Tanana and Yukon rivers between 1847 and 1932, when sternwheelers ruled the waterways of the Interior. The SS Nenana serves as the centerpiece for the Fairbanks Fourth of July Celebration hosted annually at Pioneer Park.
Nearby the SS Nenana, rests the Harding Car, the elegant railroad car President Warren G Harding rode in while touring the territory just two weeks before he died in California from a heart attack. Harding was the first chief executive officer to visit the ter-
If you go
What: SS Nenana When: Noon-8 p.m. Where: Pioneer Park Cost: Free Phone: 459-1087 Online: www.co.fairbanks. ak.us/pioneerpark.
ritory and came to Fairbanks to celebrate the completion of the Alaska Railroad. Fairbanksans were excited about the president’s appearance, which the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner called “the Glory of the Coming.” Harding first spoke to a crowd at Week’s Field on July 23, 1923. Among other things, he said, “I wonder if you know what has most impressed us on our … trip to Alaska. You have a sample of it here in Fairbanks … While Alaska is majestic and boundless and mighty … it is also strikingly a home land, and that is the finest thing that may be said of any section of any nation in the world.” That same afternoon, Harding spoke again at the Masonic Temple on First Avenue, and he reportedly ate dinner at the R.C. Wood home down the street. The Harding Car also was restored by the Fairbanks Historical Preservation Foundation.
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Pioneer Park is working with AmeriCorps Vista to put together a revitalization plan on how to share Native Alaskan culture with visitors to the Park. The Alaska Native Museum features artifacts, maps and other exhibits depicting the life of Native Alaskans well before the 49th state was purchased from Russia. The museum is a work in progress and continues to grow each year. Some of the completed projects to date include: constructing a collections data base; remodeling the museum to include a TV room, Alaska mural and new exhibits; adding interpretive labels to the artifacts on display in the museum; and using a grant from the State of Alaska Museums to obtain equipment needed to record and share oral histories.
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
Old Engine No. 1 still chugs along By Bob Eley FOR THE NEWS-MINER
Fairbanks’ gold rush history is still chugging along with Old Engine No. 1 at Pioneer Park in Fairbanks. Friends of the Tanana Valley Railroad restored Old Engine No. 1 in 1999, and she is rolled out several times during the summer to pull the train that circles the historic theme park with at least two open cars full of visitors. When Old Engine No. 1 rests, it resides at the Tanana Valley Railroad Museum and Engine House near the Pioneer Park’s back gate. The museum and engine house are operated by the all-volunteer Friends of the Tanana Valley Railroad and the facility is open from noon-8 p.m. daily
from Memorial Day to Labor Day weekends. The need for reliable transportation in Interior Alaska followed on the heels of Felix Pedro’s discovery of gold northeast of Fairbanks in 1903. In the 1900s, railroads were the obvious choice. Steam engine No. 1, a 0-4-0T, 8.5 ton steam engine built in 1899 by the H.K. Porter Locomotive Works of Pittsburgh, Pa., was the first locomotive in the Yukon and Tanana river drainages. Engine No. 1 arrived in the towns of Chena and Fairbanks on July 4, 1905, for use on the Tanana Mines Railway, later the Tanana Valley Railroad. Old Engine No. 1, the oldest gold rush relic in the Interior, was retired and put on display in 1922. ENGINE » 38
Town’s 1st modern home: Wickersham House By Bob Eley FOR THE NEWS-MINER
Judge James Wickersham, the man who brought law and order to the early days of Fairbanks, built the first “modern home” in the thriving gold rush town in 1904. Wickersham built the house, the first home constructed with milled lumber, on the corner or First Avenue and Noble Street in spring 1904. It also was the first home to be surrounded by a white picket fence. All homes in Fairbanks before that time were made with logs. He purchased the lot for $175 and built the house himself, hauling the lumber down the street on his back. Operated by the Tanana Yukon Historical Society, the Wickersham House was relocated to Pioneer Park in 1968 and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. Appointed district judge for the Third Judicial District, Wickersham moved to Eagle in 1900. In 1903, he moved the court to Fairbanks, foreseeing and ensuring the permanence of the gold rush settlement. The original house was just two rooms. One room was a 14x16-foot living room, gableroofed section that serves as the dining room today. A shedroofed kitchen was attached to what is now the right end of the house. It was removed when the house was moved in 1968, and
If you go
What: Wickersham House When: noon to 8 p.m. daily Where: Pioneer Park, 2300 Airport Way Admission: Free, donations greatly appreciated Online: www.fairbanks history.org
the present kitchen was reconstructed. In 1905, Wickersham added electricity to the house and set up his phonograph. The outhouse off the kitchen was connected to the kitchen that same year. Two more rooms were added in 1906. The 16x28-foot addition featured a new living room with a bedroom behind. He added another room behind the previous living room. With the addition of “heating plant,” Wickersham had finished his job. “Our new home is done,” Wickersham declared back in the day. “We now have six good rooms — plenty.”
As it stands today, the house looks far tidier and more rational than its construction history would indicate. It looks like it was designed to be a threeroom, T-shaped, gable-roofed cottage with a kitchen wing. The wood-framed house is covered with novelty siding and has a wood-shingled roof. The furnishings are as they would have been in Wickersham’s time, with some original pieces. In addition to being a judge, Wickersham was a non-voting delegate to Congress, who was responsible for advocacy of legislation making Alaska an official Territory of the United States in 1912 and for submitting the first legislation for statehood in 1916, which failed. Alaska officially became a state in 1959. The Wickersham house is open from noon-8 p.m. daily from Memorial Day to Labor Day weekends. There is no admission fee, but donations are greatly appreciated.
2014 Visitors Guide
Lots to see at Pioneer Museum
Continued from 37 The years took their toll and by 1990 the engine was in sad shape. The Friends of the Tanana Valley Railroad was incorporated to rescue the rusting engine and restore her. Old Engine No. 1 was resurrected on July 27, 1999, and returned to passenger service in 2000. She is the oldest operating steam engine in Alaska and the Yukon. Stop by the museum and get a look at the historic steam engine, displays featuring the history of the Tanana Valley Railroad and its importance in the development of Interior Alaska. Check out the operating speeder, Model T and velocipede, also on display.
If you go
What: Tanana Valley Railroad Museum and Engine House When: noon to 8 p.m. daily from Memorial Day to Labor Day weekends Where: Pioneer Park Cost: Free, but donations greatly appreciated. Online: www.ftvrr.org
If You Go
By Bob Eley FOR THE NEWS-MINER
If you want to get a true feel for the history of Fairbanks and the Interior, The Pioneer Museum and the Big Stampede Show in Pioneer Park are must-see attractions. Hundreds of photographs and numerous items donated by the early pioneers and gold seekers adorn the walls of the museum, which was built in 1967 as part of the Alaska 67 Exposition to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the United States’ purchase of Alaska from Russia. Among the items of interest is a wagon that was used on the Valdez Trail to Fairbanks in the early 1900s and a 1901 Ford used annually in the Golden Days Parade in July. There’s also a saw truck that would travel around the town selling cords of wood so early settlers could stay warm
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If You Go
What: Big Stampede Show When: 11:30 a.m., 1, 2:30 and 4 p.m. daily Where: Pioneer Park Cost: $4 adults, $2 age 6-16, younger than 6 free. Phone: 456-8579
during the long winter months. There are great photographs of the dioramas depicting the first Fairbanks’ gold rush as well as the second surge when a series of gold dredges extracted millions of ounces of gold from area lakes and ponds. Adding to your experience is the friendly crew of docents, most of whom have been in Fairbanks for 40 years or more, who are eager to share their knowledge with visitors. The museum also has a research computer for use to check family genealogy or any of the more than 10,000 photographs from the early days of Fairbanks to the mid-1960s have been cataloged. “We only have about 10 more years (of cataloging) to go and we’ll be caught up to the present,” museum director Joanne Oehring said. Another feature of the Pioneer Museum is the watermarks on the outside of the building from the devastating flood of 1967.
Big Stampede Show The Gold Rush Saga comes to life in the Big Stampede Show which is shown four times daily throughout the summer. Take a trip over Chilkoot Pass, shoot the rapids, strike it rich in Dawson City and then move on to Fairbanks. The 50-minute show is narrated by MUSEUM » 39
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
Check out Alaska’s aviation history By Bob Eley For the News-Miner
Everything you want to know about early aviation in Alaska is available at the Pioneer Air Museum under the Gold Dome at Pioneer Park. Operated by the Interior and Arctic Alaska Aeronautical Foundation, the 14,000-square-foot, circular building is filled with artifacts and aircraft from Alaska’s early aviation history, most of which took place in Fairbanks and other parts of the Interior. The organization is dedicated to preserving the aviation history of Alaska and educating the public to the past, present and future of aviation in the Last Frontier. There are 14 aircraft in the museum as well as one of the largest piston engine displays ever assembled. The museum’s collection of more than 500 photographs chronicle early flight and the brave men and women who ventured into the unknown skies above Alaska many years ago. “Fairbanks was the birthplace of aviation in Alaska,” museum
Continued from 38 poet laureate Ruben Gaines and includes 17 paintings by C. Rusty Heurlin valued at more than a million dollars.
The Pioneers of Alaska also operate the Kitty Hensley House, which was originally located at 921 Eighth Avenue. In 1914, Kitty’s friend, Capt Smythe, a retired riverboat captain with excellent carpentry skills, remodeled the cabin using lumber from the sternwheeler that had been damaged during spring breakup. The house was moved to Pioneer Park in 1967. The Pioneers of Alaska have furnished the house with authentic pieces of furniture from the period. The Kitty Hensley House is open from noon-8 p.m., daily. There is no admission charge, but donations are greatly appreciated. For more information, call 456-8579.
Air Alaska pilots years ago. The museum has preserved a pair of strap steel crosses to remind everyone of the crash which took the lives of Will Rogers and Wiley Post in 1935 near Barrow. Several handcrafted display cases house authentic manuscripts which cover significant Alaskan aviation events, ranging from bush piloting to cargo transportation. The largest production aircraft engine, a Pratt and Whitney R-4360, is one of the many engines on display. Material from the World War II Lend-Lease program between the United States and Russia is on display along with other material about World War II aviation. The museum is open from noon to 8 p.m. daily from Memorial Day to Labor Day weekends Admission is $3 for adults and $7 for a family of four. Children under age 12 are free and must be accompanied by an adult. There are other museums in the state that touch on aviation in Alaska, but none do it quite like the Pioneer Air Museum.
What: Pioneer Air Museum When: noon to 8 p.m. daily Where: Pioneer Park, 2300 Airport Way Cost: $3 adults, $7 for a family of four Phone: 451-0037 Online: www.pioneer airmuseum.org
curator Pete Haggland said. “There’s a lot of aviation history here, and we’ve got most of it.” Displays range from the first flight in Fairbanks in 1913 to the present. Some of the aircraft on display at the museum include a Bullwing V-77/AK-19 Alaska Bush plane; a restored Fokker Super Universal Bush aircraft that crashed near Arctic Circle in 1938, Russian “Lend-Lease” aircraft used in World War II; a Stinson SR-5 Junior circa 1933; a Noorduyn Norseman military search and rescue Alaska Bush plane; and a Duce II Homebuilt FAA (1987) There also is a flight simulator that was used to help train Wien
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2014 Visitors Guide
Take a cruise down the Chena By Bob Eley FOR THE NEWS-MINER
You can take a step back in time when you board the Riverboat Discovery for a 3-hour cruise on
the Chena River. Even though Fairbanks has just about everything every other modern cities have available, the voyage along the Chena will give the visitor a glimpse of the townâ€™s
rich cultural history. The Binkley family has worked the Chena for five generations, piloting ships for more than 100 DISCOVERY Âť 41
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
Continued from 40 years. Since the 1950s, various versions of the Riverboat Discovery have led visitors on a uniquely Alaskan river ride. The three-hour tour meanders down the Chena River
VISITORS GUIDE where passengers will watch a Bush pilot take off and land in a small plane. The boat pauses at Trailbreaker Kennels, home of the family of late Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race champion Susan Butcher and stops at a replica Interior Alaska Native village and fish camp. Your trip begins at Steamboat
IF YOU GO
What: Riverboat Discovery cruise When: 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. from May 13-Sept. 22 Where: 1975 Discovery Drive, Fairbanks Cost: $59.95 adults, $39.95 children. Free for ages 3 and younger. Reservations required. Phone: 479-6673 Online: www.riverboatdiscovery. com
Landing in west Fairbanks near Fairbanks International Airport. The landing is a replica Gold Rush-era river port with a dining hall where a hearty miners stew is served and Iditarod and Yukon Quest champion Lance Mackey offers a presentation. It also has a gift shop, museum and ice cream parlor. For those who want to experience a taste of an Interior winter, you can participate in â€œAlaska at 40 Below,â€? a specially designed chamber that gives a sample of the frigid conditions of a mid-winter day. The riverboat tour showcases typical Alaska modes of transportation as it glides downstream. Sled dogs were a vital form of winter transportation between villages, carrying people and freight in the days before snowmachines. You will learn about modern competitive mushing with a short talk and demonstration at Trailbreaker Kennels. Another highlight of the trip is a small plane demonstrating a typical takeoff and landing in rural Alaska. Bush pilots transformed travel in rural Alaska in the early 20th century. The Riverboat Discovery stops for an hour at the Native village, where passengers get a guided tour. Village hosts relate stories about their history, culture and subsistence lifestyle. You will tour a fish camp, complete with a fish wheel, and learn techniques for catching, drying and storing salmon. The tour costs $59.95 for adults, $39.95 for children age 3-12, and its free for those younger than age 3. Reservations are required and can be made by calling (907) 479-6673 or online at www.riverboatdiscovery.com. Lunch is an additional $11.95 for adults and $4.95 for children. The Alaska at 40 Below Experience is free, but you can have your picture taken for a $10 fee.
