2024 Johnson Saddle

Volunteer Trail Work Project

2024 Johnson Saddle

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Volunteers will get a chance to explore the Gospel Hump Wilderness on this one-way backpacking project. The crew will take a jet boat to Sheep Creek, where we will work our way up to Johnson Saddle, high over the Main Salmon River. This trail winds around Butzien Butte and Black Butte before descending back to the Wind River Pack Bridge.

ITA has been working to help keep this section of trail clear for the last few years. This trail gives hikers and backpackers a chance to access Sheep Creek beach and the Main Salmon River.

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.

More info in this ITA Trail Spotlight.

Trails: Johnson Saddle Trail #311, Johnson Saddle Cutoff #91, Moores Trail #312

Itinerary: This is a five-day project. Meet at Wind River Pack Bridge/Carey Creek Boat Ramp in the morning to meet the jet boat pilot. Jet boat to Sheep Creek, begin hiking/trail work up Sheep Creek Trail. During the week continue trail work, bumping camp as appropriate. On Sunday, finish hiking back to the pack bridge and head home. Your crew leader will clarify specific meeting times and location, please refer to their pre-trip emails.

Food Provided by ITA: No

Crew Leader: Leslie Anderson

Estimated Drive Time from Closest Town: 1 hour from Riggins

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 some 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- The hike from the Salmon River at Sheep Creek to Johnson Saddle is approximately five miles with 3,000 feet of elevation gain. The hike back from Johnson Saddle to the pack bridge is about 11 miles of varying terrain, mostly downhill. Tools and all personal gear will be carried into the project site, and the crew should plan on moving camp during the project.

Project Difficulty: 4/5 Strenuous- This project will be focused on logout and brushing with some tread work; large trees and rocks are expected. The weather in May can be unpredictable so please pack accordingly!

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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