Birch Creek Wild and Scenic River flows from the windswept ridges and alpine tundra of the Steese National Conservation Area into the broad expanse of the Yukon Flats in central Alaska. The river offers one-week float trips notable not only for scenery and remoteness but for convenience -- floaters can access both ends of the Wild River segment from BLM recreation sites along the Steese Highway.
The Bureau of Land Management manages 110 miles of upper Birch Creek as a wild river under the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. The river continues through state, private and Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge land for a total of 344 miles before emptying into the Yukon River about halfway between Fort Yukon and Beaver.
Although visited primarily in summer, Birch Creek Wild and Scenic River offers many winter activities for those wanting a primitive backcountry experience. Snowmobiling along the creek is popular in March and April as the days get longer and temperatures start to rise. For a few days each February, the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race between Fairbanks and Whitehorse makes portions of Birch Creek busy with dog teams and mushers. Dog mushing, trapping, and cross-country skiing are popular winter activities along the frozen river.