Denali Highway Access (Paxson or Cantwell)
I've never snowmachined it, but I am thinking about riding in to the Alpine Creek Lodge with my wife sometime soon. I'm just curious what the advantages and disadvantages are from both the Paxson side and the Cantwell side. I know the Paxson lodge is closed, but can you still park there and snowmachine in from there? I was thinking about going in from the Paxson side because I really like the scenery and the hunting on that side of the Denali highway from Paxson over to the Clearwater Mountains area.
I guess that it depends on where you live! While I like going in from the Paxson side, but it is closer for me to go to Cantwell and drive in from there. I think that I have seen more game going in from Cantwell if that is something that interest you. When are you thinking about making the trip? I have been hoping for more snow to make the trip in from Cantwell to Alpine lodge but....... As far as the ride in, I believe that the Denali is taken better care of from Cantwell then from Paxson.
Lets see what the crew from the lodge have to say, they are the ones really in the know!
When talking to Claude at Alpine Creek Lodge, the drive is about 15 minutes longer from the lodge to Anchorage (in the summer) going through Paxson vs Cantwell. It may be further in miles, but the drive time isn't much of a difference. The road is being groomed in from Cantwell to the lodge this season, so the snowmachine ride would be an easy one (check out Claudes new tracked jeep and posts on their Facebook Page).
Great question! From Paxson, it is open country and prone to drifts. From Cantwell it's in great shape. Came in last night with the jeep, aurora overhead and a spotlight out the window! Snow is thin until about 10 miles in, so folks are driving to there and parking. It is ultra smooth from Cantwell to here. No drifts yet, but enough snow that no gravel is pushing through. There is quite a bit more snow from the Paxson side. We've had guests come in that way a few times in the last few days, and they said it's great all the way from the parking lot. So either way, you win! Look forward to seeing you out here!
Originally Posted by AK Bearcat
Originally Posted by MORSNO
Thanks for the responses everyone. Claude, which direction do you think would be better for predator hunting? I will bring my caller with me and I plan on making some stands on the way out. I would love to try calling in a lynx. My assumption would be the Paxson side would be a little bit better because of less snow machine traffic. If anyone has any suggestions please send me a pm. Thinking about going in the next week or so. Gotta talk it over with the wife and find a babysitter. Claude, I'll be in touch soon. It will probably be sometime between Christmas and New Year's.
Originally Posted by denalihunter