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Alaska Department of Natural Resources
Division of Mining, Land and Water

Rex Trail Management Program

Important Management Notice:

2020 Amended Administrative Decision

The 2008 Administrative Decision that temporarily restricts summer motorized travel on a portion of the Rex Trail to vehicles 1,500 lbs or less is being amended to allow the following motorized vehicles during the fall hunt via an Over-The-Counter (OTC) Permit:

1. Rubber tracked vehicles up to 26,000 lbs curb weight
(e.g. Foremost Nodwell 110); and

2. Wheeled vehicles up to 10,000 lbs curb weight.

This amendment is intended to replace the 2009 Amended Administrative Decision, which authorized rubber tracked vehicles up to Nodwell 110 in size via an OTC Permit. This 2020 Amended Administrative Decision adds larger wheeled vehicles to those which may be authorized under an OTC permit, clarifies the nature of what constitutes a trailer, updates the OTC permit stipulations, and details conditions of trail damage that will trigger automatic termination of this amendment (and the OTC permit program). Permits for large wheeled vehicles will not be issued until it is verified that the trail monitoring program can be conducted.

Individuals who wish to obtain a permit must apply to the DMLW and pay a permit fee of $240. All fees for the DMLW were updated and increased on July 1, 2018 pursuant to updated state regulation 11 AAC 05 as modified by the current Director's Fee Order. All other conditions as noted in the original 2008 Administrative Decision remain in effect. Permits will be issued annually and be effective from August 28, 2020 through April 15, 2021. This amendment will be implemented on August 28, 2020 and will remain in effect until April 15, 2025, unless extended or superseded by another decision.

The 2020 Amended Decision, the 2008 Administrative Decision, and required permit application, are available on this website, as well as recent updates on Rex Trail management activities and the 2016 Monitoring Report. Inquiries about this decision may be directed to Jaclyn Cheek at (907) 451-2733 or Contact Jaclyn . You may also obtain a copy of the decision and permit application at the following locations:

DNR - Public Information Center
3700 Airport Way
Fairbanks, AK 99709

DNR - Public Information Center
550 W 7th Ave Ste 1360
Anchorage, AK 99501

DNR - Division of Mining, Land & Water Information Desk
400 Willoughby Ave, 4th Floor
Juneau, AK 99801

Trail Obstruction Notice:

Please be aware that there is a Foremost Chieftain stuck on the Rex Trail between the Totatlanika and Tatlanika Rivers. DNR is working with the owner to remove it.

Please Note:

Seven Mile Lake Reroute Project is complete and open to all traffic. Please use this new route and avoid travel along the original trail near the lake.

DMLW inspected the reroute prior to the 2019 hunting season. The reroute was intact and travelable despite heavy rains and flooding in the surrounding area at the time of the inspection. Signs have been posted at both intersections directing all traffic onto the reroute. Additional signs were posted on the original trail stating that it is closed for rehabilitation. Trail monitoring sites were also established during this inspection and initial data collected for the trail monitoring project.

Along the reroute.
Along the reroute.
A big dip.
A big dip.
Eastern enterance to reroute.
Eastern enterance to reroute.
Western enterance to reroute.
Western enterance to reroute.
Old 7 mile lake section is now closed.
Old 7 mile lake section is now closed.

Management Action

On May 12, 2008, the Division issued a management decision PDF for the Eastern Rex Trail both restricting the use of highway vehicles between 1,500 lbs and 10,000 lbs (previously authorized under Generally Allowed Uses, 11 AAC 96.020) and implementing a decision to not issue permits for off-road vehicles (including both tracked and wheeled vehicles) over 1,500 lbs between the dates of April 15 and October 31 annually. Off road vehicles (ORVs) 1,500 lbs and under were still allowed, provided the conditions in 11 AAC 96.020 were met.

On August 25, 2009, this decision was amended, allowing for issuance of permits to rubber tracked vehicles from 1,500 lbs up to and including Nodwell RN110 or similar sized vehicles during the fall 2009 hunting season ( August 25, 2009 Amendment PDF ). This document has been extended yearly or every two years through 2019. During this time, two trail construction pilot projects were completed: a small vehicle reroute for vehicles 1,500 lbs or less, and the more ambitious Seven Mile Lake Reroute for all trail traffic. The Department continues to monitor sites previously established as part of a long-term monitoring program and is also periodically inspecting both pilot projects. Measurements of the established monitoring plots are anticipated to continue to be collected both before and after the fall moose seasons. Initial data analysis has been completed and is available at the Rex Trail Monitoring Report PDF (11MB) .

