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Eckles Creek Trail Work Party

Projects details:

Saturday, March 28, 2015.  We will meet at the Allison Creek Trail Head, at Big Bar Campground at 9:30AM – 5:00PM.

Project Details: This project consists of heavy trail pad maintenance using shovels, McCleouds, Pulaski, to build water bars and widen/repair trail tread/pad.  Loppers and small hand saws will be used to prune brush. The Forest Service will provide all tools.  You are expected to provide your own work gloves and appropriate clothing for the weather, food and water.

Volunteers needed: 15 volunteers. If your plans change and you cannot make it. Please notify us & attempt to fill the project with another volunteer.

ITA project leader: Wally Kimball & Jahsha Zeitlin with the Payette National Forest

What to bring: All volunteers should bring their own lunch, work gloves, and wear work style boots. Dress appropriately for the weather conditions.

The drive to meeting site is approximately 140 miles and 2.5 hours one way from Boise

Driving directions: 1)  From Boise, drive West on I-84 to Exit 3, which is the Hwy. 95/Fruitland Exit.  About 41 miles from Boise/Meridian. 2)  Go North (Right) on Hwy. 95, through Fruitland, Payette, Weiser, and Midvale, to Cambridge—about 48 miles. 3) At Cambridge, turn West (Left) onto Hwy. 71.  This is the Chevron Statin Canyon Corner (makes a good potty break). 4) Go West and then North on Hwy 71 to Brownlee Dam, cross over into Oregon below Brownlee Dam, about 29 miles. 5)  Once on the Oregon side of the Snake River, continue North for about 11 miles to the Copperfield Campground Road Junction which is just about 1/2 mile below/down river from the Oxbow Dam. Turn Right at this junction and continue past Copperfield Campground and cross the Snake River back onto the Idaho side of the Snake River. 6) Once on the Idaho side, continue North for about 6 miles and Hells Canyon Campground will be on the West side of the road.  Continue North another 8 miles down river from Hells Canyon Campground to Big Bar Campground and the Allison Creek Trail Head.

We will begin the day by meeting at Big Bar Campground (toilets are available but no water).  After the sign-in and safety meeting, we will drive approximately one mile to the Eckels Creek Trail Head to begin the trail work.
ITA will provide barbeque pork ribs & Macaroni salad post trail work on Saturday at Hells Canyon Campground.  Depending upon the number of volunteers participating, we will plan to eat at 5:30PM.

Other details:

Camping option: Wally plans to camp Friday the 27th & Saturday the 28th at the Hells Canyon Campground owned by Idaho Power located 8 miles from the project site.  Sites are at winter rates through March.  RV sites are $8 and tent sites are $5.  Tents can use RV spaces but must pay RV price, however, up to three tents can be set up in an RV Space.  This campground has heated toilets and has tables and fire rings.  Here is link: https://www.idahopower.com/OurEnvironment/Recreation/fees.cfm

Sunday hiking option: Wally is also planning to hike on Sunday morning and would like to invite anyone that wishes to accompany him.  He’ll probably hike Allison Creek, about 6 miles and 2500 feet elevation gain.  An option is just to go sight-seeing down at Hells Canyon Dam—should still be goats, deer, and elk.

In general, this is a good opportunity to join other ITA volunteers for a day of trail maintenance and see some of the Hells Canyon trail hiking opportunities.

Sign in:

Hell’s Canyon Campground, Idaho:

 

2014 Project Accomplishments and Summary for the Idaho Trails Association

ITA Logo Small

ITA’sMission

Idaho Trails Association promotes the continued enjoyment of Idaho’s hiking trails.

The Idaho Trails Association (ITA) is a non-profit organization.

ITA’s Purpose:

To facilitate the active enjoyment of Idaho’s public lands and hiking trails, the Idaho Trails Association brings together citizens and develops partnerships to foster:

  • Care-taking of Idaho’s hiking trails through stewardship projects, including trail construction and maintenance.
  • Development of traditional trails maintenance skills.
  • Understanding and appreciation, through education of Idaho’s unique trail resources.
  • Preservation, protection and access to Idaho’s hiking trails through outreach and advocacy.

In 2014 Idaho Trails Association completed seven projects on the National Forest and BLM system lands in Idaho.  Our Agency sponsors were the Boise BLM-Bruneau Field Office, Payette, Boise, Sawtooth and Panhandle National Forests.  Four of these projects were within designated Wilderness, and involved both trail work and stewardship activities and three were on high use non-motorized trails.

The projects ranged from five volunteers in more remote and logistically challenging areas to fifty volunteers on the work days that were closer to large population bases.

