There are many different ways you can explore Alaska, and this week I got out to an amazing part of the state by one of the most fun ways possible — ATV.
I met up with the Alaska and Mat-Su ATV clubs in the Jim Creek area near Butte.
It’s a pristine part of our state. But, at times, you need to kick up some mud and make a little noise to get to places like this.
“We usually do this as sort of a beginner ride. Somebody who’s new to riding up here, this is where we suggest you come do it first. Not a lot of hills. Nice flat terrain,” said Russ Simkins, president of the Alaska ATV Club. ”And, it’s beautiful.”
The terrain is pretty mellow and the scenery is as good as it gets in Alaska, but even on the best days in the 49th state you should be prepared to expect the unexpected.
Even with the dry weather we found plenty of water and mud, which slowed our progress.
“It’s a little worse than normal. I think it’s just the quick summer we’re having this year. Melted all the snow fast and it’s just mucky,” Simkins said.
With conditions like this, it’s a good reminder to always travel in groups in the backcountry, even by ATV.
“It takes two machines to make a ride, because as you can see after what we went through today you don’t want one machine out there,” said Dianne Roberson of the Mat-Su ATV Club. ”It’s not safe to ride alone.”
The struggle through the mud and water was worth it, though, to get to spots this picturesque.
“I’m a photographer, so it combines with this real well. I get to photograph places other people haven’t seen,” Roberson said.
The Alaska and Mat-Su ATV clubs have their biggest event of the year — the Jim Creek Cleanup — this Saturday, May 17.
It runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and you can meet at the Sullivan Avenue parking lot. They will have a BBQ for everyone who takes part.
For more information on the cleanup and the Alaska or Mat-Su ATV Club, follow the links below.