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Thread: Where to take newb kids riding?

  1. #1
    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    Default Where to take newb kids riding?

    Bought my younger kids a Grizz 125--they're new to riding atv's but have 2-3 years experience on a Arctic Cat 120. Younger boy (7) took to it right away, my daughter (10, almost 11) wasn't too thrilled at first, until she found out it wasn't that scary or difficult...When we had to pack up and go she was ready to ride all day!

    Need to find some places to take them. We're going to hit the gravel pit past Eureka and ride the pit and the trail that parallel's the road back to Eureka Lodge for a piece of pie, but where else can I take them for starters?

    Is Eklutna Lake doable for them on the 125? (One kid riding the other riding on back of my Big Red.)

    Petersville Road? (Are there pullouts to park the motorhome?)

    Klutina Lake Trail? Not the whole way but a few miles where we could drive down the hill to do some fishing/exploring with trespass permits.

    Need some ideas...I've got some time off (2 weeks) after our vacation and before school starts to take them riding/fishing.

    Thanks,
    Tim

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    Member AKMuddy's Avatar
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    Eklutna Lake and petersville road are both very doable for small quads. Eklutna lake is accessible by motorized vehicles from Sunday through Wednesday each week only. Other days none motorized access only. Be careful on Petersville road...it is a road after all. Watch for cars/trucks as well as other vehicles.

    Knik area is good also. The area right beside the bridge on the old Glenn Hwy at the Knik river is great for kids (plenty of open room so you can keep an eye on them) as well as the area before Jim Creek.

    Eklutna would be my first choice. Speed limit is 15mph and you can pack a lunch and ride back to the day camp area and enjoy. Very scenic trail also!!! Just make sure you bring a few bucks for the parking fee.
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    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    I thought Eklutna was doable, but I haven't been there for years. Are there fish in Eklutna Lake?

    Are there any trials around Petersville or do we just ride the road? What about parking the motorhome at Petersville?

    Thanks
    Tim

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    Member AKMuddy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tccak71 View Post
    I thought Eklutna was doable, but I haven't been there for years. Are there fish in Eklutna Lake?

    Are there any trials around Petersville or do we just ride the road? What about parking the motorhome at Petersville?

    Thanks
    Tim
    Plenty of room to park a motor home at Petersville. Most folks use the pull outs a long the road or park and camp at the kroto creek parking lot. I take my 40 foot 5th wheel up there a couple times a year.

    Not sure about fish at Eklutna???
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    If your in Anchorage try Bird creek. For newbie a 7-8. Though the big holes are dry mostly. Its about 6 miles to end with several trails and a few hills, and a couple of HOLES.

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    I agree with AK Muddy regarding Petersville. The road can get pretty busy so you want to be sure your kids understand to stay on the right side of the road and to be very careful around corners or coming over blind hills. You are mostly confined to the dirt road but once you several miles past the forks there's some great scenery and even some marginal water crossings, depending on how far you want to go.

    I think Eureka would be a good spot as well. I would imagine the little grizzly could make it quite a ways down the trail from the gravel pit you mentioned. I don't think any of the water crossings you have to go through really get all that deep (we were just up there this weekend), at least there always appeared to be an easy way around most of the water/mud obstacles. Any sketchy areas may just need a little extra help from Dad. I guess my only concern may be a couple of the hill climbs due to loose rock. It wasn't easy, but I took a Yamaha Blaster from the gravel pit to 4 corners and then back to Eureka lodge. I'm not advocating taking the 125 from 4 corners to Eureka lodge!

    Euklutna is definitely fun and a great place to get your kids used to riding in an area with other traffic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Martin14 View Post
    I agree with AK Muddy regarding Petersville. The road can get pretty busy so you want to be sure your kids understand to stay on the right side of the road and to be very careful around corners or coming over blind hills. You are mostly confined to the dirt road but once you several miles past the forks there's some great scenery and even some marginal water crossings, depending on how far you want to go.

    I think Eureka would be a good spot as well. I would imagine the little grizzly could make it quite a ways down the trail from the gravel pit you mentioned. I don't think any of the water crossings you have to go through really get all that deep (we were just up there this weekend), at least there always appeared to be an easy way around most of the water/mud obstacles. Any sketchy areas may just need a little extra help from Dad. I guess my only concern may be a couple of the hill climbs due to loose rock. It wasn't easy, but I took a Yamaha Blaster from the gravel pit to 4 corners and then back to Eureka lodge. I'm not advocating taking the 125 from 4 corners to Eureka lodge!

    Euklutna is definitely fun and a great place to get your kids used to riding in an area with other traffic.

    Good advice on Petersville.

    I think the 125 could make it to the 4 corners, but the kids would be walking up the hills and waiting I'm sure. It was pretty messy there this weekend. I'll wait till next year until we leave the trail and work on skill building...

    Tim

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    Jim Creek: Plenty of space, but the puddles in the road in can get deep. Also, lots of (high speed) traffic on weekends. For learning, I would suggest starting them out on the gravel by the Knik River bridge instead.

    Sutton/Jonesville: Large quarry and gravel roads good for learning. Buffalo Mine trail starts getting muddy a few miles in--how high are the air and CVT intakes on your 125?

    Belanger Pass: About 5 miles this side of Eureka. It's a mining road that goes back about 12 miles. With the exception of the last few miles (after you return back to Alfred Creek from the hill), the puddles and stream crossings are not very deep. See my recent writeup on the alaskaatvclub website.

