Salcha River State Recreation Site

Salcha River State Recreation Site

Popular with the locals, this spot is renown for its quality sportfishing

Approximately 44 miles southeast of Fairbanks along the Richardson Highway is the Salcha River State Recreation Site, a popular weekend getaway for residents of both Fairbanks and Delta Junction.

History

Archaeological sites indicate that several 19th century village sites of Athabascan Indians were located along the Tanana River, and were likely abandoned by the late 1800s. With the onset of the Fairbank’s gold rush of the late 1800s, prospectors utilized the Salcha River in the summer months, while a roadhouse, store and military telegraph office was established at the mouth of the river. Today the southern boundary of the Salcha River watershed makes up part of the Fairbanks North Star Borough.

Ecosystem

The Salcha River is a fast and clear 125-mile tributary of the Tanana River. Accessible by boat or on foot from the road, the river is a popular sportfishing destination due to its rich runs of salmon, northern pike and Arctic grayling. The river’s surroundings are fairly dense forest, and moose and caribou can be found in the area.

Activities

In the summer, the 61-acre recreation site provides anglers access to the Salcha River, which is fished for king, chum and coho salmon as well as Arctic grayling, sheefish and northern pike. Other popular activities include camping, boating and picnicking. Winter activities include snowmobiling up or down the river (when frozen) and cross-country skiing.

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