Hello State Parks users, this is the Willow Area Winter Recreation conditions update for Friday, December 11, 2009

Nancy Lake State Recreational Area has received sufficient snowfall to allow a limited snow vehicle access to Red Shirt Lake along the newly improved East Red Shirt Lake/Chicken Lake trail. We have received 2” of new snow this last week and Average Snowpack in the area is 11”. The National Weather Service is forecasting it to be cold and mostly clear until early next week when we should expect new snowfall. http://www.arh.noaa.gov/wmofcst.php?wmo=FPAK51PAFC&type=public

Motorized access is allowed from the Winter Trail Head at mile 2.2 of the Nancy Lake Parkway, past the closed winter gate, and upon the Nancy Lake Parkway to the East Red Shirt Lake/Chicken Lake trail to Red Shirt Lake. There are Barricades on the Nancy Lake Parkway at the intersection of the new trail to indicate where access is authorized. Reflective markers have been placed along the Nancy Lake Parkway and the Red Shirt Lake ends of the trail. No other motorized access in the area is authorized at this time, and violators will be cited until we receive sufficient snow to open up the area to all motorized snow vehicle use.

The winter gates at Mile 2.2 of Nancy Lake Parkway in the Nancy Lake State Recreation Area and at the campground at Willow Creek State Recreation are closed and locked. There is a Fee Station at the Winter Trailhead at Mile 2.2 of Nancy Lake Parkway, and all users parking in Nancy Lake SRA should either have a Cabin rental receipt in their windshield, a receipt from a $5 Fee Station payment, or a 2009 Alaska State Parks Day Use parking pass sticker. The 2010 pass is now available and can be purchased online at https://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/Passes.cfm or from the Public Information Center in Anchorage, State Park offices, Park staff, REI, AMH or the Sportsman’s Warehouse.

Grooming on the Ski Trail and the Canoe Trail systems has not yet begun due to insufficient snow cover for general motorized use in the area. The tour skiing is very nice at this time, so get out and enjoy it!!!

The Lakes and waters of the park have frozen over. Please be cautious and use good judgment before traveling on the ice. Overflow is now a concern on many of the lakes as the weight of the snow and ice pushes down and the water settles on top of the ice. Ice thickness can vary significantly within a lake or an area, due to flowing water, heat from geothermal activity or heat from decomposing organic matter. Alaska State Parks will make no statements as to the safety of the ice. Again, please use good judgment before traveling on the ice.
For information on Public Use Cabin availability in Nancy Lake or Denali, please call 907-745-3975 or check online at www.alaskastateparks.org. To check our recorded hotline, please call 907-761-3786

Please pack out any trash, use facilities responsibly, and recreate safely.

This message will be updated weekly or as conditions change.