By Ann McCreary
A relatively short hike from the North Cascades Highway and not far from the Pacific Crest Trail, Snowy Lakes are a popular destination. The beautiful high elevation Snowy Lakes are like many treasured places though, and are at risk of being loved to death.
“Sustainability and access are two important components of the Forest Service’s objectives for managing our national forests,” said Methow Valley District Ranger Mike Liu. “To that end, we need to take steps to address the poor trail condition, trampling around campsites and toilet paper ‘flowers’ that litter the ground.”
To improve sustainable access and better protect the environment around Snowy Lakes, the Methow Valley Ranger District has proposed a project that would repair and reroute sections of the trail, more clearly establish campsites, install backcountry toilets and construct a stock hitch rail.
“The existing user-created trail is in a location that is not sustainable. It is susceptible to erosion and trenching,” said Liu. “As often happens, this trail became established more like a path being worn between two points than being designed and constructed to follow a gentle grade and with switchbacks that help reduce erosion.”
Work would begin on the project during the summer of 2018.
For more information or to provide input on the proposed work, write or call Kelly Baraibar, project leader, at Methow Valley Ranger District, 24 W. Chewuch Road, Winthrop, WA 98862, firstname.lastname@example.org, or 996-4019. To be most helpful, comments on the project should be received by January, 2018.