To get the flavor of some of our past projects, look through this archive of projects from previous years.

You can also have a look at this year’s projects.

East Fork Mill Creek, Trail #51
Aug 31, 2022 – Sep 6, 2022

Close To: Pray, Emigrant, Gardiner, Livingston

Spots Available: 3/7

Description: Leaving from the East Fork Mill Creek Trailhead, we will hike six miles up East Fork Mill Creek Trail #51 to set up a basecamp near this trail's intersection with Anderson Ridge Trail #54. From here, we will ascend the Anderson Ridge Trail each day to brush and clear trail, working within a few miles of our basecamp. Our overnight camping gear will be carried in (8/31) and out (9/6) by the Beartooth Backcountry Horsemen, a volunteer club that generously assists with our volunteer projects.

Work: On this project, we will primarily be "brushing," which involves lopping and sawing brush and small trees encroaching the trail. We will also clear downed trees and clean water bars as needed. Difficulty: Less Strenuous. The six-mile approach and exit from the worksite is relatively gentle, slightly gaining elevation with the creek on the hike in. The work itself will be relatively close to the campsite (within 3-4 miles) and is less strenuous than on some other projects.

Meeting time & location: 9:00 a.m. at East Fork Mill Creek Trailhead

Whitebark Pine: A Treeline Keystone Species 2021
Aug 28, 2022

Description: Join retired Forest Service ecologist Jeff DiBenedetto for a visit to a Whitebark Pine stand that experienced a bark beetle attach around 2021. We will discuss Whitebark ecology, why it’s a keystone species, the threats posed by climate change, bark beetles and blister rust, and efforts to protect and restore Whitebark Pine stands.

We will see the effects of a bark beetle attack on the age distribution and structure of the stand (why some trees were attacked and others survived), see regeneration of Whitebark Pine in the understory, see evidence of the tree colonizing (moving upslope) alpine grasslands (is that due to warming temperatures?) and with a little luck, maybe see nutcrackers harvesting pine nuts. As a bonus, on the walk back across the alpine we can discuss or point out various alpine plant communities.

Plan to hike about 1-2 miles round trip, leaving from a pullout on top of Line Creek Plateau.

Meeting time and location: 8AM, US Forest Service Beartooth District Ranger Station

Beartooth Mountains: 4 Billion Years of Geologic History
Aug 27, 2022

Presenters: Melissa Gundersen & Jennifer Baranovic, USFS Beartooth Ranger District Geologists

Description: We will go on two separate hikes up on the Beartooth Plateau mostly through alpine landscapes with broad expansive views of the Beartooth Mountains. The focus of the hikes will highlight the unique geology and terrain of the Beartooth Mountains which have some of the oldest exposed rocks on Planet Earth and host some of the world’s most critical metals such as palladium, platinum, and chromium. In contrast to the old rocks, the landscape we see today has been sculpted and carved by glaciers just a mere 13,000 years ago (geologically speaking). On our hikes, we will look at and discuss the formation and uplift of the Beartooth Mountains, a multitude of glacial features, and the long history of mining in the Beartooths.

Meeting Time and Location: August 27, 8AM at the US Forest Service Beartooth Ranger Station

Fox Lake, Trail #3
Aug 18, 2022 – Aug 23, 2022

Close to: Cooke City, Gardiner, Red Lodge

Spots Available: 2/7

Description: Leaving from the Clarks Fork Trailhead, we will hike about 4 miles to our basecamp at Fox Lake. Our overnight camping gear will be carried in (8/18) and out (8/23) by the Beartooth Backcountry Horsemen, a volunteer club that generously assists with most of our backcountry projects. Fox Lake sits at the base of the Beartooth Plateau, and is just off the Beaten Path, a popular thru hike that connects Cooke City to Roscoe via the Beartooth Plateau and East Rosebud Drainage. If time allows, there are plenty of great day-hiking options in the area.

Work: On this project, we will be doing a wide range of work: replacing an old puncheon (low bridge over boggy terrain), improving tread, and using fill to even out the trail.

Difficulty: Moderately Strenuous: While we won’t necessarily be hiking long distances on this project, the work itself is a bit more strenuous. We will be doing a lot of digging, transporting dirt, and removing rocks from the ground.

Meeting time & location: 9:00 a.m. at the Clarks Fork Trailhead.

Lake Abundance, Trail #389
Aug 4, 2022 – Aug 9, 2022

Close to: Cooke City, Gardiner, Red Lodge

Spots Available: 5/7

Description: For this project, we will be car camping at Lake Abundance, which sits near the head of the Stillwater River drainage (which flows to the north) and Lake Abundance Creek, which flows East and eventually South through Slough Creek into Yellowstone National Park. From our base camp near the lake and trailhead, we will travel each day to the worksite within three miles. This is a stunning part of the A-B, and a great place to spend a week.

The road to arrive to Lake Abundance requires a 4WD vehicle with clearance. However, last year we were able to caravan from Daisy Pass with volunteers who had vehicles that could make it. Upon signing up, please let us know what kind of vehicle you will be driving when you come, and we will plan accordingly!

Work: On this project, we will be improving the tread of the trail as it descends toward Slough Creek.

Difficulty: Moderately strenuous. While we are car camping for this project and will not need to hike far distances to arrive at the worksite, tread work can be tiring!

Meeting time & location: 9:00 a.m. at Colter Campground. We will caravan from there to Daisy Pass before carpooling to the trailhead.

Mount Shepard Fire - Reflections On Wildfire In The A-B Wilderness
Aug 4, 2022

Description: Will there be another wildfire in the East Rosebud drainage? Join us to find out.

Take a walk along this Wild and Scenic Creek with a recently retired fire manager to discuss the risks and rewards of fire in wilderness. Visit events surrounding the 1996 fire, lessons learned, and how humans can adapt to living in fire-prone environments.

Presenter: Dan Warthin's fire career began in 1991 when he joined the National Park Service (NPS) Alpine Interagency Hotshot Crew stationed at Zion National Park. Thereafter he worked on the Yellowstone fire use module before becoming a fire management officer (FMO) at Denali National Park & Preserve. He also served as the regional FMO for Alaska's national parks. Dan retired as the NPS Intermountain Region operations specialist.

Hike Information: The distance we travel on this hike will depend on our group, but plan to hike between 2-5 miles

Meeting Time and Location: 9AM at East Rosebud Trailhead

Location on Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/q84xh4Ead4DSr5L58

Ethnobotany, Cheyenne Beliefs, and Connection with the Landscape
Jul 30, 2022

Presenter Bio: Linwood Tall Bull is from the Northern Cheyenne Nation in Montana. He is an ethnobotanist and cultural consultant for Chief Dull Knife College and a Dog Soldier Society Headsman. He currently serves on the Elderly Advisory Board at the Brinton Museum in Big Horn, Wyoming. Linwood is also the Chairman of the Medicine Wheel Alliance of the Big Horn Mountains.

Hike Description: Linwood Tall Bull will lead a small group on a hike along Cyclone Creek near Red Lodge, Montana. On this two-hour educational hike, he will share plant stories and their uses. He will also share the relationship of the Cheyenne people to all things the Creator placed on earth. The group may also gather chokecherries, tea leaves, and turnips if available.

Meeting Time and Location: Saturday, July 30, 9:00 AM, US Forest Service Beartooth Ranger Station Parking Lot

Location on Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/mK1u8BkprWXotaTt6

Cooke City Area Trail Clearing
Jul 21, 2022 – Jul 25, 2022

Close to: Cooke City, Gardiner, Red Lodge

Spots Available: Full, Accepting Waitlist

Description: While staying in a cabin at the Cooke City Forest Service Admin Office, we will drive to various trailheads each day and cover miles on foot to clear trails. This is the time of year that these trails start getting more use, so it is important that the Gardiner District trail crew gets them opened up for smooth travel. Trails cleared on this project will leave from the Beartooth Highway 212 to the north, heading onto the Beartooth Plateau, providing views of Pilot and Index Peak, and the Plateau itself. This can be a buggy time of year in Cooke City, so volunteers are encouraged to bring protective clothing and a headnet if they’d like.

Local volunteers are welcome to commute to the worksite each day, rather than staying with us at the FS Admin site.

Work: On this project, we will be clearing trails of downed trees using crosscut saws.

Difficulty: Moderately strenuous. For trail clearing, the amount of hiking vs. cutting really depends on how wooded the trail is and how many trees have blown down since the last time the trail was cleared. This means that some days could be more hiking intensive, when a steady pace will be key to allow our crews to cover more distance to reach down trees. Other days might be more cutting intensive, asking more of our upper bodies to cut and move trees.

