Through the Seasons: Photos from Summer Volunteer Projects

September means we’re getting hints of crisp autumn air in Sacramento. Up the hill toward Lake Tahoe, we’ve had more than a few snow flurries in the Sierra. As the seasons change, so does the work volunteers tackle along the PCT.

Before winter’s here in full force, let’s look at some standout volunteer projects from this summer. Volunteer trail crews have enjoyed weeks of backcountry trail maintenance in the Cascades, day trips near Mount Ashland, building new trail in the Sierra Nevada, and plenty of camaraderie with fellow volunteers.

Here are some of our favorite photos from this season – submitted by amazing volunteers like you!

Over Oregon’s Willamette Pass, trail crews and volunteer packers use horses to haul supplies and tools for projects. This crew cleared fallen logs from more than 8 miles of trail in a single day! Photo by Becky Hope


Volunteers spent a week in California’s Trinity Alps Wilderness, hiking more than 40 miles and clearing 140 downed logs. Photo by Eleanore Anderson.


Near Oregon’s Mount Ashland, volunteers with the PCTA’s Southern Oregon Rockers break up rocks to make “crush” for filling in low areas and compacting the trail. Photo by Mick Mc Bride.


Volunteers partnered with an American Conservation Experience crew to build a new section of trail near Echo Lakes, California. Photo by Alice Su.


Volunteers Steve, Maya, Kwen, and Mark cleared fallen logs from more than 6 miles of trail over Washington’s Tieton Pass. Trail work puts a smile on everyone’s face! Photo by Steve Ghan.


Small mudslides damaged the trail in California’s Plumas National Forest, but volunteers with the PCTA’s Pounder’s Promise group spent a long weekend repairing the tread and enjoying the views. Photo by Lisa Farr.


The Eagle Creek Fire destroyed parts of the PCT near the Columbia River Gorge in 2017. Volunteers with PCTA’s Mt. Hood Chapter worked through the summer months to return the trail to pre-fire conditions. Photo by Nate Zaremskiy.


The Hidden Spring Volunteer Vacation gave this volunteer an excuse to fly out from New York City! Spending a week in the Goat Rocks Wilderness repairing tread and making new friends sounds like a treat to us, too. Photo by Michelle Nacouzi.


Near California’s Picayune Lake, these ladies lead the way using their crosscut saw skills and positive attitudes. Photo by Eleanore Anderson.


We love joining forces with organizations like Northwest Outward Bound School to promote the Pacific Crest Trail. It puts a smile on our faces, too! Photo by Karen Morse.


Sometimes power-brushing is necessary for thick over-growth on the trail. Near Washington’s Windy Pass, Jim, Shep, and Ron, cleared the way for hikers and equestrians. Photo by Shep Griswold.


The rocky landscape of California’s Donner Pass means volunteers must use rock bars to lift and place heavy boulders in just the right spot. Photo by Emily Bauska.


Trail work is tough, so don’t forget to take a break, enjoy the view, and pose for a picture! Photo by Janette Storer.

Trail maintenance may be winding down in Washington, Oregon, and Northern California for now, but you can join us in the fall for a variety of volunteer opportunities further south, including a brushing project in the Southern Sierra, day projects near Cajon Pass or rehabbing the trail in the Angeles National Forest. Check out all our volunteer opportunities on the online project schedule or find a local group on our regional volunteer groups page.

And a special “Thank you!” to the volunteers who’ve given so much time and sweat to protect, preserve and promote the Pacific Crest Trail this summer!

Author: Mila Benson

Mila Benson was the PCTA's Volunteer Programs Outreach Associate in 2020 but has since moved on to other opportunities. She's enthusiastic about stories that engage and inspire others to volunteer and view the trail through a new lens. Originally from North Idaho, Mila is passionate about all things outdoors and spends her free time exploring California.