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Volunteer Spotlight: Thom Klein

Thomkleinphoto2The Idaho Centennial Trail takes hikers 900 miles through some of Idaho’s most beautiful places. With the current rise in popularity of long distance hiking, it is high time that the ICT gets the recognition it deserves as one of America’s most rugged and remote hikes. But an increase in hikers means an increased need for stewardship, education, and awareness.

The Idaho Trails Association has teamed up with local partners to help improve trail conditions for future hikers. Coordinating with our long time backcountry allies, the Selway Bitterroot Frank Church Foundation, and Forest Service trail crews, over 50 miles of the ICT were cleared in 2016. Stewards of the trail cut hundreds of logs, cleared water bars and improved drainage, addressed some hiker hazards, and opened up trails that have been choked up for decades.

It is with great pride that we return to areas of Idaho that have long since been overlooked, and where we are at risk of losing access to our wild places. We hope the growth of the Idaho Centennial Trail will create more interest and investment in our public lands, and lead the way for Idaho’s next generation of outdoor adventurers.

Thom Klein is an ITA volunteer from Eastern Idaho who has made it his goal to hike the entire length of the ICT in sections. He has helped us coordinate presentations at Idaho State University, so we were happy to help him with a ride out of the Frank Church as he bagged his last miles of the season. Congratulations Thom on a spectacular season of hiking and thank you for your contributions to the Idaho Trails Association.

 

Volunteer Spotlight: Thom Klein, Pocatello


 

This past summer, I took a notion to hike at least part of the Idaho Centennial Trail—the gorgeous but neglected south-to-north route through Idaho’s wildlands. Yet I have to admit to being a bit of a wuss: the idea of solo-hiking (and especially solo-sleeping) is not something I relish. So I persuaded various friends to come along for 3-4 day sections, beginning with the Owyhee Desert and working northwards into the Sawtooths and the central mountains. (See the article by Mike Stubbs in Idaho MagazineThomkleinphoto1 for a description of one of those hikes.)

However, I was having trouble getting companions for the section into the Frank Church Wilderness, until Clay Jacobson, from the Idaho Trails Association, suggested that I hike in along the Middle Fork to meet a trail crew sponsored by the ITA and SBFCF, which was going to be working its way down Marble Creek, a notoriously difficult and overgrown portion of the ICT. I could meet up with the trail crew—however far they had gotten—and hitch a ride out.

I enjoyed my walk first along Marsh Creek and then the Middle Fork, and had plenty of rafters at least for visual company. After two days, I found myself at the outlet of Marble Creek, and managed to score a large serving of steak fajitas from the party of boaters camped there.

The next day, Marble Creek trail started out fairly clear. Occasionally, trail and creek would squeeze into a narrow gully, and then I had to push through undergrowth as I sang loudly to scare off any large animals. After the old Mitchell homestead, though, I began to see how Marble had gotten its reputation: with lots of deadfall and thick regrowth at creek crossings, it was easy to lose the trail. Thomkleinphoto3At one point, I found myself waste-deep in a beaver pond; at another, I had to cross a steep, unstable slide area with a 200-foot drop to the creek bottom.

At last, late in the afternoon, I began to see signs of recent trail work and then came upon an immense log-jam which was obviously in the process of being cleared, with tools and helmets laid on one side. The contrast in the quality of the trail was like night and day, and I hurried ahead. I kept rounding corners and expecting to find the crew’s encampment (it was another four miles), but at last I spotted the tethered mules and shed a few grateful tears as I pulled in, just in time for a hot supper—and cold beer, of course.

This trip was the highpoint of my hiking this summer, and I am immensely grateful for the ITA’s work in the backcountry, keeping these beautiful places accessible for those who don’t mind enduring some blisters—and maybe a brief meeting with a black bear.

 

We invite you to join us in 2017 as we continue to make a positive impact in the Idaho backcountry. New trail work projects will be announced in the spring, but you can get involved right now by becoming an ITA member at whatever level is right for you. We appreciate all our members and could not do our important work without you. Thank you!

Bee Top Connector Trail Work Debrief

On Tuesday, July 26, eleven volunteers helped work on the final sections of the new Bee Top Connector Trail in the Sandpoint Ranger District of the Idaho Panhandle National Forest. This new trail will re-open access to the Bee Top/Round Top Trail #120 from the east end for the first time in many years.

The ITA volunteers re-built a section of the new trail that had been destroyed in a storm last fall. We completed a by-pass trail around the damaged section, then dug out rocks and roots and did finish grading on about 1 ½ miles of the Connector. The eleven volunteers completed all the planned work in a single.Bee top comm trail work

An Idaho Conservation Corps (ICC) youth group working for the Forest Service was digging the very last ½ mile of the new trail ahead of our ITA volunteers. The ICC is expecting to complete that last section of the new Connector trail in August.

Trail #120 is regarded by many to be one of the most beautiful trails in northern Idaho. It travels for 18 miles along scenic alpine ridge tops that are 4,000’ above Lake Pend Oreille. Trail #120 is also part of the 900 mile long Idaho Centennial Trail.

2016 National Public Lands Day – Trail Work Party

Boise Bureau of Land Management, Idaho Trails Association, and REI invite you to join us for some camping, projects, and activities for this year’s National Public Lands Day out in the Owyhee Canyonlands.

Date: September 17th, 2016. Join us the evening of September 16th to campout or the morning of September 17th.  Breakfast & registration starts at 9am, projects are from 10am-12pm, and lunch from 12pm-1pm.

