Saturday, September 28, 2013

Trail Work on Marble Creek!

An update from Marble Creek Trail #222- a tributary of the Middle Fork of the Salmon River.

A 4-person crew  from the Selway-Bitterroot Frank Church Foundation started up Marble Creek on the 10th of September 2013 after flying into Thomas Creek Ranch. We spent 8 days working up Marble Creek (working upstream, toward the Thunder Mtn. Trailhead), and are pleased to have cleared most of the trail.

This is the 3rd year in a row the Selway Bitterroot Frank-Church Foundaiton has worked on clearing Marble Creek Trail. The 25 mile section of trail meanders back and forth over Marble Creek many times (roughly 25 creek crossings), and therefore presents many challenges to any hiker or trail crew trying to open the trail. We are very happy with the progress and condition of the trail, however want to give some specific information to assist any potential thru-hikers.

As of 9/18/2013:
- From the Middle Fk. Confluence --> Trail Creek, the trail is in great shape. No down trees and brush is clear from creek crossings.

-Upstream of Trail Creek (roughly 300 yards from Trail Ck. confluence) there is no tread. Brush is extremely thick and users will most likely need to walk adjacent to and/or in the creek. Look for brush opening and tread again on the East side of Marble Ck. The trail crosses the creek twice more before obvious tread develops again (around 1/4 mi downstream of Mink Ck.)

-There are down trees in the burn area that surrounds Buck Creek. The highest concentration of down trees starts at Buck Ck. and continues for roughly 1.5 miles North (upstream).

Some pictures from our work on Marble Creek are below!

One of the many crossings over Marble Creek.

Enjoying the view downstream of Canyon Creek,

A good example of brush overgrown on the trail.

Trail condition post-brushing.

Large tree down on trail.

After clearing.

We even found some creek crossings full of large logs.

But we got them all cleared out!

Overall the trail is in good shape and ready for your visit, so get out there. Marble Creek is a beautiful and remote section of ICT trail in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness.

For more information about this project or the Selway Bitterroot Frank-Church Foundation visit the SBFC Foundation website at

Safe Trails!

Seth Norell Bader,
Lead Wilderness Steward, Selway-Bitterroot Frank Church Foundation


Ron said...

thanks so much for your hard work on Marble Creek. I have hiked the ICT West alternate route, but still need to do the Frank Church main route. I will look forward to *inspecting* your work on Marble Creek. :)

thanks again.


the spatial juan said...

Yes, thank you. I went up Marble creek last summer, unfortunately before you the SBFC got to it.
It would have been a shame to lose such a great old CCC trail! Some of the stonework is still in great shape, though the trail near the creek I fear will always be a mess!

Now lets get up into the Selway!


Brooks said...

I tried hiking across the Frank Church summer of '12 and couldn't find the trail on marble creek where at the Trail creek junction. Glad to see the work is being done. I went up and over the mountain, back to the middle fork, then up big creek. Added about 20 miles to the route and when I got to the ranger station, the ranger wasn't there with my food drop. Hitched a ride out on a bush plane. Hope to try again some day.