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Backpacker Magazine – April 2008

Top 3 Trail-Building Trips

Want to boost your backcountry karma? Here are three places to hike–and give back.

by: Ann Wendland

Appalachian Trail, New York-New Jersey Trail Conference
Appalachian Trail, New York-New Jersey Trail Conference
Pacific Crest Trail, Ian Nelson/PCTA
Pacific Crest Trail, Ian Nelson/PCTA
Ice Age Trail, Robert Wojtowicz/
Ice Age Trail, Robert Wojtowicz/

AT | PCT | Ice Age

Pacific Crest Trail
Shore up crumbling desert tracks
Monsoon rains erode portions of the PCT every year, especially in the section traversing the flash-flood-prone high desert of Kern County. The Pacific Crest Trail Association caps its trail-building season here with an October weekend of intensive rockwork, rebuilding washed out or sloping trails. The effort is organized by the Student Conservation Association's WildCorps. From Walker Pass Campground on CA 178, climb the PCT for five miles–from desert scrub through singleleaf piñon pines and eroded granite–to the group's basecamp. You'll carry backpacking gear and leather gloves; llamas pack in food and tools. Want to help sooner? The PCTA hosts volunteer trips along the length of the entire PCT all summer.

The Reward
Refuel with a bacon cheese-burger
and a Class V Stout at the Kern River Brewing Company in Kernville.

The Way
From Bakersfield, head 76 miles northeast on CA 178 to Walker Pass Campground.

AT | PCT | Ice Age

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andrew (bones)
Nov 08, 2010

Big Thanks to Fast Eddie for allowing me to be apart of the bear mountain project last fall. This project allowed me to hone my skills as a rock setter, and gave me insight into what rock shaping is all about. Couldn't have worked for a better crew, the leaders were on-point, never lazy, and the volunteers showed a level of pride in their work that Iv'e never seen.


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