Northern lights of the last frontier in 2016 travel blog

Tripod on the Tanana River - any guesses when it will stop...

Nenana township

North Pole - where Santa Claus lives

Tanana river and bridge


Alaskan pipeline



Located in the Alaskan interior, Nenana is 55 road miles southwest of Fairbanks on the Parks Highway. It is situated on the south bank of the Tanana river, just east of the mouth of the Nenana River.

Every winter a Tripod is erected on the frozen river and people bet on when the ice goes out enough to move the tripod. This is called the Nenana Ice Classic. It is a fundraising event in which individuals attempt to guess the exact time the Tanana River ice will break up.Tickets are on sale from February 1 through April 5 of each year throughout Alaska.

The "tripod", which actually has four supports, is planted on the river ice between the highway and railroad bridges in Nenana, 300 ft from the shore. The tripod is connected to a clock which stops as the ice goes out, moving the tripod with it.

We met a guy at Chena Hot Springs from Burbank, California and he told us he bet it will stop on March 22 or 29. Some how we don't think so as generally, the Tanana river ice breaks up in late April or early May (historically, April 20 to May 20). However with climate change who knows, we'll just have to wait and see. By the way if he wins the prize-pool should be over US$300,000.

And to think it all started back in 1917, when railroad engineers bet $801 on when the ice would break.

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