Meeting time & location: 9:00 a.m. at the Cooke City Forest Service Admin Office.

Bassett Creek Weed Pull, Trail #134
Jul 16, 2022

Close To: Gardiner, Pray, Emigrant, Livingston

Spots Available: 7/10

Description: Eight minutes from the town of Gardiner and Yellowstone National Park, the Bassett Creek Trail provides hikers and riders with wilderness access and great opportunities for solitude, due to the low number of users that travel it. The Gardiner Ranger District has identified a zone, two miles from the trailhead, where biannual pulling, spraying, and seed collecting will curb the spread of Houndstongue and Thistle. The trail and surrounding area is core winter range for Elk and is crossed by migration paths of Mule Deer, making the preservation of native plants by stopping invasive weeds a worthwhile effort.

Work: On this single-day project, we will survey, identify, and pull/spray houndstongue within the first two miles of the trail.

Difficulty: Less strenuous: We will hike a round-trip total of four miles and be pulling weeds not too far off the trail.

Meeting time & location: 9:00 a.m. at the Bassett Creek Trailhead

East Rosebud Weed Pull, Trail #15
Jul 16, 2022

Close To: Roscoe, Absarokee, Columbus, Red Lodge

Spots Available: 10/10

Description: This most popular trail in the A-B and follows the Wild and Scenic East Rosebud Creek. It is also prone to spread of Knapweed and Thistle. The ABWF and Beartooth Ranger District have been teaming up for years to control this weed outbreak. Come learn about invasive weeds, get some good work done, and enjoy one of the most dramatic drainages in the A-B.

Work: On this single-day project, we will survey, identify, and pull/spray invasive weeds on the first 2 miles of the East Rosebud Trail up to Elk Lake. Forest Service staff will handle the spraying, while volunteers will do the pulling.

Difficulty: Less strenuous: We will hike a round-trip total of three miles and be pulling weeds not too far off the trail.

Meeting time & location: 9:00 a.m. at the East Rosebud Trailhead

Birding Suce Creek Trail
Jul 10, 2022

Presenter: John Parker has over 35 years of experience hiking and birding in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

Description: The Suce Creek Trail is a six-mile trail at the north end of Paradise Valley. This trail climbs 1,100 feet through a nice mix of habitat types commonly found in the lower elevations of the Absoroka-Beartooth Wilderness. The diverse habitats are home to many of the birds that breed in the forests of this area. We should see and hear at least twenty-five species of birds, including many of the common breeding birds such as Western Tanager, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, and Warbling Vireo. Other more uncommon birds like American Three-toed Woodpecker, Williamson’s Sapsucker, and Dusky Grouse may also be encountered along this trail. We will be paying special attention to the bird songs and calls during this hike, so the pace will be slow.

There are a couple steam crossings that require either shallow wading or hopping on rocks or logs to cross, depending on water levels (hiking poles could be handy).

Meeting Time and Locations: 7:45 AM at the Suce Creek Trailhead

Location on Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/Vwa5FmYjqn4e8HPC6

Suce Creek Weed Pull, Trail # 450
Jul 9, 2022

Close To: Livingston, Paradise Valley, Gardiner

Spots Available: 10/10

Description: Known as a community trail for folks in Livingston and Paradise Valley, Suce Creek is an accessible trailhead that is heavily used by casual day hikers, mountain bikers, and folks launching a longer trip into the A-B Wilderness. The Yellowstone Ranger District has identified a stretch of trail where knapweed and hounds tongue is spreading. As of now, it has not reached the wilderness boundary. In 2022, the ABWF would like to continue past efforts to curb this spread, and begin a cycle of bi-annual outings to remove weeds from this trail.

For this project, we will send a group from the Suce Creek Trailhead and another from the Livingston Peak Trailhead. The two groups will work toward each other, removing weeds as they go. Let us know if you would like to travel on your mountain bike to arrive to a section of knapweed at the saddle between the two trailheads.

Work: On this single-day project, we will survey, identify, and pull/spray knapweed within the first two miles of the trail.

Difficulty: Less strenuous: We will hike a round-trip total of four miles and be pulling weeds not too far off the trail.

Meeting time & location: 8:30 a.m. at either the Livingston Peak Trailhead. ABWF will coordinate with volunteers before the project to direct traffic.

Meatrack Meadows Trails #23 and #24
Jul 6, 2022 – Jul 12, 2022

Spots Available: Full, Accepting Waitlist

Close to: Big Timber, Livingston, Columbus

Description: Leaving from the Main Boulder River up Meatrack Creek, we will hike 5 miles to our basecamp in beautiful Meatrack Meadows. Our worksites will be close by. The trails in this area are used by outfitters and hikers alike, and connect the Main Boulder River to Mill Creek and Paradise Valley. In Meatrack Meadows, there is an isolated meadow of invasive Houndstongue that, if removed, could prevent further spread to the other meadows.

Work: This project will be a combination of pulling Houndstongue and other trailwork tasks like grading and check and fill.

Difficulty: Moderately Strenuous: This is a backcountry-based project with a 5 mile approach. While weed pulling can be on the less strenuous side for some, the trail work we will be doing will be a bit more physically demanding.

Meeting time & location: 8:00 a.m. at The Fort Gas Station and Store Parking Lot

Main Stillwater River, Trail #24
Jun 23, 2022 – Jun 29, 2022

Close to: Nye, Absarokee, Columbus, Red Lodge

Spots Available: Full, Accepting Waitlist

Description: Leaving from the Main Fork of the Stillwater River (adjacent to Woodbine Campground), we will hike 11 miles to our base camp near Big Park, a great camping spot on the Stillwater River. From there, we will work on a 4.5 mile stretch of trail that includes a section of Trail #24 (Main Stillwater) and Trail #90 (up Wounded Man Creek). Our overnight camping gear will be carried in (7/8) and out (7/14) by the Beartooth Backcountry Horsemen, a volunteer club that generously assists with most of our backcountry projects.

Work: On this project, we will primarily be "brushing," which involves lopping and sawing branches and small trees encroaching the trail. We will also clear downed trees and clean water bars as needed.

Difficulty: More strenuous. Perhaps the most strenuous aspect of this project will be the 11 mile approach and exit (supported by horses, and fairly flat). From there, our work will be fairly standard for an ABWF trail project.

Meeting time & location: 8:00 a.m. Sioux Charley Lake Trailhead

Line Creek Basin, Trail #9
Apr 28, 2022 – May 2, 2022

Close to: Clark (WY), Cody (WY), Red Lodge (MT)

Spots Available: 4/9

Description: While car camping at the Line Creek Basin Trailhead, right on the Montana/Wyoming border, we will make a short, 1 mile hike each day to the worksite. Compared to the rest of the Absaroka and Beartooth mountain ranges, this east flank of the Beartooths receives relatively little snow, as it plunges from the Line Creek Plateau at 10,500 ft to the Bighorn Basin at 4,200 ft. This drier climate and lower elevation allows us to offer this project in the Spring, a rare opportunity for ABWF volunteers.

Local volunteers are welcome to commute to the worksite each day, however the road requires AWD and clearance for a creek crossing close to the trailhead. For folks staying at the campsite all week, we can shuttle volunteers as needed. Work: On this project, we will be widening the tread of the Line Creek Trail as it climbs toward Line Creek Plateau. We will also be rerouting a short section of this trail that ties in with an old road bed.

Difficulty: Moderately strenuous. We will be car camping for this project, and the hike is short to the worksite each day. However since we will be digging trail in rocky country, the work is a little more strenuous than on some of our other projects.

Meeting time & location: 8:00 a.m. on April 28 at the Edelweiss River House. We will caravan to the trailhead together.

Lake Plateau - Trail #90 (Closed for Registration)
Sep 8, 2021 – Sep 13, 2021

Status: Closed, details of this project are still being confirmed.

Work: On this project, we will primarily be "brushing," which involves lopping and sawing brush and small trees encroaching the trail. We will also clear downed trees and clean water bars as needed.

Description: Leaving from the West Fork Stillwater River Trailhead, we will hike 15 miles over 1.5 days to our base camp on the Lake Plateau. From there, we will work on a beautiful half mile stretch of trail, near Owl Lake, Wounded Man Lake, and Lake Pinchot. Our overnight camping gear will be carried in and out by horse packers who assist the project.

