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Old 11-14-2007, 10:04 PM
11 posts, read 55,291 times
Reputation: 11


Hello everyone! I've just joined this forum. About a year ago I've purchased 5 water front acres in South Central Alaska about 20 miles West of Willow I'll post GoogleEarth images of the property and the surroundings. I have not visited the property before buying, though I knew that it's very remote. But the view from above was satisfying for me to know that there's timber and I may build a cabin from it. Now I have been puzzled since then about how am I going to get to the land. Would it be by ATV or ....? I live in Pennsylvania and my wish is when I'll pay in full for the property and get the deed for it - to build a cabin and live there. I thought that I would have to make a few trips, first one would be to check out the property to determine if there's enough timber, if there is I'll cut it down and leave it to dry for a year, then in a year I would have to come in early spring and start building the cabin. But of course the open question is how am I going to get there and bring all the tools and what not for building of the cabin. First I thought about flying in to the closest city - that's arround $1000 round trip from PA to AK, then chartering a plane which would get me to my land, which I have no idea how much it would cost me considering that I would have to carry a chainsaw, an axe, food supply for a week, a rifle, a tent and so on... Or flying in and renting an ATV but then I would need to know the trails if there are any... So folks if anyone has been to the area or is familiar with it or could find a source of pictures of the area besides those that I can get from GoogleEarth or any other suggestion-advice is very very wellcome!!! Thank you

I may post more images from Google Earth if in order to help me you may need a better view of surrounding area... thanks.
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Old 11-14-2007, 10:19 PM
11 posts, read 55,291 times
Reputation: 11
Yeah, I forgot to add. I also thought about driving all the way from Pennsylvania to Alaska through Canada using the route that GoogleMaps has mapped our for me, which is arround 3.5 thousand miles. And carry most of the items with me, like my own ATV, a little ATV carriage like this one: Atv Tandem Axle Cart, Atv, Agri-Fab at Sportsman's Guide
and whatever I may need to build a cabin, all in a truck, then when I would get to Willow I would park the truck somewhere safe, get onto ATV with the trailer and drive to my property.... But as you can see from the photos in order for me to get to the property from Willow I would have to cross Delta Islands if that's possible.... I'm confused and lost. If anyone knows a possible way to get to my property by ATV through trails from any other town accessible by roads please let me know what you think...
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Old 11-14-2007, 10:27 PM
Location: Haines, AK
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Having done some flying around Willow, I dont think it will be easy to cross the river. Unless there is a bridge somewhere. If you want an expensive way to get all your supplies there, hire an Otter.
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Old 11-14-2007, 10:51 PM
1,252 posts, read 955,400 times
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Most amount of time, and most amount of strenuous effort, drive to willow and pack all strictly necessary gear in on your back, (pack raft for the crossings.)


Dead of winter, everything should freeze up enough to snowshoe, snomobile, in, (still not easy, still time costly)


Chartered float plane landing on the lake, (forget the ATV, unless you take it apart and put it back together on the shore)


Highest cost, least effort, helicopter in, unsling the ATV, and you won't have to walk hardly anywhere, (you will spend much time and effort getting the ATV unstuck)

Send us a picture when you get there.
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Old 11-14-2007, 11:04 PM
Location: Naptowne, Alaska
15,603 posts, read 38,459,724 times
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I'd go with the float plane. That way you have someone sheduled to come check on you and to pick you up. I don't think an atv will do you any good winter or summer. You could probably blaze through via some of those swamps on a good snowmachine, and the river would more than likely be frozen. You never know...there might be trails out that way in the winter just from the locals.
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Old 11-14-2007, 11:13 PM
Location: Fairbanks Alaska
1,677 posts, read 6,264,139 times
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Go to the Matanuska Susitna boough web site. see below. Then look at the GIS property and map database (second link). Looking at the Topos, your either going to fly in or if the river freezes, which I don't know, you might be able to snowmachine if you can find a trail.
Good luck.

Matanuska-Susitna Borough - Division of Land Management (http://www.matsugov.us/LandManagement/ - broken link)
" + theTitle + "
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Old 11-14-2007, 11:27 PM
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Hi Dream', You really do have the pioneering spirit. That's great! If I was 50 years younger, I would not hesitate to try something like that. As recent as 3 years ago, I've wanted to do a 3 month trip to the Gobi Desert. Unfortunately, my friends, who were so enthused initially, dropped out 1 by 1. I guess wives have the last word, as in most cases. Good Luck! Have a great adventure.
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Old 11-15-2007, 01:00 AM
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Float plane for sure. I know the area fairly well; you're most likely in some very swampy ground there. Over the next few years, access to that area should become easier--it would be very much worth your while to contact the other landowners in that particular area.

Its a beautiful place though...good luck with everything.
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Old 11-15-2007, 02:42 AM
Location: Haines, AK
1,121 posts, read 4,347,563 times
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Default ask your neighbor

If theres a cabin there already on a neighboring property, it might be a good sign since somebodys been there in the past. In any case, the borough should have a record of who owns it and his/her address. Try to write them a letter and ask how they got their place built. Maybe you'll get lucky and the guy is still using it and will chat with you. Maybe not, and it turns out the neighbors cabin is a tumbledown wreck and has been abandoned for years.

If you're very lucky, there'll be a recently used trail that you'll be able to snowmachine in the winter. Summers, most likely it'll be impassible unless you have an Argo or similar, we're talking amphibious or tracked vehicle. Typical four-wheel ATV is basically an expensive mud anchor in this kind of terrain, completely hopeless.

If you're not lucky, the only practical access is by floatplane and it'll cost a fortune to build even a basic shack. Flying has gotten a LOT more expensive than it was back in the 60' and 70's, when every other average Joe in Anchorage seemed to have a cub on floats. There was a lot of more remote stuff built back then that wouldn't make it today.

On the bright side though, you could always take up dog sledding.
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Old 11-15-2007, 06:12 AM
Location: Dangling from a mooses antlers
7,307 posts, read 14,010,169 times
Reputation: 6229
Snowmachine and trailer in the winter time. That would be the most cost effective way to move your supplies. I'd bet there's both summer and winter trails out to the area. But by the looks of the pic's I don't think you'd be able to haul much in the summer due to the muskeg.
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