Project: Centennials Wilderness Study Area
Landscape: Centennial Mountains
Dates: August 19 - 24, 2018
Location: Continental Divide Trail - BLM, Ennis F.O.
Project Work: Trail Maintenance
Camping: Frontcountry Car Camping
Project Difficulty: Strenuous
Volunteer Limit: 10
Volunteer Slots Available: YES
Meeting Time & Place: Sun. Aug 19, 6:00 PM
Come celebrate 50 years of National Scenic Trails by improving the Continental Divide Trail as it winds through the rugged Centennial Mountains. Volunteers will be frontcountry camping in the valley and hiking into the hills each day to improve switchbacks and maintenance trail along the CDT. This will be MWA's fifth consecutive summer partnering with the BLM to steward the Centennials. Volunteers come back year after year because this is a landscape that captures the heart and imagination. Join this trip to find out why the Centennials are the best kept secret in Montana.
About the Area
One of the few east-west trending divide ranges in the Northern Rockies, the Centennials are unlike any other region MWA works. The marshy Red Rock Lakes in the northern foothills create a stark contrast with the jagged peaks and steep canyons of the mountains. Notable peaks Nemesis and Red Rock soar to over 9000', giving a backdrop to the lake that rises over 3000' in less than a mile. Nestled within the Centennials is the Missouri River's ultimate headwaters in Hellroaring Creek, flowing out Hellroaring Canyon.
The Centennial Mountains are the southern boundary of the Centennial Valley which is home to the 32,350 acre Red Rocks Lake Wilderness. Managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, it was designated in 1976. This remote, virtually undeveloped basin holds an amazing system of waterways consisting of lakes and connected marshes that is managed for wildlife. More than 14,000 acres of wetlands provide habitat and solitude for a stunning array of birds and other wildlife. The wilderness comprises about 80 percent of a refuge that was established in 1935 to safeguard the rare trumpeter swan. Some 215 bird species have been observed within this wetlands wilderness. Red Rock’s high prairies and mountains combine with the water to create a habitat for moose, elk, deer and antelope.
The Centennials Wilderness Study area was designated in 1975. Since then, over 20,000 acres have been recommended for inclusion in the Wilderness preservation system. In addition to being critical grizzly bear habitat, about 60 miles of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail run through the Centennial Mountains. This landscape is truly a national treasure.
Meeting Time & Place
Sunday August 19, 6:00 PM @ Nemesis Mountain Trailhead
To get to the Nemesis Mtn TH (near Red Rock Pass) follow these directions. It is strongly recommended you enter the Centennial Valley in from the East to minimize time spent driving on a rough gravel road.
From Ennis, MT:
Head South on HWY 287 for 41 miles
Turn Right onto MT - 87 toward Henrys Lake for 8.6 miles
Continue on ID - 87 for 4 miles
Turn Right onto Henrys Lake Rd/Red Rock Pass Road to head toward Red Rock Pass
After 5.5 miles, continue onto Red Rock Pass Rd to Red Rock Pass
Follow this road up to Red Rock Pass and continue across the State Line toward Red Rock Lakes
About 1.5 miles past the pass, the road takes a hard 90 degree turn right. At this corner there is a gate with a two track road headed west. We will be camped about 1/4 mile down this two track road.
The crew will be frontcountry car camping at the Nemesis Mtn Trailhead. This is a primitive camp set up. There is no potable water or vault toilet available.
Food and Water
MWA will provide all food and kitchen equipment. First meal provided will be breakfast on Monday morning. Please arrive on Sunday evening with your dinner already arranged. Last meal provided will be lunch on the 24th.
Volunteers are expected to help with food preparation, but your crew leader will handle primary kitchen responsibilities. Since no potable water is available at the campground, please help by bringing drinking water with you for the week.
- Volunteer Guide (including what to pack, FAQs and more)
- Weather Forecast
- Leave No Trace Principles
- Bear Safety
- Continental Divide Trail Coalition