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Winter Mountains Winter Tour

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 5.0 (1) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A multi-day winter tour of the White Mountains National Recreation Area.


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Map Key

91.0

Miles

146.5

KM

100%

Singletrack

2,688' 819 m

High

1,184' 361 m

Low

5,987' 1,825 m

Up

6,001' 1,829 m

Down

2%

Avg Grade (1°)

26%

Max Grade (15°)

This has been hidden from our maps to prevent overlap with existing trails, or because our research has found there is no legal access.

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Allowed

Closed to motorized use April 15 - October 15.

Overview

The White Mountains Winter Tour is a long, multi-day, winter season fat bike adventure in Alaska's backcountry. Lodging is available through cabins that can be reserved ahead of time.

The route features spectacular views of the White Mountains and exciting crossings of Beaver Creek.

A week is a good amount of time to complete the route.

Need to Know

The White Mountains National Recreation Area is a big adventure no matter what season you plan to visit. Check out the BLM's website for a ton of helpful information.

Description

The White Mountain Winter Tour adventure begins on Wickersham Creek near Wickersham Dome along the Elliott Highway.

The trail starts along a hill heading eastward up to a forested ridge. Continue past a high rocky peak before meeting the old "Winter Trail." This rocky peak offers good views of the Alaska Range and the White Mountains, a preview of what's to come throughout the route.

Continue on to cross Beaver Creek and Wickersham Creek after the intersection with Trail Creek Trail.

From here, the route travels through wooded areas of black spruce and meadows before reaching the Wickersham Creek Trail Shelter and the Moose Creek Trail junction.

From the trail shelter, the route descends gradually through spruce forests on well-marked trail. There may be some sections that have overflow ice across them. Use caution when encountering these sections, as the ice crosses the trail and slopes downward.

The trail transitions to a climb before breaking into open forest near an intersection with Summit Trail. The route then drops steeply before reaching Beaver Creek. Cross here and head to the bluff above the trail where the Borealis-LeFevre Cabin is located. This is a good stopping point for Day 1.

From the Borealis-LeFevre Cabin, head north on Fossil Creek Trail. This part of the ride begins with a broad, open valley and black spruce forests. It eventually passes through a burn area before climbing to the Fossil Creek drainage.

At just around the halfway mark into Fossil Creek Trail, the route intersects with Fossil Gap Trail. Continue straight and experience a spectacular section that passes jagged limestone cliffs through white spruce forests.

The northern terminus of the trail is a three-way intersection with Windy Creek Trail and Cache Mountain Loop at the Windy Gap cabin, the stopping point for Day 2.

Day 3 is shorter, traveling on the Windy Creek Trail. Begin with a very steep but short climb to a spectacular view back to the Fossil Creek drainage. The White Mountains, Limestone Gulch, and Windy Arch will be inspiring. From there, the route descends gradually to the Wolf Run Cabin near an intersection with Colorado Creek.

Finish the last bit of Windy Creek Trail to start day 4. Start out from Wolf Run Cabin and cross the bridge over Windy Creek. You’ll be in the trees for a short time and then the route breaks out into a large meadow, before crossing Beaver Creek. On the other side, you’ll continue through open meadow terrain. This section can be subject to blowing and drifting snow so follow the tripod markers through here.

Continue straight at the intersection with Fossil Gap Trail and pedal through a mix of old burn area and spruce forest. The route stays on the north side of Colorado Creek all the way to the Big Bend intersection. The Colorado Creek Cabin will be on the west side of a small lake about a half mile off Big Bend Trail, past the trail junction.

Day 5 begins at the north end of Big Bend Trail with a warm-up through the meadow and then a steep climb to the top of the ridge. From there, the route follows the ridge and then drops to a saddle below a dome. The descent continues from here, paralleling a creek drainage for a bit.

The trail then passes near the "Big Bend" on Beaver Creek and continues through open meadows and black spruce forests before connecting with the Wickersham Creek Trail. Head up to the bluff and spend the last night out at Borealis-LeFevre Cabin.

On Day 6, retrace your route on the Wickersham Creek Trail to the beginning of the route.

History & Background

The White Mountains National Recreation area covers one million acres of amazing terrain, offering year-round recreation opportunities.

Contacts

Shared By:

Leslie Kehmeier

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  5.0 from 1 vote

#1495

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  5.0 from 1 vote
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#8

in Alaska

#1,495

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Photos

The top of Windy Gap, White Mountains NRA with permission from Spruceboy Credit: Jay Cable, Link: https://yak.spruceboy.net
Aug 30, 2016 near Badger, AK

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