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Thread: Snowmachining around Soldotna?

  1. #1

    Default Snowmachining around Soldotna?

    Any ideas for trails or areas to ride a Yamaha Bravo in the Soldotna area for a couple days. I'm headed down to see a friend and am thinking about bringing the sled along. Any accessible alpine areas for ptarmigan hunting?

    No time to read the archives or I'd scour them, thanks in advance for any suggestions!
    "When the time comes for a man to look his Maker in the eye, where better could the meeting be held than in the wilderness?"

  2. #2
    Member ak_cowboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Snowmachining around Soldotna?

    Hit the powerlines

    sent from my igloo

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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    If you want ptarmigan,you'll probably have to wait until they come lower. The refuge may be open now for snowmachine travel (check KNWR's site), but you are not allowed to access alpine areas on most refuge land. You may find some alpine travel in the Caribou hills which are accessed from any number of different trail heads including Oilwell Road out of Ninilchick, Caribou Lake out from East End Road in Homer, or Centennial Trail off Tustumena Lake Road.
    Right now, even though we got a dumping of snow last night, there is not a good pack for travel on power line right-of-ways. You would probably be catching on roots and brush until this layer lays down and we get another layer to cover it. Then again, maybe you like to boondock...

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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    I like to boondock and have been riding the area for the last 3 weeks just fine, though *finally* we now have some snow.

    You won't find any tarmies around Soldotna, nor will you find any "alpine" areas. Soldotna is all low-level flat lands. If you want hills, you need to go further south or much further east.

    If you just want to freely track up some snow, you don't have many options. The "Great Swamp" off K-Beach road has access all the way around and there's plenty of snow to tear up. I burn off a lot of steam out there, but mainly because I can fire up the snowmachine in my driveway and drop off into the swamp after a quick 35 second drive down the road. Bring a GPS if you want to find your way back. It's really easy to get completley lost out there. There are no landmarks and everything looks exactly the same.

    The refuge owns most of the land around Soldotna and has a lot of area that is closed to snowmachine use. Check their snowmachine use map. Prior to the latest snow, the refuge was still closed to snowmachines. I've not heard if it has been opened yet, but then it is the holiday season and I'm sure everyone is on vacation.
    Winter is Coming...

    Go GeocacheAlaska!

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    Member tustumena_lake's Avatar
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    I just checked the wildlife refuge website and no announcement they are open yet to snowmachining...however the heat will be on them by tomorrow to give the go ahead after the recent snow. They should probably go ahead and open it as more snow is in the forecast and it feels about right.

    But even if they do you can't go above treeline on the north side of tustumena lake...you would have to head to the caribou hills...so come for the snowmachining not the hunting. You can machine on state land if the refuge remains closed, which would lead you to sections of the caribou hills.

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    Member tustumena_lake's Avatar
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    I checked the website again and no update so I called the refuge and talked to Donna that answered the phone. The refuge is officially open to snowmaching as of yesterday except for the select areas that are always closed. She said they are having technical difficulties updating the website to reflect this opening but it should be on there soon.

    http://www.fws.gov/refuge/kenai/

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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Good to hear. The Chugach National Forest has also been opened, so there are several places to ride now. This is an "off" year for the CNF, so a number of the previously motorized areas are non-motorized this year. A policy that absolutely makes no sense, to shut down entire moutain ranges every other year just in case a skier wants to go up there and not hear a snowmachine. Funny thing is, if you ask the skiers, most of them prefer to go out on the motorized years because the snowmachines make a nice trail for the skiers to follow. But far be it for me to question the wisdom of the Central Authority.
    Winter is Coming...

    Go GeocacheAlaska!

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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    I took some students (or did the students take me?) up to Carter Lake on our machines a few years ago for an over-nighter. Fun ride.
    Yes, I think skiers do benefit from the trails snowmachines make, but I believe that the can will be our ban. We need to coexist, and most skiers do not want to hear a machine brapping up and down hills from a mile or more away.

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    Rain Rain go away! Caribou Lake has over a foot water over the ice, and the trails suck!

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    Member tustumena_lake's Avatar
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    Yep...I would bet they reclose the wildlife refuge at least in the low lying areas of the Kenai Peninsula tomorrow. The predicted snow didn't materialize, just these warm winds and some showers.

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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Aaaaarggghhhh!

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sayak View Post
    Aaaaarggghhhh!
    Is that pirate talk for "da*n it...!!!"......lol
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    Is that pirate talk for "da*n it...!!!"......lol
    No, that is a Neandertal term of utter disgust (as in, we finally got some snow after all that cold and now we have ice and slop).
    Aaaaarggghhhh!

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