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Treading lightly this spring in the Sawtooth Mountains

Soon the snow will give way to muddy exposed trails within the SNRA. It will be tempting for many of us to get outside and explore those higher elevations after the long winter months of being indoors. 

While the SNRA welcomes new and seasoned visitors to this beautiful Idaho wilderness once more, we ask everyone to be good stewards. Tread lightly when hiking and biking during fragile spring conditions. 

Hiking in the SNRA

Choose a time of day when the ground is firmer. Consider heading out earlier or later in the day. Warmer times of the day will mean more difficult and muddy trails.

Erosion is a real concern with the increase in the use of trail systems. Always stay on, and in the center of trails. Go through puddles, step on rocks, and be conscious of where you are placing your steps. 

Be prepared. Weather can change quickly in the mountains. Dress in layers, and wear shoes/boots with decent ankle support for slippery conditions. Hiking poles are always a good idea for added stability. 

Biking in the SNRA

Check to see which trails are open before heading out. If your tires begin to ball up with mud or if you are leaving visible ruts-STOP. The same applies if you see water flowing down the trails. 

Ultimately, using a muddy trail might not be good stewardship of the Idaho Sawtooth trails we all love. Keep in mind what it takes to maintain the trails. Limited government workers, Sawtooth Society volunteers, and other organizations have worked countless hours for you to enjoy them. Respecting that work could mean finding a dryer place less susceptible to damage. Welcome back to the SNRA trails and for more information on how you can help maintain and/or fund a trail visit: and   

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