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Thread: Alaska riding

  1. #1
    Member Adventure's Avatar
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    Default Alaska riding

    Have never rode in Alaska and I wonder what it's like. For example here in Maine we have what is called the ITS. Interconnected Trail System. Different clubs groom their part and we can ride from one end of the state to the other, town to town on all groomed trails. The routes are mapped, signage is good, and miles to the next gas/food/services are posted.
    What is the Alaska trail system like and what does the average sledder like to do on the average days ride?

  2. #2
    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
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    Wasilla, Alaska, United States
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    Thumbs up groomed trails?

    What are those? Up here we don't have much for groomed trails unless you are near a lodge who does their own. Most of the riding I do is get off the rough, bumpy trail as fast as I can and try to stay off trails for the entire day. We do a lot of boondocking (through the trees, no trails). There is a VAST amount of mountain riding with big steeps and huge corinaces (sp?). I hear of people in the lower 48 going 350-400 miles a day obviously on groomed trails. If I get 100 miles in a day I am beat! 100 miles of powder and mountain riding will kick nearly anyone's butt. Also, we are daylight limited during a lot of the riding season. We carry our own gas (2 1/2 gallon can in the rack), no signs (carry GPS), only civilization we come across will usually be someone's recreational cabin. No towns in site.

    There are several good rental companies that have up to date and good machines. Come up to AK sometime, I would recommend March, and rent a machine. It is a whole new experience!
    AKmud
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    The porcupine is a peacful animal yet God still thought it necessary to give him quills....

  3. #3
    Member Adventure's Avatar
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    Default Will be there for a short time.

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/showthread.php?t=16

    2 of us are riding from Tok to Maine next January. We won't have much time for the boondocking, but I think we could maybe manage a day. I would like to hook up with someone from the local area for a little sled tour and to hear about the way of life in Alaska.

    The link above was an attempt to get a picture in my mind of what to expect when we get there, but it has not exactly set the world on fire so far. I had some specific questions, but mostly just looking to chat about the area. I have connected with several people who have been very helpful from TOK, Dawson YK and Inuvik NWT. As mentioned, general chat has given me more insight than the answers to the questions that I asked. Each person has a little different point to make and so that picture starts to form in my mind. I've enjoyed the feedback so far and welcome more. From what I'm hearing I can't wait to get there and take it all in with my own eyes. It must be a wonderful place to live and ride.

  4. #4

    Thumbs up Alaska is made for snowmachines...

    ...or maybe snowmachines are made for Alaska! Either way, January is an excellent time for riding... Everything frozen solid and creeks drifted in. If you want a groomed trail they are hard to come by, unless you consider a frozen snowy river a groomed trail? Get on a river and you can click off some miles. But, be prepared for anything, this land in unforgiving and can kill ya faster than you can ride or walk back to safety. When you do go out, stay with another rider near by. Also, things can get to looking all the same here when you ride out a ways in not exactly perfect weather conditions. I personnally go cross country quite a bit and have a pretty good sense of direction, but my GPS saved my bacon at least once. This may not seem like the riding you want to do, I can't imagine anywhere in Alaska that riding isn't hardcore though.

  5. #5
    Member Adventure's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks. Back country riding is good too. As long as I'm riding I'm happy.

  6. #6
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    Default Maine to alaska

    hey there, I grew up on sebago and rode mostly rangely and jackman, I currently live 1 hr north of anchorage. The riding is soo Sweet here, the above posts are quite accurate, but you won't really know what they are talking about till you do it yourself!!! We had a camp right off ITS 89, actually still do, my brother rides up there alot still, now they all ride powder sleds after I gave them a taste of boodocking!! They can pick up summits and RMKs cheap back there!! I'd love to give ya a tour, but don't know that area north of Anchorage very well, that this winters project, with the summt X 800 2007, can't wait. I do know the kenai area well and lost lake (between anchorage and seward) Most people will say lost lake is incredible, which it is, but I have never climbed back in there until febuary, when the snow is real deep and everything is froze solid, perfect for summits!!! The scenery is unbelievable, wish I had some current pics to show ya, but it still wouldn't do ya justice. Let me know when your going to come thru, maybe we'll hook up, have the wife cook up some halibut or salmon!! If ya ride thru jackman, stop in and say hi to Caroll Ann and moose point lodge, tell her tim from AK said "hi" she'll know who it is!! And becareful she can ride a sled real well!! Along with the crowd she hangs with!!!
    Tim

  7. #7
    Member PatrickH's Avatar
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    Default sat phone

    Be sure you have a satellite phone or two with extra batteries as well as a couple of GPS units and compasses. Also be prepared for some very cold weather. -50 on a snowmachine is not fun assuming you can get it started at all. You may need to camp a while to wait for warmer weather. Good luck with your adventure!

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