Turnagain Pass closed to snowmachines

Posted: Monday, February 03, 2003

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Off-road areas in Turnagain Pass, 60 highway miles south of Anchorage, are now closed to motorized use, while areas in Denali National Park and Preserve where snowmachining is normally allowed still hasn't had enough snow to open to motorized use.

Warm weather and rain have reduced the snowpack in Turnagain Pass, and vegetation is now exposed and vulnerable to damage, said managers of the Chugach National Forest.

Conditions are similar in the Denali region, according to park managers there, and riding conditions are poor. Snow depth ranges from ten inches to less than two feet of snow, with wind-blown conditions.

On the Kenai Peninsula, Lost Lake access from Seward, the Placer River Valley, the Twentymile corridor and the first two miles of Johnson Pass are closed because of insufficient snow.

Chugach National Forest areas remaining open to snowmachines include Johnson Pass, Carter Lake, Resurrection Pass and Primrose Trails. Snug Harbor Road (the Cooper Lake access to Lost Lake) is open, but with limited parking at the trail head.

Resurrection Pass will be closed for the season on Feb. 15, rangers said.

Forest rangers caution riders that lakes, rivers and creeks are susceptible to overflow and open water.

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