Where to Go Skijoring in the Vicinity of Fairbanks
There are literally hundreds of miles of trails in the Alaskan Interior that can be explored with dogs. Below is a sampling of available trails. Some trails are wide and groomed regularly to world class standards. Other trails are wild single track that will test your skiing ability and sense of adventure. ASPA members periodically lead trail tours, usually on Sundays during the winter; check the Events page to see if any are scheduled to help you explore new places.
Many groomed trails are free to use, but someone is taking the time and spending the money (including ASPA) to groom them for your enjoyment. Please check to see whether you can make a donation to help with trail maintenance so that you and your dogs remain welcome!
Before venturing out to explore any Fairbanks-area trail, please read ASPA’s tips for good Trail Etiquette.
Alaska Dog Mushers’ Association Trails: Located on Farmers Loop Road, features 27 miles of trail with options of 1.0 to 27 miles. They groom the trails primarily for dog mushing, but skijorers are welcome if they yield to dog teams and pay the daily use fee ($5) or buy a season pass. If you venture beyond the front fields at Creamer’s, you’re likely on trails groomed by ADMA.
Cache Creek off Murphy Dome Road: A fun six- or ten- mile loop that starts at about Milepost 8.5 on Murphy Dome Road.
Chena Lakes Recreation Area: 12 miles of groomed mushing and ski trails with loops of 1, 3.8, 5.1, 6.8, 9.5, and 12.5 miles. From the Richardson Highway in North Pole, follow the signs to the recreation area. Drive about 3.5 miles into the park and turn left at the Lake Park sign. Follow signs to Mike Agbaba Trailhead. Do NOT skijor on the skier only River Park trails. You can find a rough map of the groomed trails here.
Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge: The Trailhead is at the Creamer’s Farmhouse located on College Road. Five miles of groomed skijoring trails that tie into the 27-mile Alaska Dog Mushers’ Association (ADMA) Trail system. Maps and trail etiquette fliers are posted at the trailhead. Also, a schedule of races originating at Mushers’ Hall is posted. Please check the schedule and make sure you don’t venture onto the ADMA trails during the posted race times. This document has a description of some of the options and approximate distances.
Fairbanks Creek Road and Fairbanks-Circle Historical Trail: Fun downhill on wide road and rolling hills on jeep road. Has potential to be a 20-mile long loop according to the Fairbanks Bicycle Club.
Goldstream Valley: Maintained by local mushers, these trails are narrow in places but fun, if you are willing to do some double poling behind your dogs. Best starting points are Ivory Jack’s on Goldstream Road and the parking pullout on the east side of Ballaine Road at the bottom of the hill.
Henrik Court (on the left side of the map): Alternate way to access the ADMA trails from Farmers Loop Road between Ballaine Lake and Ballaine Road. Turn east on Iniakuk Avenue, then right on Henrik Court and drive to the cul-de-sac at the end.
Isberg Trails: This is a huge area that the Borough is developing into a permanent trail system, destined to become the the Isberg Recreation Area. You’ll find a lot of variety here, including many steep, narrow sections that you’ll probably want a helmet for!
North Star Golf Club: Made available by the generosity of the Evans family, these trails are groomed by ASPA for ASPA members. The front nine and back nine holes each provide approximately two miles of of mildly hilly skijoring with some fun twists and turns.
Old Murphy Dome Road: A fun 5.8-mile round trip on trails maintained by local mushers with great views along the way. High enough to be a lot warmer than in town on cold days and it receives good early snow.
Rosie Creek Trails: This is an extensive set of unmaintained trails that stretch to the west of Fairbanks, stretching between the Tanana River and the Parks Highway. We don’t know of a good online map of those trails (let us know if you find one!), but here is a Google Earth file you can download, courtesy of Brian Charlton: Rosie Creek Area Trails (KML).
Tanana Lakes Recreation Area: This is the borough’s latest park, located at the south end of Cushman Street on the Tanana River. The borough grooms a roughly 5K loop in the winter, although at various times the loop may be shorter if the lakes aren’t completely frozen. They have a fairly active Facebook page where you can get updated information.
Two Rivers Nordic Trails: 7.5K of groomed Nordic ski trails that are open to ASPA members only. Please pay (address is posted on the trail map page) the daily use fee ($5) or buy a season pass ($50) so skijorers may continue to use these great trails. Please clean up poop anywhere on the trail, not just in the holding area like on mushing trails (we usually just flip it into the trees).
White Mountain Recreation Area: Miles and miles of backcountry trails maintained for snowmobiling, mushing, and skiing by the Bureau of Land Management. The most popular trailhead is at Milepost 28 of the Elliot Highway north of Fairbanks. Lee’s and Moose Creek Cabins are two of the more popular destinations.