Rebooting Popular Trails and the Pacific Crest Trail in the Central Cascades
WTA crews worked all summer to restore and maintain trails across the state. Part of that work included improving trails in the Cle Elum Ranger District of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.
by Taylor O'Leary
WTA crews worked hard all summer restoring and maintaining trails across the state. Part of this work included improving trails in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest - Cle Elum Ranger District. The iconic Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) passes through this area, bringing numerous day hikers, backpackers and thru hikers to the region each year. This part of the PCT traverses the Alpine Lakes Wilderness and brings hikers through some of the most remote and diverse mountain terrain along the entire 2650-mile trail. Annually, the PCT needs a variety of maintenance to keep it open and safe for the thousands of hikers who flock to it each year.
Last summer, more than 50 volunteers completed over 2,380 hours of trail work, in total maintaining 21 miles of trail. Crews brushed vegetation that had been encroaching on the trail, restored tread, logged out fallen trees and improved drainage to keep water off the trails. Volunteers removed over 54 logs from the Leamah Meadows trail, logged out and cleared Deception Pass to stock standards, built four large check steps and a turnpike on Deep Lake, as well as replaced 66 feet of puncheon at Hyas Lake. These improvements on popular sections of the PCT will help keep it accessible and safe for the thousands of hikers that use it annually, as well as mitigate ecosystem degradation and promote forest heath.
This work is part of WTA's Trails Rebooted campaign. Through the campaign WTA is working to support popular recreation areas by improving existing trails, championing the construction of new ones and helping hikers see the role they play in the future of trails.
This work was made possible in part by a grant from the National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance, whose mission is to bring together the wilderness stewardship community into a growing network of volunteer-based nonprofit organizations that provide stewardship for America's enduring resource of wilderness. We also worked with our trusted partners, the Back Country Horsemen of Washington on this project.