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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:

 

 

 

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!

 

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!

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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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!

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.

 

Check out all of our 2015 Work Parties here!

We have lots of great volunteer projects coming up! To sign up early for one of these projects 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. Thank you for your interest in volunteering with the ITA!

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

Celebrate 50 years of making memories with the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation with free ski and snowshoe day!

Saturday, January 10th is a great opportunity to ski or snowshoe your local state park for free. The park entrance fees will be waived and some parks will have free use of equipment. The activities being offered differ from park-to-park some of the activities being offered are free skiing and snowshoeing lessons, gear demos, guided tours, and presentations. There is even an opportunity to find out what yurting is all about. Visit the Idaho Parks and Recreation Calendar for details on each State Parks activities.

Find the park in your neck of the woods and go explore it!

1BeaverCreekSummitshoers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo credit: Idaho Parks & Recreation.

2014 National Trails Day

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Wilderness Act, so it was only appropriate to spend National Trails Day in the Bruneau-Jarbridge Rivers Wilderness. Last year we carried out trail work on Roberson Trail West and this year we continued that work by tackling Roberson Trail East.

Thank you volunteers!

Thank you volunteers!

This was our fourth year collaborating on a National Trails Day project with the BLM and REI Boise. With the help of our 33 volunteers, we were able to put in new trail signs, repair tread, install water bars, and fix trail switchbacks along the one mile stretch of trail with a 1,000’ change in elevation.

One of the newly installed signs for Roberson Trail East.

One of the newly installed signs for Roberson Trail East.

Heading down the trail to start working.

Heading down the trail to start working.

Looking across the canyon at last years project, Roberson Trail West.

Looking across the canyon at last years project, Roberson Trail West.

Reaching New Heights on Mt. Borah with ITA

This year ITA teamed up with the US Forest Service in July to repair one of the highest-traffic trails in the state: the trail to the summit of Mt. Borah, Idaho’s highest peak. With funding from REI, ITA was able to support four volunteers who in total committed 83 hours of work towards the first project in a two-part series on the trail this year. Read about volunteer and project leader John McCarthy’s experience with the July project and join us in September!

Four reasons to join the September ITA Borah trail project Phase II stand out from someone who worked Borah Phase I: the project itself; the trail location; the crew and the mountain, Borah Peak.

The project is to complete restoration of one of the most popular hiking trails in Idaho. The section of trail we worked was up to the tree line, above 9,000 feet, where we established a primary route out a morass of switchback cuts and straight down erosion plunges. We dug in a primary tread line snaking up the steep climb through the trees and we hauled in a large segment of the down whitebark pine forest to make staying on the trail unavoidable. Phase II will continue the work downslope and fine-tune Phase I after two months of heavy use from the prime hiking season. It will still be a steep, tough climb through the trees. It will not be an eroding maze anymore and the participants in the September Phase II will see the results of their hard work.

The trail location is one of the iconic places of Idaho. The trail goes up the side of the Lost River Range with wide views to high peaks of the Pioneers and the White Clouds on west side of the valley. The trailhead at 7,500 feet provides a good base camp and should be starting to quiet down for end of the season in September, while there are sure to be some hikers making a run for the top. One of the fun things is hearing their comments as they go and come back down. A satisfying regular comment from hikers is their appreciation for the quality of the trail repair.

The crew includes us ITA volunteers, an ace trail coordinator from the Salmon-Challis National Forest, Phil McNeal, and a stellar group of six young trail workers from the Montana Conservation Corp, who will be back in September. Phil did the project design, retaining the challenge of the trail while making it less damaging to the resource and safer. He is also an energetic leader and trail teacher, one of the best I have worked with. The MCC crewmembers are also top quality trail companions, as well as young and strong, able to move the big hunks of whitebark pine on the sliding steep slopes. Our ITA crew in July could have been more in number but Denise, Tom and I put in a lot of work and saw a lot of improvement. I hope the September Phase II draws a full ITA crew and they can be assured of having excellent trail partners.

The final great reason to do this project is to be on Borah Peak, at 12,662 the highest point in Idaho. At the end of the three days of trail work, participants will be tough, acclimatized to the high elevation and ready to make a run toward an ascent of the mountain. It is highly recommended for crewmembers to consider staying over for a Monday climb, as the three of us did.

The Borah trail project adds up to a great opportunity for accomplishment, in a stunning location with great people. I wish I wasn’t already committed to a fun family event, or I’d go back to Borah.

John McCarthy, Boise