Supporting stewardship of the Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness 
and fostering appreciation of wild lands.
  • Volunteer this Summer
    Volunteer this Summer
  • Hiking in
    Hiking in

    ABWF Volunteers join Yellowstone District rangers for work on the Passage Creek trail south of Livingston

  • Breaking new trail
    Breaking new trail
  • Scientific Surveying in the A-B
    Scientific Surveying in the A-B

    Research fellow Max Grigri records data at a stand of Whitebark Pines in the A-B Wilderness

  • Weed Management
    Weed Management

    Pulling out invasive houndstongue from the Bridge Creek trail at the end of the Boulder Creek drainage.

  • The Volunteers
    The Volunteers

    Linus Metzler, Karen Holcomb, Chuck Ward, Shannon McGann, Amanda Marchant and Hannah Marchant spent over a week repairing deeply rutted trail along the Upper Stillwater trail north of Cooke City

2016 Project Outline


Volunteers cut the ribbon on a brand new section of the Senia Creek Trail high on the Red Lodge Creek Plateau


Opportunities throughout the summer

Wilderness Character Monitoring--6 dates coming soon!

Wanna go on a FREE 5-Day backpacking trip into the wilds of the A-B Wilderness?  Be a Citizen Scientist...Visit places you haven’t been in the A-B. 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 we started last summer with the Wilderness Institute to survey/inventory 1300 sites in the A-B Wilderness backcountry. Last summer, we mounted six separate 5-day expeditions into the Wilderness and will offer the same this summer. There's a limit of 5 participants on each trip.  Trips this summer take place primarily in the western half of the A-B Wilderness.

Please have a look at our FAQs, too!

June 2016

June 4th:  National Trails Day—S. Fork of Deep Creek outside Livingston

(1-Day project, Saturday) max. 10 volunteers

The West Boulder drainage burned some years ago and thousands of lodgepole saplings have grown back, obscuring the trail. Coupled with all the downed trees blocking the trail, we will make a day of clearing this beautiful trail in the A-B Wilderness, 16 miles southwest of Big Timber. Come out for our traditional National Trails Day Project that kicks off the season.

June 11th:  Community Trails Day--Nichols Creek Trail outside Red Lodge

(1-Day project, Saturday) —no maximum, we need all the helpers we can get.

This project is a continuation of a trail we started just outside Red Lodge, that connects Red Lodge Mountain Ski Area to the West Fork of Rock Creek Rd. Last year we finished nearly a mile; we still have another mile or two to go to make this a world-class trail for mountain biking, horseback riding, etc.

June 25th:  Bassett Creek/LaDuke Springs Trail Weeds Project, near Gardiner

(1-Day project, Saturday)  Max 10. Work: Easy; Hike: Moderate.

Last year we had an excellent turnout by volunteers who helped us pull knapweed, houndstongue, and toadflax. This is a pretty hike (6 miles round trip) into the Bassett Creek Basin above the Paradise Valley at LaDuke Springs. The trailhead at LaDuke is just 6 miles north of Gardiner, MT.

July 2016

July 8-11:  Initial Creek/West Fork Stillwater Trail Improvement, near Nye, MT

(Multi-day Project, 4 days, Fri-Mon). Max 10 people. Difficulty: Moderate. 

The West 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 and hike short 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!

July 15-19th:  Knox Lake Trail--Gardiner/Jardine area

(Multi-day Project, 5-days, Fri-Tue). Moderate to Strenuous. Max 10.

This is a very popular trail for the folks around the Gardiner/Jardine area. 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. We’re building sections of turnpike (raised-bed, bordered trail), and building drains through a sloppy, swampy area of the trail.

July 21-25th:  East Baldy Trail Improvement, close to Livingston

(Multi-day Project, 5 days, Thur-Mon), Moderate to Strenuous. Max 10 volunteers.

Near Livingston Peak and Elephanthead Mountain, this project takes place nearest to the town of Livingston. This includes clearing trail, rerouting trail, brushing, adding drainage structures (i.e. waterbars), etc.

 August 2016

August 11-17:  Lake Abundance/Rock Creek Trail Improvement, Cooke City area

(Multi-day Project, 7-days, Thur-Wed). Strenuous and fairly remote. 8 people max.

We received a major federal grant in 2015 to tackle this trail project. Lake Abundance is a lovely wilderness lake a few miles northwest of Cooke City, MT, just below Daisy Pass. We will get our stuff packed in by horse/mule 6 miles to where we will base camp along Abundance Creek Trail west of Lake Abundance. Our group will hike to work from our camp each day and be working side-by-side with a Forest Service trail crew, enhancing a little-used trail that works its way towards Horseshoe Mountain in the heart of the A-B Wilderness.  All meals provided.

August 25-31:  Lake Plateau Trail System Improvement, south of Big Timber

(Multi-day Project, 7 days, Thur-Wed). Strenuous, remote, & difficult to get to. 8 people max

The Lake Plateau, which separates the Boulder River from the Stillwater River is a famed destination in the A-B, known for its remoteness and many, many pretty fishing lakes. The ABWF received a second major grant to do additional work on this trail system between Rainbow and Wounded Man Lakes. Again, all our heavy food and equipment will get horse-packed into the area, but even with a light day pack, this is a pretty long hike in, via Upsidedown Creek along the Boulder River.

September 2016

 September 24th:  Public Lands Day--Nichols Creek II, outside Red Lodge

(1-Day project, Saturday) —no maximum, we need all the helpers we can get. Difficulty: Moderate

We're scheduling a second day on the Nichols Creek Trail, with the hope that we can largely finish off this trail and start using it!  This trail, on the outskirts of Red Lodge, connects Red Lodge Mountain Ski Area to the West Fork of Rock Creek Rd.  We still have another mile or so to go to make this a world-class trail for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, etc.


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