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Old 04-24-2011, 01:13 PM   #1
ThatGuy OP
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Road from Kennicott to Cordova?

So I have recently learned of a trail running from Kennicott to Cordova seen via air by a pilot. Call my buddy who works for the RRPD who states there is an old rail line but doesn't think its passable.

I did stumble upon Alaska Hwy #10, this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copper_River_Highway

That and seeing that the Miles Glacier Bridge(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Million_Dollar_Bridge) has been repaired leads me to believe a trail of sorts really exits. I did talk to a buddy who is from there and he confirms it.

So is there? Anyone been on it? When I go to Kennicottlater in teh summer I will check it out as I want to ride to Cordova. If it isn't perhaps we need to map it.....
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Old 04-24-2011, 01:32 PM   #2
legion
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I think Wally got shut down when he tried to open that road back up. Too much crap being sluffed into the river.
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Old 04-24-2011, 02:21 PM   #3
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road to cordova

It's been many years, 10 or 15 maybe, but I had heard back then that four-wheelers were using the old road/trail, between Chitina and Cordova. Is that the one? I've been on it for several miles south of Chitina, but that's all. I'm not sure if the bridge across O'brien Creek is still there any more.
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Old 04-24-2011, 03:53 PM   #4
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I bet a nickel either Hobo or Alcan Jack would know. This is their back yard.
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Old 04-24-2011, 04:13 PM   #5
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I was down it a few miles past the "proceed & die sign" last summer... got a bit rough for fully loaded GS's. Not sure how far it goes now... I've been about 20 miles or so. The O'Brian bridge is still intact, but smaller now so no truck traffic... which is good because the trail is much narrower in spots that it was even a few years ago. Ahtna owns a lot of the land down there and don't want people on it..... Wally apparently dug up some ancient burial sites in the big push to open the road.

For those that don't know there was a railroad between Cordova and Kennicot from 1911 to the late '30's... the rails were pulled in the 40's. Read "The Copper Spike" for a really good history of the area.
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Old 04-24-2011, 04:32 PM   #6
Tom S
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I thought we went over this a few years ago & it was determined that you couldn’t get thru.
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Old 04-24-2011, 04:50 PM   #7
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I don’t think this one is what I was thinking of, but...

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showp...0&postcount=17

Quote:
Originally Posted by GSLad View Post
There is another road out of Chitina that goes toward Cordova. It is a fun gravel road, also on an old rr bed. You could probably ride it about 25 miles back in, before you come to a bigger 'adventure' river crossing. It runs along the Copper River, and has some great views. It also has several tunnels through the mountainside. One tunnel curves, so you can't see light at the far end when you start in. Bears like to wait for tourists in the tunnels.
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Old 04-24-2011, 05:20 PM   #8
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Then there's this from 2004. May be the one I had in mind.
Quote:
Originally Posted by akrider View Post
Years and years ago I did part of that ride on a dirt bike (KTM 250). It was early spring and we got stopped by a wash out/rock slide area that we could'nt get around. What I remember from the ride is that I would not consider it on a GS. But then again I would'nt consider riding across Jim Creek, or any of the other things Hacky does on a GS.

Hacky your the point man on this one. Feel free to give it a try and then report back to the gruvers. I'll wait here for your report.

Helicopter back up may be needed for this trip.

Ace and the GlobalDude have been missing for months now. Come out and play kids we miss you!
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Old 04-24-2011, 07:15 PM   #9
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I heard that some local riders were going through on snowmachines a couple of years ago. When the water is running there are quite a few slides and washouts.
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Old 04-25-2011, 03:16 PM   #10
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Say when, and I'll be there...
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Old 04-25-2011, 05:42 PM   #11
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I have a good friend of mine that grew up in Cordova and goes back and visits often. I spoke to him about this at length. He said the trail is fine out of cordova past the million dollar bridge and then there are some deep water crossings. Once you get past there, the alders are super thick and there are some caves that are caved in. He states that he is 99% sure it is NOT passible. I would be interested in an attempt anyhow, I have been thinking about doing it for a number of years. I think it would be a great adventure! (just not during reds!!)

He said he does the run up directly on the river in the winter with snowmachines. If you were to hire a boat to run you to/from the million dollar bridge to a put in point you have to find somewhere upriver.
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Old 04-25-2011, 09:29 PM   #12
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At the Cordova end you can pretty much count on ample rain...



About a mile after the Million Dollar Bridge the road is washed away in many places and over grown with alders where is does exist...







And be aware that the Copper River can rise very fast...



It wasn't doable the last time that we tried it but given the oppertunity... I'd try it again.
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Old 04-26-2011, 04:59 PM   #13
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" The Copper Highway Gap"

Looked at it many times by Helo over the years, Frostbit's description is acurate, tracks used to wash out every year when the railroad used it. Never did see it dry.
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Old 04-26-2011, 07:09 PM   #14
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Wally Hickel's attempt at rebuilding the Copper River Highway (20 years ago) ended at the Allen River, approximately 10 miles past the Million Dollar Bridge. In dry conditions, a small dual sport motorcycle could probably get that far from the Cordova end with some effort. If you enjoy taking a bike through thick stands of alders.

Frostbit's photo shows a washed out area that is sometimes high with water around 1.5-2 miles past the bridge. Riding any size bike is easy until that point.

Beyond the Allen River, a gap of many miles (maybe 50) exists where no work has been done along the old rail roadbed until reaching the other end, downstream from Chitina.

I can't speak from any personal experience beyond the Allen River but I suspect that an expedition style motorcycle "ride" could be made from one end to the other. A basic equipment list would look something like this:

Rokon motorcycle
Raft
Chainsaw
Spare chainsaw
Winch
Spare winch
Many feet of rope
Cached fuel for saw and bike
Bear gun and/or pepper spray...lots of it
Several weeks of your summer (probably late summer, when water levels are lower)

Taking the ferry is likely to be a little easier, especially with a pillion.

Rackemcrackem screwed with this post 04-26-2011 at 07:30 PM
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Old 04-26-2011, 07:46 PM   #15
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Maybe we should organize a work weekend and clean the trail up to make it passable.... It would be a good excuse to get out.

(anyone know how to build a bridge?)
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