Climb summary from our friend Bryant Robbins, Palmer, Alaska:
We did this ride on mountain bikes because we wanted to ride down a “trail” on the other side. Turns out the gravel was very smooth and it probably makes a better road ride than mountain bike ride because the “trail” turned out to be mostly a bushwack route.
Nenana is a tiny village located between Fairbanks and Denali National Park on the Parks Highway. It sits at the confluence of the Nenana and the Tanana Rivers.
Nenana’s biggest claim to fame is the annual Nenana Ice Classic. Participants buy a ticket for a chance to guess the time that the ice goes out on the Tanana River. People from all over Alaska participate and the ticket with the nearest guess wins a large pot of money. The actual time is determined by placing a huge “tripod” on the ice with a line attached to a clock. When the tripod falls into the river it pulls a string that stops the clock.
Nenana is named from the nearby river and Native American people living in the region.
Incorporated 1921, population 357 in 2019.
It is not a likely spot to find a cycle climb but it turns out that just across the river is a good gravel road used to access an FAA radio facility. With grades of 12 to 13 percent this climb is a nice challenge in an area otherwise devoid of climbing opportunities. This is probably the least known, easily accessible climb in Alaska.
A former boarding school teaching up 28 student from all over the region.
Mears Memorial Bridge (truss bridge built in 1932) - 700’ span across the Tanana River.
When completed, this was the longest truss span in the United States and its territories.