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Alaskahack 10-01-2012 12:02 PM

Fall is coming to south central Alaska
So on September 8 2012 I took a ride up to Hatcher Pass. I live about 15 mi up a twistie road. Typically when I go up there I drive in thru Willow Alaska. But on this day I just wanted to take some scenic pictures. As we had a light dusting of snow today was going to be the day.

This is the road coming off the pass me and my wife just used this road on friday

Picture of the headwall of the valley( at the very top there is a area called dog sled pass) with the old buildings of the mine at the bottom of the picture.

More Scenery

On the 10 th of September a fella on our local forums was trying to set up a group ride to go over the pass and just a general get together a lot of folks said that they were going to do it.

Within a weeks time the bottom fell out as far as weather was concerned. The rain started on 12 or 13 and then a lot of high winds were expected. One of our group said that they were recording winds of 130mph. The general thought was to postpone the ride for now high winds and rain lasted until about the 23

The borough government was giving us road closure on the radio quite a few people lost everything due to flooding, and not having insurance, this place was a mess.

A friend of mine was completely surrounded by flood water.

On the 25th I was able to go out riding and look over some of the damage.

I went back up to Hatcher Pass to look around

The snow is completely gone, at hte very top there used to be about 2'

The" A frames" great little resturant

I'll have more a little later

The_Scottsman 10-01-2012 01:14 PM

Wow! It must have taken f o r e v e r to compose those shots! :rolleyes

Seriously, very nice!

Alaskahack 10-01-2012 02:54 PM

Thanks for your comment Scottsman the pictures just reflect the area


canuckAME 10-01-2012 03:00 PM

Rode my bicycle up there from Palmer in 2004. We were working out of Palmer and it didn't look that far up to the old mine:rofl. It was a grunt but sure was worth it. Thanks for the shots and bringing up some happy memories.

More pics if you have them.

alcanrider 10-01-2012 03:37 PM

Nice ride report
After living for 9 years in both Alaska and Florida, it makes me laugh to go back to Florida and see all the big to do about 70mph winds. They would be shocked to see how many times a year the Anchorage area experiences hurricane force winds. It is almost a weekly occurrence down at Turnagain Pass. Totally miss living up there and can't wait to get back. The long Winters didn't bother me, but the fact we only had one day above 70F (Anchorage) and bunches of rain, kind of left me longing for warmer climes. I know I jumped to soon, and the weather like everything else will change. There are also lots of places to live up there that have nice sunny Summers. Anchorage used to have them, but el nino la ninia or something like that completely hijacked the last two Summers I lived there. Now I am living back in humid hell, and am hating it. I seriously forgot how hot it gets down here. I will take the Winters even though the riding season for bikes is so small.
Sorry to comment so much. Thanks for posting and Alaska is beautiful. :clap

Alaskahack 10-01-2012 04:03 PM

It was surprising to see the the snow was all but gone. I decided to go to the other side of the pass via Willow Alaska to see how my friends place did with the flooding. I couldn't go over the pass because the park service closed the road due to the snow.

Going back down and around

Pioneer Peak a landmark in the Palmer, Wasilla Area

in the above picture the snow wasn't on the ground on the 25tth but it was a better picture that I took on the 30th.

Over on the Willow side of the pass which is about 50 mi away I went to see my friends place

This is the entrance into where she lives the area was a complete dirt road before the floods but the borough dumped jus tons of gravel to shore up the ground

Some junk that was moved in by the flood

The area that my bike is sitting on is all new gravel

This is the road coming into her area, it was completely washed away in two places and the borough sent in a dive team with boats to get the people out

murdock84 10-01-2012 04:48 PM

Nice pictures. Is your friend named Sarah? haha.

Alaskahack 10-01-2012 09:33 PM

The road coming into her place was completly washed away in two places

I then decided to go up to the pass itself to see what the road was like

So far so good

Still good

Opps something happened here

Driveing along and there was this huge berm built on to the road. I guess it was DOT that built the berm. According to my GPS I at the 1500 ft level of this pass. All the rain and snow came crashing down off the mountain and almost took this road out. My friends cabin is down at the 205 ft. level no wonder the place flooded out so badly.

That creek base is at least 50' below were I'm standing

You can see were it came almost to the road level if you look at the right were the water undercut the grass

AT this point I decided to turn around, as I never saw anyone not even the hunters which this valley should have been full of

Alaskahack 10-01-2012 10:00 PM

On September 30th I went for another short trip up to Hatcher Pass, we just had a fresh snow on Saturday so it was time to do it again

Temperature when I left my house was 34 deg but the sun was out and it felt warm

Snow is back

I saw sledders, skiers, familys' with thier dog kids

Going back down the hill

Sights along the way

All in all it was a pretty good day

Hope everyone enjoyed it


Solarmoose 10-02-2012 11:01 AM

Great pictures. Thanks. Used to hang glide in the pass in the 70's. Been a long time since I've ridden that area. Thanks again.

Juvat 10-02-2012 12:29 PM

Very nice pics and ride report:clap

DurtKlod 10-02-2012 01:52 PM

Isn't that the Independence Mine state park?

Alaskajeff 10-02-2012 02:44 PM


Originally Posted by DurtKlod (Post 19729990)
Isn't that the Independence Mine state park?

Yup sure is!
Here is a shot from yesterday with a bit MORE snow:D
The road up to the mine has been closed for the season:cry
BUT Arc Angel road was not closed yet! :clap

DurtKlod 10-02-2012 03:38 PM

When I took the Willow Fishhook road from the park to come out west at Willow, it was the road of never ending, unavoidable, potholes.

It did eventually get better though.

Beautiful country you've got up there.

Alaskahack 10-02-2012 03:59 PM

Boy I know it.

I think that dirt road is on everyones bucket list. I've talked to people from all over the world and they all seem to know about it.

I met some folks that were with a group of 90 from NewZealand in Haines this past summer. And were talking about doing it.

I prefer going in the willow end of the road and then having a well deserved break at the A-Frames.

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