Volunteer vacationing on the Pacific Crest Trail | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Volunteer vacationing on the Pacific Crest Trail

Pacific Crest Trail Association and the Northwest Service Academy are offering Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail Volunteer Vacations, which provide an opportunity for families and individuals to spend time along the trail while helping to perform maintenance to maintain the area.

Throughout the vacation, volunteers are part of a group of six trail crew members and five volunteer vacationers performing trail maintenance on the trail. Depending on the level of outdoor experience desired, volunteer vacationers can choose to backpack to remote areas or car camp at a developed campground with flush toilets and showers. The length of the volunteer vacation can extend from two days to more than a week. After a day of trail work, many locations also offer opportunities to for fishing, swimming and wildlife viewing.

The volunteer vacations are also free. Meals, campsite fees, tools and safety equipment are provided at no charge throughout the project period. Participants are asked to bring their own tent, sleeping bag, and personal gear, plus provide their own transportation to the project site. Volunteers do not need to have trail maintenance experience but they should be physically able to hike, do trail work and camp.

The Pacific Crest Trail extends 2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada, making it the longest continuous trail in the United States. It traverses nearly 60 mountain passes, seven National Parks, 24 National Forests, and 33 federally-designated wilderness areas. The trail makes its way through mountain wildflowers of the Cascades, around glaciated lakes in the Sierra and through the Joshua Trees of the Mojave. The volunteer vacations are offered along the entire length of the trail.

Upcoming dates include:

– Jackson Meadows Reservoir, July 26-28, Tahoe National Forest, near Truckee, Calif.

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– Mount Elwell, July 19-22 and July 26-29, Plumas National Forest, near Graeagle, Calif.

– Lake Heather, Aug. 13-15, Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, near South Lake Tahoe

– Desolation Wilderness, Aug. 23-Sept. 1, Sept. 6-15, Sept. 19-23, Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, near South Lake Tahoe.

– Wild Plum Bridges, Oct. 6-9, Tahoe National Forest, near Sierra City, Calif.

More than 80 volunteer vacatoins are available and registration is underway. For details visit http://www.pcta.org or contact Merrit Hoeh, Pacific Crest Trail Association volunteer programs assistant, at mhoeh@pcta.org, or (916) 285-1838.