Opportunities to Contribute

Trail Stewardship

Lolo Motorway Trail Stewardship

The Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation has a continuing partnership with the U.S.D.A. Forest Service to protect the natural, historic and cultural resources along the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail.  One ongoing project associated with this partnership focuses on the Lolo Motorway.  Foundation and chapter members assist in campsite monitoring, campsite cleanup, trail clearing and sign installation.

The work takes place from a base camp on the Lolo Motorway.  The Forest Service (Clearwater District) provides meals and transportation to the Motorway from the Powell Ranger Station which is located about an hour west of Missoula, Montana, just off of Idaho Highway 12.  Volunteers need to provide their own tents, bedding and a variety of weather-appropriate clothing, including rain gear and boots.  The work does not require much physical exertion, but it does require long periods of riding in a vehicle on an extremely bumpy and narrow road.  It also may be wet and cold and you will be sleeping outside.

This is an exciting learning opportunity and a chance to enjoy the Lewis and Clark story and The Trail with like-minded folks.  Former participants shared stories around the campfire, read from the journals and received a visit from Lucy Marks, Captain Lewis's mother.  According to participants, the food was delicious, the conversations were very interesting and the company was delightful. 

Volunteers from California participated in the 2005, 2006 and 2007 sessions, including our own Nan (Kaeser) Davidson from Duarte (see Nan’s articles in the January 2006  and January 2008 (page 10) issues of Golden Notes). 


Space is limited.  If you are interested in participating please contact Chuck Raddon at raddon@verizon.net or (208) 476-3123.

To Learn More

About How You Can Contribute

Information about how the Foundation supports stewardship of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail and how you can contribute is available on the Foundation’s website (click here).

The Lolo Motorway

Bitterroot Mountains

Clearwater National Forest

Northern Idaho

The Lolo Motorway

The Lolo Motorway (Forest Service Road 500) winds its way along ridges of the Bitterroot Mountains.  It closely follows a portion of the Lolo Trail which was an ancient travel route used by generations of early travelers.

Called “K’useyneisskit” (Buffalo Trail) by the Nez Perce (Nimiipuu), the Lolo Trail linked the Columbia River Basin tribes and the Northern Plains tribes east of the Continental Divide for thousands of years.  Running from the Weippe Prairie in Idaho to the Bitterroot Valley at Lolo, Montana, it was a major component of a vast continental trade system.  The Lolo Trail is not a single trail but a network of trails, cut-offs and shortcuts.  The Lewis and Clark Expedition followed portions of the Lolo Trail during the westward leg of their journey in 1805 and on their return trip in 1806.

Today the area containing the ancient Lolo Trail system is part of the Lolo Trail National Historic Landmark, a designation bestowed on the area by the National Historic Preservation Act in 1960 because of its unique historical and cultural characteristics.  The Landmark contains the longest intact overland piece of the original Lewis and Clark Trail in the nation.  It is part of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail as well as the Nimiipuu (Nez Perce) National Historic Trail.  Because of the area’s remote location and the protection afforded to it by its National Historic Landmark status, the area remains much as it was 200 years ago when the Lewis and Clark Expedition traversed  the area.

Ken Jutzi
Ken Jutzi
Ken Jutzi

Trail stewardship is defined as preserving, protecting and interpreting the natural, historical, educational and cultural resources of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail.  Examples include heritage site monitoring, protection of cultural resources, coordination and sponsorship of stewardship projects and programs, archiving and documenting bicentennial stewardship projects and providing interpretive programming and information along the trail.  (January 2007 issue of WPO, p. 33)

Effective partnerships are critical to achieving Trail Stewardship.  To learn more about the diverse nature of ongoing partnerships associated with the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, and how you can contribute, click here.

Courtesy U.S. Forest Service, Clearwater National Forest

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(updated 7/6/21)

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