Areas closed to snowmachining can be seen in this graphic provided by the Chugach National Forest. (Courtesy image)

Areas closed to snowmachining can be seen in this graphic provided by the Chugach National Forest. (Courtesy image)

Snowmachiners barred from some public lands

The closure order is due to inadequate snow conditions and is an effort to prevent resource damage.

Snowmachiners may need to take notice of recent closures and openings within the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge and the Chugach National Forest before setting out on a winter adventure.

In a Friday press release, the Chugach National Forest announced an emergency closure to snowmachiners in certain areas within the forest, including the Seward and Glacier Ranger Districts of the Chugach National Forest, which are areas near the towns of Seward, Cooper Landing, Moose Pass, Whittier and Girdwood.

The closure order, in effect until April 30 unless rescinded sooner, is due to inadequate snow conditions and is an effort to prevent resource damage. The emergency closure prohibits anyone from operating or possessing a snowmachine in the areas closed.

Residents looking to get outside and snowmachine can look to the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. On Friday, the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge announced partial openings within the public lands to snowmachiners, a press release from the U.S. Department of the Interior said.

All areas of the refuge traditionally were opened to snowmachining lying north of the Kasilof River and Tustumena Lake on Saturday. However, some portions of this area will be closed, including Swan Lake and the Swanson River Canoe Systems and all areas above timberline. Skilak Wildlife Recreation Area is also closed off to snowmachiners, with the exception of Hidden Lake, Kelly Lake, Petersen Lake and Engineer Lake, which are open to provide snowmachine access for ice fishing pending sufficient ice.

The southern portion of the refuge, including the Caribou Hills, remains closed to snowmachining due to a lack of adequate snow cover.

Snowmachiners are encouraged to exercise caution, especially when traveling around lakes, rivers and streams, which may not be sufficiently frozen. In areas of inadequate snow accumulation, recreators should be aware of rocks and tree stump hazards.

For more information, contact Refuge Headquarters at 907-262-7021.

More in News

A pie chart shows Kenai Peninsula Borough School District expenditures by object for the current fiscal year. (Chart via KPBSD)
Explanation of how KPBSD organizes funds caps ‘Budget 101’ series

Finance Director Elizabeth Hayes delivered the presentation to school board members during a Monday work session

Rep. Justin Ruffridge, R-Soldotna, answers questions from constituents during a legislative update at the Kenai Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2023, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Ruffridge predicts school funding, energy security will be top issues in Juneau next session

Ruffridge has represented District 7, which includes Kenai and Soldotna, in the Alaska House of Representatives since October 2022

Members of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education meet on Monday, Dec. 4, 2023, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
New school board group will study 4-day school week

The group will meet regularly until next July, when committee members will present their findings to the full board

Members of the Kenai/Soldotna Fish and Game Advisory Committee raise hands to vote in favor of a proposal during a meeting at Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association in Kenai, Alaska, on Monday, Nov. 20, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Advisory committee supports protections for lake trout and king salmon

Advisory committee recommendations will be weighed by the State Board of Fisheries alongside public testimony as they deliberate on each proposal

The Kenai Peninsula College Main Entrance on Aug. 18, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Inside the Iditarod

Showcase to feature stories from champion, event photographer

Paul Gebhardt is photographed on March 24, 1996. (M. Scott Moon/Peninsula Clarion)
Kasilof musher dies at 67

Paul Gebhardt was a 21-time participant in the Iditarod

Santa Claus hugs Paul Cook during Christmas in the Park festivities at Soldotna Creek Park in Soldotna, Alaska, on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna brings holiday cheer

Christmas in the Park drew hundreds to meet Santa Claus, go on sleigh rides, sip hot cocoa and listen to music

From left: Rep. Ben Carpenter, Sen. Jesse Bjorkman and Rep. Justin Ruffridge discuss their priorities regarding education during a work session with members of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District on Monday, Dec. 4, 2023 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
School funding, accountability dominate school board work session with lawmakers

Sen. Jesse Bjorkman, Rep. Ben Carpenter and Rep. Justin Ruffridge joined the board for a work session in Soldotna

Snow coats an eroding bluff near the mouth of the Kenai River on Friday, March 3, 2023, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai accepting bids on bluff stabilization project

The announcement means that contractors can start submitting their proposals for how they’d complete the work and how much it would cost to do so

Most Read