Site Location: Poison Creek Recreation Site is about 20 miles southeast of Grand View, Idaho.  The drive from Boise takes about one hour and 15 minutes.  From town of Grand View, head east for two miles on Highway 78 to access the Mud Flat Road.  The last 5 miles of the drive is a gravel road.  Poison Creek Recreation Site is the eastern gateway to three Owyhee Canyonlands Wilderness Areas and for driving the Owyhee Uplands Backcountry Byway (aka Mud Flat Road).  Poison Creek Recreation Site is a staging area for backcountry adventure, but this shady oasis needs some TLC.

Projects:  Projects at this site include replacing pole fence, planting native plants, and trail work. Woodsy the owl

Activities: Guest speaker, owls of the Owyhee’s. Make a bird house in celebration of Woodsy Owls 45th birthday.

BLM will provide:  Breakfast and lunch on September 17th and a National Public Lands Day 2016 shirt and an REI volunteer shirt.  Youth receive Woodsy Owl stickers, coloring books, and patches.

Please bring and wear shoes, long pants, sunglasses, and gloves so we can work safely.

For more information: Please contact info@idahotrailsassociation.org or Dave Draheim @ Boise BLM (208)384-3358 or ddraheim@blm.gov.

2016 NPLD

Sign up here:

 

 

 

August’s Hike of The Month

Deep Lake

Photo courtesy of: www.idahoaclimbingguide.com

  • Distance: 1.8 miles out-and-back
  • Total elevation gain: 550 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Elevation Range: 6,800 feet to 7,350 feet
  • Topographic Map: Victor Peak
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Season: Late June through October
  • Water Availability: Deep Lake
  • Cautionary Advice: Trail travels through extensive burn area. Use caution in windy conditions and be prepared for sun exposure.
  • Information: Payette National Forest, McCall Ranger District (208) 634-0400
  • Restroom: No
  • Coordinates: Trailhead: 45d 10′ 34″ N 115d 56′ 61″ W, Deep Lake: 45d 09′ 96″ N 115d 55′ 91″

This hike is posted by the suggested month to go on from Scott Marchant’s 2016 Idaho Wilderness Calender.  This is just a general guideline however as many of the hikes can be utilized outside of the specific month.

The hike is from Hiking Idaho’s guide book author Scott Marchant and from his book The Hiker’s Guide to McCall & Cascade.

Deep Lake

With minimal effort you get far-reaching views, solitude, a peak-ringed lake and a canyon decorated with granite. It is hard to believe this basket of treasures is achieved with a short one mile hike. Deep Lake rests in a glaciated bowl at an elevation of 7,300 feet. Two unnamed granite peaks, one at 8,618-feet and the other at 8,386-feet, loom over the lake. Although the 1994 fires burned most of the forest, unobstructed views and a plethora of granite peaks make for an otherworldly adventure. This beautiful area is accessed from the end of FR 431 and is certainly off the beaten path. The route to the lake is not an official trail but it is clearly defined most of the way. Rock cairns assist where the path is faint. Children will find the lake entertaining, with many granite boulders along the lake’s perimeter. As an added bonus for August hikers, huckleberries flourish alongside the trail. Those skilled with map reading skills can cross-country hike from Deep Lake and complete a 3.2 mile loop, visiting Trail Lake and Frog Lake. A small patch of forest north of Trail Lake escaped the burn adding to its allure. All three lakes have a couple of shaded campsites.

Trailhead Directions

From downtown McCall, go west on ID 55. At 1.2 miles, reset your odometer to 0 and turn right onto Warren Wagon Road. Go north on Warren Wagon Road 21.2 miles and turn right onto unmarked FR 431. Follow the well-graded dirt road 1.9 miles to its end. The trailhead is marked with a cairn at the eastern end of the parking area. There is parking for five or six vehicles.

The Hike

The trail is marked with cairns most of the way as it traverses over granite slabs and through burned forest. Begin hiking east in the canyon containing the outlet stream from Deep Lake. The trail climbs 200 feet and turns south with sensational views west to Squaw Meadows and the surrounding granite peaks. Soon the 8,292-foot Black Tip Mountain, which astonishingly is the headwaters for eight drainages, is clearly visible in the far distance. Reach the western shore of the lake at 0.9 mile. Here you will find a few parcels of green forest, sheltering a couple of fine campsites. If you are skilled with map reading or with a GPS, you can hike off-trail and complete a 3.2 mile loop back to your vehicle.

To do so, turn right (southwest) near Deep Lake and hike across deadfall and then up a charred ridge. After a climb of 150 feet, descend through dense forest into a small meadow. The lake is not visible due to the forest but is found by walking southeast towards Diamond Ridge. To continue the loop, walk around the north shore of the lake and travel west through burned forest towards Frog Lake. After a quarter mile hike, Frog Lake is seen from a rocky knoll. From here, descend 250 feet on an open hillside to the lake and cross the outlet stream, where you will find a campspot. Continue north, paralleling the outlet stream of Frog Lake, to the edge of the canyon containing Trail Creek. Look across the drainage where your vehicle will be visible near the trailhead.

August’s tip

This Month’s tips are from Steve Weston the In The Wild Chef.

How to make Roasted Poblano Jalapeno Soup!