2014 Visitors Guide
Fairbanks offers plenty of running By Danny Martin DMARTIN@NEWSMINER.COM
The running season in Fairbanks is short but it’s rich. The Golden Heart City offers many bike paths and trails for those who want to jog or just take a leisurely stroll. Also, there’s a race almost every Saturday in the summer for those who are competitive, whether as a runner, walker or while pushing a little one in a stroller. The calendar on the Running Club North website — www. runningclubnorth.org — is an abundant resource for events in Fairbanks and throughout the Interior. Click on to the name of the event in a date and you will find logistical and contact information for the event. The biggest road race in Fairbanks is the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner Midnight Sun Run. The 32nd edition of the 10-kilometer event starts at 10 p.m. on Saturday, June 21, which also is summer solstice. The race, which attracts about 4,000 participants each year,
Grape girls wave to bystanders in the Riverview subdivision on their way to the end of the Midnight Sun Run on June 18, 2011. News-Miner file photo
starts at 10 p.m. at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Patty Center and finishes at Pioneer Park. Participants are encouraged
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to dress in costumes and there is a large costume parade near the starting line about an hour before the race. The Midnight Sun Run course works its way through several subdivisions, where thousands of spectators line the streets and several parties are taking place as the race entrants head toward Pioneer Park. Fairbanks also is home to one of the toughest marathons in the nation, the Equinox Marathon. The race begins at the field in front of the UAF Patty Center and follows trails and roads to near the top of Ester Dome and back for an elevation gain of more than 2,600 feet. The 53rd edition of the Equinox, scheduled for 8 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 20, includes a three-person relay and a 40-mile ultramarathon. The month of May tends to signal that the running season in Fairbanks and the Interior is in full gear, as snow and ice have pretty much dissipated by then. At least 11 events are scheduled for May. Two of May’s most intriguing events are scheduled for Saturday, May 24. The Ruckus in the Muckus, an obstacle-course event that features mud, takes place at 10 a.m., at the Birch Hill Recreation RUNNING » 43
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
Tee off at Interior golf courses By Tim O’Donnell TODONNELL@NEWSMINER.COM
If you are looking to play golf during your visit to the Interior, there are four courses to pick from. All four courses are public and offer rentals for visitors. The three courses in Fairbanks, however, have leagues on most weekday evenings.
Chena Bend Golf Course Chena Bend Golf Course, located on Fort Wainwright, has been voted one of the best golf courses in Alaska by Golf Digest magazine. The course was rated as the best Alaska by Golf Digest in 1999, 2007, 2008 and 2009 and received a four-star rating in the 2008 and 2009 editions of Golf Digest’s “Best Places to Play.” Chena Bend is a 6,467-yard, par 72 course that includes several holes along the Chena River. Most fairways are lined with trees and it’s not unheard to see a fox or marmot. The course also hosts the Alaska State Senior Amateur tournament Aug. 8-10. If you decide to go to Chena Bend, check in at Fort Wainwright’s front gate to get to the course. If you are driving a
Continued from 42 Area. The race, developed by Liam Ortega, a West Valley High School alumnus and former member of the U.S. Speedskating National Team, has a 2K course for youth and a 5K for adults.
Fairbanks Golf Course The nine-hole course is the oldest golf course in the Interior, having been created in 1946. It sits at the intersection of Farmers Loop and Ballaine Road near the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Fairbanks Golf Course has three par 3s, three par 4s, and three par 5s, including a lake on No. 9. The course also includes the Double Eagle restaurant. To make tee times, call 479‑6555.
North Star Golf Club The North Star Golf Club, the northernmost golf course in America, is a continually chang-
About 50 miles south of Fairbanks, the Annihilator is taking place, starting at 11 a.m., starting in a gravel pit 1 1/2 miles north of Nenana. The trail-course race is considered the toughest 10K in the Interior.
ing course thanks to permafrost that creates new dips, swales, and mounds. The 18-hole, 6,342-yard, par 72 course is located on Golf Course Lane off the Old Steese Highway a few miles north of Fairbanks. It features four par 3s, 10 par 4s and four par 5s and includes an animal sighting checklist on your scorecard. There is a viewing deck that overlooks the course and a cafe that offers beers brewed locally. Tee times can booked at northstargolf.com or by calling 457‑4653.
Black Diamond Black Diamond is located at 1 Mile Otto Road in Healy, just minutes from Denali National Park and offers pickups and dropoffs at hotels in the area. Like other courses in the Interior, there’s a chance you will see some wildlife while golfing. Hazards include moose footprints and a local fox that steals your ball off green No. 2. The Black Diamond Grill offers full lunch and dinner menus. Visit blackdiamondgolf.com or call 683-4653 to make reservations. Contact sports reporter Tim O’Donnell at 459-7583. Follow him on Twitter: @FDNMSportsGuy
Contact sports editor Danny Martin at 459-7586 or follow him on Twitter:@newsminersports.
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2014 Visitors Guide
Fairbanks boasts premier mushing By Danny Martin DMARTIN@NEWSMINER.COM
Visitors this summer to the headquarters for the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race won’t be greeted by ice and snow on the Chena River. The Chena River is in the backyard of the headquarters, located downtown at 550 First Ave. The river is the starting point or finish line — depending on the year — for the 1,000-mile race between Fairbanks and Whitehorse, Yukon. The 31st edition of the race takes place on Feb. 7, 2015, starting in Whitehorse and finishing in Fairbanks. Visitors who do step inside the headquarters will be treated to a new addition among its displays and memorabilia. The headquarters houses the trophy the Yukon Quest received for being among the 2014 induc-
With John Schandelmeier, of Delta Junction, chasing, Fairbanksan Paula Ciniero and her dog team push forward during the 2014 Open North American Championship Sled Dog Race near the Danby Street crossing. News-Miner file photo
tion class for the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame in Anchorage. “It’s humbling to be acknowledged by the state and recognized
for the efforts,’’ said Marti Steury, Yukon Quest executive director. The Yukon Quest was inducted in the events category. “I accepted it on behalf of the people for over 31 years who have given whatever it takes to make it work, and the 1,000 people who put it on annually,’’ Steury said of the induction ceremony in March at the Anchorage Museum of History and Art. “It’s our hope to be good stewards of a community as we grow into the future,’’ she added. The Yukon Quest gained another distinction this year. BizBash. com, an entertainment industry website, named the race as one of the top 100 events in Canada. “It means a lot,’’ Steury said. “It’s a recognition that our small town of 34,000 people has created an international event that is now being recognized globally.” The Yukon Quest headquarters is scheduled to open during the summer from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday through Saturday and from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday. The Fairbanks area is home to several sprint and distance mushers, and one of them, Allen Moore of Two Rivers, won the Yukon Quest for the second straight year. His wife, Aliy Zirkle, finished runner-up for the third straight year in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, which runs 1,000 miles between Anchorage and Nome. Fairbanks hosts one of the world’s top sprint races, the Open North American Championship, conducted annually during the third weekend in March. MUSHING » 50
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
Mushing doesn’t stop when snow melts FOR THE NEWS-MINER
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• Alaskan Tails of the Trail with Mary Shields offers you the opportunity to learn about dog mushing up close and personal in the Goldstream Valley, just 9 miles northwest of downtown Fairbanks. Shields has the distinction of being the first woman to finish the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race and she also finished the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race. Both events are more than 1,000 miles. She offers folks an intimate look into the dog mushing lifestyle. Visitors will get hands-on time with the dogs in an informal setting and learn about training methods and mushing gear. Shields invites her visitors into her home for refreshments
More information is available at www.touchofmagic.com or call 750-0208. • Husky Homestead Kennel is operated by four-time Iditarod and 1989 Yukon Quest champion Jeff King near the Denali National Park and Preserve entrance. King offers tours and 8:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. on a daily basis starting May 13. Visitors meet the dogs, learn how the animals are trained and watch a training run. He doesn’t offer rides in the summer sessions. The tour costs $59 for adults and $39 for children younger than 12 The tour is not recommended for children younger than 3. For more information, visit www.huskyhomestead.com or call 683-2904. • Denali National Park and Preserve, also offers daily sled dog demonstrations and an explanation of how sled dogs are used in the park. The free 30-minute demonstrations are at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
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Even though snow will be long gone by the time the Alaska tourist season kicks into high gear, there are ample opportunities to learn dog about mushing when you visit the Fairbanks area. Dog mushing is Alaska’s official state sport and there are several summer options for those interested in delving into the sport and the lifestyle it entails. There are a few opportunities to ride a wheeled cart pulled by dogs during the warm summer days, and there are plenty more mushers who take visitors on kennel tours for a fee. If you don’t have the time to take a tour, you can still learn some things about mushing by visiting the Yukon Quest headquarters in the log cabin near the corner of First Avenue and Cushman Street or by going to the Fairbanks Community/Dog Mushing Museum on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Cushman Street to check out “The Driving Spirit” exhibit, which chronicles the history of dog mushing from the early days through present times. Also, check with Explore Alaska in the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center at 101 Dunkel Street for more information about dog mushing and kennel tours. Following are a few of the dog mushing tours available in the Fairbanks/Denali Park area.
and a discussion about her experiences on the Iditarod and Yukon Quest trails and a trip to Siberia. Tours last about two hours and you must make reservations. There’s only one tour a day at either 10 a.m., 2:30 p.m. or 7 p.m. The dogs are a little bit fresher if you book a tour earlier in the day, Shields said. Once a tour is booked on a particular day, that will be the only time for anyone else who wants to make reservation can participate. Each tour can handle up to 20 people. The cost is $35 per person. Visit www.maryshields.com or call 455-6469. • Just Short of Magic provides educational tours, including summer visits, at the kennel on Chena Hot Springs Road just outside of Fairbanks. Visitors will get a chance to harness a dog, handle mushing equipment, witness feeding or help to hook up a team with kennel owner Eleanor Wirts. Tours are at 10:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. starting on May 15. A onehour tour is $35 and a 1 1/2hour tour is $50.
