Wallowa Mountains Hells Canyon Trails Association

Upper Minam River Trail

August 10-13, 2018

On August 10-13, 2018, a WMHCTA crew worked the Upper Minam River Trail (USFS #1673) from Minam Lake to Elk Creek Trail, in hot and dry weather. Here’s a report from project leader, Holly Akenson:

“Our group of eight hiked, rode, and packed mules 8 miles from Two Pan Trailhead up the West Fork Lostine Trail past Minam Lake to our camp on the Minam River at Frazier Meadow. We cleared 10 miles of the upper Minam River Trail. This trail had not been cleared for almost ten years. We worked two crews – the hiking group cut out the trail near camp and the riding group worked the further section. We concentrated on cutting out logs across the trail especially larger logs where users had created “go-around” trails. We cut out or removed 256 trees from the trail, using crosscut and hand saws. We also improved the trail with brush cutting (including about 300 conifer seedlings), rock removal, and water crossings as time permitted.

“This section of the Minam River Trail is now very passable, with most logs sawed or removed from the trail. Some lower step-over logs remain. Additional brushing and rock removal could

improve the trail further.

“There was great camaraderie among the group. We had a productive combination of hikers and riders to get the job done and share the workload. We had our own cook and some great meals. The pack mules allowed us to have a comfortable camp; good stock feed was available at Frazier Meadow. Everyone worked long days to ensure we got the whole trail section opened. We did not find many huckleberries this year. Mosquitoes had been frosted out, but we did encounter 5 ground nests of yellow jackets – mostly stinging the horses and mules. One tailed frog tadpole was found in the coffee pot (removed before heating the water)!”

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