Willow "Winter Trail"

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Willow "Winter Trail"

Postby akpolarbee » Thu May 14, 2015 5:18 pm

Is anyone familiar with the Winter Trail in Willow? I'm thinking that this doesn't really belong on the Waze map.
https://www.waze.com/editor/?env=usa&lon=-149.83399&lat=61.63248&layers=937&zoom=5&segments=85665697
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Re: Willow "Winter Trail"

Postby DwarfLord » Fri May 15, 2015 2:52 pm

Not too many Alaskans on this forum! I'm an AM for Prudhoe Bay and have (as you can imagine) been through Anchorage many times, but I live in California. I don't know anything about the Winter Trail. Nevertheless I'll give it a shot :)

There's clearly a two-track road of some kind there forging through the wilderness, and we generally keep dirt roads as long as they appear to be drivable and not completely obsoleted by some better road right close by. On the other hand it looks like this road serves no destinations along its route and is not appropriate for routing through traffic (yikes!).

It's also possible that this road is gated and off limits to all but a privileged few. I bet that's less common in Alaska than in the lower 48 though.

Anyway, under these circumstances, I'd suggest treating it like a fire road: leave it there, but disconnect it from the more significant roads it meets at either end.

If you find evidence it is not actually drivable any more, even by a 4x4, that's a different story. We could have an interesting conversation about whether Alaska should map snow-machine trails but let's leave that aside for now :)
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Re: Willow "Winter Trail"

Postby akpolarbee » Fri May 15, 2015 5:49 pm

A sloper! I work for Alyeska but only get up there when something goes wrong with their computer network. :)

As far as the road goes, I have mixed feelings about a lot of "roads" that are mapped. They don't tend to be cordoned off (the only ones that typically are forbidden are the pipeline access roads and those are clearly marked), but they are only used by a precious few and even that there's a very good chance you aren't going to have network to navigate them. But leaving it in doesn't really hurt anything either so I shall leave it be. :D
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Re: Willow "Winter Trail"

Postby DwarfLord » Fri May 15, 2015 6:37 pm

Yes, the attached photo shows how roads are typically "cordoned off" in Alaska!

P.S. No harm in leaving the "Winter Trail" road in, but if it should never be used to route through traffic and there are no destinations along it, then it should be disconnected at both ends.

IMG_1460.jpg
How roads are closed in Alaska
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