Supporting stewardship of the Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness 
and fostering appreciation of wild lands.

Red Lodge Creek Plateau Trail Building Project

August 8th-12th (Fri-Tues)

PROJECT UPDATE:

The ABWF resumed its work for a third year atop the Senia Creek Trail on the Red Lodge Creek Plateau.  In 2012 and 2013, we carved 1-1/2 miles of trail around the head of Upper Red Lodge Creek, bypassing a poorly constructed and eroded trail.  This summer we erased the old trail, and tied in the ends of the new trail to the existing trail.

With the Beartooth’s Madeleine Kornfield supervising, 10 volunteers for the ABWF worked for four days on the trail, camping a mile from the worksite.  We added a few hundred more yards of trail, and built large cairns to guide the hiker to the new trail.  Considerable time went into erasing the old section of trail, filling it in with rock, dirt, and brush.  So efficient were we that we even created a new section of switchbacks leading up the plateau.

Red Lodge Food Corps’ service member, Emily Howe served as our camp cook, and left a lot of sweat on trail, too.  This trip was entirely packed in and out by the Beartooth Backcountry Horsemen (Dusty Sturm, John Chepulis, Jim Coverly), and we are indebted to this outstanding service organization.  They provided horses and helped transport all our tools, food, and supplies to our campsite.

Thanks to: Joel Gregory of St. Paul, Karen Gustafson and Dave Wood of Billings, Puck, my wilderness trail dog, Emily Howe of Red Lodge (& Philly), Sarah Bierschwale of Gardiner/Red Lodge, Terry Perkins of Roberts, Tynan McMullen, 16, from Tomah, Wisconsin, Mel Tempel of Apache Jct. AZ, and Jim Dickert of Red Lodge. 

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This is one of the most beautiful settings for a trail project imaginable!  For the third year in a row, the ABWF and its volunteers will return to the tundra-covered Red Lodge Creek Plateau and finish off the trail-building project we started in 2012.  This project takes place at the crest of the Senia Creek Trail before it drops down to Crow Lake and the E. Rosebud.   Last summer, with the help of the Beartooth District’s trail crew, 13 volunteers largely finished a mile-long reroute of the trail that now relieves hikers from having to drop deeply into the gulch and climb back out again.  This year we will cover up and rehabilitate the old trail, and then connect the two ends of the new trail with the existing trail to complete the project.  You will be astounded to see how much ABWF volunteers have accomplished!

We are looking for 10+ volunteers for the project.  This is a fairly strenuous project since most of the work will be above tree line, at nearly 10,000 feet with views in all directions.  The project requires camping out for multiple days in the backcountry near the work site.  However, to make it much easier for everyone, a horsepacker will haul in all our equipment, supplies and food, so you need not be a burly backpacker to take part in this work week.  This year there is less emphasis on digging new trail and more emphasis on removing all trace of the old trail, therefore the work will be a bit less physical than in years past.  Access into our camp/work site is fairly straightforward—5 miles up the Senia Creek Trail—so even if you only have a couple of days to volunteer, we want to accommodate you!  Fresh replacements, even for a couple of days, really helps energize the crew.  Ages 12 and up.

The cost is FREE!  Food, tools and safety equipment and most camping gear is provided.  You provide a shelter, sleeping gear, and your personal things.  August 8-12.  Call David at 406-425-1944 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , if you have further questions.

Red Lodge Creek Plateau Trail Building Project

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