Trail Updates Friday, Aug. 11 2017

Here are some trail updates from yours truly, Chris Leman, BCRD Wood River Valley Trail Coordinator, on Friday, August 11:

Volunteers have been staying busy performing maintenance on area trails. This shot is of Ryder Bennett. He is on the local FS Helitack firefighting crew, and in his spare time volunteers on the trails. Check out the rack mounted to the front of his bike. It holds his chainsaw securely in place. An experienced sawyer, Ryder also packs a small winch along with him when cutting out downed trees.

Local volunteers have been hard at it; cutting out trees and performing other maintenance on area trails. Last weekend two groups of motorcyclist vols. made another pass along a number of area trails. They cutout Greenhorn #156Howard’s #311North Fork Deer Creek #157Lick Gulch/Poison Flat #218Middle Fork-South Fork #199Warfield Connector #120Lodgepole #310, and Mahoney #821Imperial #315 is also clear.

Placer Creek #141 and Castle Rock #140 have a bunch of trees down on them and some areas include tread damage. The Ketchum Ranger District (KRD) Trail Crew is planning to get in to those trails within the next week or two to cut them out and perform other maintenance.

ICC and KRD crew members getting some heavy lifting done on the #311 trail earlier this week.

The KRD and youth crews from the Idaho Conservation Corps (ICC) have been at work making repairs to the southeast side of the Oregon-Fox Connector Trail #311, including the installation of several reroutes. Much of the work is complete, but the KRD still needs to remove some large stumps and do other finish work on the trail. If you travel in the area take your time and keep a sharp eye out ahead for areas of incomplete construction. If riding a bicycle, expect to have to carry through some areas. Watch for crews at work.

Bottom of upper section of Oregon Gulch Trail – where +/- 800-foot long reroute is slated to go.

The KRD will be leading another ICC youth crew on maintenance projects on the upper portion of the Oregon Gulch Trail #183 beginning next week. The maintenance work will be performed above the trail’s intersection with the Oregon-Fox Connector Trail #311. This work on the upper 3-miles of the #183 Trail will involve the cleaning out and improvement of existing drains along the trail, and installation of new drains along the existing trail. The work is being carried out to try and improve how the trail drains water, with an eye toward keeping the trail in its current alignment. The very bottom section of this upper portion of the Oregon Gulch Trail is slated for a short re-route. This work will take place near the very bottom of this upper leg of the trail; where the trail is so steep, and in the fall-line, that a deepening rut is forming. The current alignment, at this spot, is being avoided by trail users, and a new paralleling-trail is getting beaten in . The reroute is approximately 800 feet long.

The Little Wood River region of the Sawtooth National Forest offers many miles of lightly used trails and spectacular scenery.

The Idaho Trails Association has a ten-person volunteer crew at work in the Pot Creek region of the Little Wood River drainage of the Sawtooth National Forest. Members of the KRD Trail Crew, and a private outfitter who uses the trails in the area, are assisting with the trail maintenance work. The volunteers and other crew members are camped out for 7 days and working on cutting out downed wood, cleaning out and improving drainage structures, and making repairs to rutted areas of tread. Reports from the field indicate that the crew is making solid progress despite the nearly daily 3 p.m. thunderstorms they have found themselves under. Sounds like one of those storms was a real doozy.

The Sawtooth National Recreation Area has submitted updated trail and road reports for the region. Here are links to the reports:

SNRA Road Table

SNRA Trail Report

The KRD has issued an updated sheep report for the Wood River Valley region. Here is a link to the report:

KRD Sheep Report issued Aug. 11, 2017

The BLM is looking for public comment on its ongoing travel planning effort. You can read about the options on the table for existing road and trail access, and find information about potential future trails development, as well as how to provide comments, by checking out this blog post: BLM Travel Planning Restarts