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Thread: Sheep River ATV access

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    Member shphtr's Avatar
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    Default Sheep River ATV access

    I have searched the archives and have come up empty. Can anyone advise me regarding ATV access to Sheep River. The Alaska Atlas shows the trail from Larson Lake -> Talkeetna River -> Iron Creek -> around Rainbow Lake -> Sheep River. My question is does this trail really exist and if so is it passable with a 4-wheeler and if so how far up sheep river can one go.....if at all. Has anyone actually done this? I'm bettin' if doable it is rougher than the infamous "cob" but would be willing to give it the ole college if it would not be out of the question. Any shared personal insight of prior experience would be appreciated. Thanx in advance.

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    I was told it's another one of those winter trails. But I don't think they actually tried it in summer.

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    True. Doesn't exist in real life. Even as a winter trail it would be real tough going. P.M. me if you would like more info. My dad and I have property at the confluence of the Sheep and Talkeetna.

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    Have a few friends that did some of it on sno go's, one of the guys has a cabin on rainbow lake. They all agreed it would be a trip of a life time to try it in the summer.

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    Default dont think so

    i have hunted alot up there and have never seen a trail for a 4 wheeler. have been far enough up the river that we ran into an air boat that said he had never seen a jet boat up that far. so as far as i know there is no trail

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    Several years ago 3 or 4 army guys on 4-wheelers went from Talkeetna to Eureka.
    So it can be done. When I was younger and I saw am area that I wanted to hunt I would go for it. One time I cut a trail for a mile just to hunt moose; I was rewarded with 5 moose in 5 years.

    I have not been there, but I will guarantee you there is a trail. You may have to open it up. If I wanted to keep people from finding my trail I would not do any brushing for a block or two. You will be amazed how little it takes to discourage a lazy person.

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    Eureka to Talkeetna - I'm impressed. I'll bet when they finished they felt like they had been "all that they could be!" I am knowledgeable regarding super cub access to several areas of Sheep River but was wondering about ATV access. I suspect the challenges of taking the river corridors to be significant. I don't share your confidence that a trail (tho possibility/probably disguised and discontinuous) actually exists. Your point is well taken regarding how fast some individuals "enthusiasm" will wane with a significant steepening of the challenge gradient. I am all for "lets go for it" but would like to start with some hint of potential success more than just hoping to see pigs fly!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rutting Moose View Post
    Several years ago 3 or 4 army guys on 4-wheelers went from Talkeetna to Eureka.
    No offense but I don't believe this at all Where's the proof, piks? Far fetched I believe. What mountain Pass did they climb over? You realize the rivers flow north west on one side and north east on the other. No proof then somebody was pulling your leg

  9. #9
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by dws View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Rutting Moose View Post
    Several years ago 3 or 4 army guys on 4-wheelers went from Talkeetna to Eureka.........
    No offense but I don't believe this at all Where's the proof, piks? Far fetched I believe.....
    I don't discount it at all. My brother and I took the Yoder Rd. trail all the way to the headwaters of Montana Creek in 1984 with Big Red three wheelers. We were looking down at Sheep River from the top.

    I've been looking at doing the same type of thing up Chickaloon River to the pass over to the Talkeetna in my Argo. That trail is now over a hundred years old.

    .....If I wanted to keep people from finding my trail I would not do any brushing for a block or two. You will be amazed how little it takes to discourage a lazy person....
    Yup. But if you've cut a trail into an area and want to keep it for yourself, you'd better disquise the beginning of it. Sometimes just matted down grass is enough for somebody to begin turning it into an ATV superhighway.

    That's why I like my Argo. Crossing deep water enables solitude that a wheeler can't provide.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    I don't discount it at all. My brother and I took the Yoder Rd. trail all the way to the headwaters of Montana Creek in 1984 with Big Red three wheelers. We were looking down at Sheep River from the top.

    I've been looking at doing the same type of thing up Chickaloon River to the pass over to the Talkeetna in my Argo. That trail is now over a hundred years old.



    Yup. But if you've cut a trail into an area and want to keep it for yourself, you'd better disquise the beginning of it. Sometimes just matted down grass is enough for somebody to begin turning it into an ATV superhighway.

    That's why I like my Argo. Crossing deep water enables solitude that a wheeler can't provide.....
    Still don't believe it. Are you trying to say you can make it down the entire length of the Talkeetna River in your argo after going over the Pass from the Chickaloon?
    As far as the solitude you think you have with that argo crossing deep water it's from the fact I'm up ahead traveling 3 times as fast as you on my SNORKLED waterproofed GRIZZ ATV.

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    Yes, it did happen, and I could show you where the trail is. I also think one of the people is still living in the valley.

    As to proving it, what prove do you need? You get a couple of your buddies to pay for all the supplies and transportation of ATVS to Talkeetna and from Eureka to Anchorage; and I will take you from Talkeetna to Eureka by 4-wheeler not using the road systems. I had been wanted to do it via snowmobile for some time an ATV will just take longer. It is app. 180 miles, plan on it taking about a week.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rutting Moose View Post
    Yes, it did happen, and I could show you where the trail is. I also think one of the people is still living in the valley.