By Bob Eley
2014 Visitors Guide
Visitors gear up for Senior Games If you go
By Danny Martin DMARTIN@NEWSMINER.COM
Diann Darnall has gotten calls and emails from near and far regarding the Alaska International Senior Games, scheduled for Aug. 8-17 at several venues in the Fairbanks area. Darnall, president of the Alaska International Senior Games, isn’t surprised by the popularity of the 20-sport extravaganza that started in 2003 to offer adults ages 50 and older opportunities to compete with their peers in a variety of activities, helping enhance their fitness, health and quality of life. “They’re fun for everyone. Everyone has something to do,” Darnall said recently. “It’s social but it gives you a chance to improve yourself from what you did last year. “A lot of it is self-improvement, especially for people who run track — they’re trying to get their personal best or just trying to do something a little better than they did before,’’ Darnall added. This year’s AISG also is a
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What: Alaska International Senior Games When: Aug. 8-17 Where: Varies venues in Fairbanks North Star Borough Cost: Varies per event Phone: 978-2388 Online: www.alaskaisg.org
qualifier for the 2015 National Senior Games in Minneapolis. It’s another reason why Darnall’s phone and email have been busy. “We’re having more people come from Outside, I’ve gotten more requests,’’ Darnall said. “I’m having a guy come from Germany and I had a lady from Moscow, Russia, emailed me; she wants to come for swimming. The German guy wants to come for table tennis. “I’ve heard from a guy in Kansas who wants to bring a whole van load of his friends for track and field,’’ she added. “(Also) an archer in New York and a lady in Texas who does the triathlon and a guy in Hawaii who does the discus.” There’s also the allure of Alaska itself. “It’s on every senior’s bucket list if they haven’t been to Alaska,’’ Darnall said. “Ninety-five percent of the people I talk to want to come to Alaska some time in their life. Those who have been here want to come again.” The AISG events range from archery to triathlon. Other
Ray Morison, of Fairbanks, gets under a return during the Alaska International Senior Games Men’s Doubles Pickleball on Aug. 15, 2013, outside the Big Dipper Ice Arena. Sam Harrel/NewsMiner file photo
events include basketball, cycling, disc golf, gala games, horseshoes, coed ice hockey, 5 and 10-kilometer road races, tennis and track and field. The complete list of events and more information about the AISG is available at www. alaskaisg.org or by calling Darnall at 978-2388. Darnall expects more than 350 participants for this year’s AISG. Approximately 321 participated last year. Contact sports editor Danny Martin at 459-7586 or follow him on Twitter:@newsminersports.
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Floating down the Chena River By Sam Friedman
Canoeing or kayaking through town is a popular way for locals to cool off on a hot day. The Chena River flows east to west through town before spilling into the larger, silty Tanana River south of Fairbanks. The Chena has access points at parks and riverfront bars and restaurants. Floating the Chena is a good way to see the Golden Heart City from
a different angle. For visitors who don’t have boats or transportation there’s Paddler’s Cove, a Pioneer Park business that’s been renting boats and picking up boaters downriver for the last 15 years. On a busy day, hundreds of people rent boats there, owner Larry Catkin said. The most popular float is a one to two-hour float through residential neighborhoods and a campground between the Pioneer
Park docks on Peger Road and The Pump House restaurant. The price for that float starts at $32.50 per person with a minimum of two people per boat and a discount for parties who rent multiple boats. For the more adventurous, the company does a day trip that drops off at Nordale Road in the North Pole area. The return float to Pioneer Park takes five to eight FLOAT » 50
Continued from 45
The kennel usually is available to visit from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Check with a ranger about visiting times. Rangers use sled dogs for winter transportation as they patrol the park boundaries. For more information, check in at the park visitors center or visit www.nps.govdena/planyorvisit/kennels.htm. • Sirius Sled Dogs, located in a beautiful setting atop Murphy Dome, 25 miles northwest of Fairbanks, offers summer tours early in the day, 10 a.m.-noon, with transportation available from Pioneer Park. There are varying fees, depending on which tour you book and there is an additional $20 fee for transportation to and from the kennel. For more information, call 687-6656 or go to www.sirius sleddogs.net.
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2014 Visitors Guide
Baseball under the Midnight Sun If you go
By Tim O’Donnell TODONNELL@NEWSMINER.COM
Baseball has been played in Alaska for many years. One of the greatest traditions is the Midnight Sun Game, played without artificial lights on the summer solstice. This year will be the 109th edition of the game, which has been featured by The Sporting News, ESPN’S SportsCenter and was declared by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y., a must-see event for baseball fans. It was inducted into the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame in Anchorage in 2010 in the events category. First pitch is set for 10:30 p.m. Saturday, June 21, at Growden Memorial Park, which is usually filled with 4,000 to 5,000 fans. With sunset just before 1 a.m., the sun should be
BASEBALL » 49
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shining for most of the game if the weather cooperates. This year, the Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks, members of the Alaska Baseball League, face the Lake Erie (Mich.) Monarchs of the Great Lakes Baseball League. Tickets for the game can be purchased online at goldpanners.com for $15 each. Tickets will also be available at the Growden Memorial Park box office on game day. The Midnight Sun Game started as a bet between bars in Fairbanks with the first game
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What: Midnight Sun game When: First pitch 10:30 p.m., Saturday, June 21 Where: Growden Memorial Park, Second Avenue and Wilbur Street Cost: $15. Available at goldpanners.com and at the box office on game day. Online: www.goldpanners.com
played in 1906. The Goldpanners, who are in their 55th year of playing baseball in Fairbanks, took over the tradition in their inaugural season in 1960. One of the traditions of the game is the singing of the Alaska Flag Song in the half-inning break closest to midnight. The Goldpanners are a summer-league team made up of mostly college baseball players. This year, the Goldpanners have two outfielders who just completed their senior year of high school. Scooter Bynum, who starred at Monroe Catholic High School in Fairbanks, and Scott Hurst, from Glendora, Calif., are the two high schoolers. Hurst is one of 16 Californians on the Goldpanners roster. More than 200 former Goldpanners have gone on to be major league players. Included among the former Goldpanners who have played professionally are Baseball Hall of Famers
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Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
GoldpannerS Baseball schedule All Games Played at Growden Memorial Park June 13—San Francisco Seals, 7 p.m. June 14—San Francisco Seals, 7 p.m. June 15—San Francisco Seals, 7 p.m. June 16—San Francisco Seals, 7 p.m. June 17—San Francisco Seals, 7 p.m. June 19—Lake Erie Monarchs, 7 p.m. June 20—Lake Erie Monarchs, 7 p.m. June 21—Lake Erie Monarchs, 10:30 p.m. (109th Midnight Sun Baseball Games) June 22—Lake Erie Monarchs, 7 p.m. June 24—Oceanside Waves, 7 p.m.
June 25—Oceanside Waves, 7 p.m. June 26—Oceanside Waves, 7 p.m. June 27—Oceanside Waves, 7 p.m. June 28—Anchorage Bucs, 7 p.m.* June 29—Anchorage Bucs, (2) 5 p.m.* June 30—Anchorage Bucs, 7 p.m.* July 1—Anchorage Bucs, 6 p.m.* July 8—Peninsula Oilers, 7 p.m.* July 9—Peninsula Oilers, 7 p.m.* July 10—Peninsula Oilers (2), 5 p.m.* July 11—Peninsula Oilers, 6 p.m.* July 12—Anchorage Glacier Pilots, 7 p.m.* July 13—Anchorage Glacier Pilots (2), 1 p.m.* July 14—Chugiak Chinooks, 7 p.m.* July 15—Chugiak Chinooks, 7 p.m.* July 16—Mat-Su Miners, 7 p.m.* July 17—Mat-Su Miners, 5 p.m.* * Alaska Baseball League games
Alaska Goldpanners pitcher Jesse Darrah delivers a practice pitch moments before facing the Lake Erie Monarchs in the 104th Midnight Sun Baseball Classic on June 21, 2009, at Growden Memorial Park. The one-ofa-kind game starts at 10:30 p.m. on summer solstice and is played entirely without artificial lighting. News-Miner file photo
Continued from 48
al Baseball Congress World Series in Wichita, Kan. The complete schedule can be found at goldpanners.com. Contact sports reporter Tim O’Donnell at 459-7583. Follow him on Twitter: @FDNMSportsGuy
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Tom Seaver and Dave Winfield. Barry Bonds and Dave Kingman also played for the Goldpanners. As of April 14, there were at least four former Goldpanners on the roster of Major League Baseball teams. Atlanta Braves pitcher Kris Medlen pitched for the Goldpanners in 2005; Miami Marlins third baseman Greg Dobbs was with the Goldpanners in 2000; Cleveland Indians designated hitter Jason Giambi is a 1990 Goldpanners alum; and New York Yankees shortstop Brendan Ryan played with the Goldpanners in 2002.
Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona played for Goldpanners in 1978. The Goldpanners kick off their season in early June and will finish out the season in early August with the 80th Nation-
2014 Visitors Guide
Continued from 44 The ONAC features three heats that start and finish each day downtown on Second Avenue between Cushman and Lacey streets. The first two heats are 20 miles each and last heat is 27.6 miles. Arleigh Reynolds, a veterinarian in Salcha and the associate dean of the veterinary medicine department at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, repeated
this year as the ONAC champion and also won his second title in a row in the Fur Rendezvous World Championship in Anchorage. Information about the history of mushing in Fairbanks is on display in the Fairbanks Community Museum, downtown at the intersection of Cushman Street and Fifth Avenue.
Continued from 47 hours and takes boaters through a rural area and an Army base. The price is $69.50 per person. Paddler’s Cove started catering to tourists, but Catkin estimates 70 percent of his canoe and kayak rental customers are locals. By Alaska law, boaters are required to have a personal flotation device for every person on board a boat. Minors are required
Contact sports editor Danny Martin at 459‑7586 or follow him on Twitter: @newsminersports.
to wear the flotation device at all times, but it’s a good idea for everyone to wear them. The Chena River is cold and can cause hypothermia quickly. Alaska State Troopers patrol the Chena River for safety violations. Intoxicated boaters, including canoers and kayakers, can be arrested and prosecuted under the state driving under the influence law. Contact staff writer Sam Friedman at 459-7545. Follow him on Twitter: @FDNMcrime.
Make the Morris Thompson Cultural & Visitors Center your first stop for visitor information. 101 Dunkel Street in downtown Fairbanks Open 8 am – 9 pm daily in summer (907) 456-5774 • www.explorefairbanks.com
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Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
Catch a view of the pipeline By Wes Morrow WMORROW@NEWSMINER.COM
The trans-Alaska oil pipeline, one of the most ambitious construction projects ever undertaken, stretches hundreds of miles across some of the roughest and most remote terrain in the world. Construction of the pipeline took place in the 1970s. Crews began laying pipe in spring 1975 and laid the final stretch of the line on May 31, 1977. The process necessary to get to con-
IF YOU GO
What: Trans-Alaska oil pipeline When: Any time Where: 8 Mile Steese Highway, Donnelly Dome, Richardson Highway Cost: Free Online: www.alyeska-pipe.com
struction phase began in 1969. During the course of the project, the pipeline involved more than 70,000 workers. It cost $8 billion in 1977 and was, at
the time, the largest privately funded construction project ever undertaken. The pipeline stretches more than 800 miles from the Arctic Ocean and Alaska’s North Slope to the ice-free port of Valdez on Prince William Sound. There, at the pipeline’s end, the oil is transferred into storage tanks and loaded onto tanker ships in Prince William Sound that transport it to West Coast refineries. PIPELINE » 53
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2014 Visitors Guide
Running Reindeer Ranch hoofs it to the top of Fairbanks attractions list By Sam Friedman firstname.lastname@example.org
A tourism business built around a family pet has become a popular attraction for visitors to Fairbanks. Running Reindeer Ranch is home to seven reindeer. It offers visitors a two-hour stroll with reindeer and a chance to learn about the animals, which are a domesticated sub-species of the wild caribou. The business is in its fourth year. It has quickly become one of the top-rated Fairbanks attractions on travel website TripAdvisor.com. Owners Jane Atkinson, her husband Doug Spielman and their daughter Robin Spielman, got their first two reindeer in 2007. The reindeer were a compromise pet for Robin who wanted a horse. The business started by accident after walks with the reindeer became popular with friends and family. Last year, their home had more than 1,000 visitors, according to Atkinson. “People come and they interact with the reindeer, but they also learn about the history of the boreal forest,” she said. Atkinson knew almost nothing about reindeer before her
Photos courtesy Running Reindeer Ranch
If you go
When: Tours of the Running Reindeer Ranch are offered by appointment only. Tours are usually available on weekends and on weekday mornings and evenings. How: Contact the Running Reindeer Ranch to set up an appointment at info@ runningreindeer.com or calling 907-455-4998. How much: The roughly-two hour tour is $50 per person, with a minimum cost of $100. Where: The home is in the Goldstream Valley a rural neighborhood outside of Fairbanks. Contact the family
for directions. The can also offer transportation from the city center. Online: runningreindeer.com
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edgeable about the history and behavior of the animals. The most common visitor questions she gets from are about the differences between reindeer and caribou and about the antlers. In the summer, the tour includes a stop at the family garden and a chance to taste its bounty. The tour ends with cookies made from a recipe Robin developed when she had a cookie-dough business to raise money for the first reindeer. To set up a tour of the ranch by sending an email to info@ runningreindeer.com or call (907) 455-4998. Reindeer also can be seen in the Fairbanks area around at the Large Animal Research Station on Yankovich Road and at the Fairbanks Experimental Farm on Sheep Creek Road.
