Tanana Valley State Forest Alaska

Tanana Valley

Tanana Valley State Forest Alaska

Tanana Valley State Forest, so richly forested, is one of Alaska’s most prized gems. What beautiful forests of several spruces. Enjoy the magnificent balsam poplar. The balsam poplar is one of the most incredible trees in the Alaskan forest. Come along with us, as we hike the beautiful Tanana Valley State Forest. Explore this magnificent valley. Enjoy sights like this Grizzly Bear munching on roots and grasses. Nature is different every time. No two experiences will ever be the same in the Tanana Valley State Forest. This is a delightful valley. Immerse yourself in nature, as you discover the fantastic interior of Alaska.

The Tanana Valley State Forest is beautifully and densely forested. Here you will find forests of   balsam poplar, black spruce, paper birch, quaking aspen, tamarack and white spruce. The Tanana Valley is one of the most picturesque places in Alaska. The variety of trees and bushes in the valley make it an awesome place to explore. There is always something new in the Tanana Valley!

Let’s take a minute to discover what is so awesome about the balsam poplar. The balsam poplar, known in Biblical times as Balm of Gilead, is a must for the first aid box. No one knows if the two varieties are the same or not, but they both are of the Populus species. The Balm of Gilead from the Alaskan balsam poplar is extremely valuable as a medicinal plant. Depending on the type of salve, anise root or sweet cicely is a favorite addition. Also chickweed, hyssop, coltsfoot, lobelia or red sage can be added for even a greater effectiveness. When making cough syrups, horehound and licorice are favorite additions.

The Balm of Gilead is made from the tiny new buds of the tree. These small buds are collected and used to make several healing balms. There is also a cough remedy made from these precious buds. The resin from the tree causes the new buds to be very sticky if you try to collect during the spring. They are at their best when collected during the cold winter. The medicinal quality of the buds is higher when collected early on also. When you wait till the spring, the leaves begin to sprout and the quality of the buds goes down.   These buds are then used to make an herbal salve that is used for chapped skin and lips.  These buds contain glycosides that are similar to those found in aspirin products. When prepared for that purpose, they can be used to reduce pain, inflammation of the body, and fever. It is often used for arthritis, sore muscles, saddle sores, and all types of scrapes and cuts. It is a priceless balm for diaper rash.

Another one of the medicinal trees of the forest is the quaking aspen. Like the balsam poplar, it is part of the Willow family and both contain salicin and populin, which makes the quaking aspen another valuable tree in the Tanana Valley State Forest. Balms and syrups are made from this valuable tree also.

The White Spruce produces a pitch that is used in making a highly sought after balm that is used for skin injuries, infected cuts and infected insect bites. It also makes a safe and very effective underarm deodorant. It is a marvelous lip balm. The White Spruce hand cream works wonders. It is used for personal sanitation and is valuable for preventing illnesses. It increases circulation and speeds the healing of sprained ankles. It is also a delightful addition to homemade soap.  This balm  also works well on dogs, horses, pigs, goats and sheep. The White Spruce is yet another one of the jewels of the Tanana Valley State Forest in Alaska.

The Black Spruce is a beautiful spruce that is valuable for its essential oils. It has a somewhat woody smell and is energizing. It is used for adrenal and respiratory support by some doctors of traditional medicine. Black Spruce oil helps to support blood flow to tired and aching muscles. It soothes muscular pain and is used in modern massage. Commercially, it is used in liniments and aerosols. Generally,  it is usually used with a carrier oil in massage. The Black Spruce is just another one of the superstars of the Tanana Valley.

Have you ever thought that the Tamarack was important in natural medicine? The Tamarack was used medicinally by several North American Native Indian Tribes. These Native Americans used the tamarack or larch to treat many different complaints.  A tea was made from the bark and it was known to be used as a diuretic, laxative and a general wellness tonic. The needles and the inner bark are a  disinfectant. Some have been known to make a poultice from the warm inner bark that has been first boiled. When applied to infected wounds it was known to draw out the infections. Poultices were used on severe burns, ulcers, frostbite and severe cuts. The resin was chewed for an aid in dealing with  indigestion. Tamarack has always been an Alaska favorite for the medicine cabinet. In modern alternative medicine, the tamarack tree is often used to treat kidney and lung disorders.

Here in the Tanana Valley,  you will find many different types of wildlife. The brown bear and the magnificent Grizzly Bear wander through the forest nibbling on the roots and grasses of the valley floor. Almost daily you can look outside and see the beautiful moose. They stand tall with their tall slender legs. If you are on a second level deck, they can seem very close as they are eating below the deck. There are magnificent reindeer, and beautiful Artic foxes. The list is endless. The wildlife is amazing.  Here you can watch as they raise their young. How clever and cute they are! Watch them as they look for wild berries a long the way. How awesome it is to see them in their own environment. How magnificent! What fun to watch the cubs at play! Fairbanks is a beautiful area in an amazing valley.

An upscale and traditional lodge in Fairbanks is the Fairbanks Princess Riverside Lodge. This seasonal modern hotel overlooks the Chena River. Many rooms have a spectacular river view. Wifi and cable TV are provided in every room. The hotel has warm rooms and a nice riverside deck. There are 2 restaurants on site. The food is reasonable and delicious. An airport shuttle is provided for your convenience. The hotel is less than 5 miles from the Alaska Museum of the North and the Fairbanks Ice Museum. Both museums are unique and fun to explore.

