This summer, the three-person Society trail crew and dedicated volunteers worked to clear long-forgotten trails and high use areas. In total, they cleared over 2,300 trees from 116 miles of trails and 45 miles of roads while digging almost 700 drainages along the way. Additionally, Austin Kraal Memorial Project volunteers engaged in forestry projects including mitigating meadow encroachment to improve elk habitat and reducing competition around mature (and rare) White Bark Pines.
Most notably, the Society spent weeks reopening over 15 miles of trail connecting Decker Flats to the Alice-Redfish Way, which winds below Decker Peak and connects Hell Roaring and Redfish Lakes. Previously inaccessible for years, the Society cleared over 1,100 logs from the area resulting in the opening of 3 trails: Bull Moose (399), Redfish Ridge (400), and the Alice-Redfish Way (092). These trails were underused and traveling them now provides a sense of nostalgia for some and a new adventure for others.
Since 2017, many of you have navigated a narrow single log across Redfish Lake Creek at the inlet to Redfish Lake on your way to Grand Mogul. A high bridge was placed by the USFS with a helicopter last fall, and this year the Sawtooth Society was able to contribute both Goat Plate funds and crew labor in a final push to complete access ramps up to this new bridge. In October, the Society trail crew joined forces with the Forest Service to build two rock approach ramps allowing access to the bridge for hikers, bikers and equestrians, thus completing the project.