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Putting Lost Trails Back on the Map

We need boots on the ground now to bring these trails back into hiking shape.

Miles of trails into Washington’s wild and remote landscapes are not receiving the maintenance they need. These routes have been, or are at risk of, being lost. We need boots on the ground now to bring these trails back into hiking shape.

Through our summer Backcountry Response Teams, we are able to send hundreds of volunteers into stunning backcountry locations for 3-8 day stretches throughout the summer.

In 2021, WTA piloted our first paid, backcountry professional trail maintenance crew to focus on remote projects in three major Wilderness areas in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest: Glacier Peak, Pasayten, and Lake Chelan/Sawtooth. 

This crew was able to reach deeper sections of the wilderness than WTA’s standard backcountry volunteer opportunities. Oftentimes, a hike into the Pasayten will take a full day — if not more — which limits the amount of work our volunteer crews can accomplish.

After a successful launch, we're looking forward to continuing our pro crew model with two Lost Trails Found crews in 2022 — working across the Okanogan-Wenatchee, Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie, Umatilla and Gifford Pinchot national forests.

Lost Trails Found Crews Bring Big Boost to Backcountry Trails

Jun 03, 2022

This summer, WTA will be leading two six-person crews into the backcountry to tackle some of our biggest projects.

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Where We’re Needed Most: How WTA Decides Where We Work

There's a lot to consider when we decide where to work on trail around the state. By Jessi Loerch

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Three Trips WTA's Lost Trails Found Work Made Possible

Feb 25, 2022

Over the years, we have loved seeing hikers return to some of the notoriously rough and difficult-to-navigate trails that we've prioritized in our Lost Trails Found work. We take a look at three trips that benefited from trail maintenance and advocacy efforts.

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WTA’s First Pro Crew Found a Path Forward for Trails — and Themselves

Our backcountry pro crew cleared many miles of trail this summer. And for the members of the crew, the season helped clear a new path forward, too. By Zack Sklar

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Planning for the Future of Trails Means Planning for Fires

Dec 17, 2021

Not every landscape or wildfire is the same. Depending on how hot the fire burns, there are different impacts to the environment. Just as each fire and landscape is unique, the on-the-ground response can be just as varied.

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Volunteers Connect the Dots on the Pacific Northwest Trail

Oct 20, 2021

During our 2021 summer season, our volunteers worked on 11 unique sections of the Pacific Northwest Trail, working across the state to keep this oft-remote route up to national scenic trail standards.

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Breaking Ground on Independence Pass

Oct 05, 2021

For just over a decade, sections of the Independence Pass trail have been lost to treacherous washouts that prevent hikers from travelling its full length. Now, WTA and partners are working to bring it back.

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WTA's Pro Crew Finishes up Incredible Season

Oct 18, 2021

After 71 days and 4,243 hours of trail maintenance, WTA's first backcountry pro crew is wrapping up their packed season of trail work within the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest!

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Recovering Trails in the Entiat

Since 2017, WTA trail crews have been visiting the Entiat to help mitigate wildfire damage. And in 2021, we were able to give the area extra attention thanks to our first ever backcountry pro crew. By Rachel Wendling.

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