Looking for a nice easy hiking opportunity?
The Wildflower trail near Lemhi Pass southwest of Dillon received a makeover this summer. The mile and a quarter scenic loop trail was originally built in the 1930’s by the Civilian Conservation Corps and had fallen into disrepair with overgrowth of vegetation and numerous trees that had fallen over the trail. Members of the National Smokejumper Association (NSA) Trail Program, and the Camp Fortunate Chapter of the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation took on the challenge of coordinating and repairing the trail thanks to a grant from the REI store in Missoula, MT.
Through planning efforts and support from the Dillon Ranger District, the NSA agreed to do the project.
The NSA volunteer crew under the leadership of Bill Kolar along with help from the Lewis and Clark Heritage Foundation, the AmeriCorps St. Louis program and members of the Beaverhead Trail Coalition spent July 23-29 working on the trail.
The REI grant provided trail volunteers with funding to provide food and supplies for the project.
“This was a great project, we reconstructed this trail and it is now in great shape for all to enjoy,” said Kolar. “Basically, we work for food and the friendships we form with everyone involved.”
“It’s volunteer groups like these who make a difference in how we are able to access and enjoy our local trails and National Forests, commented Dillon District Ranger Scot Shuler.”
The Lemhi Pass area along the Continental Divide provides exceptional opportunity to see native wildflowers and the natural habitats of forest and meadow. It is the first and possible best opportunity for visitors following the Lewis and Clark Trail to get out of their cars, take a leisurely walk in the woods, and experience the diverse plant life of the Rocky Mountains. The elevation at Lemhi Pass is 7,373 feet above sea level. The trailhead is located at the Sacajawea Memorial Area, where there is a picnic area along the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail and the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail.