Trimble River

Keeping it Wild

The idea of wilderness could never be described by any symbol, any line or label placed on a map. It is the home of the untamed, the unruly, and the unknown. It is the place we’re told is too far, too dangerous, or too remote to explore. But in wilderness lives the essence of our freedom. For many, access to the magic of that world is why we fly. And it’s exhilarating.

Yet at times, it’s disappointing. Finding litter and environmental damage breaks the spell.

But the more we know about remote, uncharted airstrips, the more we can collaborate in different ways to take care of them. That’s one of the benefits of the Tundra Pilot community. 

We can mitigate airstrip use impacts with pilot-led cleanup and maintenance efforts, and by recognizing our shared responsibility. Maybe you clean up after others along with packing out your own trash (and micro-trash), food scraps, and toilet paper. Maybe you help with airstrip maintenance by removing hazards such as overgrown vegetation or debris. The goal is to try to improve safety, to leave no trace of your visit, and to re-wild the site as much as possible.

We’re on the lookout for places in need

Tell us about what’s out there. Here we’ll post cleanup opportunities, updates, and acknowledge those who are getting involved. In the meantime, please consider how you can contribute by volunteering your time and skills.

Cleanup vs Maintenance

Cleanup and restoration targets site damage caused by irresponsible use. Examples: removing trash, abandoned caches and equipment, makeshift temporary structures, rock markers and cairns, improvised tie-down anchors, fire rings, flagging tape, signs, etc. 

Did you know? Bears will dig up toilet paper. It’s unpleasant, but packing out what others left behind is a community service.

Maintenance is performed to reduce airstrip hazards that arise due to natural processes like ecological succession or erosion. Examples: rock removal, grading, and brush trimming. Please observe local regulations when performing airstrip maintenance. Activities such as brush cutting are generally not permitted in national parks. 


Constructing improvised tie-down anchors (tarps, rock piles, etc.) may be necessary in an emergency, but usually, it results from poor planning. Unsightly improvised tie-down anchors should be removed if possible.

Prepared pilots carry tie-down ropes and anchor systems appropriate for the environment. One of the best options is the Duckbill Earth Anchor (size 68 or 88). These emergency anchors are lightweight, strong, and discreet. Snow and ice anchor systems may also be needed.

Airstrips That Need a Hand

Trimble River

Shown in the title photo above.
Location: 61.77, -152.08 
Needs: Substantial cleanup effort
Details: Multiple fire pits, metal trash, steel ground stakes, UV-degraded cordage, unsightly tie-down anchors, rock piles, scattered broken glass and metal, litter in fire pits, and pole structure.

Trimble River: Pole structure, cordage, steel ground stakes, rocks, and metal trash.
Trimble River: Cairn, tie-down rope and chain.

Sled Strip 

Location: 62.18, -148.38
Needs: Substantial cleanup effort
Details: Three abandoned snowmachines, degraded plastic tie-down tarps, rock piles and cairns, metal trash, tall steel pipe with flagging.

Sled Strip: Two of three abandoned snowmachines and rock piles.
Sled Strip: Improvised tie-down with metal and plastic tarp.
Cathole excavated by a local black bear.

Moraine Lake 

Location: 62.18, -148.38
Needs: More cleanup needed
Details: A black bear frequents the area and digs up catholes.

Use the Submit Airstrip Content form to let us know about strips that need cleanup or maintenance, and to share what has been accomplished. You have the option to include photos or videos. We’ll post the updated information here and on the Airstrip Map.