Difficulty: More strenuous. Perhaps the most strenuous aspect of this project will be the 15 mile approach (supported by horses, over 1.5 days) which gains a total of 3,900'. From there, our work will be fairly standard for an ABWF trail project. If you have questions or concerns about the approach or work, please get in touch to [email protected] We would love to talk things through and see if you may be a good fit for this project!

Group size: Six Volunteers

Meeting time & location: 7:30 a.m. at Old Nye Fishing Access Site, just before the Stillwater Mine.

Whitebark Pine: A Treeline Keystone Species
Aug 29, 2021

Description: Join retired Forest Service ecologist Jeff DiBenedetto and wildlife biologist Barb Pittman for a visit to a Whitebark Pine stand that experienced a bark beetle attach around 2021. We will discuss Whitebark ecology, why it’s a keystone species, the threats posed by climate change, bark beetles and blister rust, and efforts to protect and restore Whitebark Pine stands.

We will see the effects of a bark beetle attack on the age distribution and structure of the stand (why some trees were attacked and others survived), see regeneration of Whitebark Pine in the understory, see evidence of the tree colonizing (moving upslope) alpine grasslands (is that due to warming temperatures?) and with a little luck, maybe see nutcrackers harvesting pine nuts. As a bonus, on the walk back across the alpine we can discuss or point out various alpine plant communities.

Meeting time and location: 8AM, US Forest Service Beartooth District Ranger Station

LGBTQ Hike To Glacier Lake
Aug 28, 2021

Description: Are you an LGBTQ identifying person who wants to connect with the queer community around the A-B Wilderness? We invite you and a +1 to join us for a hike to Glacier Lake, near the headwaters of Rock Creek. After hiking to this beautiful spot, folks are welcome to stop in Red Lodge at Phoenix Pearl Tea & Games for snacks.

This hike is a 2.5 mile out and back (5 miles) and rises 1,000ft on a popular trail to Glacier Lake, which sits at 9,700ft.

Meeting Time and Location: 9am, Glacier Lake Trailhead

Ethnobotany, Cheyenne Beliefs, and Connection with the Landscape
Aug 15, 2021

Presenter Bio: Linwood Tall Bull is from the Northern Cheyenne Nation in Montana. He is an ethnobotanist and cultural consultant for Chief Dull Knife College and a Dog Soldier Society Headsman. He currently serves on the Elderly Advisory Board at the Brinton Museum in Big Horn, Wyoming. Linwood is also the Chairman of the Medicine Wheel Alliance of the Big Horn Mountains.

Hike Description: Linwood Tall Bull will lead a small group on a hike at Lake Fork of Rock Creek near Red Lodge, Montana. On this two-hour educational hike, he will share plant stories and their uses. He will also share the relationship of the Cheyenne people to all things the Creator placed on earth. The group may also gather chokecherries, tea leaves, and turnips if available.

Meeting Time and Location: 9:00 AM, Lake Fork Rock Creek Trailhead

Crow Mountain - Trail #55
Jul 1, 2021 – Jul 3, 2021

Status: Full, accepting waitlist.

Work: On this project, we will primarily be "brushing," which involves lopping and sawing brush and small trees encroaching the trail. We will also clear downed trees and clean water bars as needed.

Description: While car camping at Snowbank Campground, we will spend three days clearing a three mile stretch of trail #55 that leads hikers into the west basin below Crow Mountain. Leaving from the highest trailhead off of Mill Creek Road, this project will take us into a beautiful and remote section of the Absaroka Range.

Difficulty: Less strenuous. We will be car camping for this project and will hike fewer than six miles each day round-trip to the work site. The trail will moderately gains elevation as we work.

Group size: Six Volunteers

Meeting time & location: 8:00 a.m. at the Snowbank Campground on Mill Creek Road. We will caravan to the campsite together.

Climate Change, Whitebark Pine, Grizzlies
Jun 26, 2021

TOPIC: Join Atlas editor Jesse Logan for a discussion about climate change and whitebark pine collapse, their effects on wildlife and ecosystems, and resulting policy actions.

TRAILHEAD: Emigrant Gulch near Old Chico (parking limited - carpool if possible), meet at 8AM

TRAIL: (one way) 2 miles of old mining road, 2.5 miles of road and bushwhacking, ~4,500' elevation gain. Follows scenic creek bed up onto ancient glacial moraine, then a ridgeline climbing through whitebark pine forest, up to startling views of Paradise Valley and the Absaroka and Gallatin ranges.

DIFFICULTY: Advanced

Trail Building Workshops With Sunnyside Farms
Jun 21, 2021 – Jun 28, 2021

Leave your work boots on and join us for Trails for Teens! Together, Sunnyside Farms and the ABWF know how important a good trail system can be. We invite youth to come and learn the tools of the trade and develop skills needed to create a healthy, safe, long-lasting trail!

Consecutive Mondays: June 21st at Sunnyside Farms in Clyde Park (10am-3pm), June 28th at Suce Creek Trailhead (10am-3pm)

The Sagebrush Sea Meets the Beartooth Front
Jun 19, 2021

Description: The sagebrush ecosystem has been characterized as one of the most overlooked ecosystems on the continent. It stretches across 11 western states, covering 175 million acres supporting 350 species of wildlife, including 200 migratory bird species. It is critical habitat for sage grouse, whose populations are about 10% of historic numbers, as well as a number of other bird species endemic to sagebrush- steppe communities. Big Horn Basin cold desert sagebrush communities meet the foothills and montane environments along the eastern Beartooth Front supporting diverse sagebrush plant communities and habitats. Over the course of trip two different species of sagebrush and associated grass and flowering plants will be observed and discussed as well as the habitat they provide for declining greater sage grouse populations and other bird species.

Join retired Forest Service ecologist Jeff DiBenedetto and wildlife biologist Barb Pittman as we discuss these topics along the Eastern Beartooth Front.

Meeting Time and Location: 9am on Robinson Draw Road on the Western edge of the Bighorn Basin, exact location will be sent to folks closer to the hike date.

Group Considerations: We will cap our signups at ten people, and ask folks to remain six feet apart throughout.

Historic Mine Visit and Discussion
Jun 17, 2021

Join ABWF Atlas contributor Pat Pierson (retired Forest Geologist) and Ennis Geraghty (previously with the Stillwater Mine) as we explore the chronology of events pertaining to historic mining in the Stillwater and Nye Mining Districts with a special focus on the Mountain View Mine.

With this amazing crew providing locally sourced knowledge, we invite you to connect more deeply with the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness by better understanding its geology and relationship with mining.

Meeting location and time: 9AM at the Old Nye Picnic Area and Fishing Access site, about 1 mile north of Stillwater Mine. We will then caravan up to the historic mine.

Group Considerations: We will cap our group size at 20 people and ask folks to remain six feet apart throughout.

Botany and Plant Identification
Jun 6, 2021

Description: Join botanist and wetland ecologist Heidi Anderson as we explore up the North Fork of Bear Creek near Gardiner!

As we make our way about four miles up the trail, expect to identify plants, pull some weeds, and observe Balsamroot at its peak. During the 8 mile trip we will also catch some views of Ash, Monitor, and Sheep peaks.

Meeting time and location: 8AM at the North Fork Bear Creek trailhead.

Group Considerations: We will cap our signups at ten people, and ask folks to remain six feet apart throughout.

Wilderness Walk: Sioux Charley Lake
Aug 29, 2020

Description: Join Ben Daley of the ABWF on this 7 mile hike to Sioux Charley Lake (3.5 miles each way), near Nye. Along the way we’ll make observations, chat about the A-B Wilderness, and enjoy the scenery of the beautiful Stillwater Corridor.

Meeting time and location: 10am at the Sioux Charley Lake Trailhead.

Covid-19 Considerations: We will keep our group size below ten people and ask all attendees to stay six feet apart from folks who they do not arrive with. Hand sanitizer and masks will be made available.

Deep Dive Hike: Montana Waters, Lake Fork of Rock Creek
Aug 7, 2020

Description: Montana’s free-flowing rivers and clean water are critical to our state’s prosperity, our unmatched way of life, and to our flourishing fish and wildlife. They provide us with drinking water, irrigation water, and world-class recreational opportunities. Montana’s traditional agricultural economy and our rapidly growing $7.1 billion outdoor recreation economy thrive on the abundance of healthy rivers and clean water.

Please join guest speaker Ryan Cruz of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition as he shares his decade-long effort to introduce and pass new legislation called the Montana Headwaters Security Act, which would designate new Wild and Scenic Rivers flowing out of the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness and on other public lands in southwest and central Montana.

