2024 Ditch Creek

Volunteer Trail Work Project

2024 Ditch Creek

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UPDATE: This project was originally part of our Veterans Program but now is open for all volunteers to sign up.

Deep in the beautiful Selway Bitterroot Wilderness, we’ll work up the Ditch Creek Trail to the Moose Ridge Trail, one of the most remote sections of the Idaho Centennial Trail. We’ll fly from McCall into Shearer, a backcountry airstrip along the Selway River. From here, 51 Ranch Outfitters will provide pack support to move gear up Ditch Creek after the crew clears the first 4-5 miles from Shearer up the trail. After that, the crew will work for the week, possibly moving camp further up the trail, and then backpack out to catch a flight home.

This is the second year ITA will be hosting this project, and we hope to re-clear and continue the work from last year. This project will also ensure that pack support from 51 Ranch will be available to the Wilderness Immersion Crew later in the season as they work the Moose Ridge Trail. Between the two projects, ITA will help improve one of the most overgrown sections of the ICT.

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: Ditch Creek Trail #523, Moose Ridge #562, Shearer Ridge #547

Itinerary: This is a Sunday-Saturday weeklong project. Fly out of McCall early Saturday morning. Camp at Shearer for a day or two to clear Ditch Creek, then work with the outfitter/packer to move camp up the trail 4-5 miles. Friday, hike back to Shearer by early evening to prepare for a Saturday morning flight back to McCall.

Food Provided by ITA: No – But please reach out should you need assistance with backpacking meals.

Crew Leader: Ray Arguello

Estimated Drive Time from Closest Town: Flying out of McCall

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: 5/5 Very Strenuous- Ditch Creek gains 4,000 feet of elevation over 11 miles. Trail conditions will determine how far the crew can be packed in, and work all week will be uphill, with the possibility of moving camp. Hiking carrying heavy packs and tools is expected, with some support. See the linked map for the elevation profile.

Project Work: 4/5 Strenuous – Lots of saw work, brushing, and some tread work. Trail was cleared last year, and we’ll re-clear and push forward.

Volunteer Spots Available: 4 of 8
If there are no volunteer spots available, click “Sign Up” to get on our waitlist for this project!

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