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Thread: Winter Trails for ATVs

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    Default Winter Trails for ATVs

    Hey Everyone,

    I am actually new to the forums and new to Alaska. I live in Anchorage and I am looking for trails that are ATV friendly for winter riding. A friend and I really want to go do an overnight trip at the end of march, but we can't find a trail that is long enough that allows ATVs this time of year. I might be crazy for asking this, but I really want to get out there and ride.

    The current place I go is Jim's Creek, but 25 miles just isn't enough for an overnight trail.

    Thanks ahead of time!

    -Clock

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    Knik is all that is out for ATV's this time of year.

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    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Actually you can leave the Deshka landing and run the Big Su for 80 miles or more up towards Skwetna.
    Lots of wheelers and UTV's out this Sunday on the river system during the Iditarod restart.
    The trail is wide, packed, and lots of people out running it.
    BK

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    Good call, I didn't even think of that one.

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Toward the middle of March DOT starts plowing the Denali. I've ridden as far as McLaren summit- it's very weather and DOT dependent but worth watching.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Quote Originally Posted by hodgeman View Post
    Toward the middle of March DOT starts plowing the Denali. I've ridden as far as McLaren summit- it's very weather and DOT dependent but worth watching.
    Typically it's closer to mid April they begin plowing from both ends.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bkmail View Post
    Actually you can leave the Deshka landing and run the Big Su for 80 miles or more up towards Skwetna.
    Lots of wheelers and UTV's out this Sunday on the river system during the Iditarod restart.
    The trail is wide, packed, and lots of people out running it.
    BK
    I was down there about 2 weeks ago taking a snow machine tour and it seemed like four-wheelers on the trail was kind of looked down apon. Also all the snow machines had to be registered. Might have been someone just trying to keep me off the trail, what do you think?

    Originally Posted by hodgemanToward the middle of March DOT starts plowing the Denali. I've ridden as far as McLaren summit- it's very weather and DOT dependent but worth watching.



    Typically it's closer to mid April they begin plowing from both ends.
    Where can I find information on this trail and the plow schedule? I don't think I have ever heard of it.

    Thanks,
    -Clock

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    Quote Originally Posted by clockwork View Post
    Where can I find information on this trail and the plow schedule? I don't think I have ever heard of it.

    Thanks,
    -Clock
    This isn't a trail. This is the Denali Highway, between Paxon and Cantwell.

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    Quote Originally Posted by clockwork View Post
    I was down there about 2 weeks ago taking a snow machine tour and it seemed like four-wheelers on the trail was kind of looked down apon. Also all the snow machines had to be registered. Might have been someone just trying to keep me off the trail, what do you think?
    Its a state law that all off road vehicles have to be registered with the DMV, snow machines and ATVs all need a sticker on them if they are operated on state land. You can do anything you want on private land, and Deshka is private land used to access public land so what ever rules they want to put in place to use their land is their right.

    There are those that tear up trails whether they are on ATVs or snow machines. ATVs can ruin a snow trail faster if they sink the tires, but fast snow machines can create whoops in soft snow and ruin a groomed trail as well.

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    could you provide a link where i can read about the atv permits? I have never had one and probably should before i get a ticket... ironically, i was looking at a trooper atv the other day and no decal.... i guess they are exempt.


    Quote Originally Posted by AK Ray View Post
    Its a state law that all off road vehicles have to be registered with the DMV, snow machines and ATVs all need a sticker on them if they are operated on state land. You can do anything you want on private land, and Deshka is private land used to access public land so what ever rules they want to put in place to use their land is their right.

    There are those that tear up trails whether they are on ATVs or snow machines. ATVs can ruin a snow trail faster if they sink the tires, but fast snow machines can create whoops in soft snow and ruin a groomed trail as well.

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    Registration is mandatory for snowmachines and optional for ATVs.

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    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    It's only mandatory if you are on state land.
    No one cares if you ride a wheeler on a groomed sled trail UNLESS you are tearing it up. The same scenario applies for a sled tearing up the groomed trails. If you destroy it, no one is your friend.
    BK

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    I hate to see 4 wheelers on winter trails. Unless the trails are super hard packed or iced ribbon trails, 4 wheelers cause mass havoc with winter trails IMO.

    They leave ruts, take up way too much of the trail to pass (since they cant leave the trail) and are prone to getting stuck in the middle of the trail if they hit so much as a wind drift. I have spent significant amounts of time keeping trails groomed that become a mess due to atv's and paddle tracks. Once they are chewed up and set up, they can be hard to fix for a guy dragging a tire or a lightweight drag behind a tundra.

    There is a reason they have tires and snowmachines have tracks. You wouldnt use a snowmachine to get to your cabin in July, or a hammer to put a screw in.

    That said, I understand that everyone has a right to access public trails, and as long as people are not intentionally destroying trails, I try to keep in mind that we're all outdoor people trying to have a good time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dkwarthog View Post
    I hate to see 4 wheelers on winter trails. Unless the trails are super hard packed or iced ribbon trails, 4 wheelers cause mass havoc with winter trails IMO.

    They leave ruts, take up way too much of the trail to pass (since they cant leave the trail) and are prone to getting stuck in the middle of the trail if they hit so much as a wind drift. I have spent significant amounts of time keeping trails groomed that become a mess due to atv's and paddle tracks. Once they are chewed up and set up, they can be hard to fix for a guy dragging a tire or a lightweight drag behind a tundra.

    There is a reason they have tires and snowmachines have tracks. You wouldnt use a snowmachine to get to your cabin in July, or a hammer to put a screw in.

    That said, I understand that everyone has a right to access public trails, and as long as people are not intentionally destroying trails, I try to keep in mind that we're all outdoor people trying to have a good time.
    I totally understand. That is really the reason I got on here and posed the question. The last thing I want to do is wreck the trail for snow machines. I think I have decided to keep going out to Jim's Creek for the time being and just do some exploring. Once everything starts melting I will get out on some new trails and explore Alaska.

    I hear Eureka has some amazing trails that go extremely far.

    -Clock

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    Member dkwarthog's Avatar
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    For sure there are places where it is more "accepted" to run atvs in winter. I think the large number of dog mushers in the Susitna valley affects the way people look at it too. Full disclosure, I am (or was) a distance dog musher so I may be bias...

    Good luck, be safe and have fun...

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    thanks for the link

    Quote Originally Posted by NRick View Post

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