Meeting Time and Location: 10AM at Lake Fork of Rock Creek trailhead

Covid-19 Considerations: We will keep our group size below ten people and ask all attendees to stay six feet apart from folks who they do not arrive with. Hand sanitizer will be made available and attendees will be in touch with the ABWF during the days leading up to the hike to ensure they are experiencing no relevant symptoms.

W. Fork Stillwater Trail #90/Breakneck Meadows
Jul 23, 2020 – Jul 27, 2020

Work: A lot of Brushing (lopping/sawing brush growing over the trail; Sawing out trees across the trail as needed. Plus treadwork (widening and grading the trail)

Description: We’ll be hiking up the beautiful and reclusive West Stillwater Valley 8.5 easy miles along the W. Fork of the Stillwater River to Breakneck Meadows where we’ll set up camp for four nights. Each day we’ll be working within roughly 2-miles of camp. We’ll be doing a lot of brushing and trail grading. There will horse-packing support to carry in our heavy food, tools and camping equipment. Breakneck Meadows is a gorgeous destination!

Difficulty: Moderately strenuous. Hike in is moderate Horse Support: YES Elevation: 7500 ft.

Group size: We will not exceed 10 people on our trail projects in 2020

Meeting time & location: 8:00 a.m. We will gather together at the Old Nye Picnic Area just before you get to the Stillwater Mine. Then we’ll carpool/caravan to the Trailhead, which is a very rough road for passenger cars as it wends up and above the Mine to Initial Crk Campground and the W. Stillwater TH.

Bring: water, lunch, snacks, sun protection; bear-spray; a friend. Pack for car-camping if you intend to stay over. There’s good camping in the area

Deep Dive Hike: Tundra Fragility and Whitebark Pine
Jul 18, 2020

Description: Join the ABWF on the Line Creek Plateau as we learn about two features of the Beartooths that make the region absolutely unique: Tundra and Whitebark Pine. We will walk out onto the Line Creek Plateau off of the Beartooth Highway to discover what makes our tundra special, and our Whitebark Pines so vital to the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

This walk will be relatively short, between 2-4 miles round trip. Folks of all hiking abilities are invited to join us, and we will decide how far to hike based on interest and energy levels.

Meeting time and Location: 10am on 212 on the Montana/Wyoming state line, not far from Line Creek Plateau. We will then caravan the short drive to the Line Creek trailhead.

Covid-19 Considerations: We will keep our group size below ten people and ask all attendees to stay six feet apart from folks who they do not arrive with. Hand sanitizer will be made available and attendees will be in touch with the ABWF during the days leading up to the hike to ensure they are experiencing no relevant symptoms.

Deep Dive Hike: Off Trail Navigation Clinic
Jul 12, 2020

Description: Join the ABWF on the Beartooth Plateau to learn route-finding skills while hiking off trail. We will teach and practice identifying features on maps like peaks, drainages, noses, and saddles, while also learning how to use triangulation to identify one’s exact location. Finally, we will shoot some bearings for those times when visibility is limited or the forest is thick. If those skills mean nothing to you yet, or if you want to fine-tune your skills, meet us in the high country for this workshop.

We will hike around 5 miles total during this clinic. However, folks of all hiking abilities are invited to join us, because we can do a lot of the teaching from the parking lot or close to it.

Meeting place and time: 10am on the Beartooth Pass pullout parking lot on July 12th. We will caravan together to a nearby trailhead and get started.

Covid-19 Considerations: We will keep our group size to 6 people. Each person will use their own compass, provided by the ABWF and sanitized pre-use. While viewing the same map for demonstration, teachers and learners will be asked to wear masks. We will maintain six feet of distance while hiking from folks we did not arrive with. We will also be in touch with attendees during the days leading up to the hike to ensure they are not experiencing any related symptoms.

Deep Dive Hike: Montana Waters, West Boulder River
Jul 10, 2020

Description: Montana’s free-flowing rivers and clean water are critical to our state’s prosperity, our unmatched way of life, and to our flourishing fish and wildlife. They provide us with drinking water, irrigation water, and world-class recreational opportunities. Montana’s traditional agricultural economy and our rapidly growing $7.1 billion outdoor recreation economy thrive on the abundance of healthy rivers and clean water.

Please join guest speakers Charles Wolf Drimal of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition and Kascie Herron of American Rivers as they share their decade-long effort to introduce and pass new legislation called the Montana Headwaters Security Act, which would designate new Wild and Scenic Rivers flowing out of the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness and on other public lands in southwest and central Montana.

Meeting Time and Location: West Boulder Campground, 10am.

Covid-19 Considerations: We will keep our group size below ten people and ask all attendees to stay six feet apart from folks who they do not arrive with. Hand sanitizer will be made available and attendees will be in touch with the ABWF during the days leading up to the hike to ensure they are experiencing no relevant symptoms.

Deep Dive Hike: Historic Mining and Discussion
Jun 26, 2020

Description: Join ABWF Atlas contributor Pat Pierson, Forest Service geologist Dan Seifert, and Ennis Geharty of the Stillwater Mine as we explore the chronology of events pertaining to historic mining in the Stillwater and Nye Mining Districts with a special focus on the Mountain View Mine.

With this amazing crew providing locally sourced knowledge, we invite you to connect more deeply with the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness by better understanding its geology and relationship with mining!

Meeting location and time: 10AM at the Old Nye Picnic Area and Fishing Access site, about 1 mile north of Stillwater Mine (4WD recommended)

Please bring a lunch and whatever else you need to be outside for the day.

Also be prepared to maintain at least six feet apart from those you to not arrive with. We will be contacting you during the days before to check in and make sure you are not experiencing any potential Covid related illness.

Trail Enhancement at Mystic Lake
Sep 12, 2019 – Sep 16, 2019

Join us for a week of brushing and drainage maintenance at one of the most popular spots in the Beartooths--stunningly beautiful Mystic Lake! We'll be working on widening and improving the trail tread on the way to Mystic.

This is one of our more moderate trail projects. All trail work is strenuous, but this one should appeal to those who’d like a slightly less physical project. We will hand off our heaviest gear to the Forest Service packer, so volunteers will only need to carry a light daypack! As always, delicious meals are provided.

Looking downvalley at Island Lake with Star Lake in the foreground (by Devon Hildreth)

Thompson Lake Trail Reconstruction
Sep 6, 2019 – Sep 8, 2019

As many of you know, the trail to Thompson Lake is quite muddy in stretches. The turnpikes on the Thompson Lake trail are in need of some love! We will reinforce the existing structures, revitalize failing drains, and install new ones as needed and hopefully mitigate some of the perennial mud!

This is a 3-day, 2-night project with a backcountry camp established at Thompson Lake. Thompson Lake is 5 miles and 1600 feet from the trailhead. Again, we will hand off our heavy gear to the Backcountry Horsemen, so volunteers will only need to carry a light daypack. As always, scrumptious meals are provided for you.

Thompson Lake (by Jamie Clouatre)

Cooke City Historic Cabin and The Beaten Path Project
Aug 8, 2019 – Aug 12, 2019

Stay in the historic Cooke City cabin!!! Have a fantastic breakfast in the morning, then go to work each day a few miles up the famed "Beaten Path" trail (from Cooke City over the Beartooths to the East Rosebud Wild and Scenic corridor). You will make a big difference working on one of the most well-loved trails in the A-B Wilderness!

We will work on adding drainage structures and building framed, raised trail on a few stretches of the Beaten Path trail near pretty Kersey Lake. The altitude is around 7,500 feet. Constructing turnpike and adding drainage structures makes this a fairly strenuous trip. Return to the cabin at night for nice dinners and conversation around the campfire.

Because we start out each day at the Chief Joseph/Clark’s Fork Trailhead, if you can't join for for all five days, you CAN join us for whatever portion of this trip you're available. Just make sure you are ready to hit the trailhead at 8 am! Our trips are FREE! We'll feed you well.

The historic Forest Service cabin sleeps six people, but we can handle more volunteers for those willing to camp in their own hard-sided camper or trucks. Tent camping is not allowed in this area. Bunks are first-come, first-served.

Improving the trail along the famed Beaten Path trail

Weed Warriors Weekend @ LaDuke Springs & Bassett Creek Tr.
Jul 20, 2019 – Jul 21, 2019

We have revisited this pretty little site a number of times previously, and there's always loads of houndstongue, knapweed, and toadflax to tackle. So help ABWF keep the weeds from winning! Join us for two days (and an overnight) above the Paradise Valley, just north of Gardiner. We will rid Bassett Creek of all the noxious weeds we can find in this Wilderness access area just off the Paradise Valley.

