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Thread: Beginner Trails

  1. #1
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    Default Beginner Trails

    Hey everyone...looking for a little expertise. I just bought a Honda Pioneer 700-4. I have some experience with ATVs, but have never had a side-by-side before. I have a young family (2 y/o and 4 y/o). I am looking to get the machine out and ride to familiarize myself and my family with it a little before winter. I am looking for trails in the Eagle River/Matsu area that aren't overly treacherous that would be good sort of "leisure" rides for the family and I in order to try to get our feet under us and get more familiar with this machine. I know that Eklutna sort of fits this bill but is only open from Sun-Wed. We rode a little up the willow side of hatchers pass last weekend.

    Anyone have good suggestions for trail(s) to ride that would be good for this sort of purpose?

    Really appreciate any help folks are willing to give.

  2. #2
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    Petersville road from Kroto Creek back

  3. #3
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    I don't know of any trail that is a few miles long that does not have the potential of getting a person stuck or in trouble. That does not mean you should not go. Just take a few things that if something does happen you can get back. Extra rope, hand saw, shovel, pulley block, tow strap, flashlight, road flares, first aid kit, Extra gas. Also carry extra gas in the truck in case you forgot to fill the atv tank before leaving.

    Items to make the trip more fun goggle (dust -rain), toilet paper, water to drink and water to wash with, soap, wash cloth, hat, face mask (dust), food, mosquito net, repellant, rain gear.

  4. #4
    Member BluNosDav's Avatar
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    Eklutna Lake trail is only open to ATV's Sunday-Wednesday each week, but other than that, it seems to be just what you're looking for. Not much chance of getting stuck or scared. It's more of a gravel road for the first 8 miles, then narrows somewhat for the last few. Great place to take a family with small kids for a shakedown run. Plus you can buy everyone an ice cream cone at the little family run place about a mile outside of the trail-head on the way home.
    "Luckily, enforcement reads these forums, and likely will peruse this one...Especially after a link of it is forwarded to them....." - AlaskaHippie.

  5. #5

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    Further away but some of the trails in the Tangle Lakes area are pretty good. Thinking of Landmark Gap North (a bit rocky and a stream crossing), Mclaren Summit, at least the start of Osar Lake. I hear trails to the South like Swede Lake can get very muddy, haven't explored them. North trails are short but go through some beautiful areas. Lots of other areas to explore along Denali Highway, trails are variable. You can find a BLM map online of the Tangle Lakes trails.

  6. #6
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    A trail that is close by and easy to run is at the end of Maud road outside of Palmer. It is called the Rippy trail, only about six miles long by no mud holes. I have used it in the past for new riders.

  7. #7
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    Thank you all for your help. We have managed a few good rides! MacGyver peaked my interest about something else. What is some of the most crucial things that you have had with you in a sort of "go bag" or "emergency kit" while riding? I have a small kit built with gloves, tire patch kit, small air compressor, zip ties, tow strap, shovel, saw, first aid kit, face masks, and few other items.

    I am curious though what your "must haves" would be!

    Thanks again!

  8. #8

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    I like having a battery jump starter, either one of the new lightweight lithium ones or the ones that have a built in air compressor.

    A lot depends on if you're riding a local trail with people around or pushing back to get away from people.

    Winch, if you don't have one, recommend the synthetic line if you're buying a new one. Take a look over the machine and supplement the included tool kit if needed. Spare spark plugs, a leatherman and little bit of stainless wire can be handy, snatch block for winch, dielectric grease for plug/electrical connections, spare fuses, gorilla/duct tape, headlamp, rachet strap(can be used to help pop a bead back on a tire), fire starter.

    A small stove like a Jetboil or Reactor and some soups or freeze-dried food can be nice for hot drinks on cold days, especially for the kiddos. A friend swears by the 12v plug-in seat heaters for helping the kids stay warm, but check how many amps the alternator puts out.

    I really like the Rigid tool box with the water tight gasket for the back of the Rhino.

  9. #9
    Member theultrarider's Avatar
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    I ALWAYS have a change of oil, oil filter and air filter that stays on my wheeler. Never know when you guess wrong on just how deep that water is. Change the oil and filters and you are off and running again.

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