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Thread: Remote camping and ATV trails

  1. #1
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    Default Remote camping and ATV trails

    I was looking for somewhere remote i can take the kids fourwheeling this 4th of july. I have been to Pettersville, moose creek and Jims creek. These places are way to crowded for camping and fourwheeling. I was hoping to find somewhere that is low key and i dont have to worry about my kids getting run over. Also that is with in 3 hours of Anchorage. Thanks for the help.

  2. #2
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Eureka would probably be a good choice. According to Google it is well within your drive limit. Not sure about the summer crowds as I went up there once years ago during hunting season. I had so much fun though I have been wanting to go back ever since!

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    First of all, will your kids be riding their own ATVs? If so, what size are they, and what kind of distances are you looking to ride? Are trails alongside a road acceptable, or do you only want trails that get you away from the road?

    Unfortunately, your desire to have trails and camping areas virtually to yourself--over an extended weekend--within 3 hours of Anchorage--and possibly accessible by kid ATVs--is not particularly realistic. Furthermore, by July, we'll have all the out-of-state RVers up here, further crowding the camping areas.

    True, some places will be more crowded and crazier than others. Eureka, as described previously, might be a little challenging for kid ATVs (deep water crossings, rocks in the trails, and a few steep hills) is you back away from the road. However, there are several gravel pits and miles of trails alongside the road. It will be crowded over the July 4 weekend, however.

    That said, here are a few suggestions, where you're less likely to have lots of fast-moving ATV traffic:
    - Talkeetna: There are trails alongside the Talkeetna Spur Road, as well as to the old satellite dish. Most of these roadside trails parallel the road, but set back far enough that they are concealed from the road by forest. The trails beyond the satelite dish feel "greasy"--as they get real slippery when wet, so they might not be that good for kids.
    - Shirleytown Road: This trail is about 5 miles from Willow, towards Hatchers Pass. This is mostly a 2-track road, which usually gets very little traffic. Get there early enough, and you can camp alongside the creek.
    - Bird Creek: This one would be a good day trip, and is only about 20 miles from Anchorage.
    - Eklutna: This has a very easy trail (really, a gravel road) alongside the reservoir, with very little change in elevation. The downside is that you can only ATV on it Sundays through Wednesdays, so that knocks out most of the July 4 weekend. Furthermore, the state park campground there will almost assuredly be full.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by dloose View Post
    I was looking for somewhere remote i can take the kids fourwheeling this 4th of july. I have been to Pettersville, moose creek and Jims creek. These places are way to crowded for camping and fourwheeling. I was hoping to find somewhere that is low key and i dont have to worry about my kids getting run over. Also that is with in 3 hours of Anchorage. Thanks for the help.
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  5. #5
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    The trails around Talkeetna are absolutely mobbed on the 4th. It's gotten so bad I pretty much don't let my kids out on that holiday. We are to the point we head north to the Denali Highway for the 4th.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

  6. #6

    Default Agree with AK Doug

    The Denali highway is a little further than what you desire as far as close to Anch, but can be exactly what you are looking for as far as quite and away.
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  7. #7
    Premium Member denalihunter's Avatar
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    Default Denali Highway trails

    I've been running the trails quite a bit this spring on the Denali Highway. Trails are excellent! Not much spring rain up there, and it's the best I've seen them. On top of that, they are actually doing some serious work on the Denali Highway itself. It's the best I've seen it in 10 years, and they are even hauling in good gravel to the bad spots. Yes, I know it's further then you wanted to go, but I've tried every trail on the peninsula and all the normal spots on the 4th, and it's crazy. One of the best places I've seen for great riding, kids, and not too many bugs is the Valdez Mine Road. There will be some people, but not many, and you'll have a lot of fun exploring some great new territory. I'm partial to the trails around my place... of course! lol. Make sure you bring the fly poles or spin poles with small meps. The grayling fishing has been great this spring! Bring your gold pan too!

    Any of you guys that get up that way, stop in and say hi! Coffee is always free! No strings attached!

    Good Luck!
    Claude
    Experience Real Alaska! www.alpinecreeklodge.com

  8. #8

    Default Directions Please

    I haven't been north of Sutton Area.. is the Valdez Mine Road that you referenced below easy to find? If so is it accessabile to pull a camper in the vicinty to offload four-wheelers we have two smaller little children so being around a river or lake is always a plus to throw rocks into and or wade dependng on the current and level of the water. Any additioanl information would be greatly appreciated as we are in he same position as Akres below.

    Thanks in advance,

  9. #9
    Premium Member denalihunter's Avatar
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    Default Valdez Mine Road

    Ak Fun,

    Yes, it's very easy to find. I generally go North up the Parks Highway, until Cantwell, take a right at Cantwell. Go about 50 miles until you get to the Susitna River Bridge. Right after you cross the bridge, going East, theres a good road that goes to the North. That is the Valdez Mine Road. The road goes up next to the Susitna River for a few miles, then after you cross Valdez Creek, the road turns up the valley and goes several miles. There is good camping the entire way, and there are many great places you can camp next to small and larger creeks and lakes. The riding is wide open, and a lot of fun. There's great fishing for grayling, and a lot of historic mines around to check out.

    The only thing to be sure of is to bring some spare tires. The Denali Highway is excellent this year, but you will be on 50 miles of gravel, so just be prepared. There are tire repair places at mile 82 and 68.

    Good Luck! Let me know if you have any more questions.
    Experience Real Alaska! www.alpinecreeklodge.com

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    Denalihunter,
    Have they finally fixed that washed out culvert about one mile up the Valdez Mine Road? That creek was a little too hairy to cross with most vehicles!

  11. #11
    Premium Member denalihunter's Avatar
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    Default Road repair

    I hadn't heard it's been washing out. I know there is some mining going on up the creek and a lot of equipment went up there this spring. I'm trying to confirm that now.
    Experience Real Alaska! www.alpinecreeklodge.com

  12. #12

    Default All good on Valdez Creek mine RD

    I was up there Memorial Day weekend and the "road" was in GREAT SHAPE. The culvert was fixed, although not up to highway standards, but I did see and RV on the other side as I passed through.

  13. #13
    Member TWB's Avatar
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    I vouch for Eklutna if theres remote camping with kids. Easy riding, tons of area to cover, However there could be a few challenging areas for kids to ride i.e. Monument.
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by TWB View Post
    I vouch for Eklutna if theres remote camping with kids. Easy riding, tons of area to cover, However there could be a few challenging areas for kids to ride i.e. Monument.
    I agree. Eureka is generally easy riding. When I was growing up we went all over the place up there on little Suzuki 80s. Even down monument and we were all less 10 years old or less that was fun in the rain and no gears to hold ya back on that little 2 stroke wheeler . Yeah the creeks are deep at times, but if you break the wake and have your kids follow directly behind you inside your wake and the water level will be much less for them. Lots of open area out Eureka. Yeah there will be people there too, but much more space to spread out and probably the best option for within 3 hours of Anchorage time frame.

    Valdez Creek area is nice but you are looking a 5-6 hours from Anchorage just to get to the parking area past the Susitna River especially with all the RVs on the road on that busy weekend.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaska_Lanche View Post
    Yeah the creeks are deep at times, but if you break the wake and have your kids follow directly behind you inside your wake and the water level will be much less for them.
    I've crossed water that would have been over the seat, trick is to keep up the momentum and wake the water around you. I've gotten my ass wet a few times, though.
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

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