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Thread: Diamond Lake to Red Shirt Lake - Best Route?

  1. #1
    Member AK_Kid's Avatar
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    Default Diamond Lake to Red Shirt Lake - Best Route?

    Need some input from the Valley sled hounds out there. Some buddies and I are going to zip out to Red Shirt Lake, where we have rented a cabin. We'll be starting out from Diamond Lake, about seven miles west and slightly south of Big Lake. There are a couple of routes we might take:

    1. We could just zip west until we hit the Little Su and follow it part way, then cut north around Cow Lake.

    2. We could follow the Susitna Parkway to Crooked Lake, then shoot up to the Papoose Twins. Perhaps there is a trail that leads in that direction from Papoose?

    3. Head to Big Lake and follow a trail from Big Lake to Red Shirt?

    4. Other?

    Any feedback on the most direct route will be appreciated. We'll have a GPS, but I find information from this forum to be more insightful than a Garmin (usually).

  2. #2

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    AK_kid: I noticed in your post that you intend to "zip" and "shoot" while riding in the Valley. Lots of folks that live out there don't particularly like "zippers", "shooters", "braaappers" and generally obnoxious kids riding fast and endangering themselves and others. So in my opinion, the best route for you to get to Red Shirt Lake would be from the trail that starts at Turnagain Pass. Have a good ride and be safe.

  3. #3
    Member AK_Kid's Avatar
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    Dinglishna,

    While I appreciate your willingness to offer insight, I have to say that you're reading too deeply into my verb selection. I am simply seeking advice on a route from point A to point B that will keep my group safe and off of private lands. If you have some input that actually bears upon that request, I'll be grateful for it. If not, then perhaps you can find another post with respect to which you can direct your nitpicking.

    I was raised in the Valley and my family remains there today. I don't disagree that it is inappropriate for riders to bear down on the throttle in many parts of the Valley. Indeed, I'm not a speed hound myself, prefering relatively slow and steady trail riding. Your snap judgment was, in this particular instance, way off base.

    In the future, when you're deciding whether to respond to a particular post, please consider simply providing any thoughtful advice you may have and refrain from giving lectures stemming from your mistaken interpretation of the poster's prose.

  4. #4
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    Default where to go

    Kid,

    Little-Su has overflow at all the trail crossings. Temps since Friday last have solidified things but the temp, as I write this in Big Lake, is 28F w/ flakes (or as I like to say Californians falling) so that could change the overflow status making the crossings with a freighter down right sporting. Temps are trending upward but that could also change making my warning moot. Only Algore can predict the weather 100 years in advance.

    As to your query...I would avoid riding the river because of the the reasons stated above. Big Lake Trail (BLT) # 8 is in good shape, I know the guy that groomed it last Monday, 01-31, and I was on it yesterday along with zipping down the Cranford/BLT#11. 11 has NOT been groomed. So I suggest BLT#8 northerly to hook up with BLT#6(SVWT) to the 4-way intersection then westerly to Calf & Cow Lakes. It's a short blast over the portage to the south end of Red Shirt Lake.

    Stay on the trails between the lakes as they are private property. Please stay off the runway located at the northerly end of Cow Lake it's rude, I'm told pilots don't like snowmachine tracks across their runways. Additionally watch for the runway at the south end of RSL.

    BLT# 6 is under a great deal of pressure. Traffic on 6 is very heavy. The Iron Dog starts in 11 days so the teams are practicing and 6 is the route of the race. If you think you are zipping and blasting down the trail you ain't seen nothing until you've been passed by a pair of racers out for a Sunday spin. Like you was standing still. I have all the respect in the world for FeK9-ers...I couldn't do it...Maintain an average speed of 50 mph for 2000 miles...you can't drive a car NYC to Denver and maintain a average speed of 50mph. So keep a weather eye out for them by checking your 6 frequently. BLT has warning signs up at virtually all the intersections. Pay heed to them lest you end up with a grill full of the type Dinglishna wrote so eloquently of.

    Hope this helps...if you have any ???? zip me a PM
    Natural Selection begins with you!

  5. #5
    Member AK_Kid's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks, partychief. That's great insight.

    We're not headed out until early March (talk about planning ahead, right?), so we should be okay when it comes to other sled traffic. Hopefully it will cool down and we'll get some good snow before then too.

    Definitely appreciate the info on private property and the runway. Not looking to cause anybody any grief.

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