Hum Lake trail work party debrief

On July 2nd, 2016 ten volunteers donated 80 hours of volunteer time to clear the Hum Lake trail on the Krassel Ranger District of the Payette National Forest. We were met with clear blue skies, temperatures in the 60s and an empty Trailhead.  We started off with introductions and a safety meeting to discuss the day’s events and proper and safe tool use. We ended up taking 2 crosscuts as we had 4 certified sawyers, pulaskis, shovels, loppers and the infamous Peavey.  Hum lake 4

We split into 3 teams, 2 saw teams and the waterbar/brushers that did an amazing job of working on the drainage and cutting those bushes back.  Overall we cleaned 47 waterbars, brushed 600 feet and cut 22 trees from the trail.  We were able to have our ceremonial snowball toss at the Hum Lake pass, there is still a nice cornice slowly melting away.  It was a great day that ended with light rain, cookies and drinks back at the trailhead.  Thanks to the awesome crew that came out for this work party!

Hum lake 1Hum lake 2     Hum lake 3

2016 Cleanup of the Beehive Lakes Trail #279.

On June 25, volunteers with the Idaho Trails Association (ITA) completed maintenance work on the Beehive Lakes Trail in the Sandpoint District of the Idaho Panhandle National Forest. Fourteen ITA members and friends brushed out 4 ½ miles of trail, re-built or re-opened 43 water diversion ditches, and cut out 5 fallen trees that had blocked the trail.Beehive 2016 - 1

One of the trees we removed measured 36” to 39” in diameter, the largest ITA has done in our 6 year history of helping to keep Idaho’s hiking trails open for the public. In all, our volunteers spent about 130 person hours doing this work. The popular Beehive Lake trail is 4 ½ miles long and gains about 2,000’ of elevation before it ends at a beautiful alpine lake that sits just below the Selkirk Mountain crest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beehive 2016-3

English Point Trail Work Party Debrief

Our first trail work party of 2016 was another great success.

On Friday, April 29, eight volunteers helped the Idaho Trails Association (ITA) do maintenance work on the English Point Trail #80 in the Idaho Panhandle National Forest. The group cleaned out water bars, cut back brush, cleaned sod off of a raised walkway, and did other “spring cleaning” chores.

The English Point trail system includes easy loops through forest terrain on the west side of Hayden Lake. The ITA volunteers maintained about 2 ½ miles of this popular trail, making it more enjoyable for the hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders who come here.

The Forest Service had a crew go in ahead of our ITA volunteers to cut out the many large trees that had come down early last winter in a big storm. Our volunteers were then able to use hand tools to complete the re-opening of the trail. Our work was completed in one day with no injuries or other issues.

We recommend having fun and exploring the English Point trail system!

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We have lots of great other trail work parties and vacations coming up this year and we hope join us for one or all of them! Sign up here: ITA Work Projects

 

Thank you to our Sponsors and partners!

 

Mattingly Creek Trail Work Vacation (Full)

Mattingly Creek Weeklong in the Sawtooth Wilderness!!

Project Description

Sunday, July 24th – Saturday, July 30th.

Maximum number of volunteers 5

This is a strenuous week long work party that will be backpacking from the Alturas Lake Trailhead to the city of Atlanta!  This work party will carry all of their food, gear and tools along the Mattingly Creek trail #034 and maintain the trail along the way.  Primitive camping, wilderness, scenery, and good work will be the highlights of this trip!  There is only room for 5 volunteers so sign up early for this special trip! 

The work party will meet Sunday evening at Alturas Lake to camp before leaving Monday morning for Mattingly Creek trail.  Hiking while clearing and improving the trail will give you a chance to seek out remote campsites and get a real Wilderness experience.  Shuttle back to Alturas Lake from Atlanta will be Saturday morning July 30th.

This trip is generously sponsored by The National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance!

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Please review our Volunteer Manual. If you have any questions please email them to info@idahotrailsassociation.org.

Sign Up

This Trail Work Vacation is full, to be put on a wait list please email intern@idahotrailsassociation.org.  Thank you for your interest in volunteering with us & we  hope you will sign up for one of our other great projects! 

Marble Creek Trail Work Vacation (Full, wait list available)

Marble Creek, August, 28th- Sept. 3rdMore Crosscut

Project Description:

Marble Creek is in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness.

Spend a week in one of the remotest places in the lower 48.  ITA is partnering with the Selway Bitterroot/Frank Church Foundation to clear 13 miles of Marble Creek off the Middle Fork of the Salmon River.  If you ever wanted to spend a week crosscutting logs from a trail this is the project! 

Supplies will be packed in by stock to the camp at Cottonwood Creek where we will spend our time opening a critical section of the 1000 mile long Idaho ICT Trail signCentennial Trail.  Meals will be provided. 

Maximum number of volunteers: 6 

Please review our Volunteer Manual. If you have any questions please email them to info@idahotrailsassociation.org.

This Trail Work Vacation is full, to be put on a wait list please email intern@idahotrailsassociation.org.  Thank you for your interest in volunteering with us & we  hope you will sign up for one of our other great projects! 

Alice-Toxaway Trail Work Vacation (Full, wait List available)

 
  • Where: Sawtooth National Recreation Area
  • When: Sunday-Saturday, July 17th-23rd.
  • Elevation: 7,000′-9,280′ range
  • Location: Tin Cup Trailhead
  • Level of Difficulty: Moderate to Strenuous
  • Accepting: 8 volunteers

Project Description

Alice-Toxaway July, 17th-23rd

Spend seven days in the beautiful Sawtooth Wilderness working on the Alice-Toxaway trail nestled amongst the 10,000 foot peaks of the Sawtooth Range.  Your gear will be packed into a base camp by Mule train.  We will meet at the Tin Cup Trailhead at Pettit Lake on Sunday July 17th to hike into camp at Toxaway Lake.  We will hike in on Sunday July 17 to our base camp at Toxaway Lake.  Monday we will start working on the trails around Toxaway Lake and to the trailhead at Tin Cup.  We will teach you how to clean waterbars, how to cut logs from the trail with Crosscut saws, cut brush back and how to rebuild trail tread. We will also be working on removing rocks and repairing rocky sections of the trail and creek crossings.  Meals will be provided and cooked by ITA Chefs. 