  • Number of volunteers- 139
  • Volunteer field hours- 1,660
  • Monetary value- $36,520
  • Miles of trail cleared-40.5
  • Miles of trail reconstructed-4
  • Miles of new construction-2
  • Logs cut from trail- 125
  • Water bars cleaned- 350
  • Puncheon constructed- 18 feet
  • Bridge construction- 1 @18 feet
  • Fence Removal- 1.6 miles
  • Human Waste Removal- “Piles”                                                                                            
  • Wilderness Campsite Naturalization-11

 Project Highlights:  

 The Panhandle NF provided the Grouse Mountain Trail project where the ITA crew constructed an eighteen foot long bridge, three hundred feet of newly constructed trail for the bridge approaches, eighteen feet of puncheon and removal of four large boulders from the trail tread. This project was funded through REI and ITA fund raising activities and membership.

The Sawtooth NF, Alice-Toxaway project was a highlight of the season.  Six ITA volunteers spent five days in the Sawtooth Wilderness clearing over thirty miles of trail on one of the most popular loops in the Wilderness.  The ITA crew also worked on cleaning camps and naturalizing overused sites. This week long session was funded through a grant from the Sawtooth Society.

Toxaway
ALICe LAke

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Boise BLM Bruneau Field Office has been a great partner to work with in the Owyhee Canyonlands and Wilderness areas.  They have provided early and late season opportunities for volunteers to get out and help. We have removed wire fence, decommissioned roads and built new trail along with reconstructing existing trails in amazing country is always a big draw for volunteers.  Roberson Trail in the Owyhee Wilderness has become an annual event on National Trails Day for ITA.  This project brings in large numbers of volunteers who work at multiple projects to help with the stewardship of this area.  This Owyhee project was been funded through grants from REI.

Roberson trail2Roberson trail

 Roberson Trail Owyhee Wilderness          Photos courtesy of Bryan Dufosse                     

 

 The Hum Lake Trail on the Payette NF was the inaugural ITA project in 2010.  We continued to work on this trail as an overnight project working to help reopen the North Fork of Lick Creek trail.  We have added day work parties to this trail as it has become a very popular volunteer opportunity.  This project is funded by REI and the USFS and volunteer pack support from BD Recreation Consultants.

Hum lake sumitDuck lake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The National Public Lands Day brought out over 50 volunteers to do stewardship work in and outside the Owyhee Wilderness.  During this project in the Owyhee Canyonlands the skills of future trail bosses were discovered.  This young man was part of a “Toddler Brigade” who helped remove baseball sized rocks from the trail tread.  He and 6 other youth were supervised by two parents who instructed the brigade in how to remove rocks without hurting or throwing them at anyone.  The brigade was a success!  It was hard to get past the group at the end of the day as everyone had to hear and see what a great job they did, and they did do a great job!

Future trail boss

Future Trail Boss

The Future:                                                                                                                 

The classic one day work party:  As ITA grows we are getting more requests from the agencies for single day work parties to work on trails close to population hubs.  These work parties have been funded by REI and the land management agencies, however future funding opportunities need to be pursued.

 Large volunteer projects provide challenges because of the need to ensure ITA has enough qualified crew leads to manage the volunteers are available.  Recruiting other passionate crew leaders will be important for future expansion and success.

ITA prides itself in teaching safety and completing the best quality trail work while also working towards creating supporters and stewards of our public lands. We may not knock out a project as fast as a contractor or force account crew, but the quality should be the same, and the potential of creating lifelong supporters of public lands is great.  This goal is important for future partner relationships.

 

Our Message:

ITA is a hiking, trail advocacy and stewardship group. We formed to provide the voice for hikers throughout the state.  Our role is to get work done and to develop strong stewards of the land who are informed and educated enough to provide support to land management agencies and continuing this goal is important.

ITA is proud to teach and promote traditional skills while accomplishing trail work.  We feel it is a needed and necessary way to safely engage the public into volunteer stewardship to help our public lands.  ITA promotes these traditional skills to provide the training and understanding that work can be accomplished safely and efficiently in this manner.

ITA has a goal to safely engage the public in stewardship activities, by doing this we hope to build a more accepting and supportive public who will enjoy recreating and participating in the future of our public lands.

 Our Thanks:

 To REI, Sawtooth Society, Agency Partners, volunteers, members, contributors, Board of Directors and Advisory Board for their time, energy, leadership and monetary contributions.

 

Great news friends we have finalized dates for some of our 2015 projects!

To sign up early for a project email intern@idahotrailsassociation.org. In the email make sure to reference the project(s) you want to sign up for. After you sign-up, an ITA representative will be in touch.

