At the moment the following projects are open for registration:
|Become a Trail Ambassador 2022||Feb 1, 2022 – Mar 31, 2023||
Would you like to volunteer in a meaningful way and help protect the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness? Would you like to volunteer on your own schedule, and hike a beautiful trail while at it?
As a trail ambassador, you will help us at the ABWF educate visitors at popular trails about proper LNT principles, bear protocols, and more! The A-B needs us to identify high-use areas and help inform folks to responsibly access them.
Volunteering as a TA, you will travel to a high-use trail head and greet people as they enter the wilderness, kindly checking in with them to make sure they have the knowledge they need to reduce impact. This year, we also welcome TA's to hike the first few miles of the trail to survey impact and continue to greet hikers.
|Lake Abundance, Trail #389 2022||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.
|Fox Lake, Trail #3 2022||Aug 18, 2022 – Aug 23, 2022||
Close to: Cooke City, Gardiner, Red Lodge
Spots Available: Full, Accepting Waitlist
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.
|Beartooth Mountains: 4 Billion Years of Geologic History 2022||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
|Whitebark Pine: A Treeline Keystone Species 2021 2022||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
|East Fork Mill Creek, Trail #51 2022||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