It’s been a slow start to winter for snowmachining on the central Kenai Peninsula. There’s been plenty of cold the past month but snow accumulation has not followed in the biggest recreation areas for riders.
Northern areas of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge where snowmachining is allowed opened Jan. 4. Snowmachining is open on the refuge north of the Kasilof River and Tustumena Lake, except for the usual areas that are always closed — the area around refuge headquarters in Soldotna, the Swan Lake and Swanson River canoe systems, all areas above timberline and the Skilak Wildlife Recreation Area, expect for accessing ice fishing on Hidden, Kelly, Petersen and Engineer lakes.
The southern part of the refuge remains closed. The Caribou Hills and the hundreds of miles of snowmachine trails between Clam Gulch and Homer are also not yet open for riding.
Tinker Anderson is president of the Caribou Hills Cabin Hoppers Association.
“The refuge called me here two weeks ago and we talked about it. There is some snow up there but not enough. And my thoughts are exactly, ‘Don’t open it until you have enough snow.’”