In the future we will post a separate sign-up page for each project that will have more specific details about the project. Stay tuned for more projects, updates, and further information. Thank you for your interest in volunteering with the ITA and we look forward to seeing you on the trails!

Projects Dates

2015

Agencies Locations &

Logistics

Notes & Contacts
Oolite Interpretive Trail

 

January 24th BLM Owyhee Wilderness

 

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

1 day

 

 

 

 

Eccles Creek

Hells Canyon

 

 

March 28th Forest Service Payette NF

Difficulty: Moderate

 

1 day

 

 

ITA project lead:

Wally Kimball

National Trails Day June 6th Bureau of Land Management Owyhee Wilderness

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

1 day

 

 

 

East Fork of Lake Fork Creek June 27th Forest Service McCall RD

Payette NF

Difficulty: Easy

1day

6 volunteers

 

ITA Project Lead: Jeff Halligan

(Crew lead Training Opportunity)

Black Lee Creek

(Box Lake Trail)

 

June 28th Forest Service McCall RD

Payette NF

Difficulty:

Strenuous

1 day

6 volunteers

ITA Project Lead:  Jeff Halligan

(Crew Lead Training Opportunity)

N. Fork Lick Creek

 

July 4th

 

Forest Service Krassel RD

Payette NF

Difficulty:  moderate

2 miles -1 day

 

ITA project lead: Jeff Halligan

 

Alice-Toxaway Loop

From Toxaway side Possible 4 person backpack crew to meet up with Toxaway crew after working the Petit to Alice trail and Alice Lake.

 

 

July 19th -25th Forest Service SNRA

Difficulty: Moderate to strenuous

 

30+ miles

7 days

10 volunteers

 

 

 

 

 

Hum Lake

 

July 25th & 26th Forest Service Krassel RD

Payette NF

Difficulty:  moderate

 

2 days

6-8 volunteers

ITA project lead: Jeff Halligan

 

Livingston Mill-Castle Divide Trail

The non-motorized section between WA Basin and Little Boulder Creek as well as satellite trails including Chamberlain Lakes, Washington Lake, and Chamberlain Creek trails.

 

Aug 9th – 15th Forest Service Sawtooth NF-SNRA

Difficulty: Moderate to strenuous

 

16 miles

6 days

12 volunteers max

 

 

 

ITA project lead:

Wally Kimball

Hike of the Month

The Idaho Trails Association would like to introduce a new monthly update on hiking and snowshoeing trails around Idaho. We’re grateful to be able to utilize materials from Hiking Idaho and other resources. Scott Marchant envisioned a mission for Hiking Idaho to publish guidebooks that make available accurate and inspiring backcountry information. Visit hikingidaho.com to learn more.

Hikes and snowshoes will be posted by the suggested month. This is just a general guideline however as many of the hikes can be utilized outside of the specific month.

January’s Hike of The Month

This hike is a popular destination in Boise and from Scott Marchant’s book The Hiker’s Guide to Greater Boise.

Table Rock Loop

  • Distance: 4.1 miles loop
  • Total Elevation Gain: 900 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Elevation Range: 2,750 feet to 3,650 feet
  • Topographic Map: Boise South
  • Time: 1 hour to 30 minutes to 2 hours
  • Season: All Year
  • Water Availability: None
  • Cautionary Advice: During winter, avoid the area when temperatures are above freezing as the trails contain a significant amount of clay and are easily damaged. Be aware of thunderstorm activity while on the Table Rock mesa.
  • Information: ridgetorivers.cityofboise.org
  • Restroom: No

Table Rock Loop

One of the first things you notice when looking from downtown Boise to the top of Table Rock: this flat-topped mesa is close – less than three miles. Other than Camelback Mountain in Phoenix or Twin Peaks in San Francisco, there may not be a better urban hiking experience so close to a major city. Mind you, the 3,652-mesa is no Mt. Borah, but this unique piece of geography delivers the goods when it comes to views.

From the top of Table Rock, vistas extend south and southwest on clear days beyond the plains of the Treasure Valley to the Owyhee Mountains, nearly fifty miles away. Looking north, the forested ridgeline of the Boise Mountains seems close enough to touch. Of course, the mesa’s proximity to Boise keeps the area busy, especially on the weekends. The majority of users approach the peak from the Old Penitentiary trailhead. Use the Warms Springs Golf Course trailhead to escape the crowds and experience a more scenic hike.

By combining several non-motorized trails, you can create a diverse loop. There a few steep sections but they only last a quarter mile or so. The route weaves between lichen-covered boulders, transitions through sagebrush, circles around Table Rock and descends and open hillside covered with hundreds of boulders. Try to plan on being at the top of Table Rock at sunset; you will be in for a special treat as the sun sets on the horizon.