The hike in is three miles, which is steep and switchbacked for the first mile, but the valley above LaDuke Springs is lush and pretty. While we’d love to have you work both days and camp with us, we gladly welcome all you Weed Warriors who want to volunteer for a single day as well. We will provide meals for folks who camp overnight with us, and lemonade and snacks for people who come for the day.

Because houndstongue has nasty burrs, unfortunatelly you'll have to leave your furry friends at home, even if you just come for the day.

Passage Creek Falls Switchback Reconstruction
Jun 29, 2019

We've rescheduled! Two miles up the Passage Creek Falls trail, some switchbacks need our attention. We will create new corners with retaining wall and revamp the tread by bringing in fill. This will be a strenuous, but fun project!

Meet at the Livingston Ranger Station at 8 a.m. and we will carpool down together. Bring water, a lunch, and sunscreen! We will have gloves and tools.

Community Trails Day at Line Creek Basin Trail
Jun 8, 2019

New Trail to work on! The Line Creek Basin Trail! We're going to be working on a new and different trail instead of the Nichols Creek project that was previously advertised! On June 8th, Community Trails Day this summer, we're going over to the Line Creek Basin Trailhead and working there instead!

Where is the Line Creek Basin TH, you ask? Many of you probably know the area as Robertson Draw, out of Clark, WY. If you took the Corral Creek Trail from the Beartooth Highway, and followed it up and over the Line Creek Plateau, you would end up coming down the other side into Line Creek Basin to this trailhead. It's marked on the Custer NF map of the Beartooth District.

We will meet @ 8:30 a.m. at the Beartooth Ranger Station south of Red Lodge. We'll then carpool to the trailhead, which is about 45 minutes away.

We will be grading and widening the trail that has started to grow over. The work will begin almost right from the trailhead. There is also brushing to do where vegetation covers the trail.

As always, the ABWF and Forest Service will provide the tools, the knowhow, gloves, and cold drinks. Wear long pants and sturdy shoes/boots and bring a pair of work gloves if you have them!

We'll plan on having a picnic provided by the ABWF afterwards at a time and location to be determined. This is a great chance to learn about a new trail and work in a drier and warmer setting! Wildflowers should be great!

National Trails Day at Suce Creek
Jun 1, 2019

Kick off hiking season by celebrating National Trails Day at Suce Creek with the ABWF! We’re partnering with the Yellowstone Ranger District, Livingston Bike Club, Bozeman Bike Club, and Park County Environmental Council for a massive volunteer effort to make this National Trails Day one to remember! We’ll focus primarily on the Wilderness section of the trail, brushing the corridor, pulling weeds, and installing drains where needed.

We will meet at the Yellowstone District Ranger Station at 8:30 and carpool to the Suce Creek Trailhead. Bring water, snacks and a lunch, and sunscreen! We will have gloves and tools.

Trail Ambassadors--Alpine/East Rosebud TH
Jun 1, 2019 – Sep 30, 2019

Sign up here if you wish to serve as a Trail Ambassador for the E. Rosebud TH and the end/start of the popular "Beaten Path" hike up to Rainbow, Dewey, and Fossil Lakes.

To pick up the tub and table, drive to the end of the E. Rosebud Road from the little town of Roscoe. At the little cabin community of Alpine, there's a fork in the road. Going left takes you to the Forest Service Trailhead. First, though, Go straight aheadDrive ahead the cabins and to the Lodge at the E. Rosebud Lake Association community of Alpine. It's right next to the little general store. The Lodge is only closed at night, so you should be able to access the table and tub during working volunteer hours.

Trail Ambassadors--Cooke City/Clark's Fork TH
Jun 1, 2019 – Sep 30, 2019

Please sign up here if you want to serve as a Trail Ambassador at the Clark's Fork Trailhead--the traditional start of the hike known as "The Beaten Path" from Cooke City to the E. Rosebud.

The Table and Tub of materials for Trail Ambassadors is at the Forest Service's administrative cabin which is on the south side of Highway 212 about 1.5 miles east of Cooke City. Look for a kind of obscure dirt road that is almost exactly across the highway from the entrance to Colter Campground. There's a sign that says "Administrative Use Only." Turn on this road, and just a few hundred feet from the highway is a modern building that serves as staff housing and a small office for the Forest Service. It's also where the Campground hosts have a little base of operation.

Trail Ambassadors--Gardiner/Knox Lake TH
Jun 1, 2019 – Sep 30, 2019

Sign up here if you wish to serve as a Trail Ambassador for the Knox Lake/Fish Lake Trail System.

To pick up the tub and table, go to the Gardiner District Ranger Station at 805 Scott Street (which is the main street through the town of Gardiner), north of the bridge over the Yellowstone River. The Ranger Station is open from 8 am till 4:30 pm. M-F. The FS is closed Sat/Sun, but you can call 406-848-7375 and have someone set the table and tub outside on the back porch of the ranger station, if you need it on Sat/Sun.

Trail Ambassadors--Livingston/Pine Creek TH
Jun 1, 2019 – Sep 30, 2019

Sign up here if you wish to serve at one of the busy trailheads around Livingston. We are focusing most on the Pine Creek Trail which is perhaps the most heavily used trail in the entire A-B Wilderness.

The Yellowstone Ranger District Ranger Station is approx. 1/2 mile south of Interstate 90 on the east side of Highway 89. It's kind of hidden by a bank of evergreen trees, but you'll see the Smokey the Bear sign. Office hours are 8-4:30 M-F; closed on weekends. You can call the FS at 406-222-1892 and arrange for the tub and table to be left outside for you if you plan to volunteer on the weekend.

Trail Ambassadors--Red Lodge/Lake Fork/West Fork THs
Jun 1, 2019 – Sep 30, 2019

Sign up here if you wish to serve as a Trail Ambassador for the Lake Fork or the West Fork Trailheads.

To pick up the tub and table, go to the Beartooth District Ranger Station at 6811 S. Highway 212. The Ranger Station is on the south end of town just as the town of Red Lodge ends and the Beartooth Highway begins and is open from 8 am till 4:30 pm. M-F. The FS is closed Sat/Sun, but you can call 406-446-2103 and have someone set the table and tub outside on the back porch of the ranger station, if you need it on Sat/Sun.

East Fork Boulder River Trail Maintenance
Aug 22, 2018 – Aug 28, 2018

with the American Hiking Society

Location: Box Canyon Guard Station/E. Fork (Boulder River) TH.

Camp: Backcountry Campsite up the E. Fork Trail, near Lake Kathleen (7550 ft.)

Description

The East Fork of the Boulder River Trail accesses both the Lake Plateau (via Rainbow Cr.) and the headwaters of Slough Creek in the remote center of the A-B Wilderness. We will be setting up camp for the week at tiny Lake Kathleen, five miles up the E. Fork Trail, and working our way up towards the Slough Creek divide. We will be clearing the trail, doing much-needed trail maintenance, and installing numerous water bars. The Beartooth Backcountry Horsemen will be packing in our heavy food, camping equipment, and tools, so you’ll be carrying a lighter pack into Lake Kathleen.

Special Considerations

Elevation Gain: 6600 – 8500 (1900 ft). The dirt road up the Main Boulder River from McLeod, MT to its end at the Box Canyon Guard Station is a long, slow, and very bumpy ride and certainly not appropriate for lower clearance cars. It’s approximately 32 miles to the end from McLeod, but those 32 miles take 2+ hours to traverse. That’s why we’ll meet in Big Timber to caravan down together.

Lake Plateau Trail Reconstruction
Aug 9, 2018 – Aug 15, 2018

Work Location: Between Wounded Man Lake & Jordan Pass on the Lake Plateau. We will be rebuilding trail that has eroded badly on the way up to Jordan Pass.

Camp Location: A backcountry campsite at Rainbow Lake, ~11 miles up the Upsidedown Creek Trail from the Main Boulder River Road.

Description: This trip is an adventurous and ambitious project that the ABWF has taken on with the Forest Service! The pay-off is that camp and the work will be located in one of the most spectacular places in the entire A-B Wilderness—the Lake Plateau! It will combine a long fairly difficult day hike in and out, with strenuous trail-work at altitude for the five days in between. We’ll be grading the trail, installing checks and filling in behind them, and installing drainage structures.

