Last week, we took a full day ride out to Jim Creek and rode all the way to the glacier. This was a first for me. While we used to spend a lot of time out there when I was a kid and have flown the area many times in the last few years, the ride was a great experience.
The area that I refer to here as "Jim Creek" is officially called "Knik River Public Use Area", and is generally considered the area between the Knik River bridge and the Knik Glacier. The area has alternately gone from an area considered to be a trouble spot and a family friendly area. In current times, there are regular Alaska State Trooper patrols which go through the area to ensure a safe atmosphere and several off road clubs clean the area, clearing abandon cars and general waste. It is a dramatic change from 10 years ago, when burned out stolen cars were seen regularly, and a change that is welcome. A google images search will yield more than enough pictures of what I am referring to.
Along the trail, the wildlife is abundant. One of our goals while we were up there was to get at least one spring bear for the freezer. We mostly stayed off of the river bed during the journey hoping that we would have better luck in the soggier terrain. Although we saw plenty of goats and moose, the only bear sign we saw was a lonely set of tracks well off the main travelling area. I am certain this is in part because even though the weather seems right, it is just a little bit too early still. We will probably end up going at least a few times in May and continuing to see how the trail conditions are. If you get a chance and are headed up that way, don't forget to bring your phone and a phone charger. I missed out on some great opportunities to take some pictures because my phone died.
Get out, get on the trail, and have a blast!