2018 Double Diamond Award
Pony Express trail Project
Pony Express Trail Project
Earns MLU the 2018 Double Diamond Award
by Lucy Badenhoop
2018 marked the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System Act, so BCHC-MLU partnered with the US Forest Service (Eldorado National Forest) and the California Division of the National Pony Express Association to restore 47 miles of alpine trail between Pollock Pines (elevation 3980 feet) and Echo Summit (elevation 7382 feet). This section of the historic Pony Express (XP) Trail is in a steep granite canyon carved by the South Fork of the American River and shares the narrow corridor with Hwy 50.
Several trail features needed attention and were included in the project, each of which required special skills and equipment beyond the usual sawyer work MLU performs every spring. In these instances, MLU called on friends from other trail organizations in the region to assist and advise our volunteers in developing a variety of new skills (trail rerouting, ford building, grading/gravel install, and rigging/tackle techniques). Such technical assistance and special equipment came from individual members of the Elegant Ears Mule Association, Tahoe Rim Trail Association, and Pacific Crest Trail Association.