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Rebooting Popular Trails and the Pacific Crest Trail in the Central Cascades

Posted by Loren Drummond at Dec 22, 2020 03:06 PM |

WTA crews worked all summer to restore and maintain trails across the state. Part of that work included improving trails in the Cle Elum Ranger District of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.

by Taylor O'Leary

WTA crews worked hard all summer restoring and maintaining trails across the state. Part of this work included improving trails in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest - Cle Elum Ranger District. The iconic Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) passes through this area, bringing numerous day hikers, backpackers and thru hikers to the region each year. This part of the PCT traverses the Alpine Lakes Wilderness and brings hikers through some of the most remote and diverse mountain terrain along the entire 2650-mile trail. Annually, the PCT needs a variety of maintenance to keep it open and safe for the thousands of hikers who flock to it each year.

Deep Lake turnpike - Owen Vogeli
Volunteers work on the Deep Lake turnpike. Photo by Owen Vogeli.

Last summer, more than 50 volunteers completed over 2,380 hours of trail work, in total maintaining 21 miles of trail. Crews brushed vegetation that had been encroaching on the trail, restored tread, logged out fallen trees and improved drainage to keep water off the trails. Volunteers removed over 54 logs from the Leamah Meadows trail, logged out and cleared Deception Pass to stock standards, built four large check steps and a turnpike on Deep Lake, as well as replaced 66 feet of puncheon at Hyas Lake. These improvements on popular sections of the PCT will help keep it accessible and safe for the thousands of hikers that use it annually, as well as mitigate ecosystem degradation and promote forest heath. 

This work is part of WTA's Trails Rebooted campaign. Through the campaign WTA is working to support popular recreation areas by improving existing trails, championing the construction of new ones and helping hikers see the role they play in the future of trails.

Lemah Meadows log out - Bob Zimmerman
Volunteers log out Lemah Meadows. Photo by Bob Zimmerman.

This work was made possible in part by a grant from the National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance, whose mission is to bring together the wilderness stewardship community into a growing network of volunteer-based nonprofit organizations that provide stewardship for America's enduring resource of wilderness. We also worked with our trusted partners, the Back Country Horsemen of Washington on this project.

Comments

MeLuckyTarns on Rebooting Popular Trails and the Pacific Crest Trail in the Central Cascades

I hiked Section J in lake August and it was the smoooothest hike I've had in ages; like walking on a little, twisty road through the wild. I was almost disappointed that it turned out to be far less grueling than I imagined. Almost. Thanks volunteers! The work you do is valuable to society and should be paid. Bring back the CCC! Create jobs! Lots o' Government monies to WTA! Rabble rabble!

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MeLuckyTarns on Dec 24, 2020 01:20 PM

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MeLuckyTarns on Dec 24, 2020 01:21 PM

rachelb on Rebooting Popular Trails and the Pacific Crest Trail in the Central Cascades

75 miles of Thank You’s to the WTA volunteers for this work! My friend and I hiked Section J this August and your work was so very appreciated!

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rachelb on Jan 13, 2021 08:51 PM