This is the Nancy Lake State Recreation Area Winter Recreation conditions update for Thursday, January 7, 2010
Nancy Lake State Recreational Area will return to a Restricted Opening Status for snow vehicle use effective 2400h (12 Midnight) Sunday January 10, 2010. 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 will be barricades on the Nancy Lake Parkway at the intersection of the new trail to indicate where access is authorized. Motorized Access will also be allowed along the Lynx Lake Road on the East side of the area. No other motorized access in the area is authorized after this time, and violators will be cited until we receive sufficient snow to open up the area to all motorized snow vehicle use. Please spread the word to all potential users, and stay on the established trails at all times until the partial closure takes place. Please use care when traveling on wetland areas, as we must protect the underlying vegetation.
We have received 1-2” of new snow this last week and Average Snowpack in the area is down to 12”. Due to rain and sublimation of the snowpack, we are well below the 1.5” of Snow Water Equivalency needed to keep the area open to general snow vehicle use. The National Weather Service forecast for the Susitna Valley can be seen here: http://www.arh.noaa.gov/wmofcst.php?wmo=FPAK51PAFC&type=public.
There is a Fee Station at the Winter Trailhead located at Mile 2.2 of the 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 2010 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, Parks staff, REI, AMH or the Sportsman’s Warehouse.
The recreation area’s gently rolling terrain, forested hills and open swamps make for ideal Classic technique cross country skiing conditions. There are nearly 10 miles of trail maintained strictly for skiing, plus over 30 miles of other multi-use trails in the recreation area. The ski trails, which begin across the Parkway from the Winter Trailhead, are located in the non-motorized area north of the Nancy Lake Parkway. This 9.7 mile trail consists of three interconnected loops. The Parkway and Jano Pond Loops have been packed, but no tracks have yet been set. The Rhein Lake loop still has to be cleaned up and will be worked on in the future. The snow cover is thin but there is not a danger to your ski equipment from the underlying vegetation.
Parkway Loop is a 3.0 mile (4.7 km) trail through hilly, forested terrain. This trail begins and ends at the Winter Trailhead.
Jano Pond Loop is a 3.6 mile (5.6 km) trail that leaves the Parkway Loop Trail about 1.8 miles out. If skied together, the total distance is 6.6 miles (10.7 km). The terrain on this trail is gentle hills and frozen, open swamps.
The Lakes and waters of the park have frozen over. Please be cautious and use good judgment before traveling on the ice. Overflow is a concern on many of the lakes as the weight of the snow and ice pushes down and 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.