Special Considerations: Only for very fit volunteers! It is a 11+ mile hike from the Boulder River and the Upsidedown Creek Trailhead at Hicks Park (6400 ft.) into our backcountry camp near Rainbow Lake (9200 ft.). Our food, tools and heavy camp gear will be packed in by the Beartooth Backcountry Horsemen, but everyone will need to carry a daypack with their own personal items to camp. It’s a good idea to think minimalistically and only bring what is essential to your backpacking needs. Elevation gain: 2900 ft. We’ll be working regularly at roughly 9000 ft. in elevation.

Initial Creek Bridge Abutment Construction
Aug 3, 2018 – Aug 6, 2018

Location: Nye/Absarokee, MT

Camp: Primitive campsite/Car Camping by the bridge near the trailhead; pitch a tent or bring camper.

Description A new bridge is being installed over the W. Fork of the Stillwater River near Initial Creek Campground. A crew is needed to build the bridge abutments at the ends of the bridge. We’ll also be working on improving an access trail that comes into the Initial Creek area. Once bridge and abutments are in place, wilderness users (especially horses) will be able to park in the large parking lot near the campground, and hike or horse ride into the W. Stillwater Trailhead using the bridge and 1-mile trail we built a previous summer.

Special Considerations

The road from the Stillwater Mine up to Initial Creek Campground and the West Stillwater Trailhead is quite rough the last 2 miles, and best for high clearance vehicles only. We can carpool together from the Old Nye Picnic Area (~3 miles past Nye). We give preference to those who can work the entire 4 days, but if you can spare only a portion of that time, you can still join us at the campsite in time to go to work in the morning (by 8 a.m.).

East Rosebud Weed Pull
Jul 14, 2018

Location: E. Rosebud Trail near the Wilderness sign

Part of what makes Wilderness areas great is the character of land. Over the years we have been working to maintain the natural integrity of the A-B Wilderness by fighting against invasive species that threaten to push out the native species. Come join us pull and spray weeds to help rid one of our most popular trails of invasive species and maintain the natural ecology of the A-B Wilderness.

Trail Ambassadors
May 1, 2018 – Sep 30, 2018

While the ABWF offers lots of volunteer trail projects, we realize not everyone wants to hoist a Pulaski or wield a crosscut saw in order to help…

Like to hike? Have good people skills? Want to help others treat the Wilderness with the same care and respect that you do? Consider becoming a Trail Ambassador.

Simply put, Trail Ambassadors will hike the popular trails that lead to some of the A-B’s most beautiful and most visited destinations, and make friendly contacts with trail users they encounter. When a Trail Ambassador meets someone at the trailhead or on trail, they will help gather data on who is using the trails and for what types of activities, provide them with helpful information on Wilderness regulations and best practices, and also reduce impacts to trails and lakeshores in the wilderness.

Our goal is to post Trail Ambassadors at some of the heaviest used trails and trailheads across the A-B Wilderness—places like Pine Creek, the East Rosebud, and Mystic Lake—in order to have a more regular presence in these places and hopefully create positive changes on some of the A-B’s most impacted places. Trail Ambassadors would hike the trails and help clean up impacted sites, reporting back on issues and impacts that are causing degradation to the wilderness backcountry.

Nichols Creek II Trail Construction
Sep 23, 2017

Public Lands Day--We will return to the Nichols Creek and hopefully put the final touches on it before the snows fly!

Kersey Lake/Russell Creek Turnpike Work
Aug 11, 2017 – Aug 15, 2017

This is the start of the famed thru-hike from Cooke City to the E. Rosebud (infamously known as "The Beaten Path"). Any of you who have hiked this trail know that the first section of the trail up to Kersey Lake is notoriously boggy. We will work on adding drainage structures and build framed, raised "Turnpike" through the muddy stretches. We will stay at the Cooke City historic cabin and hike to work each day.

Lake Fork Trail Improvement
Aug 3, 2017 – Aug 7, 2017

Volunteers are needed to improve the popular trail into Lost Lake, Keyser-Brown Lake and Sundance Pass.

Lake Abundance Trail Improvement
Jul 27, 2017 – Jul 30, 2017

We will be joining up with the Beartooth District's trail crew and help them improve the Lake Abundance trail in the Upper Stillwater area.

Knox Lake Turnpike Building
Jul 14, 2017 – Jul 18, 2017

Our group will car-camp at the primitive Timber Camp campground above Jardine, and hike to work each day on the Knox Lake Trail. We will focus on installing more sections of turnpike and improving very muddy stretches of the trail.

East Rosebud Weed Pull
Jul 8, 2017

The first two miles of the famed E. Rosebud Trail is in need of regular surveying of invasive weeds (knapweed, Canada Thistle, etc.). We will meet at 9:00 a.m. at the E. Rosebud Trailhead, hike in, locate and get rid of any weeds we find. We will manually pull and chemically spray weeds.

Nichols Creek Trail Building
Jun 10, 2017

Community Trails Day--We are hoping to complete the Nichols Creek Trail this summer, but need a massive effort once again to make it happen. This year we particularly invite area high school students to join us in our efforts.

Suce Creek Trail Work
Jun 3, 2017

National Trails Day Project. Suce Creek is the Trailhead closest to Livingston and most heavily used. We will be making much needed repairs and improvements to two sections of this trail on June 3. We can accommodate as many volunteers as we can get to sign up!

Trail Ambassadors
Jun 1, 2017 – Sep 30, 2017

While the ABWF offers lots of volunteer trail projects, we realize not everyone wants to hoist a Pulaski or wield a crosscut saw in order to help…

Like to hike? Have good people skills? Want to help others treat the Wilderness with the same care and respect that you do? Consider becoming a Trail Ambassador.

Simply put, Trail Ambassadors will hike the popular trails that lead to some of the A-B’s most beautiful and most visited destinations, and make friendly contacts with trail users they encounter. When a Trail Ambassador meets someone at the trailhead or on trail, they will help gather data on who is using the trails and for what types of activities, provide them with helpful information on Wilderness regulations and best practices, and also reduce impacts to trails and lakeshores in the wilderness.

Our goal is to post Trail Ambassadors at some of the heaviest used trails and trailheads across the A-B Wilderness—places like Pine Creek, the East Rosebud, and Mystic Lake—in order to have a more regular presence in these places and hopefully create positive changes on some of the A-B’s most impacted places. Trail Ambassadors would hike the trails and help clean up impacted sites, reporting back on issues and impacts that are causing degradation to the wilderness backcountry.

Nichols Creek (Public Lands Day)
Sep 24, 2016

Red Lodge area. September 24th is Public Lands Day. We need YOU! to help complete the Nichols Creek Trail. Last year we finished nearly a mile of the new trail; we still have another mile to go before linking it to the trail down to the W. Fork of Rock Creek. When completed, the trail will connect the ski area to the Nichols Creek Trailhead (tiny parking area 1/4 mile past the jct. of Ski Run Rd./West Fork Rd.). When we’re done we should have a world-class trail for mountain biking, horseback riding, and hiking. Come one, come all! Come for a few hours or the whole day; all ages and abilities are welcome, as there are a variety of jobs. Last year we drew nearly 20 people for Public Lands Day! It’s our late season chance to finish off what we didn’t finish earlier in the summer! Please meet at the lower parking lot of the ski area on Saturday, September 24th @ 9:00 am. Wear long pants and boots, and bring water, work gloves, and a lunch/snacks. We will regather at Sam’s Taproom after the workday is over to celebrate!

Lake Plateau Trail Restoration
Aug 25, 2016 – Aug 31, 2016

S. of Big Timber; southwest of the Stillwater Mine. The Lake Plateau, which separates the Boulder River from the Stillwater River, is a famed destination in the A-B Wilderness, known for its remoteness and many, many pretty lakes. Recently, the ABWF received a major grant to work on this trail system around Rainbow, Pipit, and Wounded Man Lakes, and we need volunteers to help us. This is a grand opportunity to visit a favorite part of the A-B, and we’ll help you get there!

Project duration is 7 days, due to this area’s remoteness and the day it takes each way to hike in and out of the area. It’s a fairly strenuous hike in (8.5 miles) via Upsidedown Creek from the Boulder River. Elevation begins at about 6400 feet and climbs another 2400 ft. Bear in mind, we will lighten your load significantly by using a horsepacker to carry heavy food, tools, tents, sleeping bags, etc. in for you. This trail is well travelled and maintained, but our camp will be remote, with no opportunity to get in and out on your own to join us.

