Wilderness Trail Crew (Horseback)

Expected Dates
May 24, 2021 to September 26, 2021
Shoshone National Forest
Position ID
The Wilderness Trail Crew (Horseback) intern will serve on America’s first national forest, the Shoshone National Forest. Skills, techniques, tools, and livestock are still used by Wilderness trail crews on the Shoshone National Forest as they were when the forest was established in 1891 as a part of the Yellowstone Timberland Reserve. The forest is an integral part of the Greater Yellowstone Area which is centered in Yellowstone National Park. The Shoshone consists of 2.4 million acres of varied terrain ranging from sagebrush flats to rugged mountain peaks. Over half of the forest is designated wilderness. With Yellowstone National Park on its western border, the Shoshone encompasses an area from the Montana state line south to Lander, Wyoming, and includes portions of the Absaroka, Wind River, and Beartooth mountain ranges. The western boundary of the forest to south of Yellowstone is the crest of the Continental Divide. Elevations on the Shoshone range from 4,600 feet at the mouth of the spectacular Clarks Fork Canyon, to 13,804 feet on Gannett Peak, Wyoming’s highest point. Because of its location in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and the landscape the Forest is set on, Shoshone employees have a hand in managing phenomenal natural, cultural, and recreational resources. The Shoshone is a National Forest where staff are able to see a herd of elk, a Grizzly with cubs, petroglyphs, bighorn sheep, cold mountain streams with Yellowstone cutthroat trout, and breath-taking views of tens of thousands of acres from 10,000 feet and consider it all within a day’s work.

There are five Ranger Districts on the Shoshone National Forest over two zones: the Clarks Fork, Wapiti and Greybull Ranger Districts are consolidated into the North Zone which is headquartered in Cody, Wyoming, and the South Zone which has both the Wind River and Washakie Districts with offices located in both in Dubois and Lander, Wyoming.

This position will be based at the Wapiti District in Cody WY.  The primary function  of this position will be to serve as a trail crew member completing annual heavy maintenance, rock removal, washout repair, retainer maintenance and clearing on portions of the nearly 900 miles of non-motorized trail on the North Zone of the Shoshone National Forest. Trail crew members will be working with livestock daily as horses and mules are the primary means of transportation for the crew. The trail crew will be on a 4-8 day hitch schedule, days off will range from 3-6 depending on the work schedule. Trails will be maintained up to 30 miles into the remote rugged Washakie, North Absaroka and Absaroka Beartooth wilderness areas.  The North Zone is home to some of the greatest concentrations of grizzly bears in the lower 48 states.  Sightings are very common while in the backcountry but conflict with Forest service crews is very seldom. Trail crew members will be working with an experience Trail crew lead to ensure safety with livestock and bears while working in the rugged remote backcountry here on the Shoshone. The Forest Service will provide appropriate orientation, bear safety training, horsemanship/packing training, camp gear, saddles/tack, and bear spray for all members of the crew.  The intern may also be asked to work on various other projects with backcountry recreation staff, as time and projects permit. 

Quarters will be available at the South Fork Ranger Station approximately hour southwest of Cody, WY.  There is a land line for local calls at the ranger station and cell phone service can be attained by driving 5 miles down the road, no internet is available.

There are endless options for recreation.  Cody hosts the Cody Night Rodeo during the summer, is home to the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, has numerous restaurants, and the famous Cody Stampede and 4th of July Festival.  The surrounding mountains and wilderness provide exceptional opportunities for hiking, fly-fishing, horseback riding, rafting, kayaking, rock climbing, and exploring all right out your back door, or within a short drive.

Compensation amounts:

- $1,100 - one time RT travel allowance
- $150 - weekly living allowance
- Housing on site provided
- AmeriCorps eligible ($2,360 education award)

*All allowances subject to applicable federal, state, and local taxes

  • North Zone of the Shoshone National Forest (South Fork drainage). Individuals will have quarters available at South Fork Ranger Station 1 hour from Cody, WY
  • Bear Safety and Orientation, First Aid/ CPR, Employee Orientation, Horsemanship, Packing, Backcountry camping, and On-the-job Leave no Trace camping, and trail maintenance training, and more as the season progresses.
  • Recreation opportunities abound in this area. Hiking, biking, rafting, kayaking, horse back riding, rock climbing, etc. are all immediately accessible. Cody hosts the Cody Nite Rodeo, Buffalo Bill Musuem of the West, and many other opportunities.
  • No
Main Area of Focus
Backcountry/Trail work
Education, Training & Skills Expected
some coursework or experience
Earth Sciences
some coursework or experience
Recreation Management
some coursework or experience
Resource Management
some coursework or experience
some experience
Hand Tools
some experience
Working with Animals
competent with supervision
Public Speaking
competent with supervision
Trail Maintenance
competent with supervision