Ink Wells Cut-Off Trail restored west of Dubois

h/t USDA, Shoshone National Forest, South Zone Trail Crew Lead Jamie Tommins - Inks Wells Cut-Off Trail

(Dubois, WY) – With funding from the Great American Outdoors Act, the Shoshone National Forest partnered with NOLS and the Montana Conservation Corps (MCC) to complete much-needed trail restoration work on the Ink Wells Cut-Off Trail in the Fitzpatrick Wilderness on the Wind River Ranger District.

After the Dinwoody Fire burned the area in 2001, subsequent use and insufficient maintenance over two decades reduced this steep, rugged wilderness trail to a nearly impassable scramble over rocks, logs, and unmarked slopes.

Advertisement

Over the course of three eight-day backcountry trips, volunteers from NOLS and MCC worked with Forest Service employees to clear logs from the trail, re-establish the trail corridor in a heavily braided area, build rock cairns and signage, and cut new trail over the 2.5-mile trail system to restore this essential travel route.

The final stage in the project work was the restoration of trail tread in the lower stretch of the burn area and installing signs at three critical junctions to alert Forest visitors that the trail has been rehabilitated and restored to pre-fire conditions; the trail will now be included in the annual maintenance cycle.

“Since the Ink Wells Cut-Off Trail is the quickest route from the Dinwoody Creek drainage to the Dry Creek watershed, this project was vital to improving public access to the Fitzpatrick Wilderness,” said Wind River District Ranger Jeff von Kienast. “The hard work put forward by our South Zone Trails crew and partners with NOLS and MCC was essential to the completion of this extensive project.”

Advertisement