Maximum number of volunteers 8.

This is one of the most scenic trail projects in the nation, sign up early as only eight spaces are available!

Please review our Volunteer Manual. If you have any questions please email them to info@idahotrailsassociation.org.

Sign Up

Please fill out the form below if you are interested in participating on this project.

Because this is a week long supported project, ITA requires a $50 per person refundable deposit to secure your spot. This will help us ensure that everyone who registers is well-intentioned and we will not have to bear the costs of last-minute cancellations. By submitting this registration, you agree to donate the deposit if you cancel with less than 2 weeks notice.

After completing the sign-up information on this page,  you will be redirected to a secure site to make your deposit with PayPal or Credit Card. An ITA representative will get back to you with more information.

This Trail Work Vacation is full, to be put on a wait list please email intern@idahotrailsassociation.org.

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with us & we  hope you will sign up for one of our other great projects! 

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Ants Basin Trail Work Vacation (Full)

Project Descriptionidahomagic-61

Ants Basin, August 7th-13th

Ants Basin.  Seven days in the White Clouds Wilderness! We will hike into the base camp in the upper meadows of Warm Springs Creek on Sunday August 7th.  This project is focusing on the trails in Ants Basin/Born Lakes and Warm Springs Creek.  We will be camping at the upper meadows in Warm Springs Creek and doing day hikes to improve the trails in the area.  Meals are provided and cooked by ITA volunteer chefs.  This project is currently full.

If you have questions please contact info@idahotrailsassociation.org.

This Trail Work Vacation is full.  Thank you for your interest in volunteering with us & we  hope you will sign up for one of our other great projects!

Photos Courtesy of Peter Lovera.

 

Hum Lake Trail Work Party – July 2nd (Full, wait list available)

Projects details:

July 2nd, 2016 Hum Lake Trail, Payette National Forest, McCall, Idaho

Work details: Join us for a day high in mountains above McCall clearing the trail between Duck and Hum Lakes.  We will meet at the Duck Lake Trailhead at Lick Creek Summit at 9am Saturday, July 2nd.  We will hike up to Hum Lake junction and start clearing the trail to Hum Lake with crosscut saws.  Our goal is to make it the 2 miles over the pass and down to Hum Lake.  This is a strenuous hike at high elevation, but well worth the effort!  Snacks and drinks will be provided at the end of the work day, but be sure to bring a daypack, jacket, gloves and your lunch and water!

Let’s have fun and be safe.  This project is difficult physically as we will be at higher elevation and climbing over a high pass in the time we will be working (9am-3pm) and the hiking distance (6 miles round trip) involved.

Volunteers needed: 10 volunteers. If your plans change and you cannot make it. Please notify us & attempt to fill the project with another volunteer.

When/Where: We will meet at the Duck Lake Trailhead at Lick Creek Summit at 9am.  We will have our safety meeting, sign in and then head up the trail.  We should be back to the trailhead by 4pm.

 What to bring: All volunteers should bring their own small pack with lunch, snacks, sunscreen, and water.  Volunteers should have hiking boots, leather work gloves, and eye protection (sunglasses or safety glasses).  ITA will provide the crosscut saws for the project.

This Trail Work Vacation is full, to be put on a wait list please email intern@idahotrailsassociation.org.  Thank you for your interest in volunteering with us & we  hope you will sign up for one of our other great projects!

 

English Point Trail Work Party

Project: Idaho Trails Association spring cleanup project on English Point trail near Hayden Lake.

Date and time: Friday, April 29th starting at 8:00 am, ending by 4:00 pm.

Where: We will meet at 8:00 am at the trailhead on English Point Road just off of East Lancaster Road. Volunteers can show up any time during the day.

Description: The Idaho Trails Association is looking for volunteers to help do maintenance work on Friday, April, 29th on the English Point Trail #80 in the Idaho Panhandle National Forest . We will be cleaning out water bars, cutting back brush, cleaning mud off bridges, and doing other “spring cleaning” chores.

The English Point trail system includes easy loops thru forest terrain on the west side of Hayden Lake. The Idaho Trails Association will be doing the maintenance work to help make this popular trail more enjoyable for the hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders who come here.

Volunteers will use hand tools provided by the Association to do light work. Everyone should bring work gloves, sturdy shoes, lunch, and water.We will meet at 8:00 am at the trailhead on English Point Road about 3.7 miles east of US 95 on East Lancaster Road.

Please sign up here:

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Hum Lake Trail Work Party – July 16th-17th (Full, wait List Available)

Projects details:

Packing into Hum Lake

Packing into Hum Lake 2015

July 16/17th, 2016 Hum Lake Trail, Payette National Forest, McCall, Idaho

Work details: Join us for an overnight work party high in mountains above McCall clearing the trail above Hum Lake.  We will meet at the Duck Lake Trailhead at Lick Creek Summit at 9am Saturday July 16th.  We will hike up to Hum Lake and drop off our packs and start clearing the trail to the North Fork of Lick Creek.  Our goal is to start rebuilding the switchbacks and trail tread above Hum Lake.  This is a strenuous hike at high elevation, but well worth the effort!

