Friday, September 4, 2015

Maple Pass Loop Restoration - Plant-and-Camp

Image courtesy of Andy Porter Photography

Join us on Saturday, September 26 and/or Sunday, September 27, 2015, to help us plant thousands of fragile alpine plants on the high reaches of the Maple Pass trail. Long a local favorite, this trail boast stunning mountain scenery around every turn as hikers pass through alpine meadows and over mountain passes. High use and cross-country travel, however, have severely damaged fragile plants. 

Heather communities that took 10,000 years to establish themselves have simply been walked off. With your help, we will start restoring this special and sensitive place by planting seedlings and rehabilitating areas impacted by campsites.

Camping along this trail is prohibited to protect the fragile plant community from further damage.  However, with thousands of seedlings to plant, the Forest Service has granted us a special exemption from its regulations and is allowing NFF volunteers to camp in previously disturbed areas along the upper reaches of the Maple Pass Loop.  This will minimize travel time to and from the planting areas and allow us to efficiently rehabilitate the campsites on Sunday.

Image courtesy of Evan Eremita

Join us for the full weekend and wake up to a view like this, or participate in either or both days of planting by hiking up in the mornings.

We will meet at 9:00 am at the Maple Pass Loop trailhead in the Rainy Pass picnic area on both Saturday and Sunday to hike on up and start planting!

What to Bring/Wear (Please bring/wear the following if you are joining us during the day only):
  • Long pants
  • Ankle-supported, sturdy hiking/work boots
  • Long-sleeved shirt
  • Warm layers, including winter gloves and a hat - it may snow at the higher reaches of the Maple Pass Loop at this time of year
  • Extra water
  • Eye protection (sunglasses
    or other glasses)
  • Lunch and snacks

The Forest Service will provide work gloves, hard hats and tools.

If you will be joining us for the Plant-and-Camp, please also bring the following:
  • Camping supplies (tent, warm sleeping bag and pad)
  • Dinner for Saturday and breakfast for Sunday
  • Cooking stove and utensils
  • Headlamp
  • Change of clothes

Image courtesy of Andy Porter Photography

Directions to the Rainy Pass Picnic Area and Maple Pass Loop Trailhead:
From Winthrop, drive west on State Route 20 about 35 miles to Rainy Pass. Park in the south parking lot on the left side of the highway.

Where to Stay
If you will not be joining us for the Plant-and-Camp, you can also camp for free in the beautiful Lone Fir or Klipchuck campgrounds. Please bring your all your own camping gear/supplies.

Questions? Please contact Natalie Kuehler at or (509) 996-4057.

  • Start  26 Sep 2015 9:00 AM (PDT)
  • End 27 Sep 2015 4:00 PM (PDT)
  • Location Rainy Pass Trailhead
  • Volunteer – Free

NOTE: If winter weather closes in on the North Cascades early this year and freezes the soil, this volunteer event will need to be rescheduled.

We look forward to seeing you in the Majestic Methow!

This event is sponsored by the National Forest Foundation and U.S. Forest Service.

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