After a week of digging, lopping, scraping and smoothing, the Sheep Mountain Trail west of Cody is now safer for both hikers and horseback riders. 

Eight trail stewards on an American Hiking Society “Volunteer Vacation” worked with the Bureau of Land Management Cody Field Office to make much-need improvements to this challenging trail.  

“The group came to us with a lot of relevant skills and experience, and we were able to accomplish a good deal of work in a short time,” said BLM Outdoor Recreation Planner Rick Tryder. “While the trail remains steep and strenuous, it is safer, more sustainable, and looks great.” 

Across the board, crewmembers found it gratifying to make the Sheep Mountain Trail safer for people. 

Additionally, they agreed that weeklong AHS projects like this give them a chance to meet new people, see new things, stay active and give back to public lands.  

Carla Ray of Nantucket, Mass, who originally hails from New Zealand, was originally looking for a group to hike with and now travels for AHS volunteer projects one or two times each year. 

“With AHS, I get to learn about the flora and fauna, travel, meet people, do volunteer work—you get a lot of bang for your buck,” she said.  

Ray wants people to know that they can make a difference on public lands. 

“If everyone volunteered even one day of their year, we’d make a huge impact.”  

The Sheep Mountain Trail, located just west of Buffalo Bill Reservoir between Cody and Yellowstone National Park, draws both locals and visitors seeking recreation and hunting opportunities. 

This trail work improves access to the recently acquired 1,820-acre private inholding on top of Sheep Mountain, which opened-up public access to 17,000 acres of adjacent public land.  

Please stay on the newly-improved trail when you’re hiking and remember to pack it in–pack it out. 

“Sticking to the trail will reduce the likelihood of erosion issues, which damage the landscape and require more trail work,” said Tryder. 

The Cody Field Office will continue to work with partner groups to improve the public’s experience at Sheep Mountain. For more information, contact Tryder at (307) 578-5900 or rtryder@blm.gov. 

For more information about AHS and its Volunteer Vacations, visit americanhiking.org.  

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