Photo by Meg Killen

E. Carpp Lakes

Aug 14-20, 2017

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Project Name: Carpp Lakes, Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness
Project Dates: August 14 - 20, 2017
Registration Deadline: August 6, 2017

Trail Volunteer Limit: 8
Trail Volunteer Spaces Left: FULL
Level of Difficulty: Strenuous

Location: Pintler RD, Beaverhead-Deerlodge NF
Type of project:  Backcountry camping
Travel at worksite:  2-4 miles each day
Meeting Time: Sunday, August 13 @ 6:00 PM

Basic Project Description

MWA's Volunteer Trail Crew is headed into the Anaconda Pintler Wilderness for a service adventure unlike any other this season. Nestled beneath Warren Peak, the Carpp Lakes basin is home to three alpine lakes and one glorious stretch of trail. Our crew will be making improvements to this trail linking the three lakes. Volunteers will be constructing water bars and check dams to mitiagte erosion. The crew will also brush out pesky trees and bushes from the trail corridor, repair trail tread and remove rocks that pose a tripping hazard for hikers and horses.

Base camp will be at approximately 7680' elevation near Carpp Lake proper, the largest of the three lakes. Carpp Lake boasts some of the best views of jagged, geologic wonder Warren Peak, so make sure to bring a camera. The lake is also home to Westslope Cutthroat so you can wet your line to pass the time after work. Bring a bathing suit if you're especially bold- Upper Carpp Lake, at 8340' elevation promises to be extra chilly. An extra ration of Nutella to anyone brave enough to make the plunge!

Meeting Place

We'll meet Sunday August 13 at 6:00 PM. For the evening of the 13th, we will be at a front country camp.  

No matter which direction you are coming, you will drive a significant portion of the time on gravel roads. Two wheel drive vehicles should be able to access the area, but a high clearance 4WD vehicle is recommended. 

Hike at Worksite

Our daily hike will range from 1-4 miles each day, depending how much trail we've completed on days prior. Be prepared to carry along two tools and your full day pack, including rain gear, extra layers and 3-4 liters of water.

Camping Information

Camp for the week will be a primitive, backcountry set up. This means all water will be filtered from a nearby source and latrine will be dug for the week. 

Volunteers will assist in preparing the campsite for the week including setting up tarps, kitchen equipment, and group latrine.  Crew will be educated on Leave No Trace practices, and asked to follow these principles throughout the week. Food storage (bear) regulations will be observed. MWA will provide adequate food and snacks, however, if you want to bring along some extra personal snacks please plan for safe storage accordingly. MWA bear boxes will be full with crew food and extra space will not be available. 

Food and Water

Your first provided meal will be breakfast on Monday morning. Dinner Sunday the 13th will be on your own. Please inform your crew leader of any dietary restrictions at least one week before the project start date. Even if this just means you’re a picky eater…tell us what you don’t like. We strive to keep our volunteers happy and well-fed. Volunteers will be expected to assist with cleaning dishes throughout the week. Please remember to bring your own plate/bowl, utensils and hot drink mug. 

What to Bring

Please be sure to review our recommended Backcountry Camping List before packing and arriving to your project. Items commonly forgotten by volunteers include rain gear, mess kits, safety gloves/glasses, warm layers and water bottles- please make sure you have these before departing for our project. Don't forget extra water bins (filled) for personal hygiene, please! 

Physical Abilities

The work involved in this project is strenuous and can be very difficult at times.  This project will require you to be in great physical condition with previous backpacking experience.  You should be comfortable lifting, shoveling, bending over, and digging. If you have any concerns about your ability to participate, please contact MWA's Stewardship Coordinator Sonny Mazzullo at or 406.334.7378.


Prepare for possibility of rain, snowstorms, high winds, cold weather and bugs. Unpredictable weather is to be expected – bring proper gear. It can snow in high elevations – even in June! If we do experience actual summerlike temperatures, be prepared for sun exposure. Bring hats, long sleeves, and sunscreen!

Here is a link to the Weather Forecast on However, don't be fooled; weather on the divide can be very different than predicted. Please be prepared for all kinds of conditions, regardless of the forecast.

Early summer tends to be damp and rainy so be prepared with proper rain gear as well as bug spray. The mosquitos can very attentive in this area. 

Daily Schedule:

The crew will pack into the backcountry campsite on Monday Aug 14 and set up camp. The work days are Aug 15-19. The crew will take down camp and pack out the morning Aug 20. Volunteers are expected to participate for the entire project. 

  • 7:00 AM: Breakfast- this is the time to chow down, pack a lunch, fill waters and prepare necessary layers and gear for the day.
  • 8:00 AM: Hike to the worksite- on Monday morning this will be our departure for camp.
  • 12:00 PM: Lunch on the trail. One mid-morning and one mid-afternoon break.
  • 4:30 PM: Begin our hike back to camp- once we arrive back at camp we will have some personal time before jumping into dinner prep.
  • After dinner and dishes, you are free to spend the evenings as you wish- taking in a sunset, reading, chatting around the campfire or catching up on some zzz's.

Volunteers are responsible for checking project website for updates up until the day before the project start date. Last minute changes can take place due to weather, bad river crossings, wild fires or other events out of our hands. If you are traveling before your project, be sure to check your email to receive any last minute updates.  MWA staff may be in the field and unreachable 1-2 days before your project so plan ahead!


Do not show up to a MWA project without registering or without receiving a confirmation email from MWA staff. Unregistered volunteers will not be permitted to participate on projects.

All registrations now require a refundable deposit. This will help us ensure that everyone who registers is well-intentioned and that MWA will not have to bear the costs of last-minute cancellations. More info available on the registration page linked below. Refundable deposit for this project is $50


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