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Thread: Jim Creek or Hatcher's Pass?

  1. #1
    Member ChuckD's Avatar
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    Default Jim Creek or Hatcher's Pass?

    We've been here a year and never been atv'ing up here.
    We have a friends 2 atv's for the day next Thursday.
    Have the outlaws coming up and would look to take the rv and tow the atv's somewhere to for a nice day out riding and a few bevvies.
    I have NO idea what's out there, or where, or if it's
    RV (29ft) accessible, and have seen Jim Creek and Hatcher's Pass mentioned alot. Iv'e heard Jim Creek to the glacier is cool and read that Hatcher's Pass is really nice.
    Any info with specifics concerning access would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanx.

  2. #2

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    I'd go to the Willow side of Hatchers Pass, not near as many people and the riding is very good. Lots of places to camp along the road once you hit the dirt section.

  3. #3
    Member ChuckD's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks AKHunter45.

    Sounds like what we are looking for. Easy access, not many people and fun riding!

  4. #4

    Default Hatchers Pass is great

    but the trails may be to tough for newbies on wheelers. If there is ATV experience along go for it.
    If a newbie trip I would vote for Jims Creek.
    Either way, helmets for all and do it safe. Hauling out someone who is injured tends to ruin the day.
    Mike
    Last edited by Mike Echo; 07-06-2009 at 12:43. Reason: Added thought (who said I never had one???)
    Mike
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    There is a faster way off the mountain, might hurt a little though.

  5. #5
    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    Default

    +1 for what Mike said. Hatchers is a nice ride and beautiful country, but inexperienced riders will have some challenges (steep climbs mainly). Jim creek will have more people riding (maybe not on a Thursday...), but it is a great ride for beginners and the trip to the glacier is a lot of fun.

    The Eklutna lake trail is also a nice day trip as well with good parking for RV's.


    Actually....forget Eklutna on a Thursday.... It is only open to ATV's Sun-Wed.
    AKmud
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  6. #6
    Member mit's Avatar
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    Default

    There is no s on the end of Hatcher.
    Tim

  7. #7
    Member ChuckD's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks. Yes we're noobs and just looking for a fun easy time.
    How far is the glacier? Is the trail marked? I'd hate to get turned around somehow and get lost.
    I've only driven by Jim's creek, never stopped. Is there easy access for an rv for the day? I think I recall only dirt rd turnoffs. Is there a mile marker for the start?
    Sorry for the ?'s.
    Geez I hate being a noob.

  8. #8

    Default But we all were

    The glacier is a 45 mile round trip from the Pavillion. The trail is the wide gravel bar of the Knik River (over a half mile wide most of the way) with a real trail only through Wolf Point (10 or 12 mile out). DNR has some maps at knikriver.alaska.gov that might give you the idea. The Knik is rising, making some of the creek crossings deep right now but watch someone else cross and learn from them. If you never get past Jim Creek (first creek crossing) because it looks to deep you can still have a lot of fun out there.
    Mike
    Mike
    www.alaskaatvclub.org
    There is a faster way off the mountain, might hurt a little though.

  9. #9
    Member Torg84's Avatar
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    Default Waders

    If you have them I would wear waders. They come in very handy for the water crossings. Especially if you are unsure of the water depth. If you have waders you can walk through the water first to check the depth.

  10. #10
    Member EricL's Avatar
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    Not sure of the ages of riders especially the newbies. If you do the glacier run, take alot of breaks. Its amazing how much more fun new folks have if they don't go home all beat up and sore. 45 miles is nothing for guys who have been riding but for a first timer, its a long ways. I would suggest Jim Creek instead of Hatcher for new riders like most of the guys on here have said.
    EricL

  11. #11
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    Ok, I'm a newbie too and I was reading the trooper report and caught this and wondered if there were only certain river beds that are forbidden for riding?

    Palmer/Little Susitna River

    Case number: 09-088

    Type: ATV Operation in Anadromous Stream

    Text: On 6-27-09 at 0750 hours Alaska State Park Rangers contacted Allen
    Ray Hill (age 25 / Wasilla) camping along the Little Susitna River.
    Investigation revealed that Hill operated an ATV within the river bed.
    Hill was issued a misdemeanor summons to appear at Palmer District
    Court.

    Author: KTH0R
    Received Monday, July 06, 2009 7:06 AM and posted Monday, July 06, 2009 7:56 AM

  12. #12
    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    Mike Echo would be better to answer your question, but I think Jim creek is exempt since it is such a high traffic area and the fish spawn further upstream anyway.
    AKmud
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    The porcupine is a peacful animal yet God still thought it necessary to give him quills....

