Winter, spring, summer- which is it?
It’s spring in the mountains once again, and this year we’ve had winter creep back in and find its way to our favorite hiking and biking places. The Sawtooth Society would like to pass along some friendly reminders when recreating on fragile trail systems during wet weather.
Proper footwear and clothing are a must. Make sure you are prepared. Weather can change quickly in the mountains. Dress in layers, and wear shoes/boots with decent ankle support for slippery conditions.
Hiking poles might be a necessity rather than an optional accessory. If bringing along a furry friend, or children, a towel or two might also be needed for you and them.
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.
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.
What it takes
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.
For more information on how you can help maintain and/or fund an SNRA trail visit: