Parts of the Chugach National Forest opened to snowmachine use Wednesday, with some restrictions.
The 2021-2022 winter motorized season will run through April 30, except for at Turnagain Pass where the season usually opens on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, according to the U.S. Forest Service.
Along the Sterling Highway, winter access areas vary. From about the Russian River Campground to Cooper Creek, the area south of the Sterling Highway is closed to winter motorized use. South of the highway between Cooper Creek and the western end of Kenai Lake is open to all winter motorized use between Dec. 1 and April 30 if snow conditions allow. Large chunks of the Kenai Mountains are open to motorized winter use.
The U.S. Forest Service has a detailed map showing access in different parts of the forest published on Avenza Maps, a mobile app.
People recreating in the forest this winter are advised to exercise caution when crossing Alaska Railroad train tracks and to be prepared for adverse weather conditions, such as avalanche conditions. More information about avalanches can be found at www.chugachavalanche.org.
The U.S. Forest Service also reminds those recreating to respect private property and that reserving or roping off spaces in parking lots is prohibited.
More information about snowmachining in the Chugach National Forest, including a link to the Avenza map, can be found at fs.usda.gov/chugach/.
Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at firstname.lastname@example.org.