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
The trans-Alaska oil pipeline snakes across the Alaska tundra below the Brooks Range about 150 miles from Prudhoe Bay, carrying North Slope crude oil about 800 miles to Valdez. Associated Press file photo
Continued from 51
ports. The highway pullout near the pipeline crossing is a popular stopping point for drivers.
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The pipeline is one of the top attractions to visitors to Alaska, and some of the best places to view the pipeline are in the Interior. Along its 800-mile journey the pipeline often trails along the side of several highways, including the Dalton Highway, Elliott Highway and Richardson Highway. One of the best places to view the pipeline is just north of Fairbanks, at 8.4 Mile on the Steese Highway near Fox. Visitors there can get out of their cars and walk alongside the pipeline, which rests above ground on vertical support beams. For visitors seeking a more sweeping view of the pipeline, Donnelly Dome, located just south of Delta Junction on the Richardson Highway, rises above the surrounding valley and provides a view of the pipeline as it travels south alongside the Delta River. Not far south from Donnelly Dome, the pipeline crosses the Richardson Highway, going below ground to travel under the highway before rising back out of the earth onto its sup-
Get a view
One of the best places to view the pipeline is just north of Fairbanks, at 8.4 Mile on the Steese Highway near Fox. Visitors there can get out of their cars and walk alongside the pipeline, which rests above ground on vertical support beams.
2014 Visitors Guide
Gold Dredge 8 lets you see both kinds of gold By Bob Eley FOR THE NEWS-MINER
A trip to Gold Dredge No. 8 will give the visitor a chance to learn about both kinds of gold
that can be found in the Fairbanks area. Located just seven miles north of Fairbanks in the beautiful Goldstream Valley, Gold Dredge No. 8 offers visitors
the opportunity to learn about the gold seekers of yesteryear as well as the “Black Gold” (oil) that flows through the DREDGE 8 » 55
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Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
People filter through the dredge during a tour of the Goldstream Dredge No. 8 off the Old Steese Highway. Eric Engman/News-Miner file photo
The two-hour tour allows visitors time to explore the dredge, the dredge camp and the gift shop to have their gold weighed before boarding the train for the ride back to the depot.
If you go
Continued from 54 trans-Alaska oil pipeline. Participants in the tour actually get a three-in-one package when you throw in the chance to get rich while panning for your own poke of gold. The tour offers a close-up view of the trans-Alaska oil pipeline, a ride to the dredge site on a replica of the Tanana Valley Railroad that linked mining communities north of Fairbanks in the early gold mining days and a chance to pan for gold and cash in on your findings. Learn about construction and operation of the trans-Alaska oil pipeline while standing in its shadow. Then board the replica of the narrow-gauge Tanana Valley Railroad and hear tales of the thousands of miners who swarmed the surrounding valley in the early 20th century
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What: Gold Dredge 8 When: 10:30 a.m. and 1:45 p.m. daily from May to Sept. 23 Where: 1803 Old Steese Highway Cost: $39.95 for adults, 24:95 for children age 3-12: Reservations required. Phone: (907) 479-6673 Online: www.golddredge8.com
searching for the big strike. Gold Dredge No. 8 is a National Historic Site, and the tour focuses on the history of small- and large-scale mining in the Interior. Youâ€™ll see first-hand how dredges in Alaska sifted the gold from the soil, recovering 3.5 million ounces of gold during the time they were in use. Then practice the art of gold
panning. Youâ€™ll find some color, guaranteed. The two-hour tour allows visitors time to explore the dredge, the dredge camp and the gift shop to have their gold weighed before boarding the train for the ride back to the depot. By the end of the visit, you will have gained a wealth of knowledge about gold mining in the Interior and a little poke to prove it. Tours are available at 10:30 a.m. and 1:45 p.m. daily at the train depot near Goldstream Road and the Old Steese Highway. Reservations are required and can be made by calling (907) 479-6673 or online at www. golddredge8.com. The cost is $39.95 for adults, $24.95 for children age 3-12. Infants younger than 3 are free.
2014 Visitors Guide
Greatland River Tours’ Tanana Chief made its maiden voyage down the Chena River on Sept. 20, 2000, near Pike’s Landing. The Fairbanks Convention and Visitors Bureau held its September membership luncheon on the sternwheeler as its first passengers. The boat is licensed to carry 162 people on its tours. NewsMiner file photo
Tanana Chief offers a leisurely trip down the Chena River If you go
Staff Report firstname.lastname@example.org
The Chena River cuts through the heart of modern Fairbanks, but the Sternwheeler Tanana Finish Line Restaurant & Lounge Hours: Mon-Sat 5pm-10pm Lounge til 11pm Featuring: Steak, Seafood, Chicken, Pasta & Burgers • Outdoor Dining Patio • Full Bar local beer & mircobrews, wide variety of wine • Daily Specials Made Fresh Finish Line located next to Alpine Lodge 4920 Dale Rd, Off Airport Way & Dale Rd 907-328-6300
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What: Sternwheeler Tanana Chief When: Daily dinner and sightseeing cruises; brunch every other Sunday Where: 1020 Hoselton Road, Fairbanks Cost: $24.95-$54.95, with discounts for children, Alaskans, military and seniors Phone: (907) 450-0768 Online: www.tananachiefalaska.com
Chief offers visitors a vantage point that was more common a century ago. The Sternwheeler Tanana Chief is a replica of a passenger and trade vessel that was built in Unalaska in 1898. The paddle-wheeler travels the Chena during the summer months, providing an interesting perspective for visitors and local residents. The Tanana Chief has several different tour packages available, with discounts for chil-
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dren, Alaska residents, seniors, military and groups of 15 or larger. • For those who would simply like a sightseeing tour aboard the sternwheeler, an approximately two-hour cruise is available to check out nature and neighborhoods along the Chena River. The sightseeing tour is $24.95 per person. • A catered dinner cruise includes a full-course meal for $54.95 and features prime rib, king salmon, vegetables, salads and dessert. A full-service bar is available. • Every other Sunday, a champagne brunch is offered for $37.95 and includes ham, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, biscuits and gravy, and more. • A variety of specialty cruises are scheduled throughout the summer, including wine tastings, a pirate cruise and a margarita and salsa cruise. For more information, go to www.tananachiefalaska.com or call (907) 450-0768.
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
Farmers market is food paradise By Gary Black email@example.com
The biggest, freshest farmers market in Interior Alaska calls Fairbanks home, and it’s a summer delight of arts, crafts, fresh produce and food — lots of food. The Tanana Valley Farmers Market is the oldest established farmers market in Alaska and the only one located in its own permanent building. It officially opened at its College Road location in 2005 and since then has grown to become the premiere farmers market for Fairbanks and the surrounding area. Each year, the market continues to grow with more vendors and artisans, some of whom come from smaller communities hours away to sell their wares. When you visit the farmers market, bring your shopping bags — you’ll inevitably buy more than you plan to — and your appetite. The market is a food paradise, with vendors hawking international delights of Thai and Chinese cuisine and Greek gyros, kabobs, kettle corn, buffalo hot dogs, Russian pastries, tacos, and locally made jams, jellies and honey. Artists take full advantage of the market as well. It’s a shopping ground of art and woodwork, pottery, jewelry, fiber arts and homemade lotions, soaps, and bath and body luxuries. If an Alaskan artist can create it, you can find it at the market. When it comes to produce, the market offers everything that can be grown under our midnight sun ... eventually. The season starts off with flowers, seedlings and starter plants when the market opens in May as Alaska’s official planting date is June 1. As summer grows into full swing, so does the produce. By mid-June, the market usually is seeing an ample supply of vegetables; by July, it’s a well-stocked veggie lover’s delight. Big hauls from area farmers include tables of onions, radishes, tomatoes, potatoes, broccoli, cabbage, zucchini and yellow squash, beans, peas, peppers, lettuce and greens. The end of summer sees the arrival of leeks and Brussels sprouts, and by fall, handpicked cranberries and Alaska blueberries make their appearance. It really is a bounty of the produce the state produces, something
The Tanana Valley Farmer’s Market bustles with business. Eric Engman/News-Miner file photo
If you go
What: Tanana Valley Farmers Market Where: 2600 College Road When: The market is open from May 10 to Sept. 21 • Wednesdays — 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. • Saturdays — 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. • Sundays — 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Sunday hours start May 25)
that might come as a surprise to those visiting Interior Alaska. A program growing in popularity at the Tanana Valley Farm-
ers Market is the Chefs at the Market program, in which Fairbanks chefs from local restaurants and venues prepare meals at the market using Alaska produce. Musicians and performers also have started frequenting the market more, making it a day of entertainment in addition to just shopping. If you go, go early. The market gets crowded in the afternoons, and in the height of summer, parking can be difficult to find. Also, the earlier you go, the better chance you have of picking up the best produce available.
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2014 Visitors Guide
Crowds gather to watch breakdancing at the Midnight Sun Festival in downtown Fairbanks. During the summer solstice weekend, a sizable portion of the central Tanana Valley’s 100,000 people pour into the streets for 12 hours of shopping, food, music and people watching. News-Miner file photo
Midnight Sun: Street fair caps solstice celebration If you go
By Sam Friedman firstname.lastname@example.org
Celebrations for the longest day of the year culminate in the
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What: Midnight Sun Festival When: Sunday, June 22, 2014, noon to midnight. Where: Downtown Fairbanks. First Avenue to Third Avenue between Cushman Street and Lacey Street will be blocked to motorized traffic. Cost: Admission is free, but bring cash for vendors. Online: downtownfairbanks.com
Midnight Sun Festival on June 22, a street fair in Downtown Fairbanks that’s touted as the largest one-day event in Alaska. The Golden Heart City isn’t
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generally known for its pedestrian culture, but during the summer solstice weekend, a sizable portion of the central Tanana Valley’s 100,000 people pour into the streets for 12 hours of shopping, food, music
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
Warm up and cool down at Chena Hot Springs Resort By Weston Morrow firstname.lastname@example.org
Mineral hot springs throughout the world have drawn humans to their waters for thousands of years. Chena Hot Springs, located just northeast of Fairbanks, has been drawing visitors to take its waters for more than 100 years. The resort lies 60 miles from Fairbanks at the end of the road that bears its name. The resort draws visitors to its little corner of the Interior year round. When the winter months are at their peak, visitors who have come to the north to witness the aurora borealis as well as locals, will often make the short drive along the Chena to the hot springs. The warm mineral springs create a welcome contrast to the surrounding snow and cold temperatures. Even when temperatures fall to 40 below zero the hot springs remain open. Naturally fed and warmed through the earth’s geothermal heating network, Chena Hot Springs is a top attraction for visitors and locals.
