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Thread: What's up with the road to Klutina?

  1. #1
    Member Heg's Avatar
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    Default What's up with the road to Klutina?

    My wife and I floated the Klutina about a week ago. I heard that the road gets pretty treacherous and that you can't make it all the way to the lake. We had a trailer, so I reluctantly put in after about 13 miles. The float was fun and splashy with ok fishing. We took out at the bridge and biked back to the truck (we stashed our bikes on the drive in).

    We paid 4o dollars for an Ahtna permit. I left my truck at the put-in, and we camped on an island which was below the high water line. I don't know if it was necessary to pay the entire 40 dollars or not.

    Has anyone been up to the lake via the road, or put in closer to the lake than mile 13/14 of Klutina Road? This is a very cool river, but it would be nice to extend the trip by a few miles.

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    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
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    Default Lots of Water

    One of my guys was just up there! Ton of water, mud etc... in fact we had to be helped out of one hole mud and water in my F350. If you go up there stay away from the Big Rocks :-) Great trip from the Lake down but to be honest I would wheeler in with my trailer verse driving my truck back there until it drys up a little.

    Blue Moose

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    Member Heg's Avatar
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    Thanks Blue Moose.

    I saw a lot of 4-wheelers heading up that way. Do you go all the way to the lake? And, are you guys paying for permits (to camp/park/float)?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Heg View Post
    Thanks Blue Moose.

    I saw a lot of 4-wheelers heading up that way. Do you go all the way to the lake? And, are you guys paying for permits (to camp/park/float)?
    You saw a lot of 4 wheelers because a atv tour company runs tours everyday all the way to the lake.
    As far as permits its athna land on both sides of the road and they have two guys patrolling. Asking if other people are paying for permits to camp on or cross their land is not the right question. The correct question is the one you ask yourself,"Do I want to get busted for tresspass?"

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    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
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    Default LOL

    Yes purchase a permit!!!!!!

  6. #6
    Member Heg's Avatar
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    Default

    Dudes, I'm not trying to skate without paying; it's just a little confusing about the fees.

    Here is what Ahtna told me: "There is a federal easement almost to the lake. If you float down the Klutina River to the bridge and stay within the ordinary high water mark (OHM) you don't need a permit, if you camp above the OHM you need a camping permit"

    According to this, info "I think" I should have paid for a use permit (10 bucks?) but maybe not the 40 dollar overnight permit since we camped below the OHM.

    I totally respect the Ahtna people and would not want to trespass on their land. I am just a little cheap is all.

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    Default

    Camping below the high water mark is free anywhere as far as I know, and the road is a state right of way, so it's also free. The $10 fee would still be required if you stepped from the right of way to the river and crossed Ahtna land to do so. Also, if you take a dump in the woods you need to pay the access fee I suppose. The problem with only paying the access fee and not the camping fee occurs when the water is high and you have to get above the high water line to camp.

    Questions: are these fees per person, or per party, and is there a limit to the party's size? We had a 15 member group on the Chitina a couple weeks back & stayed below the high water mark, but not be able to do so on a future trip. Also, where do you get the permit from Ahtna, and what about Chugach Natives as well for their land along the Copper?

    Last time I drove into Klutina Lake was in 1969, and I would have judged the river to be class III, but the road a class IV. Sounds like it hasn't changed much in the past 40 years.

  8. #8
    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    Default land owners

