WORK PROJECT OPEN for 2017 reservations.
Volunteer Trail Work-Trip Project:
A spectacular time of the year to be in the high country. Grab your hard hat, a set of leather gloves, good hiking boots and prepare yourself for six days working and conversing with trail users on this often used trail. This five night work-trip provides quick access to the Continental Divide Trail, spectacular views and multiple tasks that provide diversity to the project.
Working closely with the Divide Ranger District, our task is multi-purposed. The trail has not been brushed in a few years and that will be our primary focus but in addition we will be cleaning or constructing drainage features, removing old metal culverts and interacting trail users sharing the principles of Leave No Trace.
What is a Volunteer Trail Work-Trip Project?
This six-day project is focused on specific trail maintenance needs in the Rio Grande National Forest. Designed as fun work in the backcountry, our focus is safety, enjoyment and followed by completion of the project goal. We recognize that the public land system is used by hikers like us. This is a way to give back to all of the boot prints we have put on the trail tread.
Projects like these offer a day-to-day reward of accomplishment. You will be amazed at what you and your co-crew can achieve with buckets, mattocks, shovels and pick axes. As a crew, we will complete important trail work. You will meet new friends, share meals and chores. We want you to enjoy the experience, and come back.
This project is open to volunteers who meet the following criteria:
* Have a great attitude and desire to work with other volunteers to accomplish a project goal.
* Ability to adhere to the following basic rules: Be Safe. Have Fun. Get Some Work Done.
* Physical stamina to hike to and from camp, hike and work at a moderate pace throughout the day.
* Have the appropriate gear and equipment for the week; all food and tools will be provided for you.
* Ability to participate for the full length of the trip; no late arrivals or early departures.
* Willingness to learn – no prior trail work experience is necessary.
* Must be 16 years old with parent or guardian.
What is the Difficulty?
We are always hesitant to rate a trip because everyone perceives difficulty differently. This volunteer project is above 10,000-feet, with ample water sources and some treed sections. Your body will feel fatigued faster making breaks more of a necessity because of the altitude; this is the greatest single complaint of volunteers because it is an unnatural feeling to be “catching your breath.” Some volunteers suffer from minor headaches or an upset stomach. Maintaining hydration and nutrition is essential to feeling good at this altitude. Additionally, it is imperative that volunteer for this project be in good physical shape.
A day’s trail work can be strenuous if you are not accustomed to it. Volunteers should have the physical stamina and ability to hike to and from camp, hike daily to the work site and work at a moderate pace. It is recommended that volunteers spend a day or two extra vacationing and touring in the area prior to traveling to the trailhead. This will assist with acclimation.
Our Work Week: Subject to change.
* Day 1 – Sunday, August 20th
Hike to camp, set up camp, examine and assess the project worksite, as a group outline goals and review
the principles of Leave No Trace. We will meet at the trailhead at 8:00 am for breakfast and pre-project
notes before hiking 2-4 miles to our basecamp. We have not yet finalized the basecamp location.
* Day 2 and 3 – Monday, August 21st and Tuesday, August 22nd
* Day 4 – Wednesday, August 23rd
Day off! This is your day to relax or explore the local trails, peaks and views of the wilderness.
* Day 5 – Thursday, August 24th
* Day 6 – Friday, August 25th
Finish and evaluate trail work, break down camp, hike out. We expect to finish at the trailhead at 2:00 pm.
Our Work Day: Subject to change.
* 6:30 – Morning wakeup call.
* 7:00 – Coffee and breakfast served. Please be on time! Make your lunch.
* 7:30 – Cleanup crew washes dishes, puts food away, etc.
* 8:00 – Leave for project site.
* 8:30 – 9:00 – Begin work at the project site; taking periodic breaks.
* Noon – Lunch break. At least 30-minutes, probably an hour.
* After lunch to 3:30’ish – Continue trail work; taking periodic breaks. Don’t overwork!
* 3:30 – Leave for camp
* 4:00 – This is your free time to enjoy the landscape, read a book, write in your journal or take a nap
* 6:00 – Dinner served. Please be on time! Enjoy a big plate of delicious, nutritious, filling hot food.
* After Dinner – Cleanup crew washes dishes, puts food away, etc.; everyone else on own.
All About Food:
Nutritious! Filling! Yummy!
A menu will be provided approximately two weeks prior to the project. Our menu is designed to ensure nutrition, is not carbohydrate heavy but instead blends all nutritional needs including: fruits, vegetables, fats and proteins as well as carbohydrates.
Because this project is almost entirely above 10,000-feet you can expect dinners to be a soup base. We have found that hearty, filling soups assist with ensuring you feel better, sleep better and maintain hydration. You won’t be hungry and we apologize now if you return to the trailhead a couple pounds heavier than when you began.
