Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    Alaska Turner Mafia
    Reputation: EndoRando's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    1,097

    Twenty-Mile to Winner Creek

    When I helped man the STA table at the Bear Tooth showing of Reveal the Path, three fellas from Girdwood asked if I knew anything about the construction of a trail that follows the hillside in the 20 Mi river area.

    As you approach the 20 Mi river there's a marsh north of the road. East of that wetland area is the river, to the west is a hillside. Their curiosity was based on a rumor, but they thought a trail may exist on that west side slope that continues north to eventually intersect with the Winner Creek trail.

    With the conditions we've had lately I thought it presented a fun exploratory ride opportunity. The low temperatures recently have frozen the wet areas plenty firm enough, and with the lack of snow it seemed we'd be able to negotiate anywhere we pleased in that valley with the fatbikes. We could skirt the hillside and watch for the trail, if one existed. SuperBlinky and I loaded up to check it out today.

    But boy did conditions change. That area almost seems to have its own microclimate, and as we unloaded it was well above freezing and lightly raining. Grey was the order of the day, with low hanging clouds confirming the lack of wind and socked-in character. An attempt to ride through the tussock field failed, as it was too soft today, but we were able to ride across the seagull rookery pond area toward the hillside, as it was solid enough for us.

    Here's a shot of the pond area, after we crossed the railroad tracks and headed for the hills. The support under us was fine. SuperBlinky underway...





    It was warm enough that there was some water on top of ice, but enough ice thickness and strength to ride across.





    Drizzly, reminded me of coastal towns when it rains for days continuously.





    We followed some fresh boot and dog tracks, someone obviously had just come through. We passed a couple of hillside cabins, each with canoes at water level, until a couple miles further in caught up to the track makers. A cabin owner and his sons were bucking up some wood for winter. We chatted a bit, and I asked about his knowledge of a hillside trail there, a possible connector to the Winner Cr trail. He had no knowledge of such, and admitted he would love to have one, especially for the access it might provide him. Hmmm...bummer....have to admit I was a bit deflated to hear it.

    Thanking him for the info we turned around and retraced. What a good loop it turned out to be though, as it's always good to ride a bit off the grid and witness a fresh area.





    Despite one slight mishap that resulted in a wet knee, SuperBlinky looked like he was diggin' it.





    Fun time. If anyone knows anything to the contrary, please do tell. Maybe something's started from the Winner Cr end?
    Last edited by EndoRando; 11-05-2012 at 07:03 AM.
    Deceleration Trauma is my middle name

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    844

    Bearbait

    Endo,

    check with Eric Parsons -Bearbait on this forum as I recal him making that traverse in the summer a few years ago. I think he used his packraft, too, but I want to say he used some of that rumored trail.

    Or maybe not. Ask him...

    Cool pics!

    Pat

  3. #3
    Jesus is coming Look busy
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    130
    Nice Endo!... May the Legend grow. Then some day there might actually be a trail..... That stuff is better suited for spring crust riding... Fun day to get out though...
    I'm deteriorating faster than I can lower my standards

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    3

    Trail

    The trail does not go to the highway. When they built the trail across winner creek they were going to build a loop but they ran out of time and funding as they dropped off of the back from winner creek. The trail ends abruptly about 1/2 of mile from Glacier creek.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    197
    Looks fun, great pics!!

  6. #6
    Alaska Turner Mafia
    Reputation: EndoRando's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    1,097
    Quote Originally Posted by Russp17 View Post
    The trail does not go to the highway.. .......The trail ends abruptly about 1/2 of mile from Glacier creek.
    Russp, thanks for commenting and clearing that up for us. Would be great to someday see that loop completed.
    Deceleration Trauma is my middle name

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: burntski's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    36
    So here's what I think I might know; that trail segment is nestled into what is refered to as the "Southern Trek". It has been identified as a potential route by the Iditarod National Historic Trail Association in their efforts to re-establish and connect the Iditarod route from Seward to Eagle River. There are ongoing discussions w/ land owners and land managers about the difficulties of a 4 season route through the mire of 20 mile valley. Some of the land owners are opposed to public access (some cabin owners and AKRR) other land owners are in favor. One of the options is just a bike lane to G'wood (along the highway) and that would be a shame. It is going to be a difficult project to connect Ingram Creek to the intersection of 20 mile and the Winner Creek Trail.
    The new turnagain pass trail segment is part of the southern trek vision. There is an annual meeting of the INHTA at the Millenium on the 29th.
    BTW, the upper winner creek trail is still rideable for quite a ways up valley but I haven't made it up into Berry Pass this month. Maybe when I have a day off.
    Awesome Pics of 20 mile riding
    Burntski

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •