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Prairie Creek, Frostbite Flat Parking Construction Gets Underway
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A backhoe was stationed at Prairie Creek on Friday in preparation for the development of a new, larger parking lot for Nordic skiers and other recreational users.
   
Wednesday, September 29, 2021
 

STORY BY SARA SHEEHY

PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK

Blaine County Recreation District has begun construction on two new parking lots in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area.

The development of the parking lots at Prairie Creek and Kendall Gulch are a part of the U.S. Forest Service’s Big Wood Travel Management Plan.

At Prairie Creek, 17 miles north of Ketchum, a 62-space parking area will be constructed with two access points along Highway 75. The existing on-highway parking area will be removed and rehabilitated with vegetation.

At Kendall Gulch, locally known as “Frostbite Flats,” a 34-space parking area will be constructed that also has two access points along Highway 75. The existing highway pullout, located approximately four miles north of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area headquarters, will be closed. There will no longer be on-highway parking at either location.

Prairie Creek and Kendall Gulch are popular Nordic skiing destinations within BCRD’s 200-kilometer winter trail system. The Prairie Creek parking lot will provide access to the 8km. Prairie Creek Trail and 8km Billy’s Bridge Trail, while both parking lots serve as year-round trailheads for the 32-kilometer Harriman Trail.

BCRD is funding and constructing the two new parking areas.

“The new parking lots will provide a safer experience for Nordic skiers this winter by eliminating on-highway parking,” said Eric Rector, director of Trails and Facilities at BCRD. “In addition, both lots will hold more vehicles, which will help to accommodate the increased interest in winter sports that we are seeing throughout the Wood River Valley.”

Area Ranger Kirk Flannigan added that it has been the SNRA’s plan to see the two parking lots built since at-least 2018.

“Having a great partner like BCRD helped make this a reality, as they have stepped in to fund and manage the construction of both lots,” he added.


 

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