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Endangered Trails

Washington Trails Association publishes a list of endangered trails each year. Find out what WTA is doing to help these trails.
Endangered Trails 2008

Washington’s hiking trails are among our state's greatest treasures. They are our access into wild places, and they are in our care. More than 9,000 miles of trails take us to alpine meadows of brilliant wildflowers, breathtaking scenic vistas, old-growth forest, rocky beaches, and high desert. Yet Washington’s trails system encounters unprecedented threats - from budget cuts, lack of maintenance, storms, fire, logging, encroachment of roads, motorized vehicles and more.

Washington Trails Association’s annual Endangered Trails Report offers comprehensive in-depth analysis of specific issues that impact trails, and what you can do today to help secure their future. 

These guides also include information on safe and low-impact hiking, detailed descriptions of the trails, and how you can take action.  While these guides provide a great deal of information, they should not be considered definitive. Please contact the land management agencies cited in the guide for complete and up-to-date information, trail conditions, road quality, etc. The maps provided are for reference only.

The trails highlighted in these publications were chosen because they illustrate particular characteristics important Washington hikers or threats that impact several trails across the state.  If you have trails you feel should be highlighted in our next guide, please contact WTA’s Advocacy Director Jonathan Guzzo at jonathan@wta.org

You can view WTA’s past endangered trail guides by clicking on the following links:

De-Listed Trails

WTA has published its annual guide to threatened trails since 2002. Each guide has illustrated ten hikes that need some attention from volunteers, land managers, or policy makers—or all three.

WTA is pleased to announce that three Endangered Trails have been "de-listed" since they were highlighted in an Endangered Trails Report

Golden Horn (2002 - from change in roadless policies)

The Bush administration turned back the Clinton administration’s Roadless Area Conservation Policy, but in September 2006 a federal judge decided that the Bush administration had failed to follow environmental and public comment rules in promulgating its own plan for roadless areas. The Bush administration’s policy would have allowed the states to decide how to manage roadless areas, which could have allowed road building and logging in these wild areas. The Golden Horn is located in the Liberty Bell Roadless Area, so the current ruling places this and other roadless areas off limits to new road construction and its attendant damage.

Andrews Creek (2004 - from fire)

Fire ravaged the Andrews Creek valley, making this trail dangerous enough to require administrative closure. Then-Congressman George Nethercutt secured $800,000 to repair trails in the Pasayten Wilderness, resulting in the reopening of the Andrews Creek Trail.

Barclay Lake (2006 - proposed wilderness)

In May 2008, after a seven year wait, the Wild Sky Wilderness Act became a reality and the state's first new  Wilderness area in 24 years. Although Barclay Lake was not included, in the interest of preserving historic use by Boy Scouts, it is surrounded by the new wilderness.

Goat Mountain (2006- mining proposal)

In 2008 the Bureau of Land Management denied General Moly’s (formerly Idaho General Mines) request to mine for copper and molybdenum on this mountain just north of Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, which could have obliterated the Goat Mountain Trail.

Wonderland Trail (2007 - storm damage)

An extremely focused advocacy and trail maintenance campaign procured labor and funding to repair portions of this classic northwest hike. Due in no small part to WTA volunteers and activists, this trail opened late last summer, earlier than many expected.