Tahoe National Forest officials have reopened parts of two popular trails damaged in August by the American fire and are seeking volunteers to help rehabilitate the remaining trail segments.
The Western States Trail is open between Michigan Bluff and Deadwood Cemetery, and OHV Trail Loop 6, also known as Forest Service Trail 11E44, is open west of Deadwood Ridge Road.
The entire fire area, including all trails and roads within it, will remain closed for public safety until May 1, said Gwen Ernst-Ulrich, forest spokeswoman.
The fire, northeast of Foresthill in Placer County, burned 27,440 acres within the forest’s American River Ranger District and surrounding properties, including three historic buildings at the Pacific Slab mine.
Eighteen of the 25 miles of the Western States Trail damaged by the fire have been rehabilitated, Ernst-Ulrich said, and efforts are underway to winterize the remaining seven miles to minimize erosion.
Since 1974, the trail has been the site each June of the internationally known Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run from Squaw Valley to Auburn and, in August, the Tevis Cup Endurance Ride.
The remaining damaged seven-mile segment, between Last Chance and Deadwood, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It includes two fire-damaged bridges across the northern portion of the middle fork of the American River canyon.
“The (ranger) district is looking at alternate routes for these events if the swinging bridge that crosses the river is not able to be used in time,” Ernst-Ulrich said. “Thousands of other recreationists use this popular trail annually.”