White Mountains Trail Conditions Update
Last updated Friday, May 24, 2013
General Remarks/Safety Alert
Spring-like weather has only recently arrived in the White Mountains, so trails remain mostly snow-covered. BLM's rules state that trails on the near side of Beaver Creek remain open to snowmachine use as long as there's sufficient snow cover. However, trails across or beyond Beaver Creek were closed to snowmachines on May 1.
The US Creek/Nome Creek Road is now plowed as far as the Nome Creek Bridge. However, the bridge remains blocked by ice up to 12 feet thick, making it impossible to cross the creek. As of May 23, water is also flowing across the road in the vicinity of the bridge. Turning around at the end of the plowed section is very difficult at present; driving down into Nome Creek valley is not advised.
The Mt. Prindle and Ophir Creek campgrounds are not closed, but are inaccessible, covered with snow, and possibly damaged by breakup. No potable water is available at these campgrounds, and the outhouses may be difficult or impossible to use. The Quartz Creek, Bear Creek, and Table Top trails are also inaccessible.
Cripple Creek Campground is marginally open at this point. It experienced flooding during breakup and remains partly flooded. Parts of the access road were eroded and may be difficult to travel. Potable water is not yet available at the campground, and floodwater still remains around the outhouses and day use area.
Because of seasonal trail closures, we will not be renting the Windy Gap, Wolf Run, and Caribou Bluff cabins for motorized access until next winter. Non-motorized trail users can use all trails and cabins as long as they'd like, but everyone, whether on snowmachine, dogsled, ski, or bike, should be aware that warm weather is now leading to rapid deterioration of the trails as well as unsafe conditions for crossing creeks and rivers.
Remember to carry survival gear and be prepared for the unexpected, even during day trips. Bad weather or unexpected mishaps may prolong your trip or even mean spending a night on the trail. Also, be sure to leave a detailed trip plan with a friend or family member. A trip plan form (PDF/100 KB) is available on the Alaska State Troopers website.
Cabin Reservations and Information
For reservations and permits, visit the BLM office in Fairbanks (address below) or call the BLM Public Lands Information Office at (907) 474-2251. Cabins must be paid for in advance and the permit carried with you to the cabin. Trail shelters are free of charge and used on a first come, first served basis. Cabins may not have firewood present for the woodstove, so plan to carry some with you or cut some along the way. As a courtesy, replace the firewood that you use. Dog owners please remember to clean up after your dogs.
Detailed trail and cabin descriptions are available at the Bureau of Land Management Fairbanks District Office located at 1150 University Ave. in Fairbanks. A map of areas open to motorized vehicle use is also available.