Saturday dinner, Sunday breakfast and lunch will be provided by ITA.  Dinner will be prepared by “The Wild Chef” Steve Weston!

Let’s have fun and be safe.  This project is difficult physically as we will be at higher elevation and climbing over a high pass to get to Hum Lake. The return trip goes back over the pass and down to the trailhead. The distance hiking as about 6 miles round trip, plus the hiking around the project.

Volunteers needed: 10 volunteers. If your plans change and you cannot make it. Please notify us & attempt to fill the project with another volunteer.

When/Where: We will meet at the Duck Lake Trailhead at Lick Creek Summit at 9am.  We will have our safety meeting, sign in and then head up the trail.  We should be back to the trailhead Sunday afternoon by 4pm.

 What to bring: All volunteers should bring their own camp gear for overnight, large backpack, Saturday’s lunch, snacks, sunscreen, and water.  Volunteers should have hiking boots, leather work gloves, and eye protection (sunglasses or safety glasses).  ITA will provide the tools. For more details please see our Volunteer Manual.

Project leaders: ITA Trail Crew Specialist

This Trail Work Vacation is full, to be put on a wait list please email intern@idahotrailsassociation.org.

 Thank you for your interest in volunteering with us & we  hope you will sign up for one of our other great projects! 

Boulder Meadows Trail Work Party ****Updated Was Roman Nose Trail

Updated Project

The Roman Nose project has been changed!

The new location is the Boulder Meadows trail which is an old closed road converted to single track.  It has some erosion issuICT Trail signes so we will be doing water bars and tread work. The Forest Service will be providing tools and a crew leader.

 Date and time: 

Friday, September 9th, Two options for meeting up… We will leave the Bonner Mall (far end of the parking lot by the theater) at 7:30 AM.  Option two is to park at the junction of 20 mile rd and Highway 95 just north of Naples.  We will be leaving there and heading into the project at 8AM.  From highway 95 it’s about 45 minutes in on a decent dirt road, but high clearance vehicles are recommended.

Volunteers should bring a lunch and water, wear boots, long sleeves, & eye protection. 

This trail is part of the Idaho Centennial Trail! 

Please sign up below:

 

 

National Trails Day – Owhyee Trail Work Party (Full)

Saturday, June 4thNTD13

Projects details:

This 2016 National Trails Day will be the sixthh annual Idaho Trails Association, Boise REI, and Boise BLM work project in the scenic Owyhee Canyonlands.

Work details:   Back to Perjue Canyon Trail in Little Jacks Creek Wilderness for National Trails Day on June 4, 2016.  This is the longest Wilderness trail in the Owyhee Canyonlands.  BLM and ITA have built this trail over the past several years (2013-now).  Last year we did some serious brush work and in 2016 we will work on the tread of the trail.  We will leap frog our way the entire trail and BLM will have shuttle vehicles to drive volunteers back to vehicles at main trailhead. Let’s have fun and be safe.

Volunteers needed: 20 volunteers would be perfect.  Youth seem to do fine as the trail is flat. If your plans change and you cannot make it. Please notify us & attempt to fill the project with another volunteer.

When/Where:  Volunteers from the Boise area should meet Saturday, June 4th at 7am at the Boise District BLM parking lot (3948 S. Development Ave., Boise, ID 83705) for carpooling (GPS coordinates: 43* 33’57.662”N; 116*12’23.394”W).  The road to work project includes 6 miles of graded gravel road.  Volunteers coming from outside Boise can meet up at the Poison Creek Recreation Site (GPS coordinates: 42*45’27.054”; 116*12’23.394”W), about 15 miles southwest of Grandview along the Owyhee Uplands Backcountry Byway (aka Mud Flat Road), at 8:30am.  We will return to Boise BLM about 5pm.

What to bring: All volunteers should bring their own small pack with snacks, sunscreen, and water.  We will pack a lunch (provided by Boise REI & ITA) at beginning of day to eat along the trail.  Volunteers should have hiking boots, leather work gloves, and eye protection (sunglasses or safety glasses).  Bring trail tools if you have them; otherwise BLM and ITA will supply tools.  The best tools for this trail work are a strong back, folding hand saws, heavy duty pruners, Pulaski’s and McCleod’s.

Project leaders: ITA & Dave Draheim  with the Boise BLM

This Trail Work Vacation is full.  Thank you for your interest in volunteering with us & we  hope you will sign up for one of our other great projects! 

 

A WEEK IN THE WHITE CLOUD WILDERNESS

Peter Lovera the Idaho Conservation Leagues’s 2015 Artist in Residence elegantly captured the 2015 Livingston Mill/Castle Divide  trail work vacation that he volunteered on! His words and photos capture how a week of stewardship in Idaho’s wilderness can change you and connect you to the wild.

Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.” – John Muir

Please read his blog here: A WEEK IN THE WHITE CLOUD WILDERNESS.

We extend a huge thank you to all the volunteers for there hard work and the Idaho Conservation league for sponsoring this trail work vacation!

Photo Courtesy of Peter Lovera

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Courtesy of Peter Lovera

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Courtesy of Peter Lovera

Volunteers Pick Up Trail Work Where Forest Service Left Off…..

The Boise Weekly published an article about the Idaho Trails Association on July, 2015. It’s a great article on how we got started, our mission, and how we accomplish our mission. Read more here.

