Crooked Lake Ice Report
Some floating ice at the landing (but nothing to stop a boat), but the main body of the lake is wide open. Summer is here!
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Shots of the landing. Thanks to Carolyn Haggard and Scott Seely.
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Some cool aerial shots by Greg Gursey including a beautiful sunset. It's interesting to see the lake from the air. It really puts things in perspective.
Crooked Lake Ice Report
Rob, I did drive on the lake yesterday (3/9/16) with my plow truck. The lake roads are in great shape, slippery but solid. The approach is still in good shape. I would be surprised if we can't drive on the lake until the end of March. Last winter was similar and on the 4th of April last year a Hitachi 130 excavator was walked off the lake (on April 4).
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Series showing a truck being pulled out near Burnt point. I've never seen this being done, so I wasn't quite sure how it was accomplished.
Not sure who to credit the images to so if they are yours, and you don't want them on this site, please let me know.
This was tonight, he figured there was good ice everywhere but didn't know about the channels between the lakes. Jeff Ross talked with him and he saw the reflectors and thought he could drive through it. NEVER drive through the channels. I don't care if its 40 below. They marked it off the best he could at both ends.
Use the roads between the channels folks, unless you want to wind up on www.flatlake.com/through-the-ice.
Crooked Lake Report
All the main roads are plowed on Crooked Lake. Did not plow to the west end. It is very rough from snowmachines running through the slush during that warm spell. Road past Friendly Island is plowed. Enjoy the lake, it is where I go to regain my sanity!
Steve Wright 12-8-15
We drove to our cabin again on the 28th in my full sized Chevy pickup. Drilled the ice again just to be sure that we hadn't lost any. We did not lose any ice. Did not drive down toward Friendly Island. I am sure that the northwest part of the lake is driveable because it always freezes first. There is no snow left on the lake except in the berms that I plowed on Nov. 23rd. Still about 10" of snow on the land.
Be sure to check the ice for yourself before venturing across. Use a saw or drill, and an ice chart.
Steve Wright 11-30-15
Here's a picture of the west end of Big Lake, taken by Barbara Turner from the area of South Big Lake Rd this morning. Looks like all of Big Lake is covered in ice now. With these cold temperatures, it won't be long before we're driving! Craig drove his snowmachine to and from the channel this morning.
Judy Strong took this sunrise picture on Big Lake this morning. Absolutely beautiful.
Big Lake Report
WALKED INTO THE CABIN FROM THE CALL ON FRIDAY. SAT WENT STRAIGHT OUT SOUTH TO NORTH AND MEASURED NO LESS THAN 10 INCHES OF WHICH ABOUT 3 WAS CLOUDY. PLOWED WITH A 6 WHEELER ALL THE WAY TO WHERE I-5 WILL BE GOING AND WEST TO THE CHANNEL ROAD AND FOUND NO LESS THAN 10 INCHES ALL THE WAY.
MICHAEL FEENEY 12-8-15
The West End of Big Lake is still a little thin and is not quite ready for traffic.
Cathy and I measured the ice from the Mud Lake channel to Burnt Point. Along this path, was a wide variance in ice thickness. The least ice measured was 8 inches. 8 inches to 8 3/4 inches was the most common measurements between Burnt Point and Bentz Island. Westward of Bentz Island, the most common measurement was 9 1/2 inches, up to 10 3/4 inches.
Let's give the west end of the lake a little more time.
Big Lake Trails, Inc.
Just finished measuring the ice on the north end of Big Lake. Both waysides had 12-13" out in front and ice along the road corridor to Burnt point were 12+, measured a few spots west of Burnt point and found the same 8" Dan mentioned.
The ice roads are starting to deteriorate quickly. Lots of mud, slush, and ruts.
The approach is pretty muddy with water draining onto the ice.
The main road with lots of slush and ruts.
Trying to find a solid lane.
Don't slow down!
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I see we made the front page of the Anchorage newspaper this morning. Looks like a third truck tried to make it through the channel.
It's good to see the article. It might spread the word to visitors and keep this from happening before someone gets hurt!
Without berms, it's so tempting for people to try to go the "easy way" from one lake to the other. The locals all know, but folks that aren't familiar with the area don't. Maybe the article will help.
"First you take a right at Cracked Ice Road, left on Overflow Lane, another left on Clear Water Circle....you will get to the lake. Good luck!"
Maybe we need bigger signs??
Bob Shem, Carolyn Haggard, & ADN photos
Flat Lake looking northeast
Big Lake, Burnt Point
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Some really cool shots from above. Not much snow to speak of, but we're keeping our fingers crossed!