    This land ownership thing along rivers and lakes will always have its debate.
    last week I spent some time on the lower Nushagak river fishing for kings.
    The native group in that area has a land use permit process in effect, but there are also private land owners along the river also.
    I stayed on a private land owners place, and was told not to get out and hike about anywhere but his land...
    When I suggested that the land only above the high water mark was in question for native land tresspass, I was told that it was "just wise to not even step from the boat, as interpretation this far from the law will not be in your favor"..
    Here on the Kenai, last year we had a fellow drowned when he and a friend flipped a canoe in Naptown Rapids. His body was not found for several days, and when he was located, he had washed up on a gravel bar on the north side of the river just above one of the homes on the river we caretake.
    The neighbor upstream of the home we caretake is from Scotland and not a friendly neighbor.
    When the body was spotted. I came down to help if I could in making sure it did not wash away again, and be lost.
    I walked below the high water mark along this scotsmans the property, so I could get to the body.
    I heard a loud yelling from the window of his home, that I was on "his property and to get off it now!"
    I did not feel that I had the time to arm wrestle this fellow about it, so I continued on towards the body.
    He continued to yell, and I continued to ignore.
    He came from the house in a rush towards me, and I actually would have enjoyed the dressing out he would have had if he had just folowed thru with his threats....
    people started yelling at him that "there was a body washed up on the gravel bar.". and he stopped... then instead of showing concern about the situation, he wheeled and went back into his home without a word...
    ... I wish nothing bad on anyone,,, but my wife said to me later that day, that " what goes around, comes around"
    Last winter the scotsman suffered a severe stroke and is recovering slowly.
    It has taken a bit of muster on my part to feel bad about his plight...
    I admit I struggle with some of the tresspass stuff.....
    I own my business and I have a private road that goes thru my place and shortcuts back to a public road behind me.
    Many folks that live back there, use my shortcut to get to the highway, and other than the folks that drive a little to fast.. I am unconcerned about the access use..
    Life is too short to get puffed up about something we are really only borrowing anyway while we are here... Its not really ours.... its just ours to use while we visit this earth...
    ... just my thoughts..
    Max
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

  9. #9
    Member Heg's Avatar
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    Default

    Jim, you get the permits at a drop box on the road. Here are the 2008 rates that Ahtna emailed me:

    2008 PERMIT COST
    Individual Day Use $10.00
    Individual Season Use $50.00
    Family Day Use $30.00
    Family Season Use $75.00
    Season Camping $100.00
    Nightly Camping (per group/vehicle) $20.00
    Firewood Per Cord $25.00
    Gravel Per Cubic Yard $3.00
    Gravel Per Cubic Yard-Cantwell Area $3.50
    Rip-Rap and Armor Rock $7.50
    Commercial Fishing Permit
    Klutina $1,000.00
    Gulkana $1,000.00
    Diamond Willow (season)
    Commercial Non-Shareholder $300.00
    Commercial Shareholder $25.00
    Non-Shareholder Personal Use $60.00
    House Logs (per tree) $10.00
    Bison Hunting $1,500.00
    Trapping-Non Shareholder (predator control only) $60.00
    Firewood-Shareholder (20 cords per year) $0.00
    Gravel-Shareholder (100 cubic yards per year) $0.00
    House Logs-Shareholder (100 trees per year) $0.00
    Hunting-Shareholder or Descendant $0.00
    Hunting-Predator Control (Wolf, Bear, Coyote) $0.00
    All Other Permits (See Ahtna Land Dept.)

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    Default

    Hmmm, those prices don't look too bad for most uses, but we had 6 rafts with 15 people (just a private trip of friends), so at $20 per "vehicle" this would be $120 per night on Ahtna land, and we spent 5 nights out there. Or would we all qualify as one "group" for $20 a night? Of course, less than half the land along the Chitina belongs to Ahtna, but determining which land is theirs has not been easy. Their online maps are pathetic. Same with Chugach.

    I want to comply with their rules, and certainly understand their point of view, but they are not making this easy for boaters. I guess I'll continue to do low to medium water trips and camp only on gravel bars in these areas.

  11. #11
    Member stiginz's Avatar
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    Default Ahtna Lands

    Beside some .jpg maps, Ahtna now has a Google Earth version of Ahtna Lands at:

    http://ahtna.lands.googlepages.com/googleearth

    You can view this data in Google Earth and then print out you area of interest. This hoepfully will help you get a better idea of the land status for where you would like to go. Also, if you have a GPS there are some free utilities out there that can convert the Google Earth file to something you can upload to you unit (unfortunately, not all of them have this feature).

    Hope this helps!
    Ezekiel Baye
    GIS Specialist
    Land & Resource Department
    Ahtna, Incorporated
    907-868-8237 (w)
    907-868-3978 (f)

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    Ezekiel, that is exactly the info need. Thank you.

    I don't suppose you have any info on Chugach Inc. lands?

  13. #13
    Member Heg's Avatar
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    Ya, thanks for clarifying things Ezekiel. I am only recently getting hooked on this whole technology "thing", so thanks for introducing me to google earth; I wasted about 3 hours today cyber-exploring.

  14. #14
    Member stiginz's Avatar
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    Sorry, I don't have anything on Chugach lands.
    Ezekiel Baye
    GIS Specialist
    Land & Resource Department
    Ahtna, Incorporated
    907-868-8237 (w)
    907-868-3978 (f)

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