The 140 mile long Nenana River forms the eastern boundary of Denali National Park. This tributary of the Tanana River, is a popular white water rafting destination. The Nenana begins as a Class I, but turns into a Class IV in the Nenana Gorge.
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The ice went out on the Tanana River on Tuesday May 1, at 1:18 pm AST. The pot this year for the Ice Classic is $225,000. No word yet on how many winners picked the exact day and time of the ice going out. The mangled body of the iconic tripod, can be seen in the ice to the lower left of the photo.
The Nenana Ice Classic is underway. The tripod was raised on the Tanana River this past Sunday. Buy a ticket for $2.50, and guess the day & time when the ice will go out on the river. Alaskans first bet on this rite of spring in 1906, and have been guessing annually since 1917. Other than pull tabs and bingo, it’s about the only legal gambling in the state, and the Ice Classic proceeds go to charity.
On April 1, the average ice thickness on the Tanana at Nenana is 41″. Tickets are sold through April 5. Winning times must be in Alaska Standard time.
There were 42 winning tickets in 2017, splitting a jackpot of $267,444.