    As to proving it, what prove do you need? You get a couple of your buddies to pay for all the supplies and transportation of ATVS to Talkeetna and from Eureka to Anchorage; and I will take you from Talkeetna to Eureka by 4-wheeler not using the road systems. I had been wanted to do it via snowmobile for some time an ATV will just take longer. It is app. 180 miles, plan on it taking about a week.
    You're on. I don't need no buddies. I"ll haul us to Talkeetna and get us picked up in Eureka. Insanity ain't free, bring your own gas and supplies.
    Doing this in winter on snowmachine looks doable.
    Is your ATV snorkled and waterproofed? Tell me the route. If it is possible it sure wouldn't be till lower water, and drier conditions in the fall.
    Maybe we should do a practice run to see how we travel together, I've been trying to find somebody to go over Chitna Pass with me on atvs.

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    Your way to eager for me to give you all the information until I know your sincere.

    The reason you will need extra help is to keep your ATV from going to fast when it is lowered down a 100/200 foot cliff (From what I remember); It is just not doable with two people in the summer/fall. Sorry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rutting Moose View Post
    Your way to eager for me to give you all the information until I know your sincere.

    The reason you will need extra help is to keep your ATV from going to fast when it is lowered down a 100/200 foot cliff (From what I remember); It is just not doable with two people in the summer/fall. Sorry.
    Just like I thought. If you're talking about rapelling atvs down hundreds of feet cliffs then the whole state is doable to transverse. I wouldn't need any more info than that to pick a route.
    Just out of curiosity how far up the Talkeetna River have driven an atv? Or anyone you know other than the trip you are talking about.
    Up Aspen Creek and over the (cliffs) into the headwaters of the Black River looks doable

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    Here's a story of the 2005 race from Eureka to Talkeetna. Notice they go over the pass into Aspen Creek. "APU trail", whatever that means.

    http://www.alaskanalpineclub.org/WildRace.html

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    I have ridden on that trail from the earth station to within about a half mile of Sheep River, piece of cake. Looked at the remaining trail from the air. It is really grown over. The brush is actually denser in the old trail that was cut with dozers, than the surrounding areas, and I mean some serious alders. Funny deal that way. Once the soil has been disturbed, the vegetation comes back real quick and real dense. Judging from what I have seen from the air, I would not think it to be possible to run the length of it on ATV or even a dozer at this time. It would be much simpler to pick a new route on a map and go for it. Even if it meant going around some of the really bad places. I have ridden many of trails that went through horrible spots for no apparent reason. Sometimes I find my way around, just by taking a little more time. Yes I know this widens and extends the trail system, but that is my exact intention. More trails, More access. Makes sense to me. Others disagree and thats fine.

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    I can get you to the headwaters of Montana Creek or the hills to the north of there looking down on Sheep River no problem. After that, forget it.

    I also have a hard time believing that anyone went from Talkeetna to Eureka as my friends and I have been attempting it on snowmobiles for years. I sunk my snowmobile in the Talkeetna River canyon just downstream from the Toilet Bowl in one of our many attempts. We have been to the headwaters of Sheep Creek, Sheep River and Iron Creek. The closest we have gotten is up Iron Creek. Usually we are foiled by cliffs, open water or lack of snow. I have one more route planned out, but I am waiting for a heavy snow year to attempt it. I say it can be done, but all the planets have to be aligned. Now, for wheelers it is generally twice as tough because they simply cannot climb hills that snowmobiles can.

    Now, I have done trips that people said there was no way of doing. So, I am doubtful of the claims, but nothing is impossible....just improbable. I guess with enough pullies, rope and enough guys I could haul an ATV to the top of McKinley. In fact, with enough pullies, rope, and people I could get snowmobiles from Talkeetna to Eureka...

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    You can get to a point where you overlook the sheep river on atv's but that is difficult. I went up yoder and did it just to get to the top and see. I remember thinking, "**** this is a looooong way up. Had a dall sheep run away from us. As far as getting down to the sheep, I would never try it. Didnt look legit to me.

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    Guys, these are old wagon roads. They took freight wagons full of mining equipment from Wasilla to the Nelchina Mining district. How steep and hard could it be?


    Before I knew someone had done it, I had it all planned out. What I did not know, was if it was possible for me to get my ATV across the rivers by myself. Never once did I think it could not be done. I just needed to figure out how to do it.

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    Default Think about it: Google

    Gentlemen - just to stir the pot a bit: I just finished poking around Google Earth and for what it is worth it shows (? how old) a "trail" (labeled Iron Creek Trail) up Iron Creek, then up the south fork of Iron Creek, then crossing over to Yellowjacket Creek and down to the Talkeetna, then up to the headwaters of the Talkeetna, finally connecting to what is then called "the Chickaloon Trail" from which I think one could end up in Eureka. Google Earth is less than 5 years old. Can I assume that these "trails" have been added to the Google Earth maps by hand and if so what is the basis for determining where these "trails" should be placed on the map? Inquiring minds want to know! Your input/thoughts would be appreciated.

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