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Lake Ann and Swift Creek

Backcountry Response Team

Thu Aug 4, 2022 8:30 AM — Sun Aug 7, 2022 3:30 PM

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Region

North Cascades — Mount Baker Area

Features: Earn Northwest Forest Pass

Crew Leader: Michael Bellis

Gorgeous views from the Swift Creek trail. Photo by Schulteman

Overview

Come help WTA address the backlog of maintenance on this rugged section of the Pacific Northwest Trail (PNT) in the high country of Mount Baker. Join in our efforts in this amazing area as part of our Trails Rebooted campaign.

About the Area

Stretching from Glacier National Park to the Olympic Coast, the Pacific Northwest Trail is 1,200 rugged miles of trail offering hikers a tour of the extreme northern edge of the Pacific Northwest.


The section along Swift Creek is particularly rugged and remote. Spend your nights under the stars and your days enjoying spectacular views that only this trail can offer, from high country meadows to old-growth forest.

What to Expect

We'll have fun, work hard and make a difference!

Project Description

This trail needs a variety of maintenance to keep it in shape for Pacific Northwest Trail (PNT) thru-hikers as well as intrepid day hikers.


Expect to spend time re-establishing trail tread where it's been slipping down the hill, cutting back brush and a possibility of using crosscut saws to remove downed trees.

Camping and Hiking Information

  • Type: Backcountry basecamp
  • Location: Swift Creek drainage
  • Weather: Be prepared for variable conditions including heat, cold, wind and rain
  • Other: Be prepared to manage your waste in a backcountry setting
  • Initial hike to camp: 4 miles with about 1000 feet of loss at a moderate pace while carrying your backpack fully loaded with all provisions including camping gear and food, plus WTA-provided tools
  • Daily hike to the work site will be within one mile of camp

Schedule

  • Day 1: Meet the crew rain or shine, then hike in, begin work on the project and set up camp
  • Day 2+: Make breakfast and pack a lunch before heading out on trail with the crew by 8:00 AM. Work at your own pace, take plenty of breaks and enjoy lunch on the trail. Arrive back in camp by 4:00 or 5:00 PM for a relaxing evening. Prepare your own dinner and swap stories with the crew. / Make a lunch and pack up camp before heading out on trail with the crew by 8:00 AM. Work at your own pace, take plenty of breaks and enjoy lunch on the trail. Reach camp by 4:00 or 5:00 PM for a relaxing evening. Set up, prepare your own dinner and swap stories with the crew.
  • Final Day: Break down camp, finish trail project, hike out and say goodbye to the crew at the trailhead

For safety reasons, arriving late or leaving early is not allowed.

Planning Information

Get ready for a challenging backcountry adventure!

What it Takes to Do This Work Party

  • A great attitude for working with a team! WTA provides the training and tools you need for the project
  • Backpacking gear and food for multiple nights on the trail
  • Good physical condition to hike with a fully-loaded backpack and be physically active for about 8-9 hours daily on uneven terrain 
  • Backpacking experience including ability to run your own camp following Leave No Trace principles
  • Day work party experience recommended
  • Flexibility to adapt to changes due to unpredictable weather or land manager requests
  • Minimum age: 18

What to Bring

  • Boots
  • Long pants 
  • Work gloves
  • Long-sleeved shirt recommended
  • Eye protection recommended (glasses, sunglasses or safety glasses)

Backpacking gear

  • Backpack to carry all of your gear
  • Tent, sleeping bag and sleeping pad
  • Cooking gear and enough food (plus a little extra) for the entire trip
  • At least two 1-liter water bottles and a way to purify your water
  • Rain jacket and rain pants
  • Extra warm clothing
  • Camp clothing such as shorts, shirt and sandals
  • Sun and bug protection
  • Headlamp and extra batteries
  • Personal items such as medication, hand sanitizer and toiletries
  • ​First aid kit
  • A sense of fun and adventure for learning new skills and meeting great people!

Trail work gear

  • Boots
  • Long pants 
  • Work gloves
  • Long-sleeved shirt recommended
  • Eye protection recommended such as safety glasses
  • WTA hard hat (provided, unless you have one)

For safety reasons, shorts and sneakers are not allowed while working. Firearms and weapons are not allowed.

More Information

From the Hiking Guide

See what WTA's hiking guide and trip reports say about this area.

A My Backpack account is required. You will be asked to register or log in before you can join.

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Partners

Directions

From I-5 North, take exit 255 and continue on Hwy 542 to Glacier, where you will find services and tourist information. From Glacier, continue on Hwy 542 another 23 miles to Austin Pass. Continue past Austin Pass to the well marked paved parking lot below Artist Point.

Note: Please follow the written directions above instead of using a GPS device. This will ensure that you get to the correct meeting location for this work party. The location of the pinpoint below is only approximate.

Getting to WTA work parties can involve travel on rough, unpaved roads in areas without cellular service and without street addresses that can be accurately used by navigation devices. Unless specifically noted otherwise, routes can generally be traveled by all types of vehicles. Volunteers with limited experience driving on unpaved mountain roads may want to allow extra time, beyond what is recommended in the directions above, to get to the meeting location.

Required Documentation

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