Wisdom, MT October 2 – Officials of the Wisdom Ranger District of the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National
Forest now welcome winter recreation enthusiasts to volunteer at the Gordon Reese Cabin located at the Chief
Joseph Cross Country Ski area this winter.
Volunteers are welcome to assist in maintaining this popular facility throughout the winter season. Each
Tuesday and Friday during the ski season is set aside for volunteers to serve as Forest Service cabin hosts,
helping maintain the cabin and trailhead facilities during the day and staying overnight for free. It is not
necessary for volunteers to stay in the cabin through the entire day. Volunteers and their guests are
encouraged to enjoy and explore the trails and surrounding winter beauty. Forest Service staff asks that
volunteers occasionally return to the cabin to tend the woodstove fire, ensure snow is melting for hot water,
and make the cabin clean and comfortable for visitors to use as a warming shelter during the day.
General volunteer host duties include: meeting and greeting the public; answering visitor questions; shoveling
paths leading to both outhouses at the cabin and the trailhead; clearing snow from the deck and doors;
stocking and cleaning the cabin and both outhouses; restocking firewood from the basement to the main floor
and tending the woodstove fire. Please keep in mind that COVID mitigations will need to be discussed with the
local District in order to protect our valued volunteers and the general public.
To volunteer at the Gordon Reese Cabin, call the Wisdom Ranger District office at (406) 689-3371 beginning
Monday, November 2, 2020 at 8 a.m. MST. Due to the popularity of the cabin volunteer program, this will be
the only phone number available for volunteers to sign-up.
The Gordon Reese Cabin is available to the general public to rent from December 1 through April 15.
Reservations are $10 per day and can be made on-line beginning Monday, November 2, 2020 at 8 a.m. MST
at www.recreation.gov, or by calling (877) 444-6777. Cancellations are also handled through
www.recreation.gov. However, due to the popularity of renting the cabin, last minute reservations and
cancellations may be filled by contacting the Wisdom Ranger District office at (406) 689-3243.
As with other rental cabins, renters are responsible for cleaning the cabin, and packing out everything they
pack in. During the day, the cabin is available as a warming hut to cross-country skiers, so renters do not have
exclusive use of the facilities and are expected to act in a welcoming manner. The upstairs sleeping area can
be closed off to provide limited privacy during the day. Pets are not allowed at the cabin or on the trails.
Visitors, volunteers and overnight guests must bring their own drinking water and are encouraged to share the
large snow-melting pot for boiling water.
The cabin is located approximately ½ mile from the Chief Joseph Pass parking area/trailhead on Montana
State Highway 43, 10 miles south of Sula, MT and 25 miles west of Wisdom, MT. Access to the cabin is an
easy ½ mile snowshoe or ski on well groomed trails. The Chief Joseph Cross-country Ski Trail system
encompasses over 30 miles (48 kilometers) of groomed trails of various difficulty. The trails are groomed and
maintained throughout the ski season by a partnership between the Bitterroot Cross Country Ski Club, Lost
Trail Powder Mountain ski area, the Forest Service, and the State of Montana. For more information, contact
the Wisdom Ranger District at (406) 689-3243.