VTC #12 - Jewel Basin

Photo by Meg Killen

Project: Jewel Basin

Landscape: Swan Range

Dates: September 6 - 10, 2018

Location: Jewel Basin - Flathead Natl. Forest
Project Work: Trail Maintenance
Camping: Backcountry (no stock support)
Project Difficulty: Very Strenuous
Volunteer Limit: 7
Volunteer Slots Available: 3
Registration Deadline: Sunday September 2
Meeting Time & Place: Thursday September 6, 2:00 PM @ Camp Misery Trailhead


Project Description

Montana Wilderness Association has been advocating for protections for the Jewel Basin for over fifty years. (Want proof? Check out this awesome video made in 1963...throwback!) This summer, MWA is thrilled to offer our first-ever stewardship project in the Jewel. Our Volunteer Trail Crew will be heading into the backcountry to camp at one of the Jewel's famed alpine lakes. For four days we'll perform trail maintenance tasks near our base camp. 

Outsiety, a local group of women outdoor enthusiasts, is teaming up with MWA for this trip. Their efforts will help Montana Wilderness Association build upon its 50+ year legacy of stewarding the Jewel! A huge thanks to Outsiety for mobilizing their membership and nurturing a community of women who support, encourage and learn from one another while being active in the outdoors. 

About the Area

The Jewel Basin's alpine lakes, rugged peaks, and ever-present mountain goats make it the quintessential northwest Montana landscape. The Jewel is home to some of the best hiking in the state, featuring loops that connect crystal clear lakes, mountain summits, and alpine meadows. This specially-designated 15,000 acre hiking area in the Swan Range features 27 named lakes and 35 miles of trail. From atop famed Mount Aeneas, one can take in views of Glacier National Park, the Bob Marshall Wilderness, and Flathead Lake.

Meeting Time & Place

Thursday September 6, 2:00 PM @ Camp Misery Trailhead

Directions from Bigfork:

Take Hwy 35 north to Hwy 83.  Head east on Hwy 83 to the junction of the Echo Lake Road.  Head north on Echo Lake Road about 3 miles to junction with the Jewel Basin Road (No. 5392).  Follow this road approximalty 7 miles to the trailhead.  CAUTION:  The last 5 miles are steep.  Use headlights for safety.  Caution advised for low clearance vehicles.  Trailers not recommended. 

Camping Details

We'll camp near Blackfoot Lake. Exact campground will be determined during summer scouting. This is a backcountry, non-stock supported project. We will carry our tools, gear, and food on our backs and establish a base camp near our work location. This will be a primitive camp. Upon arrival, volunteers will help set up a kitchen area with rain shelter, begin filtering water to last the week, and set up a bear hang for crew food. Bear Safe practices and Leave No Trace Principles will be strictly followed throughout the week.

Food and Water

MWA will provide all dinners and cooking equipment. First meal provided will be dinner Thursday evening. All volunteers will be supplying their own breakfast, lunch and snack foods. Since this is a backcountry trip without stock support, meals and kitchen equipment will be more spartan than typical for MWA trips. Please come prepared to eat "backpacker fare" and know we will have to hike in all food and hike out all trash.

Volunteers are expected to help with food preparation and clean up on a rotating basis, but your crew leader will handle primary kitchen responsibilities. We will be filtering drinking water for the week and everyone's help in keeping the cubies full will be appreciated (MWA provides group water filters).

More Information