Monday, August 17, 2009

Necklace Valley-Tarnished

What a hike yesterday! Summer has returned in the Northwest. I got a little behind in my research due to the lousy weather that lasted for over a week. What to do then? Go into hyper drive! I ended up hiking into the Necklace Valley all the way to the base of La Bohn Gap with a side trip to Ilswoot Lake in a day! Yep-22 miles worth! Ugh-and yes I'm tired this morning. Half of the way I was able to run-the first five plus miles barely gain any elevation and the tread is pretty smooth-then its a three mile grunt-but once you get to the Valley it is pretty easy going-and this what I want to address. While there are a good half dozen plus lakes in the Necklace Valley, the trail only leads to one of them directly-so what has happened is that there are way-paths all over the freaking place up there. Now, while that presents challenges to hikers sending them out and about-it also creates serious problems for the heather parklands-they are being trampled and chewed up-Pretty unsightly-pretty bad for this fragile environment-and pretty poor land management. Yes, hikers should have access to these wonderful lakes-But how about designating just one side trail to each of the lakes? Label these trails so hikers know where they are going and will use them-and then start closing and rehabilitating the other "trails" that are scarring this beautiful valley and tarnishing these gorgeous alpine gems? Your take?

(photo-Gorgeous Ilswoot Lake-which I believe is a bastardization of Itsoot which is Chinook for black bear)

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