Good ice for driving everywhere except the channels, but be sure to check for yourself if it hasn't been tested before.
Carolyn Haggard and Bob Shem.
Big Lake Report
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The attached photos were taken this morning as we drove down Big Lake. Burkeshore has been out on Big Lake with a plow, and has plowed from the south shore campground all the way to Bunt Point. The road veers off towards the south shore, passing between Burston and Crocker Islands. They plowed over to several cabins near Hulen Point, and south to Crocker Island, over to Saddleback Island, and across to the launch. They found 12' to 14" of ice. Tom said it's plowed nice and wide and dry, no problems. There is a good sized "speed bump" in the road extending out from the east point of Starboard Cove, so be aware of that. There has been some plowing done over towards the north shore campground and behind Shepard Island and Long Island, but I don't know if the usual road through there has been established yet, or not. There has not yet been a road plowed to the west of Burnt Point, which was the last area to freeze. We have been driving through there on the usual route of the ice road to Mud Lake and west on the lake. It's pretty well packed down by snowmachines, and there's not enough snow on the ice to matter, anyway.
Flat Lake has enough ice now that Burkeshore has been able to make fuel deliveries, so we're in good shape. All we need now is some snow to play in! Currently, there's still an inch or so of fluffy snow on top of an icy crust covering about 10" of snow, when you get off the lake.
Carolyn Haggard 12-11-15
The West End of Big Lake is officially open for cars and trucks. Cathy Mayfield and Bruce Lamb plowed from Lewis Point to the Mud Lake access today. The East End of the Lake had been plowed previously as had Mud Lake and Flat Lake. Yay!!!!!
As always, measure the ice yourself before going cross country in unplowed areas. We still aren't ready for commercial heavy trucks as yet. Lets have a safe winter.
While Sitting On A Dock At Big Lake, Steven Johnson Caught This Awesome Aurora Show!
A beautiful Aurora shot taken on Big Lake.
Image by Steven Johnson, shared by Carolyn Haggard. 10-1-15
There have been multiple instances of vandalism at the parking lot of the Mat-Su Borough boat launch on South Big Lake Road.
Someone is cutting fuel lines on vehicles almost every weekend. At least four cars were hit this last weekend.
The Troopers have been notified, but with budget cuts and that sort of thing, I'm sure they would appreciate any available help from the public.
If you know anything, or might have seen anything suspicious, please call the Troopers at 745-2131.
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Winter is here on Flat Lake. The last of the open water disappeared last Friday night, and a week of mostly sub-zero weather allowed the ice to build pretty quickly. The only thing slowing us down in that regard was calm weather, and an unusually heavy amount of frost on the ice. I've attached a photo of a couple of the frost crystals, which some of the locals refer to as "ice puppies" or "frost buttons". They insulate the ice from the cold air, and slow down the ice building process. Breezy weather draws heat from the ice, once it has frozen over, and aids in building thickness, but we saw mostly calm weather. Even so, by Wednesday we had between 8" and 10" of ice by our dock, and most of the way to the channel. The only thinner spots were 6" (an inch of that was white ice) and were under unbroken snow.
Craig checked ice thickness with his chain saw, and found enough ice to drive his Subaru home to the island from the channel. If you look closely in the picture of the lake, you'll see a black dot kind of to the left of the photo- that's Craig. I followed a couple hours later with our Ford Explorer. It's nice to have warm transportation again!
We didn't drive the route we normally plow. We drove around the snow covered areas.
Yesterday and last night brought us another 3 or 4 inches of snow, so unless you know what areas to avoid, I wouldn't suggest driving a vehicle in without checking the ice thickness as you go. If we get the 2 to 5 inches of additional snow in the forecast for tonight we may start seeing some overflow. We'll just have to wait and see.
Big Lake completely froze over last Saturday. By Wednesday the Mayfields had measured 5" of ice on the west end, that was last to freeze. There is more ice than that farther east. If we don't end up with too much snow, and end up with a lo of overflow, we should be driving all the way down the lake before too long.
Carolyn Haggard 11-20-15
We're finally getting ice on Flat Lake; 18 above here this morning. C'mon winter!
Carolyn Haggard 11-1-15
Fall is definitely in the air!
Leaves are turning on Flat Lake- beautiful fall evening Carolyn Haggard 9/7/15
Sunrise on Flat Lake, from Scott and Rachael Seelys deck. 9/4/15
Awesome sunset Saturday evening!
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