How do the trails on the Bitterroot National Forest and in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness get cleared and repaired through the years? Well, the Bitterroot National Forest has regular trail crews that tackle quite a few of the projects, but year after year, it's the Bitter Root Back Country Horsemen (BRBCH) who maintain many of the miles and miles of trails in the area.

June 12th, the group will be working on the trails at Larry Creek in the Bass Creek Recreation area. The public should be watching for the volunteer crews, who will be working on the Fire Ecology, Nature and Larry Creek trails. New blue trail and mile marker signs will be installed, too. It's a one-day project for the Bitterroot Valley organization, which started in 1973 and has been copied by other chapters throughout the U.S.

Often, the BRBCH plans overnight projects on weekends through the summer. Where will they be this summer?

  • July 2-5 - East Fork Main Trail, with the headquarters at the East Fork Guard Station.
  • July 9-11 - Blodgett Creek with a two-night stay at 7-Mile Meadow.
  • July 17 - Coyote Coulee southwest of Hamilton with work on both loops.
  • August 6-8 - Twogood Cabin with trailhead, horse camp and trail maintenance and clearing. Pack stock will be bringing in the gear.
  • September 17-18 - Rock Creek Horse Camp needs some clean-up.
  • Throughout the summer - BRBCH will be resupplying St Mary's Lookout three or four times, packing in the supplies.
  • Two other projects are still in the planning stages - A scouting trip on the Fred Burr Upper Trail and scouting out a new trail in the Lick Creek area.
  • Each year, the Bitter Root Back Country Horsemen work about 600 hours so stock users can access the backcountry and wilderness trails. You can find out more about the organization at their website. Who knows? You and your horse or mule might be heading up the trail on one of their next projects.

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