BCHA Work along the Continental Divide

Ten years ago I snapped this picture along the Continental Divide looking into Falls Creek.  I thought, “What an adventure it would be to ride this area”.  After speaking with one of our long time members, I found out the entry to this area would be a 1500 foot drop in a half mile to the valley floor.  The real challenge then was the 1500 foot climb to get back out.  There simply was no easy access to get there.  The only other access was across private property, access that had been denied for years.

New access trail-head along the Rocky Mountain Front

Fast forward ten years, recreationists acquired a new access trail-head along the Rocky Mountain Front this past summer. The Helena-Lewis & Clark National Forest, working in conjunction with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, purchased a private property easement enabling users an access to the Falls Creek drainage.

View of Falls Creek

The Falls Creek Trail is a spectacular ride up a drainage with the many water falls leading up to the Continental Divide.  About half way up the drainage, the East Fork Trail splits off to the Lewis & Clark Pass where Merriweather Lewis crossed on his return trip from the Pacific Coast in 1806. With the loss of access a dozen years ago the trail is very overgrown at this point.  The Charlie Russell Back Country Horsemen (CRBCH), working with the US Forest Service, acquired a RTP grant to open up the trail enabling a more enjoyable user experience. No one likes riding up a trail only to have it disappear on a steep hillside.  CRBCH ventured up the trail this past fall identifying the trail and camping locations that a back country crew will use next year in brushing the trail back.

CRBCH works closely with the Forest Service and we would like to thank them for the new trail-head location and support we receive from them. This partnership is a win-win for users on the forest.


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