Trailhead Directions

From the intersection of Warm Springs Road and Broadway Avenue, drive east of Warm Springs Road 2.1 miles to the Warm Springs Golf Course. Turn right and park in the large parking area. The trailhead is on the north side of Warm Springs Road.

The Hike

Cross Warm Springs Road and gain elevation as the trail veers northeast. The trail passes through a scenic quarter-mile segment with many boulders covered in lichen with shades of gold, black, grey, green and silver. Interestingly, lichens are not plants, but compound organisms: a symbiosis of fungus living with a colony of algae or cyanobacteria – sometimes both. It is estimated that more than 3,600 species of lichen exist in the United States and Canada and approximately 17,000 are found worldwide.

At 0.5 mile, you reach two junctions, one signed, one not. Continue straight through both, traveling north up a broad gulch towards Table Rock. Arrive a signed junction at 0.9 mile at the base of Table Rock. Continue on the Tram Trail, a fitting name as the steep route gains 400 feet to a junction at 1.2 miles with the Table Rock Quarry Trail. Continue straight on the east side of the mountain (look to your left for a couple of footpaths that ascend to an overlook of the Table Rock Quarry) and then veer left on the backside of the mountain. Reach the parking area near the top of the mesa at 1.7 miles.

Cross the parking area, continue west on the dirt road and arrive at the edge of Table Rock, perched at 1,000 feet over the downtown skyline of Boise. After enjoying the remarkable vistas, continue along the southwest rim of the flat plateau and make a steep descent on the Table Rock Trail. As you descend, you will pass several placards with informative information on the geological history of the area. At the bottom of the descent, reach a signed junction. Continue straight to the next signed junction with the Table Rock Loop Trail.

Turn left, heading east through sagebrush. Follow the trail through the first junction and turn right at the next junction with the Table Rock Loop. Within a few yards, turn left and begin a descent on the Rock Island Trail. The singletrack trail quickly comes to a grouping of rocks with great views west and south. From here, the trail switchbacks back down to the Tram Trail. Turn right and hike back a half mile to the trailhead.

There will be many intersecting trails both unsigned and signed that can be confusing. The Ridge to Rivers trail map does not list all of these intersections as most of the side trails are unauthorized. However, it is difficult to get lost as the open terrain and looming Table Rock always gives you a reference point.

Visit hikingidaho.com or our literature section from the Hiking tab above to learn more.

Backcountry Monthly Cooking Tips

The Idaho Trails Association would like to introduce a new monthly addition to its website starting in 2015. Steve Weston, the local Idaho author of “In the Wild Chef”, will be providing valuable monthly cooking tips for your outdoor adventures. He will also provide blogs ranging from in-the field cooking instructions to yummy recipes! We are excited to have Steve as a partner and look forward to his valuable information and yummy recipes!

In the wild chef

First 2015 Project of the year! Oolite Interpretive Trail, Owyhees!

Ready to start the 2015 trail season with a Dig?  January 24th we will be partnering with

the Bruneau Field Office of the BLM to work on the Oolite Interpretive Trail in the Owyhees.  Oolite Trail Project

Project Details:

Shoofly Oolite interpretive site trail:  This is an interesting area to stop along the Owyhee Uplands Backcountry Byway to take a short hike.  We would maintain and widen the 0.5 miles of trail from parking area to the Oolite mineral deposit cliffs where kids and adults explore the small arches, rare plants, and tiny fossils.  We also need to beautify the parking area by removing some wire fencing and constructing a more people inviting wood hiker maze at trailhead.

When:

January 24, 2015.  Meet at 9am at the Boise BLM parking lot (3948 S Development Ave., Boise, ID 83705) to carpool or 10:15 at the Shoofly Oolite Site.   Return to Boise by 3pm or end of project about 2pm.

Where:

This is about an hour and a half drive from Boise.  It is South of Mountain Home and Grandview, Idaho on the Mud Flat Road.  From Boise take the Simco Exit and drive to highway 167 and on to Grandview.  Then turn east on Highway 78 to the Mud Flat Turnoff where you will turn south and drive to the Shoofly-Oolite Trailhead, just past the Shoofly Cutoff road.

Update: The ITA/BLM will be providing hot dogs, buns and condiments for lunch. We will also have drinking water available, but bring your favorite drink or snacks if you would like something additional or different.

Please sign up here:

Thank you project volunteers! We currently have 30 total signed up for this project and we appreciate the interest and enthusiasm. However, this is all we can accommodate on this project, so we have closed the signups.

Thanks for your interest and please keep watching for future ITA Projects!