Photo Courtesy of Jessica Murri and The Boise Weekly

Photo Courtesy of Jessica Murri and The Boise Weekly

2015 Hum Lake Trail Work Party Debrief

Idaho Trails Association trail work project on July 25th & 26th, 2015 was at Hum Lake on the Krassel District of the Payette National Forest. We backpacked into base camp at Hum Lake on Saturday and then divided into two crews and conquered. One group headed north on the trail and did some much needed trail tread work and the other group back tracked on the Hum lake trail and did some light brushing. After completing a day of hard work we got back to camp where the In the Wild Chef had a Scrumptious gourmet backcountry dinner ready for everyone to devour. On Sunday morning after filling up on Blueberry Brie flappers, sausage, and coffee we headed north on the trail again and did more trail tread work, put in some water dips, cleared 25 down trees from the trail and rerouted the trail onto the original tread. Over time the lack of maintenance made it unclear where the original trail was and the cairns along the trail where incorrectly placed. Now with the trees off the trail and the cairns correctly placed; the trail will guide you to a gorgeous saddle with astounding views that span across the vast wild and scenic country.

The specifics of the accomplishments for this work party:

  • 10-ITA Volunteers contributed 101 hours of volunteer time
  • Cleared 25 trees from the trail.
  • Rehabbed approx 1500 feet of trail.
  • Brushed .75 miles of trail.
  • Cleaned/rebuilt 9 water bars.

Here are some photos of the crew and the work they accomplished.

 

A BIG THANK YOU goes out to the Krassel National Forest Service, REI, In the Wild Chef, everyone of our sponsors, and the volunteers for making this trail work vacation such a success!

Idaho Outdoor Recreation Festival

Saturday, June 18, 2016

10AM -2PM

Come join us for a fun filled Recreation festival!

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Hosted by the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation (IDPR), sponsored by the Friends of Idaho State Parks, the Idaho Outdoor Recreation Festival is a full day of fun, featuring recreational lessons for kids and adults, exhibits, workshops, demonstrations, youth activities, giveaways, fresh food and cold beverages.

The Idaho Outdoor Recreation Festival is a perfect opportunity to learn about and experience Idaho recreation firsthand. Whether you’re an avid adventure seeker, or new to recreation, you will find great recommendations and instruction on taking advantage of Idaho’s outdoors.

The festival goal is to host an educational and informative event with an exhibit area that will provide attendees with a wide variety of exhibits featuring local non-profits, clubs, retailers, manufacturers, guides & outfitters, attractions, and visitors’ centers.

2015 Alice-Toxaway Trail Work Vacation Debrief

We are thrilled with the work our volunteers accomplished during this Epic trail work vacation in the Sawtooth Wilderness.

Our amazing volunteer crew along with a Forest Service Wilderness Ranger got this staggering list of  accomplishments done!

  • 10-ITA Volunteers contributed 400 hours of volunteer time.
  • Cleared 7 trees from the trail within Wilderness.
  • Resurfaced 1500 feet of trail through talus slope.
  • Brushed 2.5 miles of trail.
  • Removed rocks from 3 miles of trail.
  • Cleaned/rebuilt 83 water bars.
  • Cleaned 9 drains/creek crossings.
  • Built 150 feet of rock retaining wall for 2 trail realignments.
  • Rehabbed 150 feet of trail at realignments.
  • Built 20 foot approach ramp for bridge.
  • Picked up and packed out 30 pounds of trash from Twin Lakes area.

Here are some photos of the crew and the work they accomplished.

A BIG THANK YOU goes out to the Sawtooth National Forest Service, The Sawtooth Society, REI, Cabela’s, and our volunteers for making this trail work vacation such a success!

National Trails Day Summary

National Trails Day 2015 was a success from the start.  Volunteers met at the BLM field Office in Boise and carpooled to the NTD4Perjue Canyon Trailhead in the Little Jacks Creek Wilderness.  REI supplied sandwiches, chips and drinks while volunteers provided homemade cookies for the return trip.  15 volunteers made the trip with BLM Recreation Staff David Draheim and ITA Executive Director Jeff Halligan leading the project.  It was a 3 mile hike to the project site of brushing, logging out and tread work along the canyon bottom thick with Aspen, Alder and grasses.  There was about 300 feet of trail tread reconstruction/improvement and about ¾ of a mile of brushing and logging out.  The volunteers were treated with the presence of 2 young energetic volunteers whose positive energy and enthusiasm was enjoyed by all!  Thank you Kylie and Hunter!  We hope to see you on more ITA trips!  The hike back up to the trailhead was a real eye opener, as you climbed out of the lush canyon you were met with the heat of the Owyhee Desert afternoon.  It was amazing how the deep lush canyons can hold the cool for so long in the day!  It was a great day to be in the Little Jacks Creek Wilderness!

NTD13NTD15 (1)

Photos Courtesy of our Board Member Diana Burrell

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Idaho Youth Wilderness Initiative

We are collaborating with IYWI another Idaho nonprofit organization to get youth outdoors and experience nature!IYWI logo

IYWI will create opportunities for Idaho’s youth to experience overnight wilderness adventures provided by trained and equipped adult youth leaders.

The mission of IYWI is to create opportunities for Idaho youth to experience overnight wilderness adventures by breaking down barriers to access. In doing so, the organization will provide comprehensive, hands-on training for adult youth leaders wilderness both confidently and competently. There first Outdoor Leadership training is June 26th-28th. Limited spots are available, so please hurry and register! http://idahoyouthwildernessinitiative.org/

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2015 Wewukiye Trail Work Party

 

 
  • Where: Boise National Forest
  • When: Saturday, June 13th
  • Distance: 1-2 miles
  • Location: Weyukiye Trail
  • Level of Difficulty: Moderate
  • Accepting: 20 volunteers

Project Description

Join us on Saturday, June 13th for this one day project in the Boise National Forest. We will be partnering again with Southwest Idaho Mountain Biking Association and the Boise National Forest Service to open up another 1-2 miles of non-motorized hiking and mountain biking trail.

