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Trip Report

Sweat Creek Basin Trail, Clackamas Mountain & Maple Mountain Trail — Thursday, Jun. 9, 2022

Eastern Washington

Our group of eight BCRT participants logged out as well as worked on tread and drainage issues on this section of The PNT and a feeder trail that connects to it. As the yearly cattle grazing allotment period has begun for this area, we found the main trail had been mostly logged out on our first day. We did find one HUGE tree blocking the trail on the way up that was possibly too large for the ranchers' chainsaws and tackled that along with some tread work. This tree took three hours of work to remove as it involved several cuts so the entire team participated. 

On the second day we moved up the trail toward Clackamas Mountain and cleared all trees until we met with work that had already been completed by a crew from The PNT Association earlier. There are many braided trails where cattle have gone around obstacles and we did our best to restore the original tread in these places. Three of us walked the half mile to the summit of Clackamas Mtn from the trail junction and found that the trail, at least in this upper section, had been logged out. 

Our third day was working upward from camp at Hunter Spring toward the summit of Maple Mountain. This section hasn't seen maintenance in some time so we made it to about one mile from the summit, or around 2/3 of the distance from camp. Two of us went ahead to survey the remaining work to the top of the trail and found 14 logs yet to be removed. We limbed some of the larger trees to make it easier for hikers to cross over. Stock will not be able to pass until this section is logged out. We located the spring marked on the map southwest of the summit and it is flowing well. This is a suitable camp spot. The location of the spring is about 75 vertical feet below the trail where some old troughs can be seen. 

Day four was addressing some trees and drainage issues that we had left for the walk out. 

We saw only one hiker on the final day who was making the loop up The PNT and down The Clackamas Mountain Trail which is presently unmaintained but still passable. This is a nice, 10ish-mile loop that should be a viable hiking/equestrian option for the Tonasket and Republic communities. If it doesn't receive some attention in the near future, the Clackamas Mtn Trail could be lost forever. 

All and all a good trip with lots of work completed. Though not a busy trail by any means, this area is definitely worth checking out as is the Fir Mountain Trail just across highway 20. 

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