Forest Service begins Granite Chief Wilderness reroute project

OLYMPIC VALLEY, Calif. – Trail crews with the Tahoe National Forest office of the Forest Service have kicked off the Granite Chief Wilderness Reroute project this week.

Portions of the current trail have steep grades that have become rutted from repeated use and go over hillside springs, posing user safety and resource damage challenges. This project will create nearly 6 miles of new trail along the ridge connecting Granite Chief, Needle and Lyon Peaks, affording access to new stunning vistas. When completed, the new trail system will provide options for walkers, runners and equestrians to explore shorter loops on the Tevis Cup Trail on both the east and northwest side of Granite Chief Wilderness.

Since the use of motorized vehicles within federally designated wilderness is prohibited and due to the project’s remote location, trail crew members will be living in the wilderness for the next 12-weeks while working on the trail enhancements. Food and supplies will be brought to the team by pack stock thanks to the USFS Pacific Southwest Region Pack Stock Center of Excellence.

Trail crew members clearing a downed tree. No motorized equipment is permitted in wilderness areas.
Provided / Forest Service

Partners on the project include the Western States Endurance Run Foundation (organizers of the Western States Endurance Run), the Western States Trail Foundation (organizers of the Tevis Cup 100 Mile One Day Ride – Western States Trail Foundation), the Pacific Southwest Region Pack Stock Center of Excellence, Palisades Tahoe and U.S. Forest Service-Tahoe National Forest. The project was funded by the Great American Outdoors Act along with additional partner funds.

Planning for this project began in 2016 and is now beginning implementation. Trail improvements are scheduled to be completed over the next three summer seasons.

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