Click the yellow COVID-19 box to read statement on trail work in the time of COVID-19

The ABWF thrives on the good work of volunteers. We believe that getting volunteers like you actively involved in your wild lands connects you in a deeper, more lasting way. And makes all of us better stewards of precious places like the Absaroka-Beartooths! Consider volunteering for one of our single-day or multi-day work projects.

ABWF Volunteers working alongside a Forest Service trail crew in 2014

We work hard to accommodate anyone who wishes to volunteer. Groups are welcome as well as families. The work tends to be best suited for teens or older—people who can be fairly self-sufficient hikers/campers. Younger kids are welcome on day-long trips. You will be required to sign a volunteer agreement to ensure you are acting on behalf of the Forest Service. If you have any questions, contact us!

These projects are currently open for sign-up!:

E. Rosebud Trail #15 Weed Day
Jul 11, 2020

Location: E. Rosebud TH; Alpine, SW of Roscoe, MT—Beartooth District

Work: We need volunteers to survey, identify, and destroy invasive weeds (primarily knapweed and Canada Thistle) on the first 2 miles of the E. Rosebud Trail up to Elk Lake. Manual and chemical methods will be employed. No need to handle chemicals if you don't want to.

Description: This most popular of all A-B Wilderness trails follows along the Wild and Scenic East Rosebud Creek. It is also prone to infestations of spotted knapweed and Canada thistle. The ABWF and the Custer Gallatin National Forest have been teaming up for years to control the weed outbreaks, and we need volunteers to help us find the weeds, dig them up/manually destroy them, or even help us spray if you’d like.

Difficulty: Easy/Moderate. Maximum of 3 miles hiking, round trip Elevation: 6400 ft.

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

Meeting time & location: 9:00 a.m. @ the E. Rosebud Parking Lot/TH.

Bring: Long pants, long-sleeved shirt. We’ll provide other personal protective equipment, including Tyvek suits if you choose to spray. Bring Water, lunch, snacks, sun protection; a friend.

Sign up!

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

Sign up!

W. Fork Boulder River Trail #41
Jul 31, 2020 – Aug 3, 2020

Location: Southwest of Big Timber/McLeod; SE of Livingston—Yellowstone Ranger District

Work: Extensive brushing of lodgepole saplings obscuring the trail; Sawing out trees across the trail. Age appropriate work. This area burned a decade or so ago, and the lodgepoles came back with a vengeance!

Description: While this trip has traditionally been offered to high school students, we are opening it to the public this year! Our group will be hiking about 6 miles before we set up camp in pretty meadows along the stunning West Boulder River for 3 nights. From camp we’ll hike 2-miles or less each to where we’ll do our work to make this trail much more passable. We’ll also spend time in the evenings talking about conservation issues and the value of our public lands and wilderness. There will horse-packing support to carry in our heavy food, tools and camping equipment.

Difficulty: work is Moderate. Hike in is moderate Horse Support: YES Elevation: 6300 ft.

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

Meeting time & location: 9:00 a.m. at the West Boulder Trailhead/Campground, which is at the end of the W. Boulder Road just past McLeod. Easy to Google Map.

Bring: Backpacking necessities. Boots, a reasonable-sized day pack, good rain gear. A good two-person tent you can share. Sleeping bag/pad. See “Multi-Day Trip Packing List.”

Sign up!

Pine Creek Trail #627 to Palmer Mountain
Aug 7, 2020 – Aug 10, 2020

Date(s): Thu-Mon, June 25 – 28 (4 days) Trail: Pine Creek Trail #627 to Palmer Mountain

Location: Northeast of Gardiner/Jardine—Gardiner District

Work: A lot of Brushing and extensive treadwork; adding fill to rutted trail; might need to shift the trail over in some places; tree-clearing as needed.

Description: A multi-day project, with nearby camping in Timber Camp site.

Camping: We’ll car camp for the duration in the Timber Camp undeveloped site (there is a toilet) up the Bear Creek Road. All Food is provided. Group size: 10 max; this project takes place on the Custer Gallatin NF.

Meeting time & location: 9:00 a.m. Gardiner Ranger Station, 805 Scott Street, Gardiner.

Bring: Boots, long pants, day pack, work gloves. Car camping.

Sign up!

Fourmile/Meatrack Trails #22-23 w/ American Hiking Society
Aug 19, 2020 – Aug 26, 2020

Location: South of Big Timber, along the Main Boulder Road at Fourmile Creek. Yellowstone RD.

Work: We will pull non-native houndstongue, construct water bars, build check dams and retaining walls out of stone and wood; and finish everything off by brushing the corridor. This is an all-around quite strenuous work project, as we will be working with stone, locally sourced logs, and standard trail tools (shovels, Pulaskis, picks, crosscut saws).

Description: This is our annual project with the members of the American Hiking Society. Our trip starts at the Frosty Freeze in Big Timber, MT. From there we will carpool/caravan up the Main Boulder River to the Fourmile Trailhead. The first and last night of the trip, the crew will camp at the Fourmile Trailhead. On the morning of Day 2, we will hike in the 5 miles and establish a basecamp for the rest of the week. The Beartooth Backcountry Horsemen will pack in our heavy stuff—food, tools, tents, etc.—so volunteers only need to carry a day pack with their clothes and personal items. This is an American Hiking Society trip; you must be registered for through their website: The road down the Main Boulder River gets quite rough beyond 4-mile; most passenger vehicles can make it to the 4-Mile bridge, but it’s slow going.

Difficulty: The work is Strenuous. Hike in is moderate to fairly strenuous. Horse Support: YES Elevation: 8000 ft.

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

Meeting time & location: Whether you are driving yourself or catching a ride from the airport, we will convene at 2:30 p.m. at the Frosty Freeze in Big Timber and drive to the trailhead together.

Bring: See “Multi-Day Trip Packing List.

Sign up!

Here are 5 reasons you should join us on one of our trips…

  1. Tangible results. You will know that you accomplished something at the end of the day!
  2. Safety and Fun in numbers. Many people who love the outdoors might still be intimidated to spend more than a day out for fear of foul weather, getting lost, or maybe grizzly bears. Participate in our group trips and set those fears aside, learn new skills, and get to know new people.
  3. FREE! Adventures like this for FREE? That’s right! We provide the food on all multi-day trips. All you do is meet us, provide your own camping gear, and we handle the rest. We’ll even coordinate car-pooling when possible.
  4. Experiences for all abilities. Our trips vary in difficulty. We offer easier day-projects and citizen science projects, as well as multi-day trips which can be physically quite strenuous! BUT fear not… Every project has tasks that engage all abilities. With everyone’s help we get a lot done!
  5. We make it easy! We have horses pack in all our tools, food—even sleeping bags and tents! You hike in with a much lighter pack. Even if you are not a backpacker or capable of carrying a lot, these trips can still be great ways to see the backcountry and build your wilderness skills.