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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 2021 Mar 1, 2021 – Oct 31, 2022

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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Botany and Plant Identification 2021 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.

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Historic Mine Visit and Discussion 2021 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.

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North Fork Bear Creek Trail #364 / Pine Creek Trail #627 (Gardiner) 2021 Jun 18, 2021 – Jun 20, 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 be doing some treadwork (widening and grading the trail) and erosion control.

Description: While car camping in the Bear Creek Campground north of Gardiner, we will spend three days clearing these essential trails that connect hikers to Ash Mountain, Sheep Mountain, and Monitor Peak. The majority of the work will be done within three miles of either trail.

Difficulty: Less strenuous. We will be car camping for this project and will hike fewer than six miles each day to the work site. Both trails moderately gain elevation from their trailheads to each work site.

Group size: Six Volunteers

Meeting Time & Location: 8:00 a.m. at the Bear Creek Campground. There we will brief volunteers, set up camp, and then head out to make some progress on that first day.

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The Sagebrush Sea Meets the Beartooth Front 2021 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.

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Climate Change, Whitebark Pine, Grizzlies 2021 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

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Crow Mountain - Trail #55 2021 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.

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Main Stillwater River - Trail #24, Wounded Man Creek - Trail #90 2021 Jul 8, 2021 – Jul 14, 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: Leaving from the Main Fork Stillwater River Trailhead (adjacent to Woodbine Campground), we will hike 11 miles to our base camp at Big Park, a sweet 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 horse packers who assist the project.

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. 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: 8:00 a.m. at Main Stillwater River Trailhead (adjacent to Woodbine Campground)

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Lake Abundance Creek Trail #389 (Round One) 2021 Jul 22, 2021 – Jul 28, 2021

Status: Full, Accepting Waitlist

Work: On this project, we will support a Forest Service trail crew to reroute a half mile section of trail and remove a puncheon (wooden walkway used to cross wet areas). The wood and materials that made up the old puncheon will be removed by horse packers who assist the project.

Description: Leaving from the Lake Abundance Trailhead (from Cooke City), we will hike six miles to our base camp and worksite, which lies at the confluence of Lake Abundance Creek Trail #389 and Horseshoe Trail #109. We will work within a half mile of our campsite each day. Our overnight camping gear will be carried in (7/22) and out (7/28) by horse packers who assist the project.

Difficulty: More strenuous. While the six-mile hike to and from the work site is not particularly challenging, the work of rerouting trail and removing puncheon material is on the more difficult side. If you are interested in this project but concerned about your ability to do the work, please email [email protected] and we can talk it through! Let's get after it!

Group size: Seven Volunteers

Meeting time & location: 8:00 a.m. at the Colter Campground. The approach to the Lake Abundance Trailhead requires a vehicle with clearance and is most easily done with 4WD. While we cannot encourage volunteers to carpool, please contact us if this is a concern and we can work to find a solution!

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Lake Abundance Creek Trail #389 (Round Two) 2021 Aug 5, 2021 – Aug 11, 2021

Status: Full, Accepting Waitlist.

Work: On this project, we will support a Forest Service trail crew to reroute a half mile section of trail and remove a puncheon (wooden walkway used to cross wet areas). The wood and materials that made up the old puncheon will be removed by horse packers who assist the project.

Description: Leaving from the Lake Abundance Trailhead (from Cooke City), we will hike six miles to our base camp and worksite, which lies at the confluence of Lake Abundance Creek Trail #389 and Horseshoe Trail #109. We will work within a half mile of our campsite each day. Our overnight camping gear will be carried in (8/5) and out (8/11) by horse packers who assist the project.

Difficulty: More strenuous. While the six-mile hike to and from the work site is not particularly challenging, the work of rerouting trail and removing puncheon material is on the more difficult side. If you are interested in this project but concerned about your ability to do the work, please email [email protected] and we can talk it through! Let's get after it!

Group size: Seven Volunteers

Meeting time & location: 8:00 a.m. at the Colter Campground. The approach to the Lake Abundance Trailhead requires a vehicle with clearance and is most easily done with 4WD. While we cannot encourage volunteers to carpool, please contact us if this is a concern and we can work to find a solution!

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Kersey Lake - Trail #3 2021 Aug 19, 2021 – Aug 23, 2021

Status: Full, accepting waitlist.

Work: On this project, we will support a Forest Service trail crew to construct a puncheon (wooden walkway used to cross wet areas) and drain water off of the trail.

Description: While car camping at a FS Admin Site near Colter Campground, we will work each day on the first two miles of the infamous "Beaten Path." This will be a construction heavy project (compared a project primarily focused on clearing trail), with fewer miles of hiking involved. We will start each day by passing over a roaring section of the Clarks Fork Yellowstone River, working to help make this section of the Beaten Path ready (and dry!) for generations of hikers.

Difficulty: Moderately strenuous. Volunteers will only need to be ready to hike between 2-5 miles each day during this project. However, Puncheon construction and draining water off the trail can be a bit more physical than simply clearing trail. Please email us with questions or concerns to see if this project is a good fit for you: [email protected]

Group size: Seven Volunteers

Meeting time & location: 8:00 a.m. at FS Admin Site near Colter Campground

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Lake Plateau - Trail #90 (Closed for Registration) 2021 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.

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Anderson Ridge - Trail #54 2021 Sep 16, 2021 – Sep 20, 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: 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 4.5 miles of our basecamp. Our overnight camping gear will be carried in (9/16) and out (9/20) by horse packers who assist the project.

Difficulty: Moderately strenuous. The six-mile approach and exit from the worksite is relatively gentle, slightly gaining elevation with the creek on the hike in. The trail we work on, however, gains elevation quickly from the basecamp. Hiking distances on work days will range from two to eight miles.

Group size: Six Volunteers

Meeting time & location: 8:00 a.m. at East Fork Mill Creek Trailhead

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