Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Volunteer opportunities in the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex

| June 5, 2024 12:00 AM

The Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation is looking for volunteers for a slate of trail maintenance projects within the 1.6-million-acre Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex this summer.

The foundation projects are free of charge and no prior trail work or camping experience is necessary. The foundation provides all meals, group camping gear, tools and an experienced Crew Leader who guides the project. All of their backcountry trips are pack supported, thanks to dedicated volunteer packers and their horses and mules who carry the heavy loads.

Volunteers just need their personal camping gear and a willingness to learn new things and work hard. The foundation also offers a free gear library for those who need to borrow any personal gear to join the projects.

“Our Volunteer Adventures provide a unique way to connect on a deeper level with the public lands that belong to all of us; specifically the incredible Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex right in our backyard,” said Rebecca Powell, program director for the foundation. “Volunteers get the chance to set down their phones and pick up traditional tools to open trails the same way it’s been done for over 100 years. There’s not much better than sitting around a campfire with a full belly after a hard day’s work, with a group of new friends who come from all walks of life but love wilderness just as much as you do.”

The foundation has a total of 30 trail projects open to the public. A few need more volunteers to get the work done, including projects on Deer Creek trail in the Benchmark area; Cabin Creek trail out of Gibson Reservoir; and Straight Creek trail in the Scapegoat Wilderness. There’s also a Community Science trip on Upper Bartlett Creek; and turnpike construction projects on Foolhen Trail near Danaher Meadows, and on Gateway Creek near Sabido Cabin.

As a new addition this summer, the foundation is also planning to offer a couple of pop-up volunteer trail days, where people can come out to work for just a day or two instead of committing to a full project. Locations for these projects include the Big River Trail along the Highway 2 corridor, and Headquarters Pass on the Rocky Mountain Front.

To learn more about volunteering, visit www.bmwf.org/volunteer, or call the office in Hungry Horse at 406-387-3808.