Allergy and dietary restrictions can be accommodated if we are advised in advance – like, when you register!
Gear and Equipment:
Volunteers are expected to provide their own camping and personal gear. Equipment can be provided with prior request – typically no later than 14-days before the trip start. A complete list of suggested items will be provided upon registration. Most, if not all, of the items needs are already in your closet.
Food and tools will be provided and packed in for you.
Registration is OPEN:
Reservations are a first request, first reserve. Cancellation policy applies.
Any coupons are redeemed during the weekend.
Although you are a project volunteer, there are costs associated with offering a week in the backcountry. Your $115 registration fee assists with paying for food, transportation of group gear and equipment as well as tool needs.
We ask that you reserve your space only if you are going to attend. There is no refund for cancellation in this work project. It is very difficult to fill recently vacated spaces, particularly within three weeks of the project start date when most cancellations tend to occur.
About Our Landscape – Weminuche Wilderness:
The Weminuche Wilderness is the largest wilderness area in Colorado – extending more than 488,210 acres. With three fourteeners and numerous thirteeners, this wilderness is highly used yet generally unspoiled.
Designated in 1975, and expanded to its current size by the Colorado Wilderness Acts of 1980 and 1993, the wilderness contains the headwaters of dozens of major streams and rivers, these water sources drain into the Rio Grande and San Juan Rivers – two of the Southwest’s most ecologically and culturally significant waterways. The landscape is of glacial valleys, windswept ridges and crags and averages an elevation of 10,000-feet. The ragged peaks and soaring cliffs, formed over millions of years as volcanic eruptions covered the landscape and adds to the dramatically different mountain landscapes this wilderness area offers in its largeness.
About This Project?
It is a long trail —
It has been a number of years since this trail received any attention. It is beautiful, challenging and needing hands holding hand tools. We will work with a local outfitter cutting out the trail and defining the tread in the trees in the upper elevation. Overnight essential gear will be packed to the campsite. Interested volunteers will be provided with additional details.
No Experience Necessary
What You Need To Know
This is an overnight project and the amount of gear you can have packed to the campsite will be minimal. Water sources are limited. Dinner and breakfast will be provided. Lunch and snacks for both work days are on your own. Dress for the weather. Bring work gloves and eye protection.
What is BOW?
The Arizona Wildlife Federation (AWF) conducts Becoming an Outdoor Woman (BOW ®) twice a year outside Prescott, AZ. The three-day workshops begin at noon Friday and ends shortly after noon the following Sunday.
BOW gives women (18 and older) the opportunity to learn about hunting, fishing and related activities in a relaxed and informal atmosphere. Skills such as gun safety, shooting, angling (including fly fishing), camping, Dutch-oven cooking, map and compass reading, marksmanship with rifle and bow are taught.
You can choose from classes in wildlife, wildlife photography, wildlife habitat, bird watching (birding), canoeing, kayaking, and rappelling to name a few more. In addition to the various classes, there are a number of evening events for the women to enjoy, that may include, “hawk talks”, nature hikes, fashion shows, fly tying and wild game tasting.
Our instructors, who volunteer their time to teach these classes, are experts in their field. Some are employed in the fields they teach; others are experts in their subjects, including archery and rifle marksmanship.
Becoming an Outdoors Woman (BOW) is a program started by Christine Thomas, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Resource Management at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Pointe. The first BOW clinic was conducted in Wisconsin in September 1991. The Arizona workshop is part of the same curriculum and each workshop is organized with the aid of the Safari Club International of Phoenix and the Arizona Game and Fish Department. The National Wildlife Federation and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation are just two of BOW’s national supporters.
September 13, 2017 – Land Navigation Workshop – SIX SPACES AVAILABLE
This date has been reserved for a Land Navigation 101 Workshop.
If you are interested in a similar offering contact Stacy at 970.946.5001 for availability.
The Continental Divide Trail stretches from the Mexican border to the Canadian border. In between is an ever-changing landscape. This section of the CDT is diverse. The hike begins with the green and lush plateau of the San Pedro Parks Wilderness – spruce, fir and oversized parks. On day four, the trail transitions to a drier climate of the Mesa del Camino and Rio Chama – sand, sagebrush and juniper.
This backpacking adventure is an end-to-end of one section of the trail – approximately 35-miles – in northern New Mexico. But, we are including an additional 10-mile loop within the San Pedro Parks Wilderness that is lush and follows a variety of water channels.
Backpackers registering for this extended hike should be in good physical condition prior to the hike start and should be ready