Built around the hot springs by Bernie Karl, Chena Hot Springs Resort adds a number of amenities to the naturally occurring hot springs. The resort features about 80 rooms and family suites in its Moose Lodge as well as cabins and camping accommodations for those visiting in the summer. The hot springs resort is self-contained and sustainable in a number of ways. It includes its own restaurant, cafe, ice museum, cabins, hotel and saloon. For many years and in many cultures, mineral spring waters have been considered to possess healing properties. In addition to taking the waters at Chena Hot Springs, visitors can schedule a massage at the resort’s massage parlor. Karl is a firm believer in sustainable business methods. Much of the food served at the resort is grown in its greenhouse on site and much of the rest is locally sourced from the Interior. The greenhouse, like the springs, is heated geothermally. HOT SPRINGS » 60
Katie Hopkins assembles a s’more as she shares the marshmallow treat with her friends while tailgating before the start of the 108th Midnight Sun Game on June 21, 2013, at Growden Memorial Park. Sam Harrel/
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News-Miner file photo
the aid of artificial lights. Contact staff writer Sam Friedman at 459-7545. Follow him on Twitter: @FDNMcrime.
tume-centric running race starting at 10 p.m. June 21 and the Midnight Sun Game, a semi-pro baseball game between the Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks and the Lake Erie Monarchs starting at 10:30 p.m. June 21 at Growden Memorial Park. The game is played in its entirety without
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and people watching. This year organizers are adding beer to the mix with a beer tent that will go up near the stage on Lacey Street. Some 200 booths, about 50 of them food venders, plan to set up at this year’s Midnight Sun Festival, according to event organizer Kara Nash. Musicians will perform on three stages as well as busking throughout the fair. Anchorage bands Hurricane Dave and the Nuther Brothers have signed up for this year’s fair as well as the local group Stone Veil. The Midnight Sun Festival culminates a week of celebrations for the summer solstice including the Midnight Sun Run, a 10-kilometer cos-
IF YOU GO
What: Chena Hot Springs Resort When: • Pool House, 7 a.m. to midnight, daily • Restaurant, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., daily • Aurora Cafe, 9 a.m. to 2 a.m., daily • Lounge, 10 a.m. to midnight, Sunday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday • Activity center desk, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., daily • Activity center, 24 hours, daily Where: End of Chena Hot Springs Road Cost: Information on varying costs at Chena Hot Springs can be found by calling the resort or visiting its website. Phone: 451-8104 Online: www. chenahotsprings.com
2014 Visitors Guide
Wilma Yarnal Photography file photo
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Each year, the resort hosts a renewable energy fair that brings in exhibitors from all across Alaska. Fittingly, since the hot springs are open in the winter, the ice museum is open
in the summer. During the hot summer months, the inside of the museum is cooled to about 20 degrees. While visiting the ice museum, people can learn to ice carve with a class or grab a drink on the rocks at the ice bar. The resortâ€™s website includes information on its
accommodations and openings as well as pictures of the hot springs in both summer and winter. Special online-only deals are often posted on the resortâ€™s website: www.chen ahotsprings.com. Contact staff writer Weston Morrow at 459-7520. Follow him on Twitter: @FDNMschools.
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
North Pole: Jolly in holiday spirit, year-round Staff Report email@example.com
So, you’re planning a trip to Alaska, and what’s near the top of your “must see” list? North Pole. And why shouldn’t it be? The Christmas-themed town, only 13 miles south of Fairbanks, is home to the Santa Claus House, 60-below temperatures (in the wintertime, of course) and beautiful displays of the northern lights (also in winter.) The theme of the city is “Where the Spirit of Christmas Lives Year Around,” and the businesses and residents of North Pole work hard at living up to that theme and the unique name of their town. The streets have holiday names like Santa Claus Lane, St. Nicholas Drive, Kris Kringle, Snowman Lane, Holiday Road, North Star Drive, Blitzen and Donnor. Businessmen adorn Christmas-themed ties all year long, the light poles are dressed like
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was incorporated in 1953. James Ford was appointed as the first mayor. A small school was built the same year in a donated house, and the city had to scrape up $100 per month to pay a teacher to educate the 30 students. It wasn’t long before North Pole Trading Post opened, KJNP radio went on the air, churches were built and businesses began popping up, seemingly out of nowhere. The new businesses helped North Pole grow, yes, but it was the Santa Claus House, started in 1952, that sealed the identity
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candy canes, and, well, Santa Claus lives there. In 1944, before it was a town, North Pole was the Bon Davis homestead. The town started when Davis subdivided and settlers bought lots and set up housing. While people argued about the name of the fledging town — names like “Moose Crossing” were thrown around — the buyers of most of the homestead, the Dahl and Gaske Development Co., thought the name North Pole would attract a toy manufacturer. While that didn’t happen, the name stuck and became the official name of the city, which
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2014 Visitors Guide
Take a walk in the Botanical Garden
By Jeff Richardson
Gardeners and outdoor enthusiasts can get a quick education on a broad range of Interior Alaska plant life without having to leave town. Numerous native plants can be found in the summer plots of the Georgeson Botanical Garden at the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus. The northernmost public garden in North America is a scenic spot to view flowers, perennials and even some of the state’s famed vegetables. Visitors can check it out during a self-guided tour, using brochures and signs for interpretation. The area also includes a gorgeous view of the Tanana Valley and Alaska Range, with Mount McKinley visible on a clear day. A children’s garden includes a maze, a miniature log cabin and a water garden. Benches, bird baths and sculptures accentuate the scenery. The century-old garden, named after former Alaska Agriculture Experiment
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Visitors enjoy the vibrant colors of flowers, including a patch of Rudbeckia Prairie Sun, at the Georgeson Botanical Garden. Eric Engman/News-Miner file photo
Stations director Charles Georgeson, is more than just a spot for a scenic summer walk. Office Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
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If you go
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It’s a hub for high-latitude plant science, serving as a three-acre laboratory for growing under the midnight sun in Interior Alaska’s short summers. The garden is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. May through September. Admission is $5 per person, with free entrance for children ages 6 and younger. Groups may call ahead to arrange for a guided tour, at a cost of $8 per person. Pets aren’t allowed in the garden. For more information about the botanical garden, go to georgesonbg.org.
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
Alaska Salmon Bake diners enjoy a dinner at Pioneer Park. Photo courtesy Alaska Salmon Bake
Salmon Bake, Golden Heart Revue keep Pioneer Park full of excitement If you go
By Bob Eley FOR THE NEWS-MINER
North Pole July 4th Parade Join us for a Pancake Feed! 8:30–10:30 a.m.
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outdoor grill over a bed of black spruce coals while basting in a sweet sauce. The cod is from Alaska’s Bering Sea and handdipped in a special beer batter. The prime rib is slow cooked in an outdoor smoker. In addition to the entrees, there are farm fresh salads,
So, you want to get a quality dinner in a rustic setting and then take in an old-fashioned performance in one evening? Check out the Alaska Salmon Bake and the Golden Heart Review at the Palace Theatre in one evening at Pioneer Park. The Alaska Salmon Bake — the only one in Fairbanks — is where you can enjoy all the food you like, while surrounded by the historic theme park filled with gold rush cabins and antique mining equipment. The Salmon Bake offers fire grilled salmon, hand dipped beer battered cod and prime rib. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights you can add some Alaska crab to your plate. The venue offers plenty of indoor and outdoor seating. The salmon is caught in Alaska waters, cooked on an
What: Alaska Salmon Bake When: 5-9 p.m. daily from May 11 to Sept. 12 Where: Pioneer Park Cost: $31.95 (add $8 for bus transportation) Phone: 452-7274 Online: www.akvisit.com
baked beans, rolls and a blueberry topped dessert. Dinner includes non-alcoholic beverages. Beer and wine also are available for an additional cost. A kid’s menu is available. Dinner is served nightly from 5-9 p.m. and the cost is $31.95. The Salmon Bake offers a shuttle service from many local hotels. Shuttle transportation is $8 roundtrip.
2014 Visitors Guide
The Zipper ride is reflected in an attendee’s sunglasses at the opening day of the Tanana Valley State Fair on Aug. 2, 2013. Eric Engman/News-Miner
Tanana Valley Fair celebrates Interior agriculture, family and fun By Sam Friedman email@example.com
Giant cabbage, zucchini and other treasures of the Interior’s short but explosive growing season compete in Fairbanks each August at the Tanana Valley Fair. The Tanana Valley State Fair takes place each year in early August in the sprawling grassy fairgrounds on College Road just north of Fairbanks. It’s one of four fairs around the Alaska
Mile 1413 Alaska Highway, beside the large Grain Elevators
What: Tanana Valley Fair When: Aug. 1 to 9: Noon to 10 p.m. weekdays and noon to 11 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Theme: “Peonies from heaven” Cost: Adults $10, seniors and youth $5, free for children 5 and younger. Phone: (907) 452-3750 Online: tananavalleystatefair. com
known as a “state” fair and is the second-largest fair after the one in Palmer, near Anchorage.
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If you go
The Tanana Valley State Fair offers something for everyone from agriculture, crafts, competitions and a midway. The fair attracts about 100,000 attendees each year. It’s the only time Interior residents see carnival rides in Fairbanks and it is a great excuse to eat fried foods. Last year a crowd favorite was the deep-fried macaroni and cheese. Daily events this year include concerts, mud bogging, lawn mower races, a demolition derby and, new this year, a two-day rodeo on the first two days. The rodeo will have open entries for amateurs gutsy enough to try riding a bull or bucking horse, according to fair manager Joyce Whitehorn. Musical acts will include Nashville country singer and guitar-player Mark Wills, who’s scheduled to perform a concert on Aug. 3. Also new this year is the return of the fair’s harvest queen, a beauty pageant that hasn’t been held since 1985. Tanana Valley State Fair organizers have a long established love of punny themes for the fair. Last year the fair’s theme was “salmonchanted evening.” This year “peonies from heaven.” Contact staff writer Sam Friedman at 459-7545. Follow him on Twitter: @FDNMcrime.
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
Golden Days celebrates the founding of Fairbanks By Wes Morrow WMORROW@NEWSMINER.COM
Gold runs through the veins of Fairbanks. Without its discovery nearby, Fairbanks might never have been founded, and without the discovery of “black gold” on the North Slope some time later Fairbanks would not be the same town it is today. Fairbanks celebrates its golden heritage each summer with the Golden Days celebration, a five-day festival that takes place each July. With the constant chaperone of the golden sun watching over the festivities, Fairbanks commemorates Felix Pedro’s discovery of gold in the hills north of town more than 100 years ago. Golden Days 2014 will be the 62nd annual celebration and will take place July 16-20. This year’s theme is “The Gold and the Beautiful.” The celebration gets started July 16 with the Kick Off party from 5-9 p.m. at Pioneer Park. The festivities come to a head on July 19, when the Golden Days Parade marches through
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After dinner, or as a separate event, you can get a special rendition of Fairbanks’ history and folklore at the Palace Theatre. Featuring live original songs and light-hearted stories, the cast of “The Golden Heart Review” answers many com-
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that would take the city from brand new to recognized worldwide. Life seems a little slower and simpler in North Pole, without
IF YOU GO
What: Golden Days When: July 16-20. Where: Various Places around Fairbanks Phone: (907) 452-1105, Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce Online: www.fairbankschamber. org/goldendays
downtown Fairbanks at 10 a.m., followed by the dropping of thousands of rubber ducks into the Chena River for the Rubber Duckie Race at 2:30 p.m. (no ducks are harmed in the race and all are collected from the river at the conclusion of the race). People can purchase tickets for a duck and have the chance to win prizes based on where in the pack their duck finishes. Prizes total more than $30,000. A street fair also takes place throughout the day on July 20, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on First Avenue between Cushman and Lacey Street. More information on the
If you go
What: Golden Heart Review When: 8:15 p.m. daily, from May 13 to Sept. 12 Where: Palace Theatre Cost: $19.95 Phone: 452-7274 Online: www.akvisit.com
monly asked questions about Fairbanks such as “Why would anyone want to build a town in this swamp area, anyway?”
the hustle and bustle of a booming city, and the people are not only friendly, but proud of where they live, eager to assist camera-toting tourists find their way to the reindeer pen, Mistletoe Lane or the home of the jolly man himself.
Felix Pedro and his burro are followed by floozies as he makes his way through Gold Rush Town in Pioneer Park. Pedro, also known as Barry Berner, was on his way to the bank with his poke of gold to start Golden Days. Sam Harrel/News-Miner
Golden Days celebration can be found by contacting the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce at (907) 452-1105 or online at www.fairbanks chamber.org/goldendays.
and “Why has this unlikely little town survived for more than 100 years?” The Golden Heart Revue will leave you a bit wiser and will bring out a smile. The cost of the show is $19.95. The Alaska Salmon Bake and Palace Theatre are family owned businesses operated for more than 35 years. For more information go to www.akvisit.com.
Check out Santa Clause House, 101 St. Nicholas Drive, where it’s Christmas yearround, even in summer. You can reach them at (907) 488-2200.
