We are excited to announce Trail Days 2022! Join WSCC, the Nature Connection, and the US Forest Service on a trip in the West Elk Wilderness for two days of trail work and a night under the stars. Supported by a horse crew, participants will complete trail work projects on the Sink Creek Trail before arriving at a backcountry camp. Dinner will be prepared by WSCC and provided free to those who join us. Participants will work back down the Sink Creek Trail the following day on their way out of the project. This will be two long days, so come ready to work! We anticipate strenuous hiking and working conditions. WSCC will be vetting those who sign up due to the strenuous nature of the hiking and project.
The horsepacking trip is sponsored by WSCC with support from the Roundup Riders of the Rockies. Since the pandemic, there has been an explosion in backcountry use in the West Elk Wilderness, Raggeds Wilderness and the Kebler Pass Corridor of the Gunnison National Forest. To address the impacts of more backcountry users and to improve the accessibility of these trails, WSCC and the Nature Connection have worked together with the US Forest Service Paonia Ranger District to identify areas that need attention. The Nature Connection hires youth and young adult leaders from Delta County to work on backcountry trail crews alongside US Forest Service staff to clear trails of downfall, address drainage and make trails safer for hikers and horseback riders. Since 2021, the National Forest Foundation has supported this trail crew. In 2022, the crew is sponsored by the National Forest Foundation and the Gunnison County Sustainable Tourism and Outdoor Recreation (STOR) Committee. The STOR Committee puts money from donors such as Vail Resorts and from a number of other donors towards addressing the impacts of outdoor recreation in Gunnison County. This project is also made possible due to funding previously provided by the Matching Awards Program of the National Forest Foundation in 2021.
Details of the trip
Dates: Fri, 8/5-Sun 8/7 (Friday will just be getting to the trailhead the night before, optional for volunteers but it is kind of a long drive from anywhere other than Crawford)
Details: We will provide an option to participants to join us at the trailhead on Friday prior tot he event, or meet us at 8 AM at the Throughline Trailhead off of FS814 outside of Crawford. Groups will depart the Throughline/Sink Creek Trailhead off of Virginia Creek Road (FS814) on Saturday morning at 8 AM. Participants will hike up the Sink Creek trail, clearing the trail as we go, until we hit the camp spot at the junction of Lone Pine and Sink Creek. WSCC will provide dinner for the group that evening and breakfast the following morning, packed in by horses. We will assess the work that needs to be finished that evening and will take the hiking group either back the way we came, or up and around, following the Lone Pine and Throughline Trails back to the vehicles.
For more information, please be in contact with Ben Katz, Public Lands Program Director at the Western Slope Conservation Center at [email protected]