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Thread: ATV Denali Hwy

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    Default ATV Denali Hwy

    Was thinking of taking a trip up on the Denali Hwy in late July. I have only been up there a couple times and not in the last 10 years. Seems I've read some about part or a lot of the country being locked up as private (native corporation) land.

    Would like to find a way to get back away from the road and do some camping/fishing. Any suggestions of a trail we can take? Any good fishing off the road? Is there something I can/need to do in advance as far as permission to be on native land?
    Everything that lives and moves will be food for you.
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    Once you get far enough in the native land stops. Basically, from Brushkanna onward you are out of native land. There is a trail from the road just the other side of Canyon Creek (40 miles in from Cantwell) that heads south 5 miles to Butte Lake. Depending on the year it can be MEGA muddy and I wouldn't suggest going solo. You might just need another machine to anchor to with a winch. Butte Lake holds grayling and lakers. A little further in, just before you reach the Susitna River, there is a gravel pit right off the road on the south side. From this pit a major trail heads out to Butte Creek. Less than a mile from the start is a pretty good sized lake that holds a bunch of grayling. It's probably 5 miles to Butte Creek and it holds grayling. Once you cross the Susitna Bridge the first left leads to the Valdez Creek mine road. All the creeks that cross the road hold grayling. There is also a road/trail that drops down into the lower portion of Valdez Creek that is great for grayling fishing.
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    I just got back from a weekend up the Denali Highway. From what you've described that you are looking for, I would highly suggest considering Roosevelt Lake. It's at the end of the Valdez Creek Mine Road, approximately 15 miles from the Susistna River Bridge. Besides ATVs, you can access it with 4WD trucks--the trail is in pretty good shape--in fact, most of it is well-maintained mining roads. However, the lake is isolated from the mine traffic, so you will have a real wilderness feel to it.

    Bring a small boat along if you can--as the lake is about 1.5 miles long, and about a quarter mile or so wide. I can forward you GPS coordinates to the track out to it.

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    How is the weather up there right now? We are going next weekend.
    I've also heard that the Valdez Creek Mine Road was washed out at the culverts. True? Which set of culverts - the first ones about a mile in or the second one 8 or so miles in?

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKNUCLEARZR View Post
    How is the weather up there right now? We are going next weekend.
    I've also heard that the Valdez Creek Mine Road was washed out at the culverts. True? Which set of culverts - the first ones about a mile in or the second one 8 or so miles in?
    To answer your question--both culverts were in good shape. The ones at the 1 mile point were out for a few years, but were repaired this season.

    This past weekend, the weather was good, but the roads were quite dusty. With the exception of creek crossings, the trails were dry. This is the first ATV ride in memory where our rigs didn't come back muddy.

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    Here are some GPS coordinates leading up to Roosevelt Lake. Basically you start anywhere on the Valdez Creek Mine Road, and then follow these around an active mine (I don't know the name of it, but it's above the old Valdez Creek mine area), and down these roads.

    Roosevelt Lake 63-11.174N 147-10.146W
    0.5 miles to lake 63-11.368N 147-10.572W
    1.0 miles to lake 63-11.283N 147-11.106W
    2.0 miles to lake 63-11.358N 147-12.701W
    2.8 miles to lake 63-11.570N 147-14.019W
    4.3 miles to lake 63-12.138N 147-16.129W
    6.0 miles to lake 63-12.104N 147-19.118W
    6.6 miles to lake (mine) 63-12.172N 147-20-150W

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    Premium Member denalihunter's Avatar
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    Default Denali Highway atv'ing

    I've been riding a lot up there this year so far. The trails are great, and fishing has been excellent. Temp at the lodge last week hit 92 in the shade on the deck. It was great! Roosevelt lake is a great bet, Hatchet lake, 11 miles East of the Susitna Bridge is good. There a trail that leaves south of 68. Glacier Gap and Seven Mile lakes is great for lakers! Trail leaves just east of Maclaren about a mile or two. Trail is muddy, and about 10 miles, but reward is good. Bring a small motor, as there are boats on the shore. I don't know who's they are, but I know people talk about using them all the time.

    There's a ton of country to explore up there, so you won't be bored no matter what you do!
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    Quote Originally Posted by denalihunter View Post
    I've been riding a lot up there this year so far. The trails are great, and fishing has been excellent. Temp at the lodge last week hit 92 in the shade on the deck. It was great! Roosevelt lake is a great bet, Hatchet lake, 11 miles East of the Susitna Bridge is good. There a trail that leaves south of 68. Glacier Gap and Seven Mile lakes is great for lakers! Trail leaves just east of Maclaren about a mile or two. Trail is muddy, and about 10 miles, but reward is good. Bring a small motor, as there are boats on the shore. I don't know who's they are, but I know people talk about using them all the time.

    There's a ton of country to explore up there, so you won't be bored no matter what you do!
    Hey Claude,

    You talking about the old trail at about 36 mile that sits above the McClaren River valley and goes south down to the long lake? We used to camp there when I was a kid, and hunt moose and caribou there in relative seclusion (this was in the late 60s mind you)? A beautiful place with a lot of memories for me.

