2024 Heart Lake

Volunteer Trail Work Project

2024 Heart Lake

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ITA will spend a week working and camping in the beautiful and remote Mallard Larkin Pioneer Area in the Idaho Panhandle National Forest. These trails have become difficult to hike, with a lot of brush and downfall, and this area has many options for backpacking or horse packing trips that should be preserved!

We’ll meet US Forest Service packers and their pack string at the trailhead, and they will help bring in gear and tools to a base camp. From here, we’ll continue working each day further down the trail, returning to base camp each evening at the lake to swim or fish after work. ITA worked here in 2022, opening the trail to Northbound Lake, where the crew completed over 4 miles of brushing and log out.

Featuring mountain peaks, meadows, and alpine lakes, this area is also known for its diverse wildlife. Don’t let the long drive discourage you from exploring this beautiful area, it’s well worth the journey!

More info is available on All Trails.

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: Mallard Peak Trail #11, Heart Pass Trail #65, Heart Lake Trail #7

Itinerary: This is a Sunday-Saturday weeklong project. Meet at camp near the trailhead Saturday evening. Pack in Sunday to base camp, work all week. Saturday return to trailhead to drive home. The crew leader will specify the meeting time & place in their pre-trip emails.

Food Provided by ITA: No

Crew Leader: Tom Dabrowski

Estimated Drive Time from Closest Town: A little over 2 hours from Avery

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- 8.5 miles into Heart Lake with some steep ups and downs, net 600 feet elevation gain. Carrying day packs and some trail tools. See the linked map for the elevation profile of the hike in.

Project Work: 3/5 Moderately Strenuous- Volunteers can pick trail duties based on comfort and ability level and are encouraged to work at their own pace. Deferred maintenance includes logging out, brushing, and drainage clearing.

Volunteer Spots Available: 2 of 8
If there are no volunteer spots available, click “Sign Up” to get on our waitlist for this project!

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