by Lorien Nettleton ~ April 16th, 2012
Favorable weather and some extra effort by road crews to clear drifts from last weekend’s snowstorm are making it possible for the National Park Service to open the park road further west. Park visitors will be able to drive as far as the Teklanika River Rest Area at Mile 30 beginning at 8:00 am on Saturday, April 14th.
Snow conditions are deteriorating, but there is still good snow for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, particularly in shaded areas and on north-facing slopes. As the season progresses, visitors and road crew staff are seeing increasing amounts of wildlife. Recent sightings have included lynx, moose, spruce grouse, and golden eagles. There have been no sightings of bears or ground squirrels yet this season.
Visitors should expect to encounter snow, ice, and mud on some portions of the road, particularly in shaded sections. Motorists are also advised to be alert for National Park Service personnel steaming culverts along the side of the road, and for heavy equipment being used in the road opening operations.