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Thread: Pinochle trail

  1. #1

    Default Pinochle trail

    I wanted to post a short report about our ride on the Pinochle trail. Water_Gremilin and I rode it this past Saturday and got an early start. We were at the trailhead by about 9 am and riding by 9:20. Trail was in pretty good shape and even the hill wasn't bad.
    A little bit of mud here and there, mostly by the lake and some rocky sections of trail farther in. We rode about 28 miles in and the day just kept getting better and better. We saw about 20 caribou with some good bulls spotted, a few moose, a grizz and some sheep way off in the distance.
    The ride out was quicker than going in and we didn't spot nearly as much game. Rode up the steep hill and made it to within 20-30 feet of the top when we hit a pretty deep rut that stopped us in our tracks. A little careful manuvering and up the hill we went. Got back to the truck around 6pm and were back on the road by 6:30. This is by far one of the most beautiful rides i've ever been on and i'm looking forward to riding there again real soon. Forgot my camera so I don't have any pics.

  2. #2
    Member EagleRiverDee's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks for the update. We're planning on riding Pinochle soon, perhaps next weekend. I'm upgrading from my stock tires to 589's and expect to see a big improvement over the last time we rode Pinochle.

    "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.

  3. #3

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    Keep it in low going down the steep hill and you should be fine. Going across the top before the hill kinda sucked with all the rutted trails and driving about 3 mph but that was the worst part of the trip. How far are you planning on going in?

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    Default Did you cross the Caribou?

    It's been a while, so therefore I have to ask the question, did you go far enough to cross the Caribou? there would have been a couple of 500-1000 gallon fuel tanks, a 12" IR Pump with a diesel driver and a large sluice sitting on the banks. Across from that there would have been a shack and an old airstrip. From there you could have made a steep climb upon the bluff and a few miles further dropped down into another drainage. Did you go that far?

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    Quote Originally Posted by AkHunter45 View Post
    Keep it in low going down the steep hill and you should be fine. Going across the top before the hill kinda sucked with all the rutted trails and driving about 3 mph but that was the worst part of the trip. How far are you planning on going in?
    Our goal is to check out the Boulder Creek connection and Chitna pass and see what it looks like from that side. We're eventually thinking of trying the complete loop from Pinochle to Boulder but want to check out both sides first. We've been all the way back on the Boulder side but not up into the pass yet. Pinochle the furthest back we've been previously is on the bluff overlooking the connections of the Boulder Creek, Alfred Creek and Pinochle trails. We'd also eventually like to do Alfred Creek back to Beringer Pass. We've come in on the Beringer side as far as the mine but turned around because we couldn't find the continuation past that. If we come back from Alfred Creek we should be able to poke our way all the way through.
    "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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    There really isnt a good way from the Belanger pass trail to the Pinochle trail, regardless of what the map shows. Alfred creek turns into a narrow canyon, as does Caribou just upstream of the cabin where the Alfred creek trail meets Caribou creek. I may have missed something though. I've done the Chitna pass loop on snowmachines, as I recall, dropping down into Boulder creek was pretty steep.
    I would like to try and get to Horsepasture Pass from Caribou creek on wheelers sometime. I'm not sure its possible though.

  7. #7

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    Rockhound, we did pass the large fuel tanks, went passed the camp, and up the hill that over looked the next drainage. That is where we turned around. One of these days I want to make a weekend trip and push farther down the trail. With binocs you can see a trail that heads atleast another 5 miles up the next drainage, which would put it very close to horsepasture.

    This was really neat, you can see where the bears have been putting their paws on the ambulance.


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    Default Yep,thats it

    I was meaning over the years to get back up there and check out the sluice, maybe a flake or two got away. We did drop into the next drainage and played around a little bit. I talked to the guys at Hartley's Motors at the time and they did say you could make it into the Horse Pastures, or at least the Eureka area, not sure about the details after all this time. Congrats, most who go in there really do not make it that far into the next drainage. Did you see the nice little cabin with the metal roof about 60% of the way in, before crossing the caribou? On a steep hillside, would have been on your right side of the trail heading in. Lot of work went into putting that up, that far back.

  9. #9

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    If it's the cabin just below the airstrip we did see it, we also saw what appeared to me, to be another cabin on the other side of the creek but it was destroyed. Water levels in Caribou Creek are low and one could probably ride it quite a ways but we didn't try it.
    I might be going back in next week but it depends on the upcoming rain storms headed our way.

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    Default cabin

    Nope, I'm thinking of the cabin on the right side of the trail, as you climb up the mountain 2-4 miles before you drop down to cross Caribou Creek. It's sitting on a really steep slope. Just past that was a shack and lots of trash and stuff laying around, maybe where the ambulance was? It's been a while since I was in there. I was curious as to how they got the material out there, most likely in the winter. Too bad you did not drop down into the other drainage, there's a steep trail cut into the side of the bluff that was a little rough near the bottom. I always wondered how they cut that narrow trail, maybe just erosion over the years and sparse traffic have let it get that way? I love the picture of the ambulance with the bear paw marks, thats a first for me! By the way, was the sluice still there with the fuel tanks? What about the pump?

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    The sluice and fuel tanks are still there. I drove my wheeler up in the sluice last year. I know several locals that would love to pull those tanks out of there too! I've been up Mazuma creek to the pass looking into the headwaters of the Little Nelchina, but no further than that, on snowmachines. I still hope to get there on wheelers this year. I'm rapidly running out of time though.

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    Default sluice

    Too cool! I would love to go through the riffles and clean them out, you never know! Maybe this weekend I can get up there and play around!

  13. #13

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    That was the cabin we saw, perched on the side of the hill going up the trail just after the airstrip on the right side. We've got some heavy rains headed our way and i'm guessing Caribou Creek will be raging by Monday if not sooner.

  14. #14

  15. #15

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    They are in for a real treat trying to get back up that hill in big rigs, especially with the rain that we are suppose to get. I suspect that they are going to really tear it up and make it worse, hopefully they are not going this weekend.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AkHunter45 View Post
    They are in for a real treat trying to get back up that hill in big rigs, especially with the rain that we are suppose to get. I suspect that they are going to really tear it up and make it worse, hopefully they are not going this weekend.
    Not to mention atv's will have a ***** of a time following their tracks, so will be forced to side-step the trail.
    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

  17. #17

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    We've got plans to go in there on Monday with a trailer and the plan is to winch all the way up Hell Hill. I am going to ride up it and help my partner winch everything up.

  18. #18
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    Our plan is to be in there on Sunday.
    "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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    Are you camping or just going in for a day ride?

  20. #20
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    Day ride only. Our goal is to make it back to the end of the trail and see where it goes from there- I know it connects up to a half dozen trails back there. We're particularly interested in looking at Chitna pass but that ambulance looks like something I'd like to take a look at also. It never ceases to amaze me at what people have been able to get back into the middle of nowhere.
    "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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