  13. #13

    Default creek crossing

    here's a list of creeks you can cross.
    jim creek is o.k.
    http://www.habitat.adfg.alaska.gov/gpvehstreamxings.php

  14. #14
    Member AKsoldier's Avatar
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    Default

    If you plan to go to the glacier, do some research, get a map and make sure you have a good idea of the route. There are trails everywhere out there and it's easy to get lost. Once into the woods trail en route to wolf point, it's easy enough to find your way back onto the flat by following the most heavily traveled trail, but watch for the mud holes. There are a couple that can swallow a wheeler and you could be there for a while. If you can find someone who knows the area to play guide you'll have a lot more fun. Even if you don't make it all the way to the glacier though, it's an awesome place to ride with beautiful views, excellent trails and often some wildlife viewing opportunities. I've been to the glacier and back at least a dozen times and I never get bored of it. Have fun!

    The other 299,300,000 people can have it.

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  15. #15

    Default

    Be careful riding out at Jim's Creek if that is where you decide to go, with this heat the glacier will be melting pretty good and the water level will rise. I've always found that if you wanted to ride to the glacier that it was best to ride in the spring or late fall. I don't think i'd want to camp out there but if stay near the bridge I think you'd enjoy that more.

  16. #16

    Default

    If you are looking for a quiet place to stay Knik is not it. Yes the dunes and the ride to the Glacier are fun, but the crowds can be a turn off. As a couple of others have stated, crossing the creeks right now could present some challenges, which drastically shrinks your riding area. There are some easy trails off the Willow side of Hatcher's (the 's shows ownership). You might also look at going a little further up the Glen to Sutton. For an easy and beautiful ride there are lots of trails to check out and you can camp right next to the lake. If you like to fish you could find the trail to Wishbone Lake which has some great fishing, but is catch and release. The trail to Eska Falls is fantastic, but can be challenging with some hill climbs and mud (the mud holes are very small right now compared to most other times). In any case there are options other than Willow and Knik.

  17. #17

    Default The stream crossing permit

    for the Knik River PUA is from high water line to high water line of the Knik. You can cross any of the creeks that feed into Knik River anywhere along the gravel/flat river bar. This only covers crossing the creeks, playing in the water will still get you a ticket.
    Sutton is a player for you but I can't recommend Eska Falls Trails for beginners. On all our club rides this trail has accounted for more rollovers, flops, endos and injuries than any other trail. There are other trails in Sutton (from Slipper Lake area actually) to run as well as the large open area. You can get to Buffalo Mine Rd, Wishbone Lake from there.
    Mike
    Mike
    www.alaskaatvclub.org
    There is a faster way off the mountain, might hurt a little though.

  18. #18
    Member EagleRiverDee's Avatar
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    Default

    True that Eska Falls is too technical for beginners but the adjacent Buffalo Mine area was really easy riding. Big wide trails, nothing too steep. That might be a good place to take them.
    "If snowmachiners would adopt the habits of riding one at a time and not parking at the base of avalanche prone slopes, the number of fatalities would likely be whittled by at least a third, if not by half." ~ Jill Fredston, in the book Snowstruck, In The Grip Of Avalanches.

  19. #19
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    Default Eska Falls

    I rode the Eska Falls trail about 8 weeks ago with a good friend of mine and my wife. My friend and I's experience level I would rate as very experienced. My wife has ridden for quite a while but nothing to technical. There is some very steep trails going up and down all the way back there. Loose footing and rocks. This was just after break up so we did encounter some pockets of snow and of course2 areas of deep mud that required leap frogging thru it. My wife and I were both riding Polaris Sportsman 400's and kept them in low for the steep sections and made a commitment to full throttle. My wife hung in there like a champ and the end view and scenery are amazing and worth it. Had she had known how steep some of the sections were she would have skipped it. I would not recommend for a first timer and I am not sure how anxious I am to go back either. There is several sections that require leaning full foward to keep the front wheels on the ground.

  20. #20
    Member EagleRiverDee's Avatar
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    Had a friend that did Eska falls this weekend (Saturday) and he said it was the easiest he's ever seen it. The mudholes were easy to get across, the hills were no problem. The dry weather did wonders for that trail.
    "If snowmachiners would adopt the habits of riding one at a time and not parking at the base of avalanche prone slopes, the number of fatalities would likely be whittled by at least a third, if not by half." ~ Jill Fredston, in the book Snowstruck, In The Grip Of Avalanches.

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