Montana Wilderness Conservation
The third largest wilderness area in the lower 48, the Bob Marshall Wilderness consists of 1.5 million acres of mountains, rivers, and lakes just south of its much more trafficked neighbor, Glacier National Park. Students on this trip will work with local trail masters and guides to restore and maintain trails, remove invasive plant species, and participate in wildfire mitigation projects. When not working to help preserve this pristine area, students will engage in team building and leadership skills activities, fishing, hiking, and enjoying breathtaking scenery. All meals are provided, trip members are required to bring their own camping equipment including a tent, sleeping bag, pack etc. After six nights and seven days in the wilderness, the Glacier Institute will lead a daylong workshop where students will learn about Glacier Park and go on a guided hike, or afternoon fishing trip. The last group activity will be a visit to some local hot springs to help restore our bodies and experience a bit of true Montana lifestyle.
Bob Marshall Wilderness, Montana
4 Trip Leaders
Max 8:1 Student/Adult
*not including airfare
THE TRIP AT A GLANCE
Flathead Indian Reservation
The first and last nights of this trip are spent on the lands of the Flathead Indian Reservation. Home to the Bitterroot Salash, Kootenai, and Pend d’Oreilles Nations, our first night in Montana will be in the Jocko Valley, a traditional central site of various spiritual rituals, gatherings, and rites of the Sailash People. In addition to learning about wilderness and conservation topics, we will learn about the history of the indigenous inhabitants, efforts to maintain and promote their unique culture and language, and the legislation, attacks, and processes involved in the transformation and loss of their lands.
Bob Marshall Wilderness
One of the largest wilderness areas in the lower 48, “The Bob” as it’s known, is over a million acres of rugged western Montana beauty. It hosts glaciated peaks, forested mountains, grand valleys, lakes, rivers, and waterfalls, all in a roadless massive expanse of pristine nature. Managed by the US Forest Service, the limited number of annual visitors enter the wilderness by foot or horseback with no motorized vehicles permitted in the area. To assist the forest service, there has been a recent push to organize and increase the number of volunteer crews to help with trail maintenance, removal of invasive plant species, fire mitigation, and animal research and monitoring. One of the last truly wild places in America, The Bob leaves an indelible impression on all who enter it.
Glacier National Park
First inhabited by various indigenous peoples, Glacier Park, one of America’s premier national parks, is now a protected area of one million acres. Home to over 100 turquoise blue glacier lakes, more than 1,000 species of plants, snow covered peaks, and rivers, Glacier Park is one of the last wonderlands of nature. Due to increased year round temperatures from climate change, many of its namesake glaciers are disappearing fast. On our summer service trips to Montana, trip members will be led on educational hikes to lakes and mountain passes by the experts at the Glacier Institute.
This northwest Montana town is home to over 70,000 people and the University of Montana. Its quintessential Montana, vibrant, outdoorsy vibe has been celebrated in many books and films. At the beginning and end of trips, students will have the chance to explore the many restaurants, shops, river walks and maybe an outdoor concert or two, of this fun gem of the west.
Ever since the movement to protect public lands and wild places beginning in the early 20th century, there have been efforts and various philosophies on how to conserve and preserve these lands. On this trip, students engage in projects to both promote responsible and sustainable human interactions in the wilderness, and mitigating negative impacts caused by invasive species and climate change.
Backpacking And Camping
While every trip Padma organizes includes elements of leadership training and team building activities, it is the wilderness, through education and engagement in backpacking deep into nature, that tends to be the best teacher. Preparing a pack with everything you need for trip into the woods, and learning to get by with little more than what you can handle on your back nurtures a sense of independence and resiliency unique to those daring enough to venture into unknown mountains.