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Mendeltna Creek Lodge Trails

1980's, Re-opened in 2006

Name of Ski Area: Mendeltna Creek Lodge Trails
Location: Mile 153 of the Glenn Highway, 35 miles southwest of Glennallen
Type of Area: Ski-joring and cross country skiing trails
Dates of Operation: Trails were built in the early 1980's for ski-joring and cross country skiing, become overgrown with non-use after the early 1990's, then re-opened in 2006
Who Built The Trails?: Vernice Atkins.  Re-opened by Mendeltna Creek Lodge owners Mabel and Russ Wimmer.
Facilities: Mendeltna Lodge w/ restaurant, RV park, cabins, homemade pizza, giant cinnamon buns and the free "Museum of Alaska's Drunken Forest".  Click here for their web site.
History: Authna Indians used to stop here when traveling between Lake Tyone and Tazlina Lake. Their route is now the designated as the Mendeltna National Historic Trail, which passes through the Mendeltna Creek Lodge trail system.
 
The ski trails at Mendeltna were originally made by Vernice Atkins in the early eighties. He was influenced by some ski-jorers from the Anchorage Ski-joring club. After he left the lodge the trails became grown over and suffered from non use.
Sources of Information:

Mabel Wimmer; Sean Grady; Tim Kelley

Photos:

Does anyone have pictures of skiing at the Mendeltna Creek Lodge Trails (or current pictures of the vicinity) that they would like to contribute to ALSAP ?

~  PHOTOS  ~

2015 Photos of Mendeltna Ski Trails by Sean Grady

12 March 2015:  Just back from a few days skiing at Mendeltna Creek Lodge on the resurrected trails. Noticed the website was lacking photos of the trails as they are now, so Iím attaching some that youíre free to use if you would like.  We had the place and the trails to ourselves on a Monday through Thursday trip. Most of the trails had a groom within the previous week or so, some of them still had a couple of inches of snow on them, but some skiers that had just been through before us broke trail on them. Some trails were groomed wide and smooth and would be great for skate skiing, some had a narrower groom that would require marathon skate or classic. We skied classic on touring skis. I would equate the skiing to being on some of the nicer snowmachine trails in South Central AK, but with almost zero chance of encountering any snowmachine traffic. Maximum groomed width we encountered was about 12 feet. Terrain is gently rolling, and the creeks were fun to explore since they recently froze up. The views from the trails are fantastic.

Hospitality at the lodge was great, and the simple sleeping cabins are a bargain. Mabel was a fun host to talk to and accommodating.

         
For 2009 photos of skiing at the Mendeltna Ski Trails, by Tim Kelley, click here.
         

 

1980's Map of Mendeltna K.R.O.A. (Kamping Resorts of Alaska) Trails

[Photo credit: Mabel Wimmer]

(Click on the photo above to expand it)

~  MAPS  ~

This large scale topo map shows the location of Mendeltna.  153 miles from Anchorage, 35 miles from Glennallen.

(click on this map to expand it)

This smaller scale topo map shows the trails in the Mendeltna area leading down to Tazlina Lake.

(click on this map to expand it)

Research Correspondence 

[Mabel Wimmer - 21 January 2008 email excerpt] 

 
Hi Tim, My name is Mabel Wimmer and I am the owner of Mendeltna Creek Lodge. My partner and I have been working to bring back the trails, and add in the aboriginal trails of the Authna. Every year we make progress on widening hoping that one year we will have races again. So the trails are in great shape.
 
The ski trails here at Mendeltna were originally made by Vernice Atkins in the early eighties. He was influenced by some skijorers from the Anchorage Skijoring club. After he left the lodge the trails became grown over and suffered from non use.
   
The snow here is such that when dogs are on the trails they do very little or no damage. Making it a great place for skijoring.
 
We have tried to keep the lodge much the same with Alaskan style hospitality and home made meals. Finding old pictures of the is something I have not been able to do. I noticed that after sites have posted people can submit information to you.
 
I enjoy your site, and visit it often to see the updates.
 
Mabel Wimmer
 
Mendeltna Creek Lodge
 

Do you have further information, stories or pictures that you would like to contribute about this ski area?