Points of Interest
- Riverboat Discovery
Be sure to read the Special Notes further down this page for important requirements and restriction.
Board the only remaining authentic Alaskan sternwheeler for a cruise along the Chena and Tanana rivers in Chena River State Recreation Area. With the feel of an old-time steamboat that frequented the river during the gold rush days, the modern-day Riverboat Discovery features an open sun deck, heated glass enclosed decks and is equipped with video equipment so you won't miss any of the beautiful scenery.
On the first leg of your journey, you'll see a bush pilot perform a takeoff and landing demonstration from a riverbank landing strip. As the giant paddle wheel churns up the waters of the Chena, keep your cameras ready for the wolves, grizzly bears and black bears that make the recreation area home. Beavers, foxes and moose may be seen near the shore or an occasional eagle can be spotted flying overhead and the waters teem with salmon from late June through early August. During the narrated tour, complementary coffee and donuts are served while you witness the ''wedding of the rivers.'' The marriage of these two mighty rivers creates quite a unique demarcation line - when the clear waters of the Chena meet the Tanana, the world's greatest glacier river carrying tons of glacial silt from the Alaska Range, the result is clouds of silt that rise and fall over the river.
You'll make a stop at the home of Dave Monson and Susan Butcher, the late four-time Iditarod champion, meet her winning sled dogs and witness a dog sleg demonstration. Back on board, you'll continue on to the Old Chena Indian Village, and disembark for a glimpse into Alaskan Native life and history. Alaskan Native guides will take you on a tour of an Athabascan Indian village, a spruce bark hut, a trapper's cabin made of spruce logs, and show you how a fish wheel operates. Before boarding for your trip back, you'll have 15 minutes at the end of the tour to wander around the village or to take pictures.