2014 Visitors Guide
An 1898 Hay-Hotchkiss automobile is on display at Fountainhead Development’s Antique Auto Museum. The HayHotchkiss is the newest and oldest addition to the collection. “This is as rare as a car can get,” museum manager Willy Vinton said of the automobile, the only one if its kind ever manufactured. Eric Engman/ News-Miner file photo
Antique auto museum: Restoration cars with Alaska history If you go:
By Sam Friedman firstname.lastname@example.org
The Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum is a living museum. That means that almost all 85 cars and horseless carriages from the late 19th and early 20th centuries are functional. Visitors to the museum may see some of the vehicles driving around the Wedgewood Estates parking lot or at the Golden Days parade. Inside the muse-
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um is a large window into the museum garage where visitors can watch museum employees work on the cars. The 30,000-square-foot Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum is one of Fairbanks newest attractions. It opened in 2009 from the antique collection of Fairbanks real estate developer Tim Cerny. The collection ranges in time from bicycles and a 19th century horse-drawn sled that was the Cadillac of its era to luxurious vehicles of the turn of and
early 20th century with lavish interiors and an increasing number of pistons. The museum prides itself in historically authentic vehicle restoration and several of its cars are prizewinners from the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance competition. Accompanying the vehicles are more than 100 vintage outfits arranged to match the era of the vehicles they are displayed with. An Alaska auto history exhibit at the museum contains examples of the first three models of vehicles that came to Fairbanks in 1908 and 1909, along with newspaper reports from the time about the exploits of these novel “devil wagons.” On loan to the museum is the first car built in Alaska, the 1905 Sheldon Runabout, built by Robert “Bobby” Sheldon in Skagway. Sheldon had never seen an automobile but improvised one capable of going 15 mph to impress a lady. Sheldon later came to Fairbanks and in 1913 was the first motorist to drive the 370-mile trail between Fairbanks and Valdez.
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Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
Fairbanks Shakespeare Theatre is art alive on stage Staff Report email@example.com
Even in the reaches of the Far North, the Bard has a place on stage. The Fairbanks Shakespeare Theatre is the dominant theatrical force for all things Shakespeare in Interior Alaska. Since 1992 when the troupe performed its first play in downtown on the banks of the Chena River, it’s grown into a renowned stage company performing in Fairbanks, across Alaska and the Lower 48, and even going international with its performance of “Hamlet” at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland in 2003. In April the troupe celebrated its 15th annual Bard-a-thon, a round-the-clock reading of Shakespeare that takes place 24 hours per day, usually wrapping up within one week. It’s one
If you go
What: Fairbanks Shakespeare Theatre Contact Information: Phone: 907-457-7638 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Snail mail: Fairbanks Shakespeare Theatre, PO Box 73447, Fairbanks, AK 99707
Web: www.fstalaska.org Facebook: Search for “Fairbanks Shakespeare Theatre” Twitter: https://twitter.com/ fstalaska
of the most popular events the troupe hosts and draws participants from across Fairbanks and local schools, with many participants dressing up in period costume. This year, the Fairbanks Community Muse-
um hosted the theater’s annual reading. In addition to the Bard-athon, the troupe also hosts drama camps for youth. This year, the Groundlings camp runs June 9-29 and the Fledglings camp runs June 16-29. More information about the camps can be found online at www. fstalaska.org. The highlight of the summer for the Fairbanks Shakespeare Theatre is the outdoor performance the troupe hosts each year at Jack Townshend Point, an outdoors theater located on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus. This year, the troupe is performing “As You Like It” from July 11-27. The troupe is then taking the play on the road with performances in Tonglen Lake on Aug. 2 and 3. In the fall, the troupe is slated to perform “Sleepless Night” from Oct. 29 to Nov. 1. A scene from the Fairbanks Shakespeare Theatre production of “The Comedy of Errors” is pictured in 2011. The Fairbanks Shakespeare Theatre is the dominant theatrical force for all things Shakespeare in Interior Alaska. NewsMiner file photo
2014 Visitors Guide
You might not see them during the summer, but you can learn about the
By Bob Eley FOR THE NEWS-MINER
The aurora borealis, commonly known as the northern lights, are a splendid sight indeed, dancing magically across the sky with their green, red and purple hues. The good news is they are visible in Fairbanks and the Interior for eight months out of the year. The bad news is that during most of the summer months you can’t see them. It won’t be until mid-to-late August that it gets dark enough for the colorful displays to once
again be seen dancing across the skies above. However, you can learn about the northern lights when you’re visiting the Land of the Midnight Sun. The University of Alaska Geophysical Institute provides a wealth of information about the aurora. During the winter months the Institute provides an aurora forecast and a place to register for aurora alerts. Visit www.gedds.alaska.edu/ auroraforecast. Also, there are several aurora shows and displays at museums throughout the Fairbanks area
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where you can see and learn about the phenomena called the aurora borealis. Here are some answers to some common questions about the northern lights. Q: What is the aurora? A: The glow in the sky, know as the aurora borealis, is the result of energetic particles entering the upper atmosphere. The specific glow is different than other forms of brightness in the sky, such as scattered sunlight or lightning. Magnetism within the Earth’s atmosphere guide the energetic particles, most often electrons, along field lines to the high-latitude atmosphere. As the energetic particles penetrate the upper atmosphere, the chance of colliding with an atom or molecule increases the deeper they go. When a collision occurs, the atom or molecule takes some of the energy of the energetic particle and stores it as internal energy while the electron continues on its path at a reduced speed. The release of that stored energy by an atom or molecule, achieved by sending off a photon, produces light. Q: What makes the color in the aurora? A: The composition and density of the atmosphere and the
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
Fishing near Fairbanks You’re most likely to hook an arctic grayling in this area By Tim Mowry TMOWRY@NEWSMINER.COM
When it comes to fishing, you won’t find any trophy-sized salmon or halibut around Fairbanks. What you will find in the Interior, however, is plenty of arctic grayling, and your chances of hooking a grayling are far better — not to mention cheaper — than landing a salmon or halibut. “They’re easy to catch and we’ve got road accessible rivers with grayling in them,” said Audra Brase, area management sport fish biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Fairbanks, and in summing up sport fishing opportunities around Fairbanks and the Interior. Grayling are a uniquely Alaskan fish, though there are a few spots in the Lower 48 where they can be found. An elegant cousin of the trout, grayling range in size from 8 to 18 inches and can be found in most fresh-
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campgrounds to pitch a tent or park an RV. The Delta Clearwater River, located about 100 miles south of Fairbanks and accessible from the Richardson Highway, is another hot spot for grayling. Other local streams that are popular places to fish for grayling include the Chatanika River off both the Elliott and Steese highways about 20 miles north of Fairbanks; the Salcha River, about 40 miles south of Fairbanks on the Richardson Highway; and Nome Creek, which is about 60 miles north of Fairbanks off the Steese Highway. Beware, however, that because of their cooperative and hungry nature, most grayling fishing in Interior streams is restricted to catch and release. Anglers should consult the state fishing regulations or stop in at an Alaska Department of Fish and Game office to see what the rules are in the area they plan to fish. An Alaska fishing license is required.
Q: What is the altitude of the aurora? A: The bottom edge is typically at 60 miles altitude, but it extends over a large altitude range. An intense aurora from high energy electrons can be as low as 50 miles. The top of the visible aurora peters out about 120-200 miles, but sometimes high-altitude aurora can be seen as high as 350 miles. Q: How often is there aurora? A: There is always some aurora at some place on Earth. You just can’t always see it. When the solar wind is calm, the aurora might be too high and faint to see. To see the aurora, the sky must be dark and clear, which is why it’s not visible in the Interior until the latter portion of the
summer, mid-to-late August. If you are here then, hopefully it will be clear enough to enjoy it.
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altitude of the aurora determine the possible light emissions. The atmosphere is made up of varying levels of oxygen and nitrogen. Sometimes the photons emitted by the energetic electrons, creating aurora energy, are strong enough to split the molecules of the air around them into oxygen and nitrogen molecules and atoms. This process gives them the signature colors of nitrogen and oxygen storms. Oxygen atoms typically emit green and red colors. The overall impression is a greenish-whitish glow. An intense aurora can get a purple edge at the bottom, which is a mixture of blue and red emissions from nitrogen molecules.
water streams along the road system in the Interior. They are distinguished by their slate gray color and iridescent, sail-like dorsal fin, which is dotted with green and purple spots. They are also famous for their voracious appetites. Their willingness to rise to dry flies is legendary and makes them a favorite of fly fishermen. Grayling will attack just about any dry fly you throw at them. Unlike salmon or halibut, you don’t need a boat or expensive guide to catch grayling. A lightweight spinning or fly rod with a few flies or lures will do the trick in most cases and you can fish directly from shore. One of the best places to find grayling is the Chena River that flows through downtown Fairbanks. The Chena River is one of the most prolific grayling fisheries in the state. The upper Chena parallels Chena Hot Springs Road for several miles in the Chena River State Recreation Area and offers multiple access points to the river, as well as
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2014 Visitors Guide
Creamer’s Field offers urban refuge in Fairbanks By Jeff Richardson firstname.lastname@example.org
Sometimes the best wilderness escapes are found unexpectedly in the middle of populated areas. In Fairbanks, that urban oasis is found at Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge. Once the biggest dairy farm in Alaska, Creamer’s Field is now part of a 2,000-acre refuge that attracts thousands of Canada geese, sandhilll cranes, trumpeter swans and assorted other waterfowl in the spring, summer and fall. Within walking distance — about two miles — of downtown Fairbanks, the refuge is at 1300 College Road and also serves
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What: Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge Where: 1300 College Road Online: www.creamersfield.org
as headquarters for Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s Fairbanks office. The refuge has about five miles of trails that wind in and out of the woods and around the fields, with viewing platforms situated in different spots to look for birds, moose and other wildlife. The trails are flat and parts of them are accessible for people with disabilities. “It’s a wilderness experience you can have kind of in town,”
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said Friends of Creamer’s Field executive director Christine Huff. The barn and farmhouse from the 1950s era dairy remain and the farmhouse has been transformed into an interpretive visitors center where visitors can learn about the history of Creamer’s Field and the purpose it serves as a waterfowl refuge. A steady stream of events and tours are available at Creamer’s Field throughout the year. History Day will be offered from noon to 3 p.m. June 20, with animals, activities and crafts at the farmhouse. There are sandhill cranes that frequent the refuge throughout the summer, and the woods around the refuge are filled with an orchestra of songbirds. The refuge hosts the Tanana Valley Sandhill Crane Festival during the third week in August. This year’s festival is scheduled for Aug. 22-24, with raven expert John Marzluff serving as a featured speaker. Friends of Creamer’s Field offers daily guided nature walks at 10 a.m. and on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. Participants learn about the plants and animals on the refuge, as well as some of the history behind Creamer’s Dairy. There are guide books available in the farmhouse visitor center, as well as at the trailhead kiosk, for those who want to tour the refuge on their own. Interpretive signs along some of the trails inform visitors about different aspects of the refuge. The Farmhouse Visitors Center is open seven days per week from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. starting June 1.
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
Dalton, Elliott highways are remote roads Elliott Highway
By Jeff Richardson firstname.lastname@example.org
Visitors to Alaska often like to get off the beaten path, and there are few roads that provide that opportunity better than the Dalton and Elliott highways. The Dalton Highway, which was built to support the trans-Alaska oil pipeline, is the farthest-north road in North America. Commonly called the “haul road,” it takes motorists to the Arctic Circle and almost to the Arctic Ocean. The Elliott Highway, which leads to the Dalton on its way to Manley Hot Springs, is a good option for travelers interested in remote adventure and hot springs. They’re both long, remote roads, so planning ahead is important. Fill up on gas at the few stations along the 498 highway miles between Fairbanks and Deadhorse. Bring one or more spare tires. Watch out for big trucks. A good resource on this and other Alaska roadtrips is “The Milepost,” a mile-by-mile guide to Alaska’s highways updated every year and available at most Alaska grocery stores. The Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center in Fairbanks has specific information on the Dalton Highway
Miles: 153.8. Junction with Dalton Highway at 84 Mile Surface: First half paved, then gravel End points: Fox to Manley Hot Springs Dalton Highway Miles: 415.1 Surface: Mostly gravel End points: Junction with Elliott Highway, Deadhorse and receives road condition updates from the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities.
