This was our second year helping maintain the Alice-Toxaway Loop in the Sawtooth Wilderness. We worked for a week with some guidace from the USFS and were able to cut out 24 downed logs and carry out work on 247 water bars, either cleaning them out or installing new ones. In total, we were able to maintain roughly 22 miles of trail, including the Alice-Toxaway Loop and several trails that branch off the loop. A big thank you to our volunteers who committed a total of 273 hours and REI Boise for funding this project! Read on to hear about our 2013 Alice-Toxaway project from project leader Josh Wheeler.
This last July was my second trip to the Sawtooths with ITA and it was again, amazing. The heat was a bit stifling at times but the views make up for any momentary discomfort! We camped at the far side of Toxaway Lake, close enough to take a dip after a hard days work, but removed from the trail to have time to relax and enjoy a good meal. This year, like last, we had the great pleasure of spending the week with one of Mystic Saddles outfitters, Randy, who prepared and cooked every meal. Amazing!
The highlight for me each year has been the new relationships. I’m a people person and enjoy being able to talk, share stories, and swing a pulaski together. I was able to bring my son this year and show him how amazing the wilderness is, but also how we can’t take it for granted. I hope through this to teach him that it’s equally important to give back to the trails after spending many years using them.
I have a whole new respect for the work that goes into maintaining our trail systems here in Idaho. And I believe ITA has and will continue to have an important role in keeping several of our Idaho trails maintained and beautiful, and I’m glad to be playing a small role in that.
Josh Wheeler, Boise
July 7th-14th was one of the hottest weeks of the summer. Despite the sweltering heatr, several volunteers gathered to help maintain the Pistol Creek Trail in the Frank Church – River of No Return Wilderness. They arrived and started setting up their camp. Their meals were prepared by the Backcountry Horsemen. With the objective to clear brush, deadfall, and repair tread, they did just that.
Working eight-hour days, they contributed a combined 208 hours of volunteer service. Volunteers maintained 11 miles of trail and cleared an astonishing 129 logs and trees from the trail!
With all that hard work, what else could they have possibly done? Well, this group was a bunch of rock stars. They also spent time cleaning 20 waterbars and installed 7 new ones. But that is not all! They also constructed a 20-foot cribwall, inventoried 1 acre of weeds, and removed a campfire ring.
A BIG thank you to all the Pistol Creek Volunteers and Debra Ellers, our our project leader for all the hard work they put into this project! The numbers show their commitment to trails and future trail users.
The Idaho Trails Association also wants to thank the Selway-Bitterroot Frank Church Foundation for their financial support and trail crew leadership.
Stunning views of Lake Pend Oreille, the Cabinet Mountains, and the Selkirk Mountains await you on top of Bonner County’s tallest peak. Hikers will likely find company at the top, where mountain goats negotiate rock outcroppings and steep cliffs.
From the trailhead, the route begins relentlessly uphill for the first mile until reaching the first set of switchbacks. At that point, the grade becomes more bearable. About two-thirds of the way up, the trail passes through a large hillside meadow, with stunning views of Lake Pend Orielle and the Clark Fork River Valley. The trail eventually intercepts the ridge and follows it to the summit. Follow cairns and other indicators through the talus.
The Scotchman Peaks are inhabited by grizzly bears and mountain goats. Hikers are advised to take special precautions to reduce the risk of negative bear encounters. Please do not feed the mountain goats or any other wild animals. Feeding wild animals may result in serious injury or death.
3.5 miles (one way)
Take Highway 200 (east from Sandpoint) and in downtown Clark Fork turn north at the Chevron Station. Go past the school and continue up Mosquito Creek Road #276. Go past the (former) Clark Fork Field Campus to the junction of Road #2294. Turn right and go a little over a mile. Watch for signs for trail #65. Turn left on road 2294A. Follow this road a little over a mile to where it ends at the trailhead.
Forest Service: Kaniksu National Forest
USGS Quad(s): Clark Fork NE
The Scotchman Peaks are a proposed wilderness area.
100 Hikes in the Inland Northwest by Rich Landers (2nd Edition, 2003)
Trails of the Wild Cabinets By Dennis Nicholls with Jim Mellen (2nd Edition, 2008)