Chamberlain Creek – ITA Trail Project, Day 5, Frank Church Wilderness, Idaho

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The next day we loaded up camp and started to make our way back to the airstrip. It was a trip that would take two days and we had left enough work behind to keep us busy for a while.

Trees we had skipped.


Heavy packs and tools going back up the trail.

Crossing Queen Creek.

Remember this tree? This was the Pistol Tree we had skipped a couple days earlier. Time to do something with it now.

Art’s solution was to start chopping…… Now, I have never met anyone who can handle an ax better than Art but this was going to be a big chore. This tree was too dangerous to cut through as everything would slide down on the cutters. Art’s plan, notch it out and bury the end to secure the entire structure. Soon, we were building rock walls, elevating the trail half way up the log and notching the rest of it.

After chopping a good long while, Art seemed to be satisfied!

We build up the trail with rocks and dirt and after several hours, we were satisfied.

Luckily, just up the trail was our old swimming hole and a camp site very nearby.

It was a hot late afternoon. We cleaned up and spent a good amount of time using the creek as a cooler.

Sunset over camp.

Tomorrow, it is time to head back to the airstrip!

3 Replies to “Chamberlain Creek – ITA Trail Project, Day 5, Frank Church Wilderness, Idaho”

  1. Good stuff Dave. Any idea how the trail from Chamberlain Basin back to Big Creek has been in recent years? I’m thinking about hiking in there and flying out of the Chamberlain airstrip. I know it’s pretty burned over, so I’m not sure how the deadfall is. Thanks



    1. Jeff, good question! There are multiple routes in to Chamberlain Basin from Big Creek and I have not been on most parts of all of them. I know the Idaho Trails Association does not generally do work on those routes but I think that is because the Forest Service Crew works them. They are popular routes for hunters so I think they keep them open. You might try contacting the wilderness ranger at the Chamberlain Guard Station or the Big Creek Ranger. Check the Payette NF web site to see if you can find his/her contact info. Cheers and good luck. Let me know how it goes.


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