Sahale arm trail photo 5098440589 4d3884e055 b Sahale arm trail
Photo by nordique cc

2015 Funding Priority | Amount Needed $25,000

funded_01 funded 01The Sahale Arm Trail is a 2.2-mile trail that traverses through high elevation meadows between Cascade Pass and the Sahale Glacier Camp, the highest designated camp in the park at an elevation of 7,686 feet. Easy access (via the Cascade River Road and the Cascade Pass Trail), and stunning views make this the most popular alpine trail in the park. The trail had degraded to a very poor condition and multiple years of restoration work are needed. Thousands of feet of steep, muddy rock filled guts are contributing to resource damage, threatening visitor safety, and detracting from the visitor’s experience. Poor trail conditions, braided trails, and poor trail tread contribute to increased erosion and damage to native plant communities, which also diminishes the visitor’s experience. Funding from WNPF will be used to allow North Cascades National Park trails staff and volunteers continue to repair damaged trail segments, add additional drainage devices to prevent further trail damage, and to re-vegetate bare ground and abandoned trail segments.

The Sahale Arm trail is one of the premier alpine trails in the park, in a park that is recognized nationally for its alpine vistas. Its current condition does not meet park standards for visitor and employee safety or resources management. Necessary repairs to the trail which will help protect the resources and enhance visitor safety and enjoyment.

Improved conditions make the trail safer, reducing the potential for injury and allowing visitors who are intimidated by the current trail conditions to experience the beauty of Sahale Arm. The work does not require advanced technical trail skills, but it must be led by experienced trail professionals because less than perfect work will fail, and the short working season requires efficient work practices. The work will be demanding because job site environmental conditions at 7,000 feet elevation can be severe. It will be a physically taxing project for the workers because camping is limited to Pelton Basin Camp, more than two miles away and several thousand feet of elevation lower.

Student Conservation Association (SCA) interns will work side by side with trails staff. Volunteers will move native plants and assist with planting areas to be re-vegetated. The Sahale Arm Trail can be a busy place, which provides an opportunity to educate visitors on the fragility of alpine resources and encourage stewardship of park resources.