2024 Blackmare Lake (Full)

Volunteer Trail Work Project

2024 Blackmare Lake (Full)

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Volunteers will spend a week in the rugged Idaho backcountry working on opening the South Fork Blackmare Cutoff trail. From Poverty Flat Campground, we will be packed into a base camp and work each day up the trail. Surrounded by jagged ridges between Blackmare, White Rock, and Square Top peaks, this trail leads to Blackmare Lake, about 2.5 miles from camp. Payette National Forest archaeologists will be joining the crew for an evening to talk about the history of the area!

The trail was cleared of trees in 2023, but more downfall is expected and there are several sections left to brush. Work will also be needed to restore areas of tread and drainage along the trail. This will be year three of ITA’s progress to help open this trail with support from Idaho Fish and Game. Once open, Blackmare Lake will be a gorgeous location for a great hike or backpacking trip accessed from the South Fork Salmon River Road, in the Payette National Forest.

Project information is subject to change. Crew leaders will communicate via email. Failure to respond to your crew leader may result in being dropped from the project. See our FAQs, reach out to your crew leader, or contact ITA staff at trails@idahotrailsassociation.org if you have questions.

Trails: South Fork Blackmare Cutoff #302

Itinerary: This is a five-day project. Meeting at Poverty Flat Campground off the South Fork Salmon Road Tuesday night or early Wednesday. Pack stock supported hike into base camp, work from here each day, returning to camp in the afternoons. Sunday, packers return to haul gear back to the trailhead.

Food Provided by ITA: No

Crew Leader: Anne Poinier and Kirsten Severud

Estimated Drive Time from Closest Town: 1 hour 15 minutes from Cascade

Trail Map: Click for trail map and elevation profile

Refundable deposit: $50

Why do I need to pay a deposit? We’ve had trouble with people backing out of trips at the last minute which can really affect the productivity of the overall project. By charging a refundable fee, volunteers are less likely to cancel their reservation. Refunds will not be given to volunteers that do not show up or cancel their reservation. Exceptions will be made for medical reasons or unforeseen circumstances. Volunteers can choose to donate the deposit to ITA. All donations are tax-deductible and will go towards maintaining trails throughout Idaho. If you require assistance in paying for this fee, please contact us at trails@idahotrailsassociation.org and we will waive the cost.

Difficulty Rating

You should have experience with backpacking and be in good hiking condition with broken-in and tested gear. This is a remote backcountry project so injuries such as sprains and blisters or even extreme fatigue from not being properly conditioned can quickly become a big safety issue. If you are unsure about the proper gear or about preparing for a trip, please reach out to trails@idahotrailsassociation.org.

Hike: 3/5 Moderately Strenuous – Approximately 6.5 miles of a steady uphill hike into camp with 2,400 feet of total elevation gain. Volunteers will have to carry day packs with some personal gear and tools, but pack support will be available for most of the gear. For the hike into the project site, there is a slight elevation gain and the distance hiked will get longer each day as we work further from camp. One creek crossing, and several side stream crossings.  See the linked map for the elevation profile.

Project Work: 3/5 Moderately Strenuous – Lots of brushing and sapling removal with some bigger logs to cut as well. Digging and swinging tools for tread work needed to ensure proper width and slope.

Volunteer Spots Available: 0 of 9
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