We will meet at the (former) Big Timber Ranger Station @ 8:30 a.m. and carpool to the trailhead together. It’s close to two hours from Big Timber down the rough Boulder River Rd. to Upsidedown Creek. Logistically, we will need to collect everyone's personal tents and heavy gear, before August 22nd, so the horsepackers can load up; they will be travelling a different route to the Lake Plateau.

Lake Abundance Creek/Rock Creek
Aug 11, 2016 – Aug 17, 2016

Cooke City vicinity. We received a major federal grant in 2015 to keep tackling this multi-year trail project. The lovely wilderness lake, Lake Abundance, lies below Daisy Pass northwest of Cooke City and is the gateway for this project. We will be gathering a group of adventurous volunteers for a 7-day work trip to establish and improve a triangular section of trail bounded by Slough Creek to the west and Horseshoe Mountain to the north. We will be packed in by a horsepacker 6 miles from the trailhead to where we will have a wilderness base camp along Abundance Creek near the junction with Rock Creek. We’ll hike to work each day from camp and work alongside a Forest Service trail crew reestablishing a little-used trail that works its way west towards Horseshoe Mountain, eventually connecting to Lake of the Woods and the Stillwater River. in the heart of the A-B Wilderness. All meals provided. Project duration is 7 days, due to this remote location and difficult access. From Daisy Pass, we must 4WD down together to the trailhead @ Lake Abundance where we will start this trip. Be prepared to hike in and out 6 miles with a light pack on the first and last day of the trip. You will not need to carry food, tools, stoves, your tent and sleepwe’ll hike up to 3 miles each day when working. Elevation is ~9000 feet. Maximum 8 people. It will probably not be possible to accommodate those who cannot join the trip in its entirety.

East Baldy Basin
Jul 28, 2016 – Aug 1, 2016

Close to Livingston! This year, we’re offering a multi-day trip that is close by, easily accessible, and more moderate in difficulty. We will be fixing up portions of the East Baldy trail, and rerouting other sections, for a total of five days of work. And we’ll be camping just a few miles up the trail, so if you can only join us for a portion of the time, hike in and join us for what you can!. This project will include trail clearing and brushing and well as grading and decommissioning. All the heavy stuff, including food and tools and some of your heavier gear will be horsepacked in. Getting in is fairly easy; the work will be moderate to fairly strenuous, so this trip can accommodate a variety of ages and abilities. If you’ve put off joining one of our work trips before, this one might just be your golden opportunity! Elevation begins at 6500 feet and climbs to 7200 at camp. Once we’re there, hiking to and from camp is minimal. There will be a variety of trail jobs to choose from, including lopping and decommissioning of old trail, plus ‘benching’ and grading new trail above the valley floor Project length is 5 days. All ages welcome; maximum 10 people.

Knox Lake
Jul 15, 2016 – Jul 19, 2016

Gardiner/Jardine area: For this project we will be hiking along the Bear Creek trail to Knox Lake, a wilderness lake that sits under the shoulder of Monitor Peak, reflecting its regal silhouette. This is a very popular trail for those around the Gardiner area and it much needs our tender loving care. We received a major grant to fund this project! Climbing along the 5-mile trek to the lake, you will walk through forest and meadow, and cross back and forth across Bear Creek. We will camp at the Bear Creek Trailhead and hike in to work each day, accompanying a few of the Gardiner District’s trail crew who will be helping us. Our main task consists of building sections of turnpike, or a raised bed trail, through muddy, swampy sections of the trail. Project will be 5 days, and strenuous in difficulty. Elevation is around 7000 feet. All food, tools and safety equipment will be provided. Maximum 10 people. We’ll meet at the Gardiner Ranger Station at 9:00 a.m. Because we will be camping at the Trailhead, you can join us for some or all of the 5-day project.

Initial Creek/West Fork Stillwater
Jul 2, 2016 – Jul 11, 2016

The W. Fork of the Stillwater is one of the most beautiful and secluded portals into the A-B Wilderness. The ABWF and the Forest Service are teaming up to install a bridge and improve the first mile of trail in the Wilderness near Initial Creek Campground. This is a great place to car camp, with short hike distances to work each day. Because of relatively easy access to the trailhead and shorter hiking distances, this is a terrific, more moderate project for everyone. It is also possible to join us for just a portion of the project if you can’t attend the whole thing! Project length is 3-4 days. Elevation is about 8000 feet. Difficulty is moderate. There is a campsite but it's primitive, so food storage containers but no water or services. The access road into the campground is pretty rough; high clearance vehicles are recommended (although transportation can be arranged). Maximum 8 people.

West Boulder River Trail Clearing
Jun 27, 2016 – Jun 30, 2016

Southwest of Big Timber. GIRL SCOUTS! All girls who are of high school age are encouraged to sign up for this volunteer work trip with the Montana/Wyoming chapter of the Girl Scouts and the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Foundation. We will be backpacking up the W. Boulder Trail about 5-6 miles, setting up camp for three nights, and working at cutting back the new-growth lodgepole pines that have really grown over the W. Boulder Trail. The Beartooth Backcountry Horsemen will be packing in heavy food, gear and tools for us! Moderate in difficulty. Elevation ~6500 ft. Register through the Girl Scout's website. Moderate in difficulty. There is a $100 charge to cover food, transportation, and gear rental. ALL girls are welcome, even if you’re not in Girl Scouts! We had a blast last year, so please join us!

Bassett Creek/LaDuke Springs Weeds
Jun 25, 2016

Gardiner area: Volunteers…We’re going back into this pretty basin tucked above the Paradise Valley to once again eradicate noxious weeds. Join us for a full day of weed warfare, pulling, digging and spraying houndstongue, knapweed, etc. from the Wilderness just north of Gardiner. Be prepared to hike 6-7 miles on the day. Tools and safety equipment will be provided. Bassett Creek flows into the Yellowstone River at LaDuke Spring, 6 miles north of Gardiner.  We’ll meet at the La Duke Trailhead (5500 feet) at 9:00 a.m.  There are a multitude of invasive weeds along this drainage leading into the A-B Wilderness, and we need your help spotting them and getting rid of them. Weeds are one of the greatest threats to the native ecosystem. Our repeat efforts make a huge difference in keeping weeds at bay.  Difficulty is fairly easy. The first 2 miles of trail is fairly steep, dry and without shade. Bring your own lunch, snacks, and plenty of water for the day. 

Timberline Lake Education
Jun 21, 2016

Spoke to group of 7 girl scouts about widlerness ethics/leave no trace.

Nichols Creek (Community Trails Day)
Jun 11, 2016

Red Lodge area. Join us once again for Community Trails Day to help complete the Nichols Creek Trail on the flank of Red Lodge Mountain. Last year we finished nearly a mile of the new trail; we still have another mile to go. When completed, the trail will connect the ski area to the Nichols Creek Trailhead (tiny parking area 1/4 mile past the jct. of Ski Run Rd./West Fork Rd.). When we’re done we should have a world-class trail for mountain biking, horseback riding, and hiking. As many workers as possible are needed! Come for a few hours or the whole day; all ages and abilities are welcome, as there are a variety of jobs. Last year we managed to draw nearly 40 people for Community Trails Day! Please meet at the lower parking lot of the ski area on Saturday, June 11th @ 9:00 am. A Forest Service trail crew will be there to help us, providing tools and knowhow. Wear long pants and boots, please. And bring water, work gloves, and snacks to hold you over till the picnic. Community Trails Day over the past 5 years has done much to grow our trail options, connecting Red Lodge to all the wonderful Forest Service trails around. We always celebrate with a big picnic afterwards! Food is provided!

Wilderness Character Monitoring
Jun 11, 2016 – Sep 24, 2016

Go backpacking! Visit places you haven’t gone in the A-B Wilderness. Help collect valuable data about the condition and wilderness character of many backcountry sites. Learn skills from student leaders from the Wilderness Institute at the University of Montana in a small group setting. We are continuing a major effort started last summer in partnership with the Wilderness Institute and the Custer Gallatin National Forest to survey/inventory impacts at over 1300 sites in the A-B Wilderness backcountry and we need your help! Cost: FREE! Dinners provided; you provide breakfast, lunch and snacks.

Trip #1 (June 30-July 5): this trip will start at the East Fork Mill Trailhead, which is located off Mill Creek Road (approx 40 min. south of Livingston). It will go up to Mill Pass and down through the West Boulder drainage and end at that trailhead (approx 1 hour SE of Livingston). It is a 26-mile trip, which sounds long, but it is really a pretty mellow trail and there aren’t tons of campsites, they just happen to be strung out. This trip is more advanced due to some snow travel over the pass and creek crossings that can sometimes be going pretty good that time of year.

