The USFS Evans Creek ORV Area is unique in being a dedicated off-road vehicle riding area on USFS National Forest land. Sitting at the knee of Mt. Rainier
Evans Creek features 25 miles of 4x4 trails and another 20 miles of mixed dirt bike and ATV trails, through 6,400 acres of forest environments and scenic views of the mountain. Some of the trails dramatically cross broad talus slopes, shrouded in mountain mists, as they climb in elevation from 2,000 up to 4,500 feet. Deep snow brings fresh challenges and heightened adventure in winter and spring.
Four RTP grants have been awarded to since 2012, for a total of $323,629 in grant funding, plus $283,995 in match, for a total of $607,624 in project value toward accomplishing the ongoing annual maintenance of trails and facilities. Earlier RTP grants were also awarded, in 2010 and 2007.
Project work has included:
- Employing a full time 2-person seasonal equipment operator/trail crew, 3 person front country patrol/facility maintenance crew and 1 program manager who coordinated daily trail, facility, and patrol activities.
- Replacement of previously purchased existing equipment haul trailer and needed equipment replacement. This equipment was used to construct waterbars, drainage, and to haul rocks and materials for trails and facilities maintenance. The heavy machinery and towing equipment was also maintained.
Friends and user groups have been dedicated to supporting Evans Creek and USFS for four decades, with exemplary service during the RTP award time period. The Rednecks & Rugrats Jeep Club and Fringe Motorcycle Club have been especially generous with their time and efforts. In cases of tree blowdowns and road washouts, these clubs have literally, physically helped USFS keep the park open.
Recreational use at Evans Creek has been an important contributor to the economy and culture of the nearby small town of Wilkeson. With coal mines closed, logging greatly reduced, and a population less than 500, the town has benefitted significantly from the community linkage bringing in visitors. Wilkeson even applied to the same agency that administers RTP in Washington, for upgrades to their skatepark, and earned the top ranked local parks project in the state! The town is at least an hour drive from major cities and other recreation opportunities, so Evans Creek is also a major service provider to the local citizens.
Finally, keeping the ORV area strong and healthy has been a boon to federal lands. USFS has reduced logging, which has slashed their available budget for serving the public and stewarding the land. RTP funding has been integral in efforts to sustainably engage people in the outdoors.
2019: Lassen Peak Trail