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Youth Volunteers Restore Years of Neglect on Ingalls Creek Trail

This past summer, a group of 10 dedicated teens spent sixteen days camped beside Ingalls Creek, improving one of the key access routes to the Stuart Range and the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.

WTA's Lost Trails Found campaign restores trails that are slowly but surely disappearing. The restoration of these lost trails will make them more accessible and disperse some of the pressure on backcountry trail systems.


In the summer of 2017, a group of 10 dedicated teens spent sixteen days camped beside Ingalls Creek, improving one of the key access routes to the Stuart Range and the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.

Ingalls Creek by Thomas Meade (15).jpgThe crew sits upon the new and improved puncheon. Photo by Thomas Meade. 

Hidden beneath the shadow of Mount Stuart, the 14.4-mile Ingalls Creek trail is a critical access point for hikers, climbers and stock into the wilderness. It serves as the backbone to dozens of loop hike opportunities, connecting with seven unique feeder trails and provides alternate routes to the heavily visited Lake Ingalls.

Decades of chronic underfunding by Congress has taken a toll on the Ingalls Creek trail, putting it at risk of becoming lost. Years of fires and washouts have led to unstable bridges, blowdowns, and brush so thick you can hardly see the other side.

With the help of these outstanding teens and fearless crew leader, Lauren Glass, the crew was able to make major improvements along the trail. In total, the team rebuilt a failing puncheon (a type of bridge), constructed two brand-new turnpikes (trail structures that prevent erosion) and made a serious dent on years of overgrown brush and neglected drainage.

One youth volunteer, Leland Sevier, joined the Ingalls Creek crew for his first ever volunteer vacation, and he can't wait to sign-up for more.

"It's a great combo of service and backpacking adventure. You are preserving the life of a trail, and keeping it accessible for years to come. There are a lot of spots where work still needs to be done, which is why we need more people donating their time to save these trails”, he said of his experience.

A big thanks to Lauren, Leland, and the rest of this star-studded crew for helping preserve our trails and build a sustainable future along Ingalls Creek.


Are you a high school student who wants to help out on lost trails? Join WTA for a youth volunteer vacation! Youth Vacations are opportunities for students ages 14-18 to spend a week outdoors building and maintaining hiking trails in a safe, teamwork-oriented environment throughout the state. The 2018 summer schedule is available to view now.

Ingalls Creek by Thomas Meade (44).jpgThe crew arrived to Ingall's via the Long's Pass trailhead. Photo by Thomas Meade.

Ingalls Creek by Thomas Meade (49).jpgA resupply crew of llamas joined the crew at camp for one night. Photo by Thomas Meade.

Ingalls Creek by Thomas Meade (34).jpgA team of four carrying a fresh log into the new puncheon site. Photo by Thomas Meade.

Ingalls Creek by Thomas Meade (50).jpg
Crew Leader, Lauren, helping out with measurements for the new puncheon. Photo by Thomas Meade.

Comments

Diane S on Youth Volunteers Restore Years of Neglect on Ingalls Creek Trail

Thank you so much for your work on the Ingall's Creek trail! My daughter and I did a through hike- from Blewitt Pass, along the Ingall's Creek Trail, over Stuart pass and out Jack Creek. We greatly appreciated the parts of the trail where we didn't have to straddle fallen logs and hike around fallen trees. The maintained trail was a joy! Thank you!!

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Diane S on Sep 24, 2018 06:55 PM