Together last year we got a lot of hard work done and had lots of fun doing it! We are excited to work with SWIMBA and the Boise National forest service again this year. The North zone Boise national forest service is continuing the charge to construct this 16-mile hiking and mountain biking trail that will connect Warm Lake, Stolle Meadows, Vulcan Hot Springs and other landmarks. We have been working hard on this trail over the past four years!

The naming of the trail was part of a community process.  The name was selected during a “name-the-trail” contest that was held for the local 4th grade students. Kyle Sellers chose the name ‘Wewukiye,”(Wa-woo-kia) meaning elk in the Nez Perce tribal language.

Details: Volunteers have the option of meeting at Project camp near Warm Lake Friday evening for camping. ITA projects leads will be leaving Boise and arriving Saturday morning at the campground at 8:30am. When we meet at the Project camp campground we’ll have a safety brief and drive the short distance to the trail. Volunteers are welcome and encouraged to stay and enjoy a post project dinner provided by ITA and camping! After you sign up the camping, carpooling, and trail maintenance  details will be emailed to you a week before the trail work party.

Sign Up here:

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MicKinnick Trail Work Party

Project: Idaho Trails Association spring cleanup project on Mickinnick Trail near Sandpoint, Idahomickinnick-trail-idaho-panhandle-national-forest-l

Date and time: Saturday, June 20 starting at 9:00 am, ending by 4:00 pm. Volunteers can show up any time during the day.

Description: The Idaho Trails Association is looking for volunteers to help do maintenance work on Saturday, June 20 on the Mickinnick Trail in the Idaho Panhandle National Forest. We will be cleaning out water bars, cutting back brush, and doing other “spring cleaning” chores.

The Mickinnick Trail climbs the hillside just south of the Schweitzer Ski Area road near Sandpoint. The trail gains about 2,200’ in 3.5 miles to its end at a scenic overlook. The Idaho Trails Association will be doing the maintenance work to help make this very popular trail more enjoyable for the hikers who come here.

Volunteers will use hand tools provided by the Association to do light work. Everyone should bring work gloves, sturdy shoes, lunch, and water. We will meet at 9:00 am on Saturday, June 20 at the trailhead parking area on Woodland Drive just south of the Schweitzer Mountain Road.

Volunteers do not need to sign up ahead of time. If you would like additional information before June 20, please contact the leader via email or phone as listed below.

Volunteers do not need to sign up ahead of time but are encouraged to sign up before hand. If you would like additional information before May 30th, please contact the Project leader: Tom Dabrowski at www.tomdabrowski@yahoo.com or call 208-263-6854

Photo courtesy of the Idaho Panhandle National Forest

If you do not sign up before the ITA work party you will be asked to read and sign our liability release form when you arrive please read it ahead of time. Participants under 18 years of age must be registered by their parent or guardian. Anyone under the age of 16 must also be accompanied by an adult. Any participant under the age of 18 must bring with them a signed copy of our Parental Consent Form

Please sign up here:

 

Eckles Creek Trail Work Party Debrief

Our second trail work party of 2015 was another great success. We had 15 Rock star volunteers come help maintain trail in the Hell’s Canyon National Recreation area.  We partnered with the Payette National Forest Service to work on trail #223 Eckles Creek trail in Hell’s Canyon.

We did some heavy trail pad repair and restoration and major pruning. We installed one new water bar and cleared out 3 existing water bars. The total mileage we maintained to standard was 1.37 miles. The Payette Forest Service was very pleased to have eager volunteers to help them maintain this trail and they were very happy with the quality of trail maintenance that are amazing volunteers performed. After all the work was done we all relaxed and enjoyed an AMAZING dinner, raffle, camaraderie, and campfire! Thank you to all our volunteers and our partners for making this a success! Nice work!

 

We highly recommend exploring Hells’ Canyon and the Eckles Creek Trail. Hell’s Canyon is the deepest canyon in North America and Eckles creek trail is a very diverse and a unique trail worth exploring!  The drive to the trail 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 approximately 6-7 miles down river from Hells Canyon Campground to Eckles Creek Trail Head.

Our next trail work party is on National Trail Day June 6th. If you are interested in volunteering please sign up here: National Trails Day – Trail Work party. This work party is almost full, so please don’t hesitate to sign up. The spots are going fast! We hope to see you there!

Fuel up for the trail…..

I am going to re-hash the old weight versus taste argument. Do you take whole food or dehydrated? Believe it or not, your body has the answers! Many Rock Climbers will lean towards the freeze dried due to weight and a Backpacker tends to go with the more whole food option

Calories are literally energy, and that’s all they are. A calorie isn’t a vitamin, it’s not a mineral, and it has no nutritional content.steve

Below is a guide to how many calories you are burning on your trail excursion based on your weight and weight carried.

 

 

 

 

 

So if I sound bias it’s because I wrote a cookbook (In The wild Chef) that addresses the issue of what food we could bring backpacking. On my journey as a backcountry chef I have met some really great people and one of those folks is Christine Conners, the co-author of “LipSmackin Backpackin”. Christine and her Husband Tim have complied a book on cooking, then dehydrating gourmet food for the trail.

