VTC – Flesher Pass

Photo by Meg Killen

Project: Flesher Pass - Lincoln Trail Rendezvous

Landscape: Lincoln Valley

Partner: Continental Divide Trail Coalition

Dates: August 3 - 7, 2020

Location: Continental Divide Trail - Lincoln R.D.
Project Work: Trail Construction & Maintenance
Camping: Frontcountry
Project Difficulty: Strenuous
Volunteer Limit: 10
Volunteer Slots Available: FULL
Meeting Time: Monday, Aug. 3 at 7 p.m.
Meeting Place: Flesher Pass TH



Project Description

Flesher Pass is a popular access point to the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail, our nation's longest mountain trail and the crown jewel of our national trail system. This is quintessntial Big Sky Country; the trail has sweeping views of rolling hills, high mountain peaks, and a diversity of plant and wildlife. Our crew will be working to improve the trail as it heads west from Flesher Pass to Stemple Pass. We'll complete heavy retread (regrading & widening the trail), improve drainage, and construct a short re-route. Re-tread will help improve travel conditions for hikers, bikers, and equestrians. The re-route will put the CDT on a more sustainable pitch, improving the longevity of the trail.

This project will be challenging - digging trail is one of the burliest tasks a crew can tackle; however, the rewards will be great. You'll make a lasting impact on an esteemed mountain trail while taking in epic views. Join us for this incredible trail crew adventure! We will finish up in time Friday to head to Lincoln for the second annual Lincoln Trail Rendezvous. This party is a great way to celebrate trails and revel in all your accomplishments.

We are thrilled to be offering this project in partnership with the Continental Divide Trail Coalition!

About the Area

Flesher Pass is located between Stemple Pass and Rogers Pass along the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail. South of Stemple Pass is the Granite Butte Lookout, a lookout restored by MWA volunteers. This lookout is reached via a new segment of the CDT built by...you guessed it - MWA volunteers. North from Rogers Pass, the CDT travels over Green Mountain to Lewis & Clark Pass. This pass' historic and cultural significance stretches back 5,000 years. The Cokahlarishkit Trail (translates as "Buffalo Road River") was used by Native Americans to cross the Continental Divide and reach buffalo hunting grounds east of the Divide. Several historic cairns in the area that survive today are believed to have been constructed by Natives who used the trail. In more recent history, the Lewis and Clark Expedition utilized this trail with guidance from the Nez Perce. Along the journey to modern day Lewis and Clark Pass, Meriwether Lewis noted passing several Native encampments in the area. Prior to reaching the pass, Nez Perce guides departed the expedition knowing that this area was fiercely protected by tribes east of the Divide. From Lewis & Clark Pass, the CDT travels into the Scapegoat Wilderness, the first ever citizen-initiated Wilderness area in the nation.

Meeting Time & Place

Monday, Aug. 3, 7 p.m. at Flesher Pass TH
Directions from Lincoln, MT:

  • Drive east on Highway 200 for approx. 11.5 miles.
  • Turn Right on Flesher Pass Rd and continue for 8.3 miles.
  • Turn Right at the pullout. There is a large sign marking Flesher Pass.
  • Continue for 1/4 mile down the dirt road to reach the trailhead.

Directions from Great Falls, MT:

  • Drive west on Highway 200
  • Turn Left on Flesher Pass Rd and continue for 8.3 miles.
  • Turn Right at the pullout. There is a large sign marking Flesher Pass.
  • Continue for 1/4 mile down the dirt road to reach the trailhead.

Directions from Helena, MT:

  • Drive West/North on Lincoln Road West/Highway 279
  • Continue on Highway 279 until you reach Flesher Pass
  • Turn Left at the pullout. There is a large sign marking Flesher Pass.
  • Continue for 1/4 mile down the dirt road to reach the trailhead.

Camping Details

This is a frontcountry, car camping project. We will be dispersed camping near the Flesher Pass Trailhead. This is a primitive setup with no running water. There is a vault toilet on site.

Project Difficulty

This will be a Strenuous project. Our crew will have a 1-2 mile hike to the worksite each day with up to 800' elevation gain. We will be performing heavy retread and constructing a re-route, which means our day will consist of heavy digging. On these types of projects, there typically are not many alternative tasks, meaning you can expect to be digging tread all day. This is tough work, but the reward is great.

*Note: project work is subject to change. Our tasks may become easier or more challenging. Your flexibility in the field is appreciated as we adapt to changing conditions.

Food and Water

MWA will provide meals and cooking gear for the project. No dinner will be provided on Monday, so please arrive having already eaten or prepared to eat on your own. First meal provided will be breakfast on Tuesday and last meal provided will be lunch fixings on Friday. Since there is no potable water at the campground, if you have a cubie at home please help by bringing some drinking water. If we happen to run out, town is only a short drive away.

Volunteers are expected to help with food preparation and cleanup on a rotating basis, but your crew leader will handle primary kitchen responsibilities. 

More Information