Cody Trails Improved by Utah Conservation Corps
Written by Andrew-Rossi on July 23, 2021
After two weeks of hard work, the Utah Conservation Corps completed several trail improvements at the Four Bear, and Peaks Divide trails near Cody.
The Bureau of Land Management hosted the Utah Conservation Corps this summer for two weeks. During that time, they improved two popular trails near Cody, preserving the landscape and safety of outdoor enthusiasts.
The Utah Conservation Corps (U.C.C.) is a program dedicated to improving the quality of public lands and the communities surrounding them through partnership projects and service.
The Four Bear Trail, located between Cody and the east entrance of Yellowstone National Park, is popular among hikers and horseback riders. East of Cody, the scenic Peaks Divide Trail winds through the badlands of the McCullough Peaks Wilderness Study Area, which provides opportunities for solitude and primitive recreation.
“BLM-managed public land in this area gives people an alternative to Yellowstone’s busy trails,” said BLM Outdoor Recreation Planner Rick Tryder. “By maintaining these trails, we hope to provide recreationists with sustainable outdoor opportunities near Cody.”
Over their two weeks of work, the U.C.C. crew stabilized and improved crucial parts of the trails with retaining drainage structures. In addition, they repaired sections of eroded trails, cleared roots, stumps, and loose rocks, built water bars, removed fence parts, and naturalized social trails.
“By maintaining Four Bear Trail, we encourage visitors to be conscious hikers and continue to be outside,” the crew wrote in their trail report to the BLM. “Making sure the trail is sustainable and safe for users prevents social trails from forming.”
For the crews doing the work, the landscape of Wyoming was its own reward.
“We are so grateful to be able to see such amazing parts of Wyoming,” they said, describing their joy of working in these uniquely beautiful trails.
While out-of-staters helped improve these trails, it falls on locals to ensure they stay maintained.
The Cody Field Office has a simple request for recreationists – stay on the trails, pack it in and pack it out.
“The UCC crew worked hard to fix erosion issues caused by people shortcutting the switchbacks on the trails,” said Tryder. “Sticking to the trails reduces the likelihood that multiple routes will develop and damage the landscape.”