    Eureka: I think getting a kid ATV back to Monument might be challenging. There are quite a few puddles, some rutted areas, and some rather large rocks to ride on, which might not be very conducive to riding a smaller 2WD ATV on. However, there are plenty of trails paralleling the highway which could be good to learn on, as well as several quarry areas.

    Eklutna and Petersville Road: As already discussed, very good for a smaller ATV.

    Kings River: Particularly if you stick to the dirt road (the first 3 miles of the trail), very easy riding for kids.

    If you're going to make it a multi-day event, there are a bunch of easy trails and dirt roads around the midpoint of the Denali Hwy, where it crosses the Susitna River.

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    For a nice easy day trip I would second Bird Creek. Not many people to worry about and some pretty decent riding close to Anchorage
    Tomorrow isn't promised. "Never delay kissing a pretty girl or opening a bottle of whiskey." E. Hemingway

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    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjm316 View Post
    For a nice easy day trip I would second Bird Creek. Not many people to worry about and some pretty decent riding close to Anchorage
    At Bird Creek, are you guys talking about leaving from the campground?

    Tim

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    Quote Originally Posted by sr12345 View Post
    Jim Creek: Plenty of space, but the puddles in the road in can get deep. Also, lots of (high speed) traffic on weekends. For learning, I would suggest starting them out on the gravel by the Knik River bridge instead.

    Sutton/Jonesville: Large quarry and gravel roads good for learning. Buffalo Mine trail starts getting muddy a few miles in--how high are the air and CVT intakes on your 125?

    Belanger Pass: About 5 miles this side of Eureka. It's a mining road that goes back about 12 miles. With the exception of the last few miles (after you return back to Alfred Creek from the hill), the puddles and stream crossings are not very deep. See my recent writeup on the alaskaatvclub website.

    Eureka: I think getting a kid ATV back to Monument might be challenging. There are quite a few puddles, some rutted areas, and some rather large rocks to ride on, which might not be very conducive to riding a smaller 2WD ATV on. However, there are plenty of trails paralleling the highway which could be good to learn on, as well as several quarry areas.

    Eklutna and Petersville Road: As already discussed, very good for a smaller ATV.

    Kings River: Particularly if you stick to the dirt road (the first 3 miles of the trail), very easy riding for kids.

    If you're going to make it a multi-day event, there are a bunch of easy trails and dirt roads around the midpoint of the Denali Hwy, where it crosses the Susitna River.
    Is Belanger Pass the trail that leads to all the cabins about 5 miles before Eureka?

    Is it possible to camp at Sutton/Jonesville? I haven't been there in years and don't remember it...

    Tim

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    Belanger Pass. You turn off the Glenn towards all those cabins. The dirt road goes back for about half a mile, before you see a sign directing you to the left for Belanger Pass (the trail towards all those cabins is marked something like "Private subdevelopment". As you look from the Glenn, you can see the Belanger Pass trail going up over the mountain.

    There is parking at the trailhead. If you have a particularly large vehicle (such as a motorhome pulling a large trailer), there is a paved pull-off about 3/4 of a mile west of the dirt road.

    Jonesville: The "hub" of this riding area is a large former mine site--it looks like a very large quarry--a large clearing with no vegetation. There are plently of places to camp, particularly along the treeline. From this clearing, heading west is the Buffalo Mine trail. Heading north is a wide dirt road heading up hill towards another mining area. Heading northeast are more dirt roads and trails, which will eventually take you to Eska Falls (the roads are good for youth ATVs, the Eska Falls trails aren't).

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    No the bird creek trail is not at the campground. Its a bit further down the hwy. You turn at the Bird House or Bird creek auto repair shop and follow that dirt road for a little ways then there is a parking area. Any other questions shoot me a PM
    Tomorrow isn't promised. "Never delay kissing a pretty girl or opening a bottle of whiskey." E. Hemingway

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    Quote Originally Posted by sr12345 View Post
    Jim Creek: Plenty of space, but the puddles in the road in can get deep. Also, lots of (high speed) traffic on weekends. For learning, I would suggest starting them out on the gravel by the Knik River bridge instead.

    Eureka: I think getting a kid ATV back to Monument might be challenging. There are quite a few puddles, some rutted areas, and some rather large rocks to ride on, which might not be very conducive to riding a smaller 2WD ATV on. However, there are plenty of trails paralleling the highway which could be good to learn on, as well as several quarry areas.

    Petersville Road: As already discussed, very good for a smaller ATV.
    Last year, we took my 7 & 9 year old daughters to Monument on their 80 & 90 CC ATVs. It is a challenge, but it can be done. However, it isn't really practical due to their low clearance and lack of power for the hills. It's very easy to hit a rock and damage parts.

    We also took them back to the glacier past Jim Creek on the same ATVs. Again, it's challenging, but possible when the water is low.

    Those same ATVs made it 30 miles back on Petersville Road. However, the kids didn't ride the entire time. They wear out before the ATVs do.

    You can camp in Sutton off Jonesville Road near Slipper Lake. Once the road turns to dirt, take either the first or second left. These roads make a loop around the lake and there is plenty of space to park/camp. Watch for nails from people burning pallets. As mentioned previously, avoid Eska Falls trails. There are plenty of other trails out there suitable for youth ATVs though.

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