The unseasonable weather that has stricken the Sierras in California is also impacting Alaska, where warm, rainy weather has brought an end to snowmobiling for traditional activities in parts of Denali National Park and Preserve.
Denali Superintendent Don Striker says there no longer is enough snow cover for snowmobiling in the 1980 additions to Denali National Park and Preserve that are north of the Alaska Range.
“The snow depth and structure of the snowpack are no longer adequate to protect vegetation and soils from damage by snowmachine use,” said the superintendent in a press release.
The snow cover south of the Alaska Range is still adequate for the use of snowmobiles for traditional activities in the 1980 additions to the park and preserve, however.
Riders are reminded that all lands within the former Mount McKinley National Park on both the north and the south sides of the crest of the Alaska Range are closed to all snowmobile use by federal regulation. Maps with GPS coordinates for the park and preserve boundary are available on the park website.
Park officials caution that there are areas of thin ice or open water on rivers and that hazardous avalanche conditions may exist due to the varying layers within the snowpack. Riders should utilize travel routes that minimize avalanche risk, avoiding narrow valleys, ravines, and other terrain traps.