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Thread: Anyone take ATVs up Chistochina Trail into Unit 13C?

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    Member jmg's Avatar
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    Default Anyone take ATVs up Chistochina Trail into Unit 13C?

    I drew an any bull tag for unit 13C in the Chistochina drainage. I've been doing some research with various map sources as well as talking with the biologist in Glenallen about the area. Haven't had a chance to get there and scout it out yet, but am hoping to in the next few weeks. The obvious trail going into the area is the Chistochina trail, but the biologist thought that trail might be a tough go with an ATV. Anybody have experience doing this and can comment on getting in this way? I am also looking at a number of other easement trails that might be more promising, but crossing water may be an issue. The biologist also though getting in through Paxson would be a possibility if I could find a place to cross the Gakona river. My recollection is that the Gakona is pretty big water though, no? Any comments on that?

    If anyone has this tag, I would love to discuss the area with you and possibly swap ideas. My hunting partner may have to cancel on me as well due to some last minute family issues, so if anyone is looking . . . otherwise it'll be a solo trip in.
    Never count your days, but rather, make all of your days count.

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    It has been quite a few years since I have gone in there but the main trail used to be very doable on a wheeler. We used to take Suzuki King(300) and Queen(250) Quads in. The last time I was in there was about 6 years ago and it was very wet but still ok for a wheeler. They used to say there were 3 definate swamps, but I can only clearly recall about one 15 mile long swamp. It was 26 miles to our base camp area and it was 6-10 hours depending upon conditions.

    Hope this helps.
    It is nice to know that there are "ALASKANS" out there, no matter where they live.

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    Member Chisana's Avatar
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    Not a great option for four wheelers. Very difficult access.

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    Thanks for the replies, both here and in PM - very helpful stuff.
    Never count your days, but rather, make all of your days count.

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    I also was their around the same time as Father of two. Lots of four wheelers in their. Doable for sure. I had heard that parking and a few other things have changed from the natives. Can anyone comment on that. Its just hear say on my end.

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    I would talk to the Hoffmans. They run the Tastefreeze or Freeze in Glenallen. Russ has worked a claim in that area for nearly 35 years. They know the country and probably know more trails and access points than anybody.
    Sincerely,
    Thomas

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    Member mod elan's Avatar
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    Russ doesn't use the chisto trail in the summer. Not sure if he even uses it in the winter anymore. The summer trail he uses is the Slana river and with this years rain the wheelers are out of luck to access this hunt by the Slana river route. The trucks will be lucky to make it.

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    Member jmg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mod elan View Post
    Russ doesn't use the chisto trail in the summer. Not sure if he even uses it in the winter anymore. The summer trail he uses is the Slana river and with this years rain the wheelers are out of luck to access this hunt by the Slana river route. The trucks will be lucky to make it.

    From what I've heard so far, it sounds like the amount of rain in the area this year will make it interesting no matter which route is taken.
    Never count your days, but rather, make all of your days count.

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    Used to hunt off the trail for years before it went to a 4 brow tine rule. Most of the time 3 out of 4 hunters would score on moose then when the 4 brow tine rule went into effect our odds went to almost zero.
    Anyhow, very doable in a wheeler but make sure you have good tires and at least one other partner, and perferably two because you will get seriously stuck at some point. Some years it would take us 16 hours to get back to mile 25. First mile then you hit a serious mud hole, then all is ok for a couple of miles until you hit the swamps. The hill with the clay road is fun. Combination of swamps and muddy, twisted, torn up trails until you get to about mile 19 then it is fairly easy to get to the crossroads at about mile 25.

    Every wheeler should have a winch. And meat wagons should have the ability to have a winch hook connected to them somewhere so they can be disconnected, wheeler pulled through, and then winch out the meat wagon. Last trip in there my friend took a tracked Argo and it was amazing. He had to go slow but he bascially never got stuck.
    With all this rain so far this year you couldnt get me back there again unless August is super dry.
    Tennessee

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    Default chistochina

    is this the trail that starts right by the river? do you have to cross the chistochina at some point or just parallel it?

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    It runs parallel to it but for most the trip you will not see the river. The trail is off to the side by a wide margin. Good caribou hunting (if you have the tag) till about the first of Sept then they split for other areas.
    Tennessee

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    Don't do it! That trail will eat your wheeler. I ride a 500 Arctic Cat with 589's and a 2500 lb winch. I will never go back there.

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    Member jmg's Avatar
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    jkb, his son-in-law and I rode in the Chisto trail this weekend. It was very, very wet. We hit the famous hole at mile 1 and jkb instantly dropped in. Once we got it out, we figured out that if we walked our atv's across, we got through without too much problem. It was at least about knee deep in there. Lots of water in the area. It took us a few hours I think to get in, but once we had it figured out, it only took us about 45 minutes to get back out. jkb's bike was having heating problems, so we didn't push too far. A great riding experience for me for sure. Several spots of getting stuck and pulling out. After watching jkb's son-in-law get seriously stuck at our turn-around point, and finally getting him out, I proceeded to back into a big hole that was covered in grass, and roll my bike as I flew off into the water hole. All in all a great time.

    Our conclusion was that the trail was pretty doable with just atv's. With the weight of camp, and possibly the weight of a moose or two - probably not so much. Also, we were pretty much the first group in there this year. After a dozen other groups get in there and mess up the trail a bit, I imagine it will get much more difficult.
    Never count your days, but rather, make all of your days count.

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    How was the Gakona crossing?

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    Quote Originally Posted by junkak View Post
    How was the Gakona crossing?

    We did not cross the Gakona. That river is further west. We went in right at the Chisto, and then a couple of other trails in the area. I can tell you this though - there was a ton of water everywhere in that area. I imagine getting across the Gakona - or any other river of decent size in that area - would be a tough chore this year due to the amount of water around.
    Never count your days, but rather, make all of your days count.

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    Gotcha..

    We hit 13c every year and occasionally wonder back to the Chisto drainage via the Paxson area.

    There have been times the Gakona looks uncrossable but usually can always find a path within the braids.

    Good luck on your hunt!

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    This thread is obviously several years old - but was anyone in on the Chistochina Trail in 2016? Are there any track rigs in there running around?

    I've been hunting on the Rex Trail for years and years, but now that we're back up to two rigs, I'd like to go exploring new areas. I have about three or four areas I want to go explore. I want to do it during moose season of course, but mainly going to look around. The elevation is higher there than the Rex, does snow get to be a problem by the end of the season?

    Thanks,

    Bill

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    It has been several years since we have been on this trail. During a 'dry' year it is not too bad. However if it has been a wet year, the first part can be a challenge! The neighbors going there every year with six wheelers. While they do ok hunting, they do get a work out I the swamps. This is one area that I would make sure that you have two or three machines going in.

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    My dad knew guys who went in on track rigs back in the 70's and 80's. From what they told him it was a rough ride in.

    Does anyone know if they take boats up the Chistochina? It looks somewhat braided from Google Earth.

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    Not enough water & too braided to make it very far in a boat.

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