Areas open to snowmachiners

Posted: Thursday, February 21, 2002

Areas open to snowmachine and ATV use when there is sufficient amounts of snow and ice on the ground include portions of the Dan Moller Trail, Lake Creek Snowmachine Route and the east side of Spaulding Meadows.

To protect the trail tread, vegetation soils and cultural resources, an initial cover of 12 inches of snow must be present or a series of snowfalls that deposit a hard-packed snow-and-ice surface on the trail tread must occur for the trail to open and remain open to motorized use.

The west side of the frozen surface of Mendenhall Lake also is open to ATV and snowmachine use and it does not require a minimum snow depth to protect forest resources.

The Dan Moller Trail has two access points. The Dan Moller Trailhead is at an elevation of approximately 300 feet, and begins on Pioneer Avenue in West Juneau. The new Blueberry Hills Treadwell Ditch Trailhead is at an elevation of approximately 600 feet and is at the end of Jackson Street in the Blueberry Hills subdivision. The Blueberry Hills Trailhead offers better snow cover and a trail standard more suitable to motorized vehicles. The portion of the Moller trail leading from Pioneer Street to the Treadwell Ditch is closed to motorized use.

Both of these trails access the Dan Moller Ski Bowl and the Dan Moller public use cabin. Snow measurements for the Dan Moller trail will be taken near the Blueberry Hills trailhead. A speed limit of 15 mph for motorized vehicles for the trail portion of the route is posted.

Brushing and clearing have been completed along the upper portion of the trail below the large landmark spruce tree. This action has widened the trail, allowing more room for motorized vehicles and skiers to pass. Snowmobile and ATV users will be encouraged to stay to the right of the trail on the way up and to the left of the trail on the way down. The Treadwell Ditch Trail is closed to motorized use from the junction of the Dan Moller Trail all the way to Eaglecrest Ski Area.

The Lake Creek Route, which accesses Spaulding Meadows, has one access point that begins near the University of Alaska Southeast student housing. Snow measurements for the Lake Creek Route will be taken at the beginning of the second large meadow at an elevation of approximately 600 feet.

Snowmachine and ATV operators should pay special attention to the ATV/snowmachine use boundaries in the Spaulding Meadows and the Mendenhall Lake areas. The boundary marking the closed area for motorized use in Spaulding Meadows is posted with 12-by-12 inch brown, white and red reflective signs, red and white reflective tape and red paint on existing trees approximately 60 to 200 feet apart. The area behind the signs is closed to motorized use.

The John Muir and Peterson Lake public use cabins are in an area closed to motorized use.

The boundary for snowmachines and ATVs on Mendenhall Lake is the shoreline of the frozen lake surface and the north-south line between the two orange hazard marker signs on the east end of the lake. All other areas of the Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area are closed to motorized use. Caution should be used while riding on frozen surfaces, due to freezing and thawing conditions in addition to calving glacier ice. These conditions can cause drastic and dangerous changes to the stability of frozen surfaces and can be extremely dangerous. Engage in recreation activities at your own risk.

If you have any questions regarding snowmachine and ATV use, stop by the Juneau Ranger District office at 8465 Old Dairy Road or call 586-8800.

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