Central Idaho’s Sawtooth National Recreation Area and Sawtooth Wilderness are known for the rugged grandeur of their soaring 10,000 foot peaks, flowery mountain meadows, crystal clear lakes, towering alpine forests, and abundant wildlife, including elk, mountain goats, black bear, wolves, wolverines and pikas! Backpacking and hiking are spectacular in this country, and trout fishing is exceptional in backcountry lakes and streams. Our journey will begin at the beautiful Stanley Lake – just a few miles outside of the alluring mountain community of Stanley, Idaho. The area has several accessible hot springs, historic sites and other great places to play in and explore.
Our service project will be heavy trail maintenance in the remarkable Sawtooth Wilderness. We’ll set up a base camp at McGown Lakes at 8505’elevation after a backpack of 6.5 miles with pack support for tools, food and commissary supplies. Crew will camp at McGown Lakes and hike about a mile to project location on other side of 8,800’ pass. Most of the work will be focused on heavy trail maintenance and tread repair (Iron Creek – Stanley Lake Trail 640) above Sawtooth Lake, where the trail has sloughed in and become narrow and hazardous. Tread will need to be regraded to standard width with hand tools, rocks removed with hand tools and some rock wall constructed. If time permits Observation Peak Trail 614 which has not been maintained in several years will need heavy maintenance using a crosscut saw to clear downed trees, digging new trail tread, moving rocks, dirt and vegetation. Free time can be spent exploring the ever beautiful Sawtooth Wilderness - relaxing, fishing in alpine lakes, taking pictures, or setting off on a more strenuous hike to the secluded Trail Creek Lakes.
Additional Information: Crew will hike in about 6.5 miles from Stanley Lake Trailhead, or about the same distance from Iron Creek Trailhead. Pack stock will transport gear from Stanley Lake (6,500’) to the campsite at McGown Lakes (8,505’). This area was burned in 2003 by the Trailhead Fire. Iron Creek Trailhead (6.700’) and trail to Sawtooth Lake are the most heavily used access in the Sawtooth Wilderness, and for good reason – the spectacular alpine scenery is unparalleled! Expect hot temperatures and strenuous work on exposed mountain side with world class views. Water for the full day will need to be packed from camp.
This project is rated as a challenging project.
Check out more photos from our 2014 Sawtooth project in our gallery.
We highly recommend that those coming from low elevation (anything below about 5,000 feet) plan an extra couple days in the area before the trip to acclimate to the elevation for your own safety. Altitude sickness is a concern when traveling from low elevation to high elevation and getting acclimatized before the trip is one of the easiest ways to prevent it. If you need ideas on things to do/see before the trip contact your leaders.
Aug 27th - Sep 2nd 2017
Trail maintenance in McGown Lakes area.
Day hiking to area high points, fishing, photography, wildlife & wildflower viewing
Challenging : 6 mi backpack to & from project site, digging, lifting, bending, and sawing.