The Elliott Highway moves through rolling hills covered in birch trees as it begins in the community of Fox, where the highway splits from the Steese Highway. The last stop for gas for a hundred miles is the Hilltop Truck Stop, a diner known for its pies and appearances on the reality show “Ice Road Truckers.” At 84 Mile, the Dalton Highway splits from the Elliott. The Elliott continues west to the community of Manley Hot Springs. A junction at 109 Mile Elliott Highway leads south to the Athabascan village of Minto. The small community of
A handmade mileage sign is seen at Wiseman on the Dalton Highway. news-miner file photo
Manley Hot Springs offers a rustic and low-key experience for visitors. Four tubs are in a greenhouse that grows grapes, and visitors can take a soak in the hot springs for $5 per hour. Use of the greenhouse is restricted to one party at a time, so visitors are asked to call (907) 672-3171 in advance. The Manley Roadhouse, established in 1903, provides lodging and meals, with information at www.manley roadhouse.com. Manley Hot DALTON » 72
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2014 Visitors Guide
The Dalton Highway is the supply road for the North Slope oil fields. news-miner file photo
ing out. Many make customers sign agreements not to drive on gravel roads.
Springs also is home to musher Joe Redington Jr., son of Iditarod founder Joe Redington Sr. He introduces visitors to the subsistence lifestyle with a tour of his home and kennel for a fee of $25 per adult. Information is available at www.joeredington.org. If driving a rental car, check with the company before head-
Continued from 71
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• Yukon River Bridge: 56 Mile (from Elliott Highway junction). The only vehicle crossing in Alaska across the state’s largest river. Fuel, food and lodging are available in the summer here. • Arctic Circle sign: 115 Mile. The sun does not rise on the winter solstice or set on the summer solstice north of the Arctic circle. • Coldfoot: 175 Mile. A former pipeline construction camp. Gas, lodging and the Arctic Interagency Visitor Center (open only in the summer), the visitor center for Arctic federal lands, including Gates of the Arctic National Park. • Wiseman: 189 Mile. Turnoff for Wiseman, a historic mining community three miles off the highway. • Atigun Pass: 244 Mile. At 4,800 feet, this Brooks Range pass is the highest highway pass in Alaska. • Deadhorse: 414 Mile. There is fuel and lodging at the community of Prudhoe Bay oilfield workers. Security fences block access to the Arctic Ocean, but Deadhorse Camp, which offers lodging for both oilfield workers and visitors, offers shuttles to the ocean. Shuttles leave twice per day in the summer and cost $59 per person. Lodging reservations can be made at (877) 474-3565, with the shuttle available through www. arcticoceanshuttle.com.
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
Alaska and Richardson highways offer adventure By Weston Morrow
The Alaska Highway serves as the gateway to the North. The world-famous highway traverses more than 1,000 miles through Canada before finally reaching its terminus in Interior Alaska. Built during World War II by the military as a means of getting supplies to the strategic northern territory, the long stretch of highway was actually meant in part to help connect the previously unconnected airfields used for the Lend-Lease Agreement to send planes and supplies over the Bering Straight into Russia to support the Eastern Front. Though the highway stretches more than 1,300 miles today, fewer than 200 of those miles run through the state for which the highway is named. The highway ends 198 miles from the border in Delta Junction, where it converges with the Richardson Highway. The Rich winds north from Valdez, the port city on Prince William Sound where tankers dock to load oil from the trans-Alaska oil pipeline. The Richardson Highway and the pipeline meander north from Valdez, often running alongside each other. The Richardson meets up with the Alaska Highway at Delta Junction and branches off to the west, toward Fairbanks, as does the pipeline. While the Richardson Highway ends in Fairbanks, the pipeline continues to the North Slope.
Delta Junction, as its name would imply, stands at the juncture of Alaska Highway and the Richardson Highway. It is bordered by the Tanana and Delta rivers. Delta Junction’s museums, roadhouses and festivals inform visitors of the town and the region’s rich past. • Friendly Frontier Days takes
A hiker reaches the top of 3,910-foot Donnelly Dome. The Richardson Highway and Granite Mountains can be seen in the background. news-miner file photo
place June 1. It features hay rides and a hay maze, a petting zoo and farmers market and a full-town barbecue. More information on Frontier Days can be found by calling the Delta Junction Chamber of Commerce at 907-895-5068. • The Deltana Fair runs this year from July 25-27. It includes games, music, food and contests. The Deltana Fairgrounds are located on Nistler Road in Delta Junction. More information on the fair can be found by calling 907-895-3247. • Big Delta State Historical Park is another main attraction near Delta, featuring Rika’s Roadhouse. The park shares the history of the former owner, Rika Wallen, whose roadhouse played an interesting and significant role in Interior Alaska’s past. Rika’s Roadhouse rests on the banks of the Tanana River, where a trail once ran from Valdez in the south to the gold claims of Fairbanks in the north. Rika’s provided the trail’s travelers with a place to rest and recuperate from their journey before continuing. The Roadhouse is not always open, but the Alaska State Parks Department continues to operate the historical park.
Donnelly Dome rises high above the surrounding landscape just south of Delta Junction. The dome sits near the Richardson Highway about 15 miles south of Delta Junction. The dome rises nearly 4,000 feet amidst a wide valley, surrounded on two sides by towering peaks of the Alaska Range. The dome lies along a fault line that runs along the northern edge of the Alaska Range, which contributes to its expansive rise. The dome is a popular hike for locals and visitors alike, as it provides sweeping views of the surrounding peaks to the southeast and southwest and the Delta River. The trans-Alaska oil pipeline can be seen winding alongside the river for miles from atop Donnelly Dome. The hike can be done in half a day. Hikers should pack a jacket despite the weather, as the top of the dome is often windy. Access to the path up the dome starts at a pullout on the Richardson Highway about 248 Mile. From there, the trail winds up to the southern side of the dome and along its spine to the top.
Black Rapids Roadhouse sits across the Richardson Highway from its namesake. When the ice along the river breaks up in the spring, Black Rapids on the Delta River flow alongside the highway below the roadhouse. The rapids are so named because of the tremendous amount of glacial silt that flows down from the Alaska Range, darkening the water in the shallow riverbed. The Black Rapids Roadhouse and lodge was recently updated and refashioned. From the highway the roadhouse can be seen along the parallel ridge, gleaming with a refinished sheen. HIGHWAYS » 74
2014 Visitors Guide
Steese Highway is a road into gold country By Bob Eley FOR THE NEWS-MINER
Heading north from Fairbanks on the Steese Highway, takes a traveler through some of Alaska’s richest gold country and a lot more on a 155-mile or so drive to Circle City. The highway starts by skirting the eastern edge of Fairbanks before turning into a gravel road that concludes in the Yukon River community of Circle City, retracing a century of historic gold mining trails along the way. Leaving Fairbanks, the first
Continued from 73 Views from the Richardson Highway, especially at the Black Rapids Roadhouse, include the river valley to the Black Rapids Glacier in the mountains to the west, and to the east, the looming peaks of the range that form the back of the roadhouse’s ridge. The lodge has been featured in Outside Magazine, the Wash-
notable stop comes in Fox, about 10 miles north of town. Fox began as a mining camp in 1905, but has since become a destination for restaurants and nightlife for those willing to make the short drive. The Turtle Club restaurant is well known for its heaping plates of prime rib, and Silver Gulch Brewing and Bottling Co. combines the northernmost brewery in the U.S. with a gastropub. From May to October, the Howling Dog Saloon features live music in a colorful atmosphere. Road trip supplies and gas are
available at the Fox General Store. Heading up the Steese, at about 16 Mile, visitors can stop at the Felix Pedro Monument, the site where the Italian miner discovered gold, starting the stampede to Fairbanks in 1903. The Steese also offers road access to the White Mountains National Recreation Area, where you can pan for gold at Nome Creek at 57 Mile. You also can hike, fish and camp in the White Mountains.
ington Post and the National Geographic Traveler Stay List. It hosts guest speakers, musicians and other events and features outdoor tours during the summer. More information on the roadhouse can be found by calling 877-825-9413.
tors drive through after crossing the border with Canada. Tok, provides accommodations for RVs and campers. Tok has about 1,300 residents, but its visitor center provides a range of information on the region’s history and geography. Tok serves as the hub for the other villages in the eastern part of Alaska’s Interior, such as Dot Lake, Northway, Tetlin, Tanacross and Mentasta. It was built to serve as a roadwork camp during the construction of the Alaska Highway in the 1940s. Tok is surrounded by three Alaska State Parks. Eagle Trail State Recreation Site is 16 miles south of town at 109.5 Mile Tok Cutoff Highway. Eagle Trail offers hiking trails, many of which were part of the old Eagle-Valdez Trail. Moon Lake State Recreation Site is 15 is northwest of Tok near 1,332 Mile Alaska Highway. The park is a popular boating destination. Tok River State Recreation Site is 4.5 miles east of Tok near 1,309 Mile Alaska Highway and is a stopping point for visitors entering the state from Canada. The biggest celebration in Tok is its Fourth of July parade, which begins this year at 11 a.m. at Fast Eddy’s restaurant, another popular stopping point for hungry travelers. The theme of the 2014 parade is dog mushing, celebrating the work of the two- and four-legged athletes of Alaska’s state sport. More information on the parade or Tok can be directed to Tok Chamber of Commerce President John Rusyniak at 907-883-5775.
For travelers entering the state through the highway system, Tok is the first town visi-
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Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
Wrangell-St. Elias is largest national park in the nation By Tim Mowry firstname.lastname@example.org
people and less development at Wrangell-St. Elias than Denali, you also will find fewer rules. Unlike Denali Park, where visitors are restricted to riding tour buses deep into the park, visitors to Wrangell-St. Elias can drive into the heart of the park on one of two gravel roads. The most popular destination in the park is the small town of McCarthy and the Kennecott Mines National Historic Landmark, about a 100-mile drive off the Richardson Highway starting at 82.5 Mile. Both are located at the end of the McCarthy Road, a 60-mile dirt road leading from Chitina to the Kennicott River. The Kennecott Mine was once the largest copper mine in the world before shutting down in 1938. It is now a National Historic Landmark District managed by the National Park
Service. Many of the buildings have been restored; others WRANGELL » 77
It’s the biggest and best-kept secret in Alaska, and maybe all of North America. At just less than 13.2 million acres, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve is the largest national park in the United States. It’s more than twice the size of its more-famous Alaska cousin, Denali National Park and Preserve, but has less than one-quarter of the visitors. About 400,000 people go to Denali National Park and Preserve each year while only about 85,000 people visit Wrangell-St. Elias. Even then, the majority of those visitors only stop in at the park’s visitor center in Copper Center at 106.8 Mile Richardson Highway, Todd Stoeverl, chief of interpretation and education for Wrangell-St.Elias, said. “It’s a lot different than Denali,” Stoeverl said of Wrangell-St. Elias. Not only will you find fewer
Not only will you find fewer people and less development at Wrangell-St. Elias than Denali, you also will find fewer rules.
2014 Visitors Guide
Music and adventure on the Taylor Highway Staff report email@example.com
Like the Richardson Highway that runs between Valdez and Fairbanks, the 105-mile Taylor Highway also started out as a series of trails. It was born from the route between Eagle on the Yukon River and several mining camps that dotted the Fortymile River area. According to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the trails became wagon roads, and the roads eventually became parts of the Taylor Highway. Construction on the highway, which is only paved from Tetlin Junction to Chicken, began in 1945 and was completed in 1951. The state Department of Transportation warns that the Taylor Highway past Chicken is “mostly gravel with several steep, narrow grades and long distances between services.” The highway is not maintained in the winter.
The community of Chicken keeps the gold mining spirit alive for travelers who want to see how the mines of the late 19th and early 20th century operated in Alaska. Chicken consists of three distinct venues — Chicken Creek, Chicken Gold Camp and Old Town Chicken. Chicken Creek consists of a saloon and a few small businesses, and if you ask nicely, the folks at the saloon may fire off the canon for you. Chicken Gold Camp and Old Town Chicken offer tent and RV camping and amenities, but if you want to try your hand at gold mining the Fortymile way, Chicken Gold Camp is the place to be.
