VOLUNTEER WORK WITH THE USFS
Students of The Claremont Colleges have worked with Professor Steinmetz on numerous trail restoration projects in the San Gabriel River Ranger District of the Angeles National Forest, the oldest national forest in California and the fifth oldest in the US.† This Web page documents these activities with photographs of work in the forest.
The premier group dedicated to trail work in the district is the San Gabriel Trail Builders (SGTB).† The group has completed many technically
demanding projects.† The SGTB goes out on
the first, third, and fifth Saturdays of every month.† The meeting place is the Gateway Center Route
A second volunteer organization is the Angeles Volunteer Organization
(AVA).† AVA meets at 19:00 on the first
Thursday of each month at the Scout hut in the
Maps of Project Areas
The colored bands are GPS tracks of the trails in
The red, solid GPS track marks the Bear Flat Trail (Baldy
Trail) from its start in the parking lot by the village church in
Projects with the Great Crosscut Saw
Power tools are not permitted in wilderness areas.† Furthermore, they are also dangerous.† It is more fun and safer to use the old fashioned cross cut saw.† Here a group is bucking (cutting) a dead fall, a tree that has fallen across a lower section of the Chapman Trail.† The execution of the project requires a group of 4-6 to bring in all the tools: the crosscut saw with handles, wedges in case the saw binds, a hammer to pound in the wedges, WD40 to lubricate the saw, a steel pry bar to move the parts of the log after the cut, and a McLeod to repair damage to the trail.
Here a group of
The state of the trail after completion of the cut and repairs to the trail.
Here a bow saw is sufficient for cutting a California bay that had fallen across the Bear Flat Trail.† Heavy snow toppled the tree.
The Chapman Trail lies on the south side of the ridge and the chaparral grows well.† We frequently have to cut back the brush.† No one appreciates being stuck by the thorny Ceonothus (buck thorn).† Hikers frequently thank us for performing this task.†
Rock Work and Retaining Walls
The group is dealing with a common problem.† The upslope lies at the angle of repose and material (slough) slides down the slope and narrows the trail.† A solution is the construction of a retaining wall.† We prefer to use rock but at this site on the Chapman Trail we used logs as there were not enough large rocks for the task.
At this site on the 3 Tís Trail just north of Icehouse Saddle, a large tree fell across the trail and hikers created a new trail around the tree.† Rather than remove the tree, we improved the use trail made by hikers.† One section was steep so we constructed a series of steps to even out the grade and stabilize the tread.
The tread should be 2-3 feet wide.† Repairs and improvements are frequently
needed.† Hikers often walk on the outside
edge and damage the edge.† Barbarians who
cut switch backs destroy the tread.†
The next two pictures shows work on the Baldy Trail just
west of the Devilís Backbone.† The trail
in this section contours on the south side of
Note the cache of rocks ready to be used in the stabilization of the downslope edge of the trail.† The trail drops several hundred feet on the downslope side.†
Note the recent tread work in front of and along the
Tread work in
last changed, 6 August 2009