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Putting Lost Trails Back on the Map

We need boots on the ground now to bring these trails back into hiking shape.

Miles of trails into Washington’s wild and remote landscapes are not receiving the maintenance they need. These routes have been, or are at risk of, being lost. We need boots on the ground now to bring these trails back into hiking shape.

Through our summer Backcountry Response Teams, we are able to send hundreds of volunteers into stunning backcountry locations for 3-8 day stretches throughout the summer.

In 2021, WTA piloted our first paid, backcountry professional trail maintenance crew to focus on remote projects in three major Wilderness areas in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest: Glacier Peak, Pasayten, and Lake Chelan/Sawtooth. 

This crew was able to reach deeper sections of the wilderness than WTA’s standard backcountry volunteer opportunities. Oftentimes, a hike into the Pasayten will take a full day — if not more — which limits the amount of work our volunteer crews can accomplish.

After a successful launch, we're looking forward to continuing our pro crew model with two Lost Trails Found crews in 2022 — working across the Okanogan-Wenatchee, Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie, Umatilla and Gifford Pinchot national forests.

Backcountry Response Teams: Seven Trips to Sign-up for in 2023

WTA's BCRTs combine backpacking and trail work for volunteer trips that range up to 8 days at a time! These trips have opened up trails across Washington in recent years. Here are a few of those trips for 2023 and what makes them special.

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Lost Trails Found Crews Crush This Season With 58 Miles of Trail Work

Oct 10, 2022

WTA’s Lost Trails Found crews have earned a nice rest and many thanks from hikers after spending a whopping 6,790 total hours in the field doing trail maintenance this summer! Check out all the work our crews got done over the season.

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Lost Trails Found Crews, Volunteers, Return to Trails in the Entiat

Oct 17, 2022

The Entiat has suffered from a number of wildfires over the last decade, and the damage from those burns is still being felt today. But thankfully, our crews have been chipping away at those damages.

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My Journey to an Outdoor Career

How WTA helped me gain the skills to transition from the classroom to the backcountry. By Iman Chatila

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20 Days on Mineral Creek: Revitalizing a Route to the PCT

Aug 31, 2022

Tucked into a quiet trailhead outside of Salmon La Sac is the Mineral Creek Trail — a steep yet rewarding route straight into the heart of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. It was in pretty rough shape — so we sent our Lost Trails Found crews in to give it a glow up.

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Clearing the Way for Summer Adventures: Where We've Worked so Far

Jun 20, 2022

Spring is an exciting time at WTA. The snow is melting, the flowers are blooming and our intrepid backcountry volunteers make their way out on trail to begin clearing the path for summer.

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Lost Trails Found Crews Bring Big Boost to Backcountry Trails

Jun 03, 2022

This summer, WTA will be leading two six-person crews into the backcountry to tackle some of our biggest projects.

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Where We’re Needed Most: How WTA Decides Where We Work

There's a lot to consider when we decide where to work on trail around the state. By Jessi Loerch

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Three Trips WTA's Lost Trails Found Work Made Possible

Feb 25, 2022

Over the years, we have loved seeing hikers return to some of the notoriously rough and difficult-to-navigate trails that we've prioritized in our Lost Trails Found work. We take a look at three trips that benefited from trail maintenance and advocacy efforts.

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