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Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness

August 20, 2019 - August 28, 2019

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The A-B Wilderness Foundation invites you to spend a week with us camping out in the backcountry and working on various projects benefiting the trails in the heart of the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Area of Montana. Far up the Boulder River which bisects the Absaroka and Beartooth ranges we will work on a network of trails rising out of the Fourmile Creek area. The Fourmile and Meatrack trails that lead up to Silver Pass and Silver Lake branch out from the meadows where we will camp, and the first mile of each of them needs a combination of restoration and trail work. We will pull non-native houndstongue, construct water bars, build check dams and retaining walls out of stone and wood; and finish everything off by brushing the corridor. This is all-around quite strenuous work, as we will be working with stone, locally sourced logs, and standard trail tools (shovels, pulaskis, picks, crosscut saws).

Our trip starts at the Frosty Freeze in Big Timber, MT. From there we will carpool/caravan up the Main Boulder River to the Fourmile Trailhead. Only vehicles with higher clearance are recommended on this road. The first and last night of the trip, the crew will camp at the Fourmile Trailhead. On Wednesday morning our crew will hike in the 5 miles to basecamp and work out of there for the rest of the week. The Backcountry Horsemen will carry in our heavy stuff—food, tools, tents, etc.—so volunteers only need to carry a day pack with their clothes and personal items.


Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Foundation


Primitive Tent Sites


Backpacking 5 miles to basecamp (Day hiking up to 2 miles each day)

Project Rating

Very Strenuous

Minimum Volunteer Age


Maximum Group Size


Area and Attractions

Just shy of 1-million acres, the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness is one of great wilderness areas in the Lower 48. It is a land characterized by rugged peaks (including Mt. Cowen & Granite Peak, 11,200 and 12,800 feet respectively), deep blue lakes, and broad expanses of lush meadows and alpine tundra. Containing some of the least-visited terrain in the entire Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, the A-B Wilderness has an abundance of flora and fauna: Clark's nutcrackers flash between whitebark pines, grizzly bears eat huckleberries on open hillsides, mountain goats traverse ridgelines of granite speckled with yellow and orange lichens. The dividing line between the Absarokas and the Beartooths is the Boulder River, and this is where we will begin our trip. This gorgeous river feeds the mighty Yellowstone, and is known for its fly-fishing and the trailheads which access some of the deepest recesses of the A-B. On your day off, you can explore robust meadows and trout-rich streams near camp, or day hike to Silver Lake or Silver Pass.

Accommodations Description

The ABWF will pick you up at the Billings Airport and transport you to Big Timber where we will rendezvous with anyone driving. We’ll then shuttle up the Boulder River and camp the first night in a campground at the Fourmile trailhead. On Wednesday morning we will hand off our heavy stuff to the Backcountry Horsemen and then hike in the 5 miles to basecamp in lovely meadows and work from there for the rest of the week. Volunteers only need to carry a day pack with clothes and personal items, water and snacks/lunch. The ABWF provides all food for the trip. This is grizzly country, so extra safety precautions need to be followed. The horses/mules carry our food in bear-proof containers which we will utilize for the week to keep our food safe from critters and we store food and cook well away from our sleeping area. Volunteers should bring their own tent, sleeping bag/sleeping pad, rain gear & clothes, cup/bowl/mug/eating utensils, and personal items.


Airport pickup provided from Billings Logan International Airport. Airport pickup and dropoff times will be sent to registrants when the trip is confirmed.


Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness
403 Boulder St, Big Timber, Montana 59011 United States