One difference between the two books is I propose that many ingredients around your house can go out with you and freeze it in a one gallon freezer bag and simply thaw it at your destination. Additionally using dehydrated components from the bulk area of your grocery store.

http://www.amazon.com/In-The-Wild-Chef-Recipes/dp/1927458277/ref=zg_bs_4247_89

http://lipsmackincampin.com/Lipsmackin’%20Backpackin’.html

Freeze dried food has not enjoyed a great reputation in the past for “fueling” you up on the trail. It boils down (pardon the pun) to calories units, a calorie is the unit of energy used when talking about food.

In the past I was not a proponent of freeze dried or dehydrated food for many reasons, I have changed my mind. I have found that there are a few acceptable freeze dried food options which includes dehydrating your own food. I am advocate of any freeze dried application if it is lacking the chemical we don’t want and have good amounts of calories.

I personally add some extra fresh ingredients to Alpine Aire Foods meals, they are incredible, organic and void of the chemicals. I recently learned of a high end chef turned dehydrated food manufacturer, Good to Go out of Kittery Maine. Another fairly good alternative is Mary Jane Farms Organic Backcountry food.

http://www.alpineaire.com/

http://goodto-go.com/

http://shop.maryjanesfarm.org/Food

­­­­­Eat Well Outdoors!

Steve Weston- In The Wild Chef

 

Volunteer Appreciation Party!


2015volunteer app party
Join us for our Volunteer Appreciation Party on Saturday April 18th, 2015, to say thanks to all of our amazing Volunteers, Land Managers and sponsors who work so hard to make the Idaho Trails Association a success!

Where: Older Timer’s Shelter at Ann Morrison park in Boise, Idaho!

When: Saturday April 18th from 5:00 to 8:30!

We will have food from In the Wild Chef and beer from Sockeye brewery. We will give a debrief on last year’s accomplishments and a review of all the exciting projects and new things going on this year! We have great raffle prizes ranging from a half day raft trip on the Payette river from Cascade Raft & Kayak, a starter climbing pass for two from Urban Ascent, Rideout  technology Firefly bike grips, REI backpacks, a Jansport Heritage Telluride Backpack, prizes from Cascade Outfitters, Shu’s Idaho Running company, and many more great prizes. We will have an original one of a kind Canvas print by Ed Cannady on Auction….don’t miss out on this rare opportunity! All proceeds will go to help us maintain Idaho’s hiking trails!

Come and see old friends and meet new ones!  You don’t need to have participated in a work party in the past, just come and enjoy the camaraderie!

 

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Oolite Trail Work Party Debrief

Our first trail work party of 2015 was a huge success. We had over 30 volunteers eager to get outside on a gorgeous Saturday in January!  We partnered with the Bruneau Field Office of the BLM to work on the Oolite Interpretive Trail in the Owyhees.

We did some minor pruning and signed the 0.5 mile trail that leads to the mineral cliff deposits. We removed the old metal/barbed wire entrance gate and installed a really nice Juniper hiker maze entrance at the trailhead. We also added a new trailhead sign. The new trailhead sign and Juniper hiker entrance makes the trail more visible from the road and we gave the trail some much needed TLC. After all the work was done we hiked and explored this amazing and unusual area. Then we all relaxed a bit and enjoyed hot beverages, hot dogs and chili! Thank you to all our volunteers and our partners for making this a success! Nice work!

We highly recommend exploring the Oolite interpretive trail. This is an interesting area to stop along the Owyhee Uplands Backcountry Byway and it’s a good place for adults and youths to take a short hike, explore small rock arches, see rare plants, and tiny fossils.  The trail 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 approx. 10 miles to the Shoofly-Oolite Trailhead, just past the Shoofly Cutoff road.

Our next trail work party is on March 28th we are doing some heavy trail pad maintenance on the Eckles Creek trail in Hell’s Canyon. If you are interested in volunteering please sign up here: Eckles Creek work party. The Eckles creek work party is almost full, so please don’t hesitate to sign up. The spots are going fast! We hope to see you there!

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:

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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 Dates2015 Agencies Locations &Logistics Notes & Contacts
Oolite Interpretive Trail January 24th BLM Owyhee WildernessDifficulty: Easy to Moderate

1 day

 

 

 
Eccles CreekHells Canyon 

 

March 28th Forest Service Payette NFDifficulty: Moderate 

1 day

 

ITA project lead: Wally Kimball
National Trails Day June 6th Bureau of Land Management Owyhee WildernessDifficulty: Easy to Moderate1 day

 

East Fork of Lake Fork Creek June 27th Forest Service McCall RDPayette NFDifficulty: Easy

1day

6 volunteers

ITA Project Lead: Jeff Halligan(Crew lead Training Opportunity)
Black Lee Creek(Box Lake Trail)  June 28th Forest Service McCall RDPayette NFDifficulty:

Strenuous

1 day

6 volunteers

ITA Project Lead:  Jeff Halligan(Crew Lead Training Opportunity)
N. Fork Lick Creek July 4th Forest Service Krassel RDPayette NFDifficulty:  moderate

2 miles -1 day

 

ITA project lead: Jeff Halligan
Alice-Toxaway LoopFrom 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 SNRADifficulty: Moderate to strenuous 

30+ miles

7 days

10 volunteers

 

 

 
Hum Lake July 25th & 26th Forest Service Krassel RDPayette NFDifficulty:  moderate

 

2 days

6-8 volunteers

ITA project lead: Jeff Halligan
Livingston Mill-Castle Divide TrailThe 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-SNRADifficulty: 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!