VTC – Flesher Pass

Photo by Meg Killen

Project: Flesher Pass

Landscape: Continental Divide

Dates: July 8 - 11, 2021

Location: Continental Divide Trail - Lincoln R.D.
Project Work: Trail Construction & Maintenance
Camping: Frontcountry
Project Difficulty: Strenuous
Volunteer Limit: 8
Volunteer Slots Available: FULL
Meeting Time: Thursday July 8 at 7 p.m.
Meeting Place: Flesher Pass Trailhead



Project Description

Our Volunteer Trail Crew is headed back to Flesher Pass to continue maintenance work on the Continental Divide Trail. Flesher Pass is a scenic highlight of the CDT as it winds its way from the Nevada Mountain Recommended Wilderness north to the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex. We will be working on the CDT in both directions. Headed south, the trail needs some drainage and retread work as a part of regular maintenance. North of Flesher, we will be installing a re-route to put the trail back on a more sustainable grade. Given the convenient access and the classic Big Sky views, the Flesher Pass segment of the CDT is incredibly popular. Our work will help make sure the trail can stand up to repeated use and be enjoyed for years to come!

About the Area

Flesher Pass is located between Stemple Pass and Rogers Pass along the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail. At the high point of the pass are spectacular views of the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex and the Blackfoot River Valley. Heading south from Flesher, you can access Stemple Pass and 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. Heading north toward Rogers Pass, trail users are treated to views of the Rocky Mountain Front and the southfork of the Dearborn River. From Rogers 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.

MWA is a part of the Lincoln Prosperity Group that is working to expand Lincoln’s recreation opportunities and boost local business while ensuring protection of clean water, habitat, and wide-open spaces. Their resulting Lincoln Prosperity Proposal would offer wilderness protection for the nearby Nevada Mountain roadless area and includes a Conservation Management Area designation for the Continental Divide on and around Flesher Pass.

Meeting Time & Place

Thursday July 8, 7 p.m. at Flesher Pass Trailhead

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 on Flesher Pass near the trailhead. This is a primitive campsite. There is a vault toilet but no running water. We will need to park our vehicles a quarter mile from the trailhead so we do not take up all the space at the trailhead.

Project Difficulty

This will be a Strenuous project. Our crew will have a 1-3 mile hike to the worksite each day with steady elevation gain. We will be constructing a re-route and installing drainage, 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 Thursday, so please arrive having already eaten or prepared to eat on your own. First meal provided will be breakfast on Friday and last meal provided will be lunch fixings on Sunday. Since there is no potable water at the camp, if you have a cubie at home please help by bringing some drinking water.

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


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