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Thread: Clearwater Creek Controlled Use Area

  1. #1

    Default Clearwater Creek Controlled Use Area

    Can anyone offer some clarification on the regulation of motorized vehicles in this area? My wife and I noticed that many people are driving their vehicles up the Valdez Creek road that leaves the Denali Highway to the north on the east side of the Big Su. I stopped by the Gracious house and asked the store owner. He said you could drive up it as long as you aren't hunting. I have heard of people riding mountain bikes up the road to hunt, but I am wondering what the point is of riding a mountain bike up the road to hunt if people are already driving up there in vehicles. And if the people that are driving up that road aren't hunting, what are they doing up there. There seemed to be a lot of motorized traffic up that road for an area that is supposed to be non-motorized. What's the story? Can anyone offer some advice? Are people driving up to a certain point, getting out and riding their bikes the rest of the way, or what?

  2. #2

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    You can drive in to fish, sight see, pick berries, do minerals research, pick your nose, camp, photograph animals. You can NOT drive in to hunt.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by AGL4now View Post
    You can drive in to fish, sight see, pick berries, do minerals research, pick your nose, camp, photograph animals. You can NOT drive in to hunt.
    That's good to know AGL. If I gotta pick my nose I will be sure to take a drive up there. Laughed my butt off. But seriously, what's the story? Are guys just going up there and hunting anyways. Not that I intend to follow suit, but I am just wondering if it is really worth it to ride a bike in there if a bunch of guys are already hunting back there in 4 wheelers and trucks anyhow and getting away with it. If nobody goes back in there because it is off limits to road hunters that's one thing, but if guys are just going in there anyways, then it doesn't seem very advantageous to ride a bike in. It's kind of like banning guns. If you create a gun law, it doesn't really keep the streets safe from guns, it only disarms the law-abiding citizen. So if you say you can't drive a motorized vehicle down a perfectly good gravel road to go hunting, does it really stop the slob hunter from hunting and poaching, or does it just keep the ethical guys outta there? Just sayin...

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    i drove up it just to check the place out and look at all the bull caribou running up and down the road. loads of fish up there too and some of the old mining cat trails are crazy to look at. just a pretty place. funner to visit than hatchers pass if you ask me. folks drive up there for no apparent reason too....
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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    I camp there often. Not hunting at all. We ride our ATV's all through that country and the Windy Creek trail up to the copper mine. I do try to stay out of there during hunting season out of respect for non-motorized hunters, but sometimes early in the season we are there on our ATV's. There is also fairly significant traffic from the few miners up there. Like BRWNBR says, good fishing on several creeks and some good berry patches I know of. I have advised a couple guys to bike in there and hunt caribou. At least two of them got caribou there on their bikes last year. I know a couple guys from this very forum got 'bou by biking in the Valdez Creek Rd. EVERY single time we are up there from July through August there are 'bou visible from the road. They don't even care about vehicle traffic.
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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    doug in the big lake on the right up on top there was fishing risin' all over that thing when i was there this aug...wishin' i had my fly rod and a float tube!!
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    I've seen my share of poachers in there. I've talked with F&G guys patrolling in there and opening day a few years ago, they busted 3 poachers who all shot big bull moose before 11 am - and confiscated everything. I spend a few days in there and continued to see "recreation riders" with gun scabbards, a guy in a grey truck with a canoe on top get out and pull a rifle on a bull until I announced myself above him on the hill....he took off leaving ruts in the road. no cell service sux. I couldn't run him down to get a plate # as I was on a bicycle. I was so frustrated that year that I took off and came back late in the season and scored a nice bull. I've seen bear poachers in there too. Fricking poachers. Go get 'em F&G! Poachers aside, the scenery is amazing, the greyling are fiesty, and shed hunting is fun as heck in there. It was better before the gold mine re-opened and built up that road with the culvert pipes across the water.

