Blodgett Campground, Trail and Pass-Now Open!
Incident: Sawtooth Fire Wildfire
Bitterroot National Forest
1801 N. 1st Street, Hamilton, MT 59840 (406) 363-7100
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Tod McKay Public Affairs Officer (406) 363-7122
(406) 531-1130 - CELL email@example.com
September 19, 2012
Hamilton, MT. - The Bitterroot National Forest has announced that the popular Blodgett Creek Trail #19 and Campground are now open to the public. They were closed last week because of the Sawtooth Fire burning several miles southwest of Hamilton near Downing Mountain. Forest officials want to remind the public that even though the trail and campground are now open, they should be prepared to encounter smoke coming from numerous wildfires in the region, including the 330,000 acre Mustang Fire in Idaho - the largest active fire in the nation.
The Forest also announced today that for the first time in two years, Blodgett Pass Trail #310 is now open to stock. The trail was closed in 2010 following a massive rockslide that blocked the trail near the top of the pass. The force of the slide and the weight of the rock (approx. 325 tons of granite) completely wiped out sections of the historic trail. Since the slide, the trail has been impassable to stock and difficult and dangerous for hikers to navigate. The slide was located 11 miles from the Blodgett Creek Trailhead.
Montana Conservation Corps crews (MCC), along with Forest Service personnel have been working since July to clear the huge rocks, some the size of pickup trucks, by hand, rigging, and blasting. Some of the rocks were used to re-build portions of the trail including retaining walls, water bars and check dams. See photos attached. The Blodgett Pass Trail crosses from Montana into Idaho and provides access to many popular wilderness trails and high mountain lakes.
The work was funded by the Ravalli County Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) which supports projects that benefit National Forest System lands and ecosystems in Ravalli County.