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Backpacks on WTA-Improved Trails

Backpack a remote trail that our Volunteer Vacation and Back Country Response Team crews have recently maintained.

Why spend your backpacking expedition climbing over fallen trees and fighting back brush? This spring and summer, backpack a trail that WTA volunteers have recently brushed, logged out and retreaded for hikers like you.

Our Volunteer Vacation and Back Country Response Team crews camp in remote meadows and forests so that they can fix those backcountry trails that otherwise might not be maintained. The following five recently-maintained trails make for great backpacking adventures. As you hike, see if you can tell where our volunteers have leveled the tread, built steps or cut back brush.

Want to spend a few days or a week working for better trails in a beautiful backcountry place? Sign up for a Volunteer Vacation or Back Country Response Team for a safe way to learn about the backcountry.


    Central Cascades

    Chelan Lakeshore Trail

    Chelan Lakeshore Trail
    Volunteers log out at Lake Chelan. Photo by WTA Staff.

    Location: Lake Chelan
    Round Trip: 10 miles (or longer)
    Elevation Gain: 1000’
    Season: Spring, Summer or Fall

    Skirt the shores of glistening Lake Chelan, hidden in a basin of white-crested peaks. If there is one trail that WTA has "adopted" over the years, it's the Chelan Lakeshore trail. This April two Volunteer Vacation crews cleared away brush and logs and restored drainage on this popular early-season backpack. When you've had enough of the wildflower-sprinkled ledges and gently-lapping waves, catch the Lady of the Lake back to civilization.

    >> Read more and check trip reports in WTA’s online Hiking Guide.


    Northwest Washington


    Park Butte

    Park Butte
    View along Park Butte. Photo by OutdoorWriterGal.

    Location: Mount Baker
    Round Trip: 7.5 miles
    Elevation Gain: 2200’
    Season: Summer

    This popular hike boasts one of the only historic fire lookouts in the area, and spectacular views of snowy Mount Baker to boot. In recent years WTA Volunteer Vacation crews have replaced decrepit puncheon and repaired drainage structures so that you can focus on taking in the alpine meadows and hushed cedar forests rather than worrying about stepping in mud puddles or twisting your ankle along the trail.

    >> Read more about Park Butte in WTA's online Hiking Guide.

    >> Add your name to the waitlist for the August 15 Park Butte Back Country Response Team trip


    Olympic Peninsula

    Duckabush River

    Duckabush - Meg Mackenzie
    Toting rocks along the Duckabush. Photo by Meagan Mackenzie.

    Location: Lake Chelan
    Round Trip: 10.6 miles (or longer)
    Elevation Gain: 2300’
    Season: Spring, Summer and Fall

    Through old-growth groves that muffle the thundering waters of the Duckabush River, this trail is a highway into the heart of the Olympics. So after fires ravaged the trail in 2011, it became especially critical that our volunteers repair and reopen this trail so that hikers could access those far-flung backcountry peaks and forests that define the Olympic Peninsula. With so many trails branching off from the Duckabush, you're sure to find solitude under the moss-clad trees.

    >> Read more and check trip reports in WTA’s online Hiking Guide.


    South Cascades


    Snowgrass Flat

    Goat Rocks - Kathy Bogaards
    After building a new drain dip in the Goat Rocks. Photo by Kathy Bogaards.

    Location: Goat Rocks Wilderness
    Round Trip: 8.2 miles (or longer)
    Elevation Gain: 1600'
    Best Season: Summer, Early Fall

    Enclosed in a triangle of volcanic giants, in the wilderness between Rainier, Adams and St. Helens, this trail runs through some of the most magnificent wildflower meadows in the state. In 2012 WTA volunteers cut back brush from the trail corridor and repaired drainage along the trail under Old Snowy Mountain. Whatever trails you choose to explore from here, you're sure to encounter open alpine meadows, volcanic rock ridges and maybe even a marmot!

    >> Read more and check trip reports in WTA's online Hiking Guide.


    Eastern Washington

    Salmo-Priest Loop

    Salmo Priest - Leif Jakobsen
    Beargrass in the Salmo Priest Wilderness. Photo by Leif Jakobsen.

    Location: Colville National Forest
    Round Trip: 19 miles
    Elevation Gain: 3400'
    Best Season: Summer, Early Fall

    Hidden away in the corner of Washington between Idaho and Canada, Salmo-Priest is as remote as it gets. Here you'll find old growth and wildflowers and views from Shedroof Divide out over the Selkirk Mountains. WTA crews have put a lot of work into keeping this trail logged out and hikeable over the years, and this summer we'll return with a Back Country Response Team to make sure that stock can access this trail.

    >> Read more and check trip reports in WTA's online Hiking Guide.

    >> Sign up for the nearby July 20 Gypsy Meadows Volunteer Vacation in the Salmo Priest Wilderness

    >> Sign up for the August weekend Shedroof Divide Trail Back Country Response Team trip


    Updated May 30, 2013

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