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    Member summitx's Avatar
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    Did the caribou hunt with the baby stroller hooked to the bike one year up there, worked out pretty good, like everybody else said some decent fishing around the area, AKDOUG have you dropped off the backside of Windy creek snowmachining some decent riding around the area. Used to work at the big gold mine when it was up and running back in the 90's so played around there quite a bit

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    some awesome riding over the pass in the back of windy..
    also make a note on the clearwater area and most other controlled use areas..you can hunt under a trapping license off a motor vehicle in there....there is no regulation in the trapping regs to prevent someone from using a truck or whatever to hunt animals listed in the trapping regs during a trapping season. i've double checked that with the troopers...
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    I know of hunters who drive in and drop off their gear near the 2 cabins and then drive back and park near the little pond by the road. Then they bike in with nothing but a rifle.
    My child was inmate of the month at Mat-Su pre-trial Correctional facility.

  11. #11

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    We caught a some guys poaching a moose in there last year turned him in but the troopers said they couldn't do anything unless we actualy seen him get out of the car and shoot. If the tropper would have got at it he could have caught them in there with it as he was camped right there.

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Driving in and dropping gear is still illegal and I was informed of such by a wildlife trooper a couple years ago.

    No, I haven't snowmachined up there yet. Pretty much due to the fact that I haven't had a machine I would trust to go that far in quite a few years. I have bought a new one, so I will be crawling around there quite a bit this year. How many moose are back in Valdez Creek and Windy? I've yet to see a bull back there, but lots of cows so maybe I was just there at the wrong time. Lots of 'bou though.

    BRWNBR- good fishing at Roosevelt Lk. which is at the very far end of the Valdez Crk. valley. You could get in there with a capable 4x4 truck, but it's usually accessed by ATV.
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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    ya i've burned some snow on rosevelt lake, lakers in there too, grayling as well. the big lower lake before the mine has alot of grayling it in too.
    i've seen bulls up windy in the winter, usually around 2 dozen moose or more winter that valley, it'd be a brushy bugger in the fall time though!! up valdez there are some places i wouldn't want to pack moose....

    right now there are campers, 5th wheel and regular pick up trucks parked right at the lower rosevelt lake, they did some road work this summer.
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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    I was in there over the 4th of July..The lower lake (Tenus? or something like that) had a fairly good road to it. I watched one of the Brandons (have the mine near the lower lake) tow a bumper tow 30' camper in there. The trail from there to Roosevelt is not to bad if it's dry. Regular pickup would be no issue IF it's not raining too hard. That trail up out of there can be a biotch if it's super wet and you have a full sized truck without mud tires

    I figured the lower big lake (the lake is the result of the big mine) had grayling in it since part of the creek is diverted into it. We took a canoe up with us over the 4th, but the wind was ripping and we decided to just fish the creek down on the flats by the Susitna. Lots of cool stuff to do up there.
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    Member AKMarmot's Avatar
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    Ok so how far is the lower lake & Roosevelt ? I decided to check it out on Sunday with the dog & wife. Came down from Delta on sunday night & made it to Macclarean before camping. Got up slowly worked our way there. Took the valdez creek trail for about 15 miles, at about 4:00 pm with no lake in sight hadn't seen one vechile since we left sight of the Susitna river I decided to pull the plug. The road looked like it was ending & we still had to make it back to Anchorage for work this morning. In addition the wife has pins in her foot & can't put weight on it so the thought of getting stuck by myself wasn't to appealing. Did throw a few casts on the way out in the creek running next to the road close to the big pond. May try & go back some year, but not sure when or why as its a long way for a drive.

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    I hunted the west fork of the maclaren sat-weds I saw about a trillion caribou. while heading home on weds along the denali hwy I did see a group of four people entering the hunting area with atv's near the edges of the controlled use area . I also so several cows and a couple sheep at the top of the ridges at between the maclaren and the west fork. beautiful area. if you head in there bring a small shotgun as I flushed probably thirty ptarmies in 4 hours walking along the river.

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Ok so how far is the lower lake & Roosevelt ?
    Best way is to look it up on Google Earth. You were basically right where the trail takes off to the left. The data Google earth is from 2003 and doesn't show the trail worth a hoot, but you can get the lat and long of the lake and work it out from there.
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