Located in the far northwest corner of the park, and reached only by mile after mile of dusty gravel road in the summer months, are Bowman and Kintla Lakes. As park visitation rises and travelers continue to discover the more remote and less traveled sections of the park, these lakes are becoming more and more popular.
The two trails traversing the north shore lines of the lakes are main access points to six popular backcountry campgrounds and one backcountry cabin. Steep terrain above these trail sections combined with extreme mountainous weather such as heavy runoff from high-intensity storms causes frequent tread and trail structure failure.
Much of the trail damage results in uneven or inconsistent surfaces due to gouged-out tread, exposed loose rock and washed out sections, restricting stock use and at times closing entire trail sections to visitors. Sections of these trails are located in damp areas next to the lakes where vegetation damage occurs rapidly in the form of trail widening and braiding as hikers create numerous parallel trails in an attempt to keep their feet dry.
Rehabilitation work on these trails will help prevent erosion and damage which occurs to riparian, wetland, shoreline and other sensitive habitats. It provides long-term (10-15 years) protection for these unique, irreplaceable resources including deferred maintenance along the upper three miles of trail along Bowman Lake and the upper 2.5 miles of trail along Lower Kintla Lake.
This project places crews on site for consecutive blocks of time to complete long-lasting corrections rather than temporary stop gaps.