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Thread: Where to build the cabin? Dream spot?

  1. #1
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    Default Where to build the cabin? Dream spot?

    Moving up to Alaska in a few years and am starting to search for property to build a cabin in great backcountry ski terrain. Anywhere in Alaska. Here is the list of what I am looking for, if you could head me in the right directions I would appreciate it.

    Access by snowmobile only or on snow pack near a plowed road.
    Off the grid, up to 50 miles back.
    Away from heli or cat operations as well heavy snowmobile use riding areas.
    Big annual snowfall area.
    Below and above timberline terrain.

    Basically a dream spot for my wife and I Jan. 15 to April 15th.

    Where should I start looking? Is this even possible. Are miining claims available. etc...

    Thanks for the advice.

  2. #2

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    Do you have a price range...............???

  3. #3
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    As little as possible of course, but something under $25,000 would be about the limit. If it was spectacular and all the above maybe up to $50,000. That would be pushing it though. Ideal is a mining claim or similar that only looks good when there is 5-8' ft of snowpack on the ground and cost $8,000 and the owner was just excited to get it sold. This would be a winter only spot for the most part.

  4. #4
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I think you'll find that most mountainous areas fall into either state or federal parkland. Mining claims that were patented and are being sold are going to have structures on them and will generally be outside of your price range.

    If it's within 50 miles of a road and can be accessed by snowmobile, and it's nice terrain, you aren't going to have it to yourself.

  5. #5

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    I would start with Skwentna. Lots of 5 acre pieces out there. River access most of the year[snowmachine or boat] great state maintained year round airstrip otherwise. I haven't checked real estate prices out there in a few years but it was running about $2000 a acre and since the moose season is apparently closed forever I suspect demand is low.

  6. #6
    Member hooternanny's Avatar
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    Default yes

    what paul said

  7. #7
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    Default look in the Chugach Range or Kenai Mts or Haines

    Assuming you mean AT or tele; AK land settlement is very different than the Lower 48...just narrow corridors of land thru massive acreages of public lands (think the reverse of the Lower 48). Few spidery networks of rural roads and logging roads everywhere, and if you get away from population centers even fewer utilities on these corridors. Therefore there can be lots of competition for great spots, as they are fairly infrequent, or lots of marginal opportunities. If you do live in a true AK backcountry setting, you'll spend lots/most of your time maintaining your place, which may include small engine mechanics, generator maintenance, snow removal, water hauling, and wood heating. But in January you won't have more than 6-7 hours of daylight, so you'll have lots of time!

    Back to the where to ski, I've been doing the tele thing for 25 years up here and I'd look to the roads that pierce the Chugach/Kenai Mts. on the Kenai Peninsula (basically Seward Hwy. or Sterling Hwy.) or Richardson Hwy. where it pierces the Chugach at Thompson Pass, or Haines. Everything north of these areas are interior snowpacks, and either don't get much snow, or are TG farms with windcrust (although variable conditions do exist, and there may be some micro-ranges I'm not aware of!).

    Assume you're going to drive to the best skiing; almost no one lives where they can AT/tele ski out the back door because it largely doesn't exist. Someplace like Moose Pass or Cooper Landing on the Kenai will give you options within a half hour drive. I'd also recommend considering looking in Valdez; they have sick amounts of snow at sea level (10-20 feet/year on the ground), it's an incrediblely beautiful location with views comparable to the Swiss Alps (except you get the Alyeska Pipeline Terminal across the bay instead of Heidi and her cow, but the peaks dwarf even that monstrosity), and they have lots of good municipal services because the tax the **** out of the pipeline co. Then you're a half hour drive from some of the best skiing in the world.

    Hatcher Pass north of Palmer used to be a BC tele ski destination of choice, but since climate change has kicked in, the skiing has really been marginal (since about '96). Aint' like it used to be, which was awesome.

    Heard lots of good things about Haines, as you got the whole road to the Yukon to ski off of, and they are actually considered to be the banana belt of SE AK, with the least amount of rain.

    If BC skiing to you doesn't involve skins, tooling thru the woods, etc. you've got lots of opportunities, but look out for the snowmaggots--this place is dominated by oil co. personnel and military (nothing personal agin em) that love to snowmachine, and they're overrun much of the best rec spots in the state. You'll have to compete a bit with them out of Valdez, but fortunately there's so much snow, so much terrain, and it's far from the population centers you'll do OK. The Kenai Pen. fortunately is mostly managed by the Chugach National Forest (although they've still opened most to snowmaggots) but you can find a fair bit of unthrashed country. And north of Anchorage is just a free fire zone for the motorista's...the usual death rate for them throughout the railbelt is about 1/week. Sometimes it's nice to have a little civilization to keep the motorheads at bay!

  8. #8
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    Default

    I would look at Seldovia, tons of great skiing available, especially if you have a boat. Just have to get lucky and find someone selling one of the few parcels of private land out there.

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