On August 28, 2020, a new amendment ( 2020 Amended Administrative Decision PDF , 2020 Decision Technical Correction PDF ) to the 2008 management decision takes effect, intended to replace the 2009 decision amendment. This amendment expands the types of motorized vehicles that qualify for a permit during the hunting season, updates the permit stipulations, and details conditions of trail damage that will trigger automatic termination of the amendment (and the permit program). Permits for large wheeled vehicles will not be issued until it is verified that the trail monitoring program can be conducted. This amendment will remain in effect until April 15, 2025, unless it is extended or superseded by another decision.

Permits issued for the fall hunting seasons will be valid from August 28 through April 15 of the following year. A new permit is required each season. These permits will be made available over-the-counter at the Public Information Centers in both Fairbanks and Anchorage, as well as digitally ( Permit Application PDF ) and via fax. There is a $240 use fee that may be paid in person, via mail, or with a credit/debit card over the phone. Please note that permits cannot be approved until this fee is received. Permits may be issued subject to the following conditions (not a complete list):

  • Permit is valid for the following vehicle types:
    • Rubber tracked vehicles (no steel tracks, although steel cleats are permitted) up to 26,000 lbs curb weight. This weight limit is based on the tare weight of a Foremost Nodwell 110 as published in the 2015 manufacturer's brochure.
    • Rubber-tired vehicles up to 10,000 lbs curb weight, consistent with Generally Allowed Uses on state land per 11 AAC 96.020. This includes stock and modified highway vehicles, as well as custom fabricated vehicles.
  • The applicant must describe and provide a picture of their vehicle, report the number of persons in their party, and a general location as to where the vehicle will be used (Parks Highway to Totatlanika River, Parks Hwy to Tatlanika River, Parks Hwy to Wood River, Parks Hwy to beyond the Wood River). Please note that a photo must be submitted even if you previously received a permit;
  • Travel is limited to the Eastern Rex Trail. No travel is authorized off the Rex Trail by vehicles over 1,500 lbs, except as authorized below for parking;
  • Vehicle operator must keep the signed and approved permit on site and available for inspection in the field at all times;
  • No trailers are allowed;
  • Vehicle parking sites may be established on state land within 100 yards of the Rex Trail and sited in naturally occurring or existing clearings; and
  • General vehicles operations shall be conducted in a manner which causes the least amount of impact to vegetation and soil.

The Rex Trail

In 2007, the Department of Natural Resources, Division of Mining, Land & Water (Division) received many complaints from the public regarding trail conditions, the Division's management of the eastern Rex Trail and the implementation of current regulations. The increased level of use, trail conditions that negatively affect safety of travelers, and restricted traditional access has compelled the Division to reevaluate its management options for the eastern Rex Trail.

The Rex Trail is an important access route which has been in use since the 1920's, and serves as a vital transportation route for mining, hunting, private property access, recreation, and trapping. Several placer mines currently operate in the vicinity of the Rex Trail and private landowners have properties in settlement areas of Gold King, Southwind, and Wood River. Both miners and residents rely heavily on the Rex Trail in the winter for hauling supplies. More recently, the Rex Trail has become popular with moose hunters from around the state as a land-based access route into Game Management Unit 20A.

General state lands are managed by the Division for multiple-use consistent with Alaska Statutes and Regulations. The management responsibility - to manage land for the maximum benefit of all Alaskans - is delegated to the Division through the legislature by virtue of the Alaska State Constitution. The size and scope of this responsibility is vast, and the means for implementation (staffing and operational funds) are limited. Implementation of the Generally Allowed Use regulations (11 AAC 96.020) and associated policies encourage a wide scope of public use of state lands without direct agency oversight through permitting. The Division's primary management responsibility with respect to easements has been to identify, reserve, and defend the public's right to use access easements consistent with the purposes for which they were established. On occasion, there is a potential need for trail restrictions or closures, and the authority to accomplish this is found in state statute and regulations.

Court Cases

The May 2008 and August 2009 decisions were both appealed to the Commissioner of DNR. The Commissioner denied the appeals and upheld both DMLW decisions. The decisions were then appealed to the Alaska Superior Court, which upheld DNR's decisions on February 1, 2011. The Superior Court case was appealed to the Alaska Supreme court, which again upheld DNR's decisions on November 23, 2012.

Public Participation Requested

We recognize the importance of this issue to the public and need your input to guide the future short-term and long-term management goals of the Rex Trail. The public is encouraged to comment on the management options for the Rex Trail through this website or by mail to the Division of Mining, Land & Water-Rex Trail, 3700 Airport Way, Fairbanks, AK 99709.

Questions or information on this project or how you can get involved can be directed to Adam Leland at (907) 451-2722, or Contact Adam .

This site will be updated with news, information and opportunities for public involvement regarding the Rex Trail.

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