Trip #2 (July 23-28): this trip will start and end at Box Canyon trailhead at the end of the Main Boulder Road. You will travel up the East Fork as far as Lake Kathleen and then head south to the heads of the E. Fk and Slough Creek drainages. It is about 12 miles to the furthest sites. If possible, the group will also hit the sites around Blue Lake. The group will most likely come out the way they went in. This is a really beautiful area and pretty unused since most people divert to the plateau. There will be some off trail hiking to hit some of the sites at the very head of the E. Fk. Drainage.

Trip #3 (August 16-21): this trip involves the least amount of backpacking and moving camp, as it will all be concentrated around Pine Creek and Jewel Lakes. The trailhead is very accessible from Livingston (20 minutes south) and it is 5 miles up to the lake with an elevation gain of 3000 ft+. This inventory can be completed in 5 days instead of 6, but sticking around an extra day could leave time for off-trail hiking to some upper lakes to see what use is happening up there. Plus, there will be ample time to do some campsite rehab. I would consider this the easiest of the trips due to the short mileage, but it is still a good push to get up there.

For more information about these trips, or to register, visit the Wilderness Institute: http://www.cfc.umt.edu/wi/education/citizen-science/volunteer.php#volunteer

South Fork Deep Creek (National Trails Day)
Jun 4, 2016

Livingston area. Come kick off the season by helping on our traditional National Trails Day Project! There’s much trail clearing to do! The South Fork of Deep Creek, which burned in the 2012 Pine Creek Fire, is a beautiful mountain stream flowing west out of the Absarokas one drainage north of the popular Pine Creek trail and is considerably wilder and less visited. The trail follows the steep-sided valley south of Mt. Delano, through several meadows before ascending to Davis Divide at 9,000 feet. The trail's in relatively good shape except for some erosion near the divide, but with the chronic winds this winter, the trees have assuredly come down, and there will be plenty to clear off the trail come June. Stronger hikers will move ahead 5-miles to the Divide and work their way down, while others will concentrate on the trail down lower. The hike is moderate; harder as you get towards the Divide. The work is also moderate, focusing mostly on using crosscut saws to clear the trail. We will meet at the Livingston Ranger Station at 8:00 a.m. and carpool to the Trailhead. Please prepare for the day and bring a lunch/snacks and plenty of water. Tools and safety equipment will be provided; bring work gloves if you have them. The view behind you into Paradise Valley is spectacular on this steeper but beautiful hike.

Nichols Creek Trail III
Sep 26, 2015

Public Lands Day in the Red Lodge Area! Many people have asked if we will be working any further on the new Nichols Creek Trail. ABWF is once again teaming up with the Forest Service, Pedal United, and BRTA to make progress on a great new local trail. We hope you'll join us again!

We are asking you, once again, to come out for Public Lands Day on Saturday, September 26th at 9:00 a.m. to help build this new trail. The combined efforts of the ABWF, Forest Service, BRTA, Red Lodge Hiking Club and MCC have made staggering progress on this trail! When completed, the trail will connect the Nichols Creek Trailhead (tiny parking area 1/4 mile past the junction of Ski Run Rd. and the West Fork Rd.) to the Lower Parking Lot at Red Lodge Mt. Ski Area. Meet at the lower parking lot at the ski area. We’ll start working where we left off, now well over a mile from the parking lot, clearing out downed timber and lots of brush while establishing a clear trail that can be used by hikers, horses, skiers and mountain bikes. The trail options connecting the town of Red Lodge to the Forest Service trails to the west just keep multiplying!

Difficulty is moderate. There are a variety of jobs that are difficult to easier in nature, and not a lot of hiking is involved. Elevation is ~7100 feet. Bring your own lunch and snacks. We'll meet at Sam's Taproom afterward to celebrate the end of a great season. Volunteers will receive free beer tokens! Everyone is welcome.

East Fork Boulder
Aug 13, 2015 – Aug 17, 2015

The East Fork Trail is a major access point to the famed Lake Plateau to the east from the Boulder River. Its trailhead lies all the way at the south end of the Boulder River Road at the Box Canyon Guard Station. We will be using the cabin at Box Canyon as a basecamp and hiking up the trail to work each day. Primarily we will be replacing defunct water bars and doing general trail improvements over the first three miles of trail.

Food is provided by the ABWF. A fully-refundable deposit is required.

Red Lodge Creek Plateau
Aug 6, 2015 – Aug 10, 2015

See what a group of volunteers can do when they become wilderness trail builders! There’s still a bit more work to do on the Senia Creek Trail leading to the top of the Red Lodge Creek Plateau, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a prettier location to work than this. This is the fourth year we have led a work trip to the plateau and are proud of the fact that ABWF volunteers have built this 2-mile stretch of trail—a vast improvement over the old trail. Join us as we finish the final section of trail in this 4-year effort. Difficulty is strenuous. Elevation is ~9000 feet.

East Rosebud Weeds
Aug 1, 2015

The trails in the East Rosebud are some of the most heavily used in the A-B Wilderness, and most susceptible to invasive weeds. Join us as a weed warrior to hunt them down and eradicate them! Difficulty is easy. Elevation is ~6500 feet.

Lake Abundance
Jul 17, 2015 – Jul 22, 2015

The Lake Abundance Trailhead is a popular area near the headwaters of the Stillwater River, 4 miles below Lulu Pass, and just north of Cooke City. Our purpose is to improve the Lake Abundance Creek trail that heads west from the Lake, and then keep working to the junction with Rock Creek trail that comes in from the northeast by way of Horseshoe Mt. and Lake of the Woods. We will set up a basecamp near the trailhead in this beautiful basin and hike out each day to begin our work. The length of the trail to the junction with Rock Creek is 6.3 miles. All food is provided. A fully-refundable deposit is required.

Specimen Creek
Jul 6, 2015 – Jul 10, 2015

This multi-day trip leaves from the Palmer Mountain Trailhead about a 45 minute drive east of Gardiner and Jardine. Our crew of volunteers and Forest Service personnel will hike in and set up a backcountry camp 4.5 miles in, and do various work projects over 5 days and 4 nights. We will be installing water bars, building checks and filling in rutted trail, and clearing the trail of brush. The Forest Service will pack in our food, heavy tools and supplies by horse, so you can save your energy for trailwork. You don’t need to be a skilled backpacker to help on this trip. Food is provided. A fully refundable deposit is required to confirm your space.

Nichols Creek Trail
Jun 27, 2015

Come out for Community Trails Day to help build this new trail outside of Red Lodge. We'll be clearing out downed timber and lots of brush while establishing a clear trail that can be used by hikers, horses, skiers and mountain bikes.

Bassett Creek Weeds Project
Jun 13, 2015

Don’t let Weeds Win! Join us for a full day of weed warfare. Volunteers will pull, dig, and chemically spray all the noxious weeds we can find in this Wilderness access area just off the Paradise Valley.

National Trails Day-Wallace Creek Trail
Jun 6, 2015

Each year the ABWF puts together a day-long work project to help out a trail on National Trails Day! This year you can join us for general trail maintenance on the E. Baldy Trail north of Elephanthead Mt. to the southeast of Livingston. As always, long pants and hiking boots are a must. Please pack your own lunch and snacks.

Russell Creek Puncheon
Aug 18, 2014 – Aug 22, 2014

Slough Creek Cabin
Aug 12, 2014 – Aug 16, 2014

Red Lodge Creek Plateau
Aug 8, 2014 – Aug 12, 2014

Stillwater River
Jul 17, 2014 – Jul 24, 2014

East Rosebud
Jul 13, 2014

Wicked Creek
Jun 19, 2014 – Jun 23, 2014

Palisades Trail
Jun 14, 2014

Jomaha Trail
Jun 7, 2014

Red Lodge Creek Plateau
Aug 16, 2013 – Aug 19, 2013

Slough Creek Cabin
Aug 1, 2013 – Aug 5, 2013

Lower Stillwater Trail Improvement Project
Jul 31, 2013

Bridge Creek Weeds Weekend
Jul 26, 2013 – Jul 28, 2013

Upper Stillwater Trail Improvement
Jul 15, 2013 – Jul 21, 2013

Trailwork--Palisades Trail Project II
Jun 28, 2013

Palisades Trail
Jun 8, 2013

Passage Creek Trail Project
Jun 1, 2013

Red Lodge Creek Plateau
Aug 2, 2012 – Aug 7, 2012