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Thread: Has anyone ever rode the Chickaloon River Trail? I am wanting

  1. #1

    Default Has anyone ever rode the Chickaloon River Trail? I am wanting

    to know any insight on this trail. THis trail is about 40 miles one way. I was told this is by far one of the most scenic trail system in the mat-su valley. There are numerous swinging rope bridges across valleys that you can walk across and alot of sheep and goats in the back mountain valleys. It all sounds great but here is the problem.

    Where is the official trail head? You see it hugs the left side of the chickaloon river before you get to the boulder creek trail. I have always wanted to ride this trail but from what i have been told if you park your vehicle along the one road which turns off and unload your vehicle you will have problems. What problems? Well supposedly some ******* bought land next to this trail and is a granola and wants no traffic, no bike, atvs etc. You leave your vehicle and when you come back from a good days ride you will find your vehicle with broken windows and slashed tires. My understanding is the matsu trail committee is trying to build some sort of easement to this trail and really open this up for us trail riders.

    So what insight can anyone give me on this. Is it worth the trip, was the trail all it was cracked up to be, and did you have any problems with this local guy. My only thought is to take a party up there, unload the vehicles and have a couple people take their machines up to boulder creek and ride while the rest of us ride this trail. My thinking is this way we are in a group, and the vehicles are safetly down the road so nothing could happen.

    What is everyones thoughts on this................................

  2. #2
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    The trail up Chickaloon River never was a motorized vehicle trail. Today people access their cabins on the lower end with ATVs and trucks but this doesn't go very far and is private property. The valley was hunted on horseback by old John Luster years ago. As far as I know a few guides still hunt the valley for sheep.
    The topo maps show a bridge connecting to a trail that goes up Boulder Creek. The bridge was just a couple of small trees lashed together and that was twenty five years ago when I saw that. Last time I hiked in from Boulder the bridge was gone. This old trail was also only a horse trail and pretty hard to follow as it gets lost among wandering game trails. That was several years ago that I was last in there.
    Yes the valley is scenic but the only way up it is on foot. Who ever told you about the numerous swinging rope bridges has never been there. Other than the one place I mentioned the valley is way to wide for rope bridges
    There is no trail head as such. I would always park down at the highway and walk in from there, but that was before the private property signs went up.
    As far as vandalized vehicles, that happens all over the state. There was a post just today about vehicles with windows broken out at one of the trail heads in Chugach State Park. I have had my truck broken into just up the road at Puritan Creek.
    Hope this gives you a little insight and answers a few questions.

  3. #3

    Default Chickaloon Trail -

    I'm not sure if there is more than one CHickaloon trail, but check out this video done by Polaris when they rode their ATV's here in Alaska...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JG_OGkLd3KE

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesyzf@aol.com View Post
    I'm not sure if there is more than one CHickaloon trail, but check out this video done by Polaris when they rode their ATV's here in Alaska...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JG_OGkLd3KE

    Thanks, there is some nice footage of Floating the ever lovely "Six Mile" Creek also.

  5. #5
    Member EagleRiverDee's Avatar
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    The connection from Boulder Creek to the Chickaloon Trail is definitely gone. We have spent the better part of two rides trying to locate it, as it still shows "there" on the maps, and started a thread here where I was informed that the "Jeep Trail" (as noted on the maps) has been overgrown for years.

    There's still plenty of good riding in that area. The trail systems at Kings River, Permanente, Puritan/Boulder, Pinochle, Beringer and Eureka all spread out through all those valleys and those valleys all connect. The Alaska maps show trails in those valleys that connect and I've heard of people riding from Boulder to Eureka but haven't done it myself and suspect it would take many days and quite a few cans of gas.
    "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.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesyzf@aol.com View Post
    I'm not sure if there is more than one CHickaloon trail, but check out this video done by Polaris when they rode their ATV's here in Alaska...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JG_OGkLd3KE

    The trail they are referring to in this video is the old Chickaloon Knik Nelchina trail that ran from Knik to the Gold Mines behind Eureka. The area they are riding in looks like the trail up from where Kings River crosses the Glenn Highway (at about mile 66). They said it's about an hour drive from Anchorage which is about right. The pictures sure look like the country around Young Creek to me.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by matanuska View Post
    The trail up Chickaloon River never was a motorized vehicle trail. Today people access their cabins on the lower end with ATVs and trucks but this doesn't go very far and is private property. The valley was hunted on horseback by old John Luster years ago. As far as I know a few guides still hunt the valley for sheep.
    The topo maps show a bridge connecting to a trail that goes up Boulder Creek. The bridge was just a couple of small trees lashed together and that was twenty five years ago when I saw that. Last time I hiked in from Boulder the bridge was gone. This old trail was also only a horse trail and pretty hard to follow as it gets lost among wandering game trails.
    matanuska is accurate. That "bridge" location is the location of the Ninety Eight Mile Bridge, originally built there in 1898 or so by miners accessing the Nelchina gold fields just a year or two after Lt. Castner led the first known non-Native party up the Matanuska River Valley over the pass in to the Nelchina Basin (with mules, & they caught Hell doing it, too). It has never been much more than a log affair for a horse trail. The old horse trail led east along the bottom of Puddingstone Hill to Boulder Creek, and I've meant to wander in there with my Argo, but like matanuska wrote, it's little more than interconnecting game trails. Rough going to say the least, if possible for an ATV at all, and even if one could make it from Boulder Creek to the Chickaloon River, the bridge is long gone. It's horse country.

  8. #8

    Default great insights by all.

    i appreciate the openess and dialogue on this trail. It helped with alot of answers about this whole system. thanks. just out of wonder has anyone been to the original place the old bridge was at.

  9. #9
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    We went in on the trail several times this spring, and are planning to do some black bear hunting as well. We have been in about 4-4.5 miles and had no major problems other than fallen trees. I would suggest taking a Chain saw, as we have used this every time. At times it can be a little difficult to follow the trail around the 3 mile mark. I only found Private Property signs for the first 2 miles or so, but I suspect that a good portion in private property it's just not posted. The area is beautiful and has lots of wildlife. Well worth the trip. As a side note. we found the individual living in the cabin just prior to the trailhead to not be very Friendly. We were asking for help to find the Chickaloon-Nelchina trail, but he wouldn't tell us were it was located or how to find it. In fact he called a "sick people" because we were looking to do some hunting as well. He said that his people owned everything past Eight mile cabin. I don't know if that true, but he said that if he finds people on his property "There is going to be problems."
    Anyways enjoy the ride and hope this is helpful.

  10. #10
    Member EagleRiverDee's Avatar
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    Pinky-

    The folks out in that area have had a problem with outsiders. There is routine vandalizing, theft, etc. Last year we were riding at Permanente and coming out got stopped by a resident who began interrogating us as to if we had firearms, where we had been riding, etc. Turned out someone on an ATV had shot her dog, on her property, and split. The dog died. So while I was a bit offended at having been physically stopped and treated like a criminal by a local, I can understand their anger. It's unfortunate because the Chickaloon area is a fantastic area to ride in, but it's hard to blame the locals for not caring for outsiders at this point.
    "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.

  11. #11
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    According to the DNR webpage there is a 50 foot 17B easement along an existing trail on the left side of the chickaloon river as your going up the valley. The easement goes through 1 mile of private land before entering public land ie matanuska moose range. If you leave a vehicle along chickaloon river road there is a pretty good chance of it getting fiddled with. Id park in one of the pullouts along the matanuska and go from there to avoid problems. The person in the cabin likes to be very confrontational but he doesnt have a right to exclude you from the easement or the river or from chickaloon river road itself.

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