By Stan Justice
Photos by Kaye Robinson
Richardson Highway, southeast of Fairbanks
Years ago many a mountaineering adventure used this access route to enter the mountains, but the popularity of recreational snowmachining has driven mountaineers to quieter areas. From the north, go over the gentle Isabel Pass and pass the Richardson Monument, then turn left on the gravel road at mile post 197.5. If coming from the south, pass Summit Lake and at the end of a 2 mile straight-a-way look for a gravel road on the right.
In the winter the road may be snowed in adding four miles to your approach. During construction of the pipeline the first mile of the road was improved and a large pad housed Isabel Camp. Every April the pad becomes Alaska’s third largest city with 10,000 snowmachiners gathered for the Arctic Man competition which pairs a downhill ski racer with a powerful snowmachine for a thrilling event.