The Sellars Creek Ranch handcart trek operation offers a variety of experiences from its lowest meadow to its Perspective Peak mountaintop, 700 feet above the valley floor. In addition to being an official trek site, the 1,650-acre ranch is a Church welfare project and is home to summer grazing for 200 pairs of cows. Sellars Creek Ranch is located 30 miles southeast of Idaho Falls and 4 miles south of Bone, Idaho. The Blackfoot Reservoir Road passes through the Ranch from the north end to the south end, where it meets Sellars Creek Road.
Overview | Scheduling | Itinerary | Essentials | Training | Other
1. In what months are treks allowed at the site?
The first full week of June through the last full week of August
2. What is the cost per person to use the site?
$15 per person for youth and adults. This cost includes handcarts, drinking water, portable toilets, and overnight camping.
3. How many participants can the site accommodate at a time?
Up to 450 youth and leaders
4. How many handcarts are available?
60 handcarts, plus two rickshaws for trekkers who have physical challenges. (No motorized vehicles are allowed on the trails with handcarts except for medical emergencies.)
1. Who may schedule a trek? Wards? Stakes? Families?
In priority order: (1) the 54 stakes in eastern Idaho, (2) wards within those stakes, (3) other stakes in the area on a trial basis for 2017, and (4) families in the area on a trial basis for 2017.
2. How far in advance should treks be scheduled?
Treks are scheduled one to four years in advance. The site is taking reservations from 2017 through 2020.
3. Who is the site contact for more information and scheduling?
President Reuel Smith at email@example.com or
4. Are missionaries available to help with treks? What services and activities will they provide?
Church-service missionaries provide trek orientation; planning assistance; and handcart, trail, and water crossing assistance. Missionaries also coordinate the location of portable, clean water resupply tanks (called water buffalos) and portable toilets. Missionaries may also provide other assistance, such as spiritual and historical vignettes, after consulting with trek leaders.
1. What is the recommended length (in days) of a trek at the site?
There are two options: two and a half days (Monday morning through Wednesday noon), or three and a half days (mid-afternoon Wednesday through Saturday noon).
2. How long are the trek trails?
There are various handcart trail routes up to 12 miles or more in length.
3. Is the trek a set route, or is there flexibility for different schedules and routes?
There is flexibility in choosing trek schedules and routes, keeping in mind the need to coordinate usage with cattle ranch interests. There is also flexibility in choosing teaching and learning stations in willow-lined meadows, sagebrush plains, aspen groves, pine forests, and on mountaintops.
4. What trek activities can be done at the site (such as a river crossing and women’s pull)?
The ranch has a variety of women’s pull sites that range in length and degrees of difficulty. There are also multiple opportunities to cross small creeks with varying depths of water, depending on the season.
1. Is water available at the site? How do groups handle transporting water? Do they bring their own containers?
One hydrant with clean water is provided between two campsites for all camping and cooking use, as well as fire suppression. Water buffaloes (200-gallon tanks) are provided by the missionaries, who move the tanks to needed sites and refill them as necessary. Trekking groups bring one five-gallon water jug for each handcart. Each person must also have a personal water bottle.
2. Are pit toilets or portable toilets available on the property?
Portable toilets are provided at the main campground, at other strategic locations around the ranch, and along certain trail segments near existing roadways to provide optimum convenience for trekkers.
3. How are trek groups to handle trash?
Each handcart is required to carry a large garbage bag for trash. Additionally, trek groups are required to assign a cleanup detail to collect all trash in the campground, on the trails, and wherever they find it. At the end of every day, garbage bags are to be placed in the dumpsters near the main campground. Before a stake leaves, missionaries will conduct an inspection of their area. A stake may leave when the area passes inspection.
4. What is the fire protocol at the site?
Open fires are allowed only in the fire rings at the main campground. Fire danger warnings and fire restrictions due to weather conditions may change during the summer and may affect campground fire regulations. Groups are encouraged to bring propane stoves for cooking. Dutch ovens may be used in the four-foot fire rings and on stands. Stakes will need to clean out and haul away ashes and debris left in the fire rings.
1. Do missionaries from the site provide training to trek leaders? Is the training mandatory? When is it offered? How much does it cost per leader?
Trek leader training is mandatory and is provided by Church-service missionaries at the ranch on a Saturday in September or October. The training runs from 9:00 a.m to 1:00 p.m. At least two people from each trek group are asked to attend the training session before their trek. There is no cost. All training materials will be available via the internet. To schedule the training, email your name, contact information, and the name of your stake to firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Does the site have a site-specific handbook?
A handbook is being developed and will be available soon.
1. Does the site rent handcarts for groups to use at different locations?
No. There are private vendors in eastern Idaho that provide this service.
2. Are other activities, besides trek, offered at the site?
Not at this time.
3. How many vehicles are allowed in campsite parking?
There is a parking area for approximately 60 vehicles. If buses are used to transport the participants, there is an area to drop off passengers and gear, a bus turnaround area, and a bus parking area if they stay overnight. Each stake is allowed up to eight support trucks with trailers and a stake medical emergency vehicle.
4. Can trekking groups access facilities at the nearby Camp Cumorah?
No. Camp Cumorah is administered by a separate agent stake and is a distinct entity within the ranch boundaries. Because stakes are holding their Young Women camps concurrent with trekking activities, Camp Cumorah facilities and amenities are all off-limits to trekkers.
5. Does the ranch have a portable sound system for stakes to rent?
A portable sound system will be provided to stakes as part of their registration fee.
6. Do trekkers need to wear pioneer clothing, hats, and bonnets?
We strongly recommend that participants wear pioneer clothing for trek reenactments. Doing so adds to the unity and spirit of the experience. Hats and bonnets protect participants’ heads, faces, and necks from the sun even if they use sunscreen.
7. Are shorts and flip-flops allowed?
No. The trek is on an operating cattle ranch with sagebrush, ticks, brush, weeds, dust, tree branches, briars, shrubs, and uneven and dusty trails. For protection, men should wear long pants, and women should wear pantaloons or long pants under their skirts. All should wear closed-toe hiking shoes or boots.