Tent campers cover thehillside at the 2013 Chickestock music festival at the Chicken Gold Camp & Outpost in Chicken. newsminer file photo
Mike and Lou Busby, owners of the Chicken Gold Camp and Outpost at 68 Mile Taylor Highway, run the RV park, offer dredge tours of the Felix Pedro Dredge No. 4, man an espresso bar and restaurant, and run a gift shop that sells Alaska- and Yukon-made gifts. The Outpost at Chicken Gold Camp opens by May 15 and closes around Sept. 20, weather permitting. It is open 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Sunday, throughout the summer. Guided tours of the Felix Pedro Dredge No. 4 and gold panning adventures are available for a nominal fee. The biggest draw in the area is Chickenstock, a two-day bluegrass music festival that has become one of the best small-music festivals in the state. For two days each June, musicians from across the state and even the Lower 48 converge at Chicken Gold Camp for jam sessions and dancing, using the back of a flatbed truck as the stage. In recent years, Chickenstock has grown as more musicians make the trek up the Taylor to participate in the experience. www.chickengold.com
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This year, Chickenstock is June 13 and 14. If you go, bone up on the steps to the Chicken Dance. For more information about Chickenstock, call (907) 2356396 or visit Chicken Gold Camp on Facebook for regular updates. Reservation information can be found at www. chickengold.com.
The end at Eagle
As travelers drive through Alaska on their way to Eagle, they may hear locals say, “Don’t be Chicken on your way to Eagle!” The Taylor Highway twists and turns and then turns to gravel after leaving Chicken. Drivers should look out for animals and Holland America tour buses. But once you descend into the small town of Eagle — the first Interior community to incorporate as a city, in 1901 — Alaska’s history and the Yukon River wait there to be explored. Donna Westphal, director of the Eagle Historical Society, said the city’s Fourth of July parade is its biggest draw. The parade begins at the historic Wickersham Courthouse at 11 a.m. After the parade, there is a carnival and a root beer float stand for the public. For more information, call (907) 5472325. To really explore the history of Eagle, Westphal suggests a guided tour of Eagle’s historic buildings and museums, including Fort Egbert. Tours run 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
Continued from 75 remain as they were left. The Park Service leads tours of the mine for the public and there is a hotel at the mine site. The town of McCarthy, which sprouted as a result of the mine, is about five miles from Kennecott and remains much the same as it was when the mine was in operation, with a lodge and saloon, two flightseeing services, a handful of guiding companies, a general store and a few dozen private cabins. While the McCarthy Road has a reputation for being rough, it’s in much better condition now than it used to be, Stoeverl said. “It’s nowhere near as bad as its reputation,” he said. Be warned, however, there is no place to buy gas along the road or in McCarthy so it’s best to have a full tank when you pull off the main highway. Private vehicles are not allowed in McCarthy and must park at a footbridge about a mile from the small town. Visitors can walk into town or hitch a ride with a shuttle that ferries people between Kennecott and McCarthy. The McCarthy and Kennecott area feature several hiking trails, including one that takes you to the face of the Root Glacier. “It’s a relatively flat, two-mile walk and you can get on the glacier pretty easily,” said Stoeverl. “You don’t have to worry about deep, huge crevasses.” There are guiding companies in McCarthy and Kennecott that lead tours onto the glacier and the same companies offer backpacking and rafting trips in the area. The other road into the park is the 42-mile Nabesna Road, which leads from the Slana Ranger Station at 65 Mile on the Tok Cut-off to the community of Nabesna in the northern part of the park. While conditions on the McCarthy Road have
Continued from 74 Much of the area was burned by a wildfire in 2004. Hillsides are strewn with charred trees, but become filled with color when the fireweed blooms in mid-July. The Steese Highway winds through the scenic Chatanika River Valley. The town of Chatanika, created by mining activity, was once 10,000 people strong. Chatanika Gold Camp is the site of the old Fairbanks Exploration Co. Camp, built between 1923 and 1925 as the bunkhouse and dining hall for men who worked on Chatanika’s Gold Dredge No. 3. The camp is on the National Register of Historic Places. At 28.5 Mile is a rustic lodge, across the road from what is left of Gold Dredge No. 3. The Cha-
The historic Kennecott Copper Mine is one of the main attractions for visitors to the town of McCarthy in the heart of the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. news-miner file photo improved in recent years, the Nabesna Road is still a rather primitive roadway, Stoeverl said. There are no services offered along the road, though there is a primitive campground near 28 Mile with 10 camp sites that have fire rings and picnic tables. Once you get past the campground, there are three small creek crossings but that’s not usually a problem unless it’s early in the season or there’s been a lot of rain, Stoeverl said. There are no tour companies along the Nabesna Road and the area is more “do-it-yourself ” than the Kennecott and McCarthy area, Stoeverl said. Flightseeing services are available at Devil’s Mountain Lodge at the end of the road. The lodge also rents rooms. Because of its enormous size, the best way to see and appreciate Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve is from the air. There are flightseeing services in Copper Center and McCarthy, in addition to Devil’s Mountain Lodge. “That’s one of the best ways to see the park,” Stoeverl said. “Get up in the air so you can see these huge glaciers and mountains.”
tanika Lodge was established in the 1930s as a trading post. The lodge’s Alaska decor showcases its hearty fare, with a full kitchen serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Stop at Long Creek Trading Post at 45 Mile for an espresso or ice cream. The trading post offers canoe rentals, groceries, camping, liquor and local advice on good fishing and goldpanning spots. A 2.5-mile loop offers access to the Davidson Ditch. The ditch is an 83-mile series of ditches, siphons and pipes once used to carry water from a small dam on the Chatanika. It was one of the largest engineering projects in the world when it was built in 1925. The road then climbs well above the tree line at TwelveMile and Eagle summits, two popular places to watch the sun skirt the northern horizon on the
summer solstice. After coasting down Eagle Summit to Central, about 128 miles north of Fairbanks, travelers enter the Circle Mining District. Central has a post office, a restaurant, a museum and lodging. Service stations are scarce. Turning right at Central points you in the direction of Circle Hot Springs. The springs and associated resort, about 8 miles farther, have been closed for years. Circle City is another 34 bumpy, miles to the banks of the Yukon River. The Yukon River is two miles wide at Circle. Circle, founded in 1983, was the largest city on the Yukon until gold was discovered in Dawson City, Yukon in 1898. More than 1,000 people lived in Circle, which was named in the belief that it was located on the Arctic Circle, which is 40 miles to the north.
2014 Visitors Guide
A fishing vessel is seen in Valdez Harbor. news-miner file photo
Valdez is big on fishing By Tim Mowry TMOWRY@NEWSMINER.COM
While the Interior has fantastic fishing for arctic grayling and northern pike, Valdez is the place you’ll want to go if you’re looking for something bigger, and tastier. Valdez is famous for its halibut and salmon fishing. Though the Prince William Sound fishing town may be 360 miles south of Fairbanks, that doesn’t stop scores of residents in Alaska’s second-largest city from making the eight-hour drive each summer in hopes of filling their freezers and striking it rich in the annual halibut and silver salmon fishing derbies the town
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2014 Valdez Fish Derbies Valdez Halibut Derby — May 17 - August 31 Valdez Silver Salmon Derby — July 9 - August 31 Valdez Kids’ Pink Salmon Derby — July 19 Valdez Women’s Silver Salmon Derby — August 9 puts on. The angler catching the biggest fish in each derby nets a $15,000 first-place check while second place is worth $5,000 and third pays $2,000. In addition to weekly prizes, all anglers who purchase a halibut derby ticket have a chance to win a 4x4 F-150 Truck from Seekins Ford in Fairbanks. There are several charter boat operators in Valdez who offer their services to anglers hoping to land a derby winner or just enjoy a day of fishing and sightseeing on the Sound. One way to book a charter is to call Fish Central (888-835-5002), a charter-booking service that works with several different boat operators. The Valdez Halibut Derby starts May 17 and runs through Aug. 31. While the average halibut weighs 30 to 35 pounds, the winning derby fish is typically somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 pounds. Last year’s winner, caught by James Culley, of Fairbanks, weighed in at 325 pounds and was caught July 21. The Valdez Silver Salmon Der-
by starts July 9 and runs through Aug. 31, with prizes awarded daily to the two anglers who catch the biggest fish of the day. The biggest fish is usually caught sometime in August and tips the scales around 20 pounds. Last year’s winner, caught by hometown angler Michael Freerksen on Aug. 28, was on the small side at 16.92 pounds but it still earned him a $15,000 check. The city also has the Valdez Kids’ Pink Salmon Derby on July 19, with prizes going to kids who catch the biggest pink salmon of the day. Prizes are awarded to the top three kids in each age category. The biggest fish caught in last year’s kids’ derby was 5.38 pounds by Kyle Eames, of Anchorage. Another popular fishing day in Valdez is the Valdez Women’s Silver Salmon Derby, scheduled for Aug. 9 this year. The woman who catches the biggest silver salmon of the day wins $2,000 and is crowned Queen of the Silver Salmon Sisterhood. Last year, Regina Blood, of Valdez, won the derby crown with a 15.68-pound silver.
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
More than just fishing in the town on Prince William sound By Bob Eley
FOR THE NEWS-MINER
No matter which way you look at it — pre-earthquake to post-earthquake or pre-oil spill to post-oil spill — the city of Valdez has always been one of the gateways to Alaska. Before the completion of the Alaska Highway connecting Alaska’s vast Interior region to Canada and beyond in the 1940s, Valdez served as an entry point to the Territory of Alaska. Whether it was miners searching for a passage to the Interior via the Eagle-Valdez trail of the 1890s, or the Washington-Alaska Military Cable and Telegraph System (WAMCATS) connecting the military installations in Alaska with Washington, D.C., in the 1940s, or the trans-Alaska oil pipeline bringing oil from the North Slope to Valdez since the 1970s, visitors have used Valdez as an entry point to the 49th state. The city of Valdez has a population of almost 4,500 residents and is located in the Southcentral portion of the state, 306 road miles from Anchorage and 364 road miles from Fairbanks. Valdez’s distinguishing characteristics are the rugged beauty of its mountain ringed setting and its high average annual snowfall of 360 inches (30 feet), the most of any community at sea level in North American. Valdez offers some of the finest halibut and salmon fishing in the state with charters taking visitors out into Prince Williams Sound with the hopes of landing the big one. There are ample opportunities to fish from shore as well. If you go fishing, be sure you
IF YOU GO
Best Western Valdez Harbor Inn: 100 Harbor Drive, (907) 8353434; Rooms range from $169.99 to $209.99 per night. Totem Inn: 144 East Egan Drive, (907) 835-4443; Rooms range from $159 to $189 with cottages for $169 per night. Eagles Rest RV Park and Cabins: 139 East Pioneer Drive, (907) 835-2373; Tent sites start at $27, RV sites start at $37 and Cabins start at $135 per night.
check with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game so you know all the rules that apply. Prince Williams Sound offers amazing scenery that can be viewed on Stan Stephens’ Glacier Wildlife Cruises. Experience the icebergs of Columbia Glacier and the calving of Meares Glacier as well as wildlife in the water and on shores of the sound. This year marks two historic anniversaries in the history of the small port city. It is the 50th anniversary of the Great Alaska Earthquake, on Good Friday in 1964. The tsunami created by the 9.2 temblor wiped out the original town. It also is the 25th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, when an estimated 10.8 million gallons of oil from the tanker spilled into the pristine waters of Prince William Sound. Lingering effects of the spill can still be seen on some beaches in the Gulf of Alaska today. Valdez is a festive town in the summer months with its many fishing derbies and community wide celebrations. Details of fishing events are in a separate story on page 78. Here are a few of the major community celebrations scheduled for this
summer and fall. • Fourth of July Festival: There’s a parade starting at 9 a.m., followed by a Street Rock Party featuring live bands and vendors. It includes a community picnic, more live music and the day wraps up with a fireworks show. The Pink Salmon Festival and Cook-Off is scheduled for the next day. • Kids Pink Salmon Festival and BBQ: The event is scheduled for July 19. It’s a one-day free fish derby for kids. Participants receive a T-shirt and are invited to a free family barbecue at the end of the day. • Gold Rush Days: It’s a weeklong event from July 30 to Aug. 5 celebrating the town’s gold rush history in the late 19th and early 20th century. The week is full of events. • Oktoberfest Homebrew Competition: Most likely the second weekend of the month: Breweries can submit entries to judges to find out who has the best ales, beers or spirits. For more on the happenings in Valdez, go to www.valdezalas ka.org.
Valdez Halibut Charter with Mike McDaneld
aboard the Dawn Treader
Free Wi f
“Feel at home in Valdez”
For Reservations Call: P.O. Box 184 1-800-478-2791 113 Galena Dr. or (907) 835-2791 Valdez, AK 99686 Fax (907) 835-5406 www.valdezdowntowninn.com or Email: email@example.com
Glen & Sharron Mills
2014 Visitors Guide