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Thread: West Side Cook Inlet Winter Trails?

  1. #1
    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Default West Side Cook Inlet Winter Trails?

    Can anyone point toward a resource that shows snowmachine trails from the Big Lake or Knik areas running down the West Side of Cook Inlet to the Kustutan area?
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  2. #2
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    I've only been to the Beluga gas field road system by way of the Susitna Pipline trail. http://www.alaskavisitor.net/pdfs/ma...orn-Trails.pdf This trail crosses the Susitna across Bell Island (on google earth, look for the straight line). There are times that the low snow conditions make the trail impassable and folks will go around the north end of the island. Last year, with the low snow, getting off the river was interesting with the loads we were hauling.

    6125'37.15"N, 150 5'26.32"W (look on google earth) is the parking lot. You run down the road to the west a little bit, then it changes to a trail. The trail basically heads due west to the river. Once off the river you will run across a big ass swamp until you hit the road. From that point on it's road running until Beluga. I've only been to Tyonek once and it wasn't a pleasant experience, so you're on your own after the gas field road.
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  3. #3
    Supporting Member bullbuster's Avatar
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    Doug has it pretty well spot on.
    In and out of the Su can be tricky some years. The west bank has a history of thin ice to boot.




    Then 8 mile swamp can get pretty windblown, but very doable. Gets sandy in the wind along the trail.



    Then it is different road systems. After you get thru the Beluga gas fields area you are on Tyonek land. Some of the villagers would rather not see you on the land. Some will steer you right. If you get past that it is a hodgepodge of gas fields, logging and old seismic roads. Easy for me to get turned around sometimes. Low snow years means hoping off the road a lot as they are graded regularly. Lots of places trees/brush come right to the road.

    There really is no "trail" to get a map of. New roads built all the time. Most dead end at a well head. You can "usually" get fuel in Beluga, but don't count on getting any in Tyonek. I think google earth can help as well as anything. That and a gps when you are running it. Start early and carry some gas. If I can help....
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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Kinda figured as much. A buddy has aquired the use of a cabin on the Kustitan that needs some serious work. Only so much that he can fly over at a time in his little plane, so he's wanting to figure out a snowmachine freight/supply run this winter, if we ever get snow. Neither of us have set track or ski on anything between Wasilla and the cabin. I hate going into a frieght move totally blind. Looking at Google map, all I see are about 10,000 water crossings that smell like trouble.

    When we get some snow, we may have to make a light test run of the upper section to have a look at things. Run 1/3 of a tank out with no sleds just to check things out and see the terrain.

    I'm almost thinking that a landing craft is the better tool for this job.
    Winter is Coming...

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  5. #5
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    I haul on the west side to Beluga and the lower Susitna as I have a freight business. Landing craft is the way to go for where your at. Too many obsticals unless it's a high snow year. Easier for me as I live out here and I can take advantage of conditions when their good right away. Rivers are in no way shape or form to do any hauling at all but will be good someday?

  6. #6

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    Alexander (previous post) is the guy to contact for hauling From Pt. Mac to Beluga and beyond. He lives at Alexander Creek, so he knows what the conditions are. Like previously posted, on low snow years the Su can get sandy and the banks can be too steep to get up with heavy loads. The other factor isthe Beluga gas field roads. It's a long haul to get there and find out they were plowed thin and have melted out to gravel. It's easy to get along with the Tyonek folks. Just marry one of their women and you will get a free pass to travel their land without getting shot. ;-)

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