The Anchorage Adventurers Meetup Group Message Board › Ice skating reports - outdoor ice skating in Anchorage, the Valley, down Gir

Ice skating reports - outdoor ice skating in Anchorage, the Valley, down Girdwood way

user 11656384
Wasilla, AK
Post #: 11
MAt su Ice report:

Hayflats: Some limited skating near the interchange most other ice still covered.

Matanuska: Clear From the palmer bridge downstream a few miles exceptionally nice smooth soft Ice. You have to walk about a mile downstream on the palmer side to get to the skatable Ice. Minimal open water in a single channel, but this isnt really near most of the skating. An added bonus is that this is somehow out of the wind, which is omnipresent everywhere else.

MAtanuska is clear from a mile above palmer all the way to sutton. 2 open water channels of moderate size some ice bridges. Snowed over from sutton to chickaloon, clear above chickaloon. Several cliffside marshes are skatable in the vicinity of chickaloon on left side of road as you are driving out.

Outdoor rinks: There are outdoor rinks plowed on wasilla lake and reflection lake near the knik river.

Still some amount of wind most places except lower matanuska below palmer, very windy on upper matanuska. Clear skies sun and moderate temperatures in the 20s. Generally very high quality skating almost everywhere. Pretty unusual to have this quality all the way into march...take advantage of it while its here!
Greg P.
user 13376216
Anchorage, AK
Post #: 52
a 33.3 foot tide at 8 pm saturday. pasted a veneer of skatable ice over the frozen mudflats in the area of the ship creek boat launch going south along the coast. There may very well be skatable ice in other estuaries and coastline around anchorage. The ice has a soft surface hardness, is smooth and clean and B or B- grade from what I saw of it.

Last night I was out on the Coastal trail in Earthquake Park, and found some of that ice veneer pasted by previous high tides. I'm not a skater, but I hiked on the ice for quite a distance below the bluff. Here's a view looking west toward Point Woronzof...

Doug Van E.
Fruita, CO
Post #: 440

This is WORLD-class STUFF

They do not find ice like Anchorage-Portage-Valley has in New England or Minnesota or Scandinavia or even Antarctica. This (and missing my wife) are the only 2 regrets about not being in AK right now.

By the way, for those who have driven the AK Hwy, it is -22 at 7 AM at Muncho lake. Liard Hot Springs was glorious at sunset yesterday at only -1 air temperature.
user 11656384
Wasilla, AK
Post #: 12
Mat su Ice Report

Matanuska/Black/Echo/Bradley etc LAKES
These have all been swept clean by the wind and seem to have smooth surfaces most places punctuated by bits of roughness.

Finger Lake Swept mostly clean especially near the east end.

Wasilla Lake some roughness but lots of snow blown off

Hayflats Cleaner the farther north(toward the interchange) you go. Real nice ice on rabbit slough above the interchange and some distance downstream of it. I havent checked it near the trailhead. South side of flats still has some snow but bits of clean ice are appearing on the Matanuska near the inlet. There is a rink plowed off on reflection llake near the knik river exit.

Matanuska: Great ice on the MAT downstream of the palmer bridge, and starting from the hayflats bridge gouing for miles upstream on man channel and tributaries. Spectacular wilderskating here has a real neat feel to it. Dont be discouraged by what it looks like from the bridge it gets really good a few hundred meters upstream. For the first few hundred meters there is some amount of poor ice.

All other locations same as last report.

The wind quit friday night and it is nice and sunny and warm as of saturday
user 11656384
Wasilla, AK
Post #: 13
Hayflats Skating update:
There continues to be alot of skatable ice on the hayflats

Rabbit Slough. Skatable but you have to start from the Nelson Road crossing. You can skate downstream almost to the regular trailhead, and upstream going under the interchange and about a few miles above that crossing matanuska road and going on above that. The area near and downstream of the regular trailhead is snowed over and no good. If you have nordic skates you can however skate on the trailhead road, its kind of a novelty thing to skate on packed snow.

Matanuska: Skatable upstream from the hayflats bridge, tributaries to the left are the best. Skatable downstream of palmer for a few miles, and skatable from palmer to sutton with the exception of the 1st half mile above the palmer trestle bridge. Also skatable above chickaloon. Open water in single channel otherwise froze to the ground.

Weather continues to be forecast at about 30 degrees for the next week, sunny, and no wind. It doesnt get any better than this!
user 11656384
Wasilla, AK
Post #: 14
Portage Valley Ice Update

Most ponds have a dusting of snow which mitigates the silt, but obscures the surface.

Portage Lake. Presently C- quality ice....the closer you get to the glacier the worse it gets, but is generally better the farther south on the lake you are. You can skate to within about 600-700 meters of the glacier, then you have to walk.

Upper Portage Creek. Very rare and clean pleasant skating. This is the creek above the lake, just after the little tunnel and well before the main tunnel. Park at the parking lot overlooking the lake. Tiny bit of open water, very shallow.

Whittier: Non traditional skating on the tank farm road all the way down to the beach, tank farm RR tracks(disused) and the airstrip, and the first little bit of the portage pass road. Very high quality ice. High novelty value. Where else in the world can you skate on a road, a RR track, and an airstrip? Nowhere, thats where!
user 11656384
Wasilla, AK
Post #: 15
Portage/ mat su ice report:

Portage lake: is still about c- skating, same as last report you can skate to within 700m of the glacier then you have to walk.

Upper placer creek(above lake) has a few miles of smooth and gorgeous ice

Portage ponds: Some silt and a light dusting of snow.

Matanuska river: same as last report for all areas, with the addition of new very fine skating just off Bodenburg Loop where the road is just a few feet from the riverbank.

Knik river area: There is some new overflow on the first creek driving upstream from the highway(the one thats just a few hundred yards from the road (Old Glenn Hwy) If it gets a little cooler this will be exceptionally smooth and clean.

Hayflats areas: same as last report, lots of good skatable ice
user 11656384
Wasilla, AK
Post #: 16
Mat su ice report

All mat su ice covered in about 5 inches of snow. Skating on plowed rinks only.
user 5545655
Anchorage, AK
Post #: 10
Just got back from Portage Lake (walked to the glacier...again...third time in three weeks). Seems the snow piles on the lake have melted and the ice has smoothed out quite a bit. There were skaters and some all the way to the glacier. Although the weather wasn't the best, typical wind and clouds, the ice is better than a week ago. I'm guessing with the weather we are and have been having, ice won't be that safe much longer? Last weekend hiked Eagle was ice all the way to the glacier but some parts closer-in were starting to break-up and had over-flow. Be safe!
user 11656384
Wasilla, AK
Post #: 19
Matanuska river milepost 69 and 75.8: There is some limited skating here as of 30 march it may last a few days to a week.

Cottonwood Creek: Some limited skating on cottonwood creek off of both Fern street and Edlund road in wasilla, possibly other accesses as well. Squishy in places.

Eagle river: I skated on some nice clean smooth overflow late last week about 2 miles upstream from the nature center, not sure what its like now.

Most other mat su ice still has some thin snow cover and still mostly solid ice underneath. Depending on the weather there may still be some good skating toward the weekend and next week. Update: nearly all mat su ice is too punky to skate, skating season appears done for the year.

All Portage area ice appears to be done for the year. Lake has a fair amount of water on top, lakewalking appears to be done as well.
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