© 2024 KPCW

Spencer F. Eccles Broadcast Center
PO Box 1372 | 460 Swede Alley
Park City | UT | 84060
Office: (435) 649-9004 | Studio: (435) 655-8255

Music & Artist Inquiries: music@kpcw.org
News Tips & Press Releases: news@kpcw.org
Volunteer Opportunities
General Inquiries: info@kpcw.org
Listen Like a Local Park City & Heber City Summit & Wasatch counties, Utah
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

New crew hired to maintain Wasatch Back trails

A volunteer project will set out to clean up a trail Saturday in Deer Creek State Park.
Mia Yue
Wasatch Trails Foundation
The Deer Creek Trail runs along the Deer Creek reservoir and is popular for bikers and hikers.

As the Wasatch Back continues to grow, so do the miles of trails and the need to maintain them.

But without the funding to keep up with trail maintenance and repairs in the Heber and Kamas valleys, Mountain Tails Foundation has stepped in and agreed to hire a maintenance crew to help them.

The Mountain Trails Foundation board of directors this spring agreed to spend up to $100,000 to hire a three-person trails crew to begin work on the chronically under-maintained trails outside the Park City area.

Mountain Trails Foundation Executive Director Lora Anthony says as new organizations, the South Summit and Wasatch Trails Foundations don’t have the resources that Mountain Trails does, and this one-time funding can help the other two play catch up.

“That's something that Mountain Trails has been hearing about for a couple of years, that you can't just build a trail and walk away from it,” she said. “There's been a sentiment of, ‘We have so many trails, let's take care of the ones we have.’ And I think when we look at mountain trails, the staff and board, look at the Wasatch Back, and then the connectivity that will be happening between Heber Valley and the Park City trails, we're looking at having a holistic view of the trail system in both Park City and Wasatch.”

Anthony stresses that this new crew is in addition to the existing crews already hired to work on the Park City and Snyderville Basin trails.

The foundations are assessing what projects need to be tended to first, but the new trails crew was sent out to the Oakley Trails Park to rehabilitate those trails that have fallen into disrepair.

The next project will be Dutch Hollow in Wasatch County. Wasatch Trails Foundation Executive Director Mia Yue says these trails are located within Wasatch Mountain State Park but the park system doesn’t have the funding to fix them.

“The state park’s current view of trail maintenance is the same to their view of how they operate their campgrounds,” Yue said. “And they rely pretty much solely on volunteers to do all of that work to, you know, check people in and that sort of thing and do the trail maintenance, which obviously, has its shortcomings. And that gap is where we step in as the trails foundation and do everything we can to support.”

She says the Dutch Hollow trails have a lot of overgrowth and drainage issues that the crew will focus on this summer.

The good news Yue says is that Department of Outdoor Recreation has recognized the need for trail maintenance and repair and has created restorations grants specifically for this kind of work in the last few years.

Going forward, Anthony says it makes sense for the three trails foundations to work together and prioritize the trail work that needs to be done on a regional basis.

“We all have the same mission,” she said. “The Wasatch Back is becoming one now. So, as we move toward that and connecting the trail systems, I think it makes sense for us to be coordinating as closely as we are with Wasatch Trails. So, it's not so much a competition but a coordination of how we're going to fund the maintenance of this. What will eventually be, you know, a 1,000-mile trail system.”

Anthony adds that Mountain Trails funding other trail foundations is somewhat unconventional but she believes it’s a worthy expenditure to preserve the area’s world-class trail experiences.