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Projects Open for Registration

At the moment the following projects are open for registration:

Project Date(s) Description
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.

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Main Stillwater River, Trail #24 2022 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

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Meatrack Meadows Trails #23 and #24 2022 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

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Suce Creek Weed Pull, Trail # 450 2022 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: 9:00 a.m. at either the Suce Creek or Livingston Peak Trailhead. ABWF will coordinate with volunteers before the project to direct traffic.

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Birding Suce Creek Trail 2022 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

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Bassett Creek Weed Pull, Trail #134 2022 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

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East Rosebud Weed Pull, Trail #15 2022 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

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Cooke City Area Trail Clearing 2022 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.

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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.

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

Close to: Cooke City, Gardiner, Red Lodge

Spots Available: 1/7

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.

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

Close To: Pray, Emigrant, Gardiner, Livingston

Spots Available: 5/7

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

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