Fairbanks Princess Riverside Lodge
Address:  4477 Pikes Landing Rd.  Fairbanks, Alaska 99709
Phone:  (907) 455-4477
Alaska Museum of the North is where you can discover all the many  Native cultures of Alaska. Here you will see unique movies and displays. You will be inspired by all the natural wonders of the Tanana Valley.  Enjoy the variety and diversity of Alaskan wildlife. Immerse yourself in the art of Alaska. Some of the art dates back over 2000 years. The exhibits are spectacular. You can even explore the history of Alaskan dinosaurs.  This museum is unique! Take time for a Fairbanks adventure. Let it begin at the Alaska Museum of the North.
University of Alaska Museum of the North
Address: 907 Yukon Dr, Fairbanks, AK 99775
Phone: (907) 474-7505
As your adventure in Fairbanks continues, head on over to the Fairbanks Ice Museum.  The historical Lacey Street Theatre, an Art Deco architectural wonder, is the home of the Fairbanks Ice Museum. Here you will see many one of a kind ice sculptures by renowned and famous artists. The museum staff is knowledgeable and eager to explain the exhibits. There is also a movie that explains the whole process. A slide presentation is presented hourly. Each evening is a nightly aurora show set in a vintage theater. The building itself, is a 1939 vintage theater. What a charming and rare opportunity! This is a museum like few others. Enjoy the creativity of the North! Welcome to the land of ice and snow!
Lacey Street Theatre
Address: 500 2nd Ave, Fairbanks, AK 99701
Phone:   (907) 451-8222
Another exciting and unique Fairbanks adventure is the Riverboat Discovery. Take a half-day tour into the heart of Alaska. Cruise the rivers of this amazing area aboard an authentic sternwheeler. The Riverboat Discovery is an true Alaskan heritage experience. The tour includes a visit to the Chena Indian Village. Spend an hour discovering this ancient Native Alaskan Village. Immerse yourself in the life of the Athabascan Indian. The people are delightful and welcoming. Come away with a view of Alaska that few see. Watch as a bush float plane takes off near the sternwheeler.  You will visit the home and kennels of the late four-time Iditarod winner Susan Butcher. Experience the excitement of watching her dogs in action.  This will be an exciting and delightful few hours.
Riverboat Discovery
Address:  1975 Discovery Dr, Fairbanks, AK 99709

Depending on the time you have in Fairbanks, there are many one and two day tours of the far north. Experience the Arctic Circle, explore the beautiful Yukon River, and go shopping at the Trading Post in Joy, Alaska. Travel the rugged and spectacular Dalton Highway. You will never cease to be amazed by what you will see. Nature is spontaneous and at it’s best in the far north. The Arctic Circle Tour Adventure is a short half-day  adventure. It is one of the many tours of the Rivers Edge Resort Tours. You will travel in modern tour coaches  and vans as you explore the Arctic Tundra. Relax and leave the driving to us as you experience life in the far North.

Rivers Edge Resort Tours
River, Driving, and plane tours
1 800 770-3343
info@riversedge.net
One of the awesome treats of the Tanana Valley is the ability to camp among the balsam poplar, black spruce, paper birch, quaking aspen, tamarack and white spruce. Can you imagine lying in your tent and hearing the winds blow through the forest? Or sitting in your RV with the doors and windows open and enjoying the beautiful breezes of the day. Think about sitting under your awning and watching the sun go down. Then consider coming back in three hours and watching it come up again. Imagine sitting in the sun at midnight having coffee or tea.  What possibilities come to mind. All this and more is possible, while camping at the Tanana Valley Campground & RV Park. Now this is adventure! What fun awaits at the Tanana Valley Campground & RV Park.

The Tanana Valley Campground & RV Park is located just a short 10 minutes from downtown Fairbanks.  That is just a short brisk walk, or catch the shuttle. The campground is  located near the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center. Here you will discover the culture and history of the interior of Alaska.  Guests can actually take Denali shuttle buses to many  different local attractions within Fairbanks. There are also many trips and tours available to many different destinations throughout Alaska and the Arctic.  Information and reservations for the campground can be had by calling the campground.

Tanana Valley Campground & RV Park
1-907-456-7956
1800 College Road
Fairbanks, AK 99709

Another bonus is that the  Tanana Valley Campground and RV Park can put you in touch with a tour company that can take you to see all of the attractions that Fairbanks, Alaska has to offer. Some of the favorite tours are the Arctic Circle and Aurora Borealis tours. All of their tours leave right from the Tanana Valley Campground & RV Park. Now that is what I call…. one stop touring!

For those that prefer to stay in a lodge, there are accommodations available in the City of Fairbanks. There are lodges and hotels with many amenities, including wii fi. The link below gives several listings of different lodges and also a list of local restaurants. You will also find links to different day tours and many other places of interest.

http://www.alaska.org/destination/fairbanks/hotels

There are many quality restaurants in the Fairbanks area. Below find a link to several major dinning opportunities.

http://www.alaska.org/destination/fairbanks/dining-and-nightlife

Now that you know where you want to stay, make today the day you visit Fairbanks. Make this the year that you discover all the excitement of Fairbanks and the Tanana Valley. Make this the year you discover whats in your own back yard.

http://alaska.digital

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