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    Premium Member denalihunter's Avatar
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    Default Osar or Oscar Lake trail

    MDhunter,
    Your thinking of Osar, or Oscar Lake trail. I say both names because I've seen in printed both ways on maps. That wasn't the trails I was talking about, but that is a great trail! I haven't fished the lake down there, but I bet it is good. There is a trail going North, just accross the road from Osar Lake trail called Maclaren Summit Trail. That is a great trail with amazing views too! The trails I'm talking about go North from the Denali Highway. Seven Mile is at the bottom of Maclaren Summit, about 5 miles West of Osar Lake trail. Glacier Gap Lake trail is around mile 30 to 32.

    I like that trail your talking about. Some great bear and caribou hunting down there. I've never seen much for moose there. Could be a predator issue, as it's pretty open country there.

    Claude
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    Quote Originally Posted by denalihunter View Post
    Glacier Gap and Seven Mile lakes is great for lakers! Trail leaves just east of Maclaren about a mile or two. Trail is muddy, and about 10 miles, but reward is good.
    Hey Denalihunter,

    This Seven Mile Lake trail... does it travel through the bottoms near High Rock Creek and the little lakes amongst it or up on the ridge to the west closer to Bolder Creek. By muddy are we talking swamp mud or trial mud. I'll be riding a 2002 300 King Quad with a wench and pulling a trailer. The guy I'm taking with me is a bit of city rat from down south. I doubt he has any ATV experience. He'll be riding the exact same set up without the trailer. Don't want to get into more than we bargained for.

    Thanks for the advice.
    Everything that lives and moves will be food for you.
    Genesis 9:3

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    Quote Originally Posted by denalihunter View Post
    There is a trail going North, just accross the road from Osar Lake trail called Maclaren Summit Trail. That is a great trail with amazing views too!

    Is this the trail into Glacier Gap Lake?
    Everything that lives and moves will be food for you.
    Genesis 9:3

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    Premium Member denalihunter's Avatar
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    Default Glacier lake trail

    Canivore,
    No, the trail accross from Osar is Maclaren Summit Trail. The Glacier Lake or Glacier Gap trail is about 5 miles to the East. It's not well marked where to find the trail head, but there was a sign in sheet there a couple of years ago anyhow. If you are traveling East, look over and you'll see a lake out by the mountains. The biggest one you'll see in that area. It's in a gap in the mountains. The trail is just to the East of where your looking directly at the lake at a rigth angle from the highway. Clear as mud? lol

    One of the links below show Seven Mile Lake also.

    Just looked online and found this link about the trail: http://www.happytrailsak.com/glacier.php

    Here's a map of the tangle lake riding trails. http://www.trailmonkey.com/USpages/a...akesmap1hi.JPG

    Here's a map of the highway with some of the trails: http://www.trailmonkey.com/USpages/a...denalihwy1.JPG

    On this map, my place is located just below the words 'Clearwater Mountains', right accross where you can see that trail leaving to the South. That trail is Hatchet Lake Trail and is a really nice trail.

    Good Luck!
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    How is the road going into windy lake.??? There was Grayling in there.

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    Premium Member denalihunter's Avatar
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    Default Windy Lake?

    Hopeak,
    Which one is Windy Lake? Is it up Windy Creek valley? I'm a little disappointed that I haven't heard of it!

    Claude
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    Quote Originally Posted by denalihunter View Post
    Hopeak,
    Which one is Windy Lake? Is it up Windy Creek valley? I'm a little disappointed that I haven't heard of it!

    Claude
    Just behind the old homestead, it is the first creek you cross as you go out the gravel pit towards Valdez Creek. Maybe it is wendy creek, and wendy lake. Creek flows east to west into the Su. I think you can (on Foot) make it from wendy lake to Roosevelt Lake.

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    We took the Swede Lake trail into the Middle Fork Gulkana last week and it was in good shape for the most part. Really dusty though! Fishing was great on the river.....a grayling on every cast for a while with a couple of rainbows in there too.
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    Default Swede Lake Trail to Middle Fork Gulkana Pics

    A couple of photos from the trip.
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    We were able to get back to Roosevelt Lake Fri/Sat with the FJ, road/trail was good. Rained quite a bit Friday night, but Saturday was great. Here's a picture from this afternoon (Saturday) right before we broke camp around 1pm. Kind of wished we still had our canoe. Also, anyone heading out, bring your own wood. We brought some, but it was pouring rain Friday night so we burned through it a lot faster than we wanted to just trying to stay dry. Fishing was good, we caught a couple trout and had numerous strikes, kids (7 and 9) just couldn't quite seal the deal.
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    We are headed up next week to VCM road leaving Sunday or Monday, any body else headin up? 7/27 coming back 8/1 ish.

    T&J

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    Premium Member denalihunter's Avatar
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    Default Cool!

    Great deal! Can't wait to see some pictures! Have fun!
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