Volunteers help restore degraded Bloods Lake social trails

PARK CITY, Utah — Park City Chamber of Commerce, Utah Open Lands, Mountain Trails Foundation, Park City Government, and volunteers worked together to restore the former Bloods Lake trail in Bonanza Flat as part of the Sustainable Tourism Plan.

“This is essentially the second half of restoration work of the lakes in the Bonanza Flat that are open to the public,” said Alli Eroh, director of community engagement with Utah Open Lands.

“We’ve seen a tremendous amount of recreation around these lakes since the pandemic, and that has placed an increase in erosion and degradation on the riparian areas around the lake. We completed the Lake Lackawaxen restoration, and this was the first half of the Bloods Lake restoration.”

The current Bloods Lake trail offers parking and a longer route to the lake and Lake Lackawaxen. The former trail is no longer in use for recreationers due to its degradation and delicate status.

“[This project] was the Chamber’s initiative under the Sustainable Tourism Plan. It was really cool; we got to be [a part of] the first project out the gate with the Sustainable Tourism Plan,” said Lora Smith, Mountain Trails executive director. “We got to take their crew and put them to work on the trails. We rehabilitated a side of a hill that was sliding down into Bloods Lake and causing pollution, too much sediment flowing from the hillside into the lake. Bloods Lake has social trails going everywhere, and what we’ve tried to do is decommission the social trails and build trails where we want people to go.”

Over thirty volunteers helped with restoration and re-seeding to help rehab damage to the area. The project used “passive and active restoration techniques” that include reseeding the trail with local flora, using erosion control, and posting signage to help hikers stay on the trail.

The former Bloods Lake trailhead was at the top of Guardsman Pass and is now a “social” trail (a non-established trail, or cut-through) and was popular due to its shorter distance. At the base of the lake lie many other social trails that are adding to the land’s degradation and lake’s pollution.

Hearth and Hill, a local family-run restaurant, provided food for the volunteers.

The work was done almost entirely through volunteers. TownLift previously reported on the call for volunteers back in August of 2022.

The next Bloods Lake restoration project is on Friday, October 21, and currently has 16 spots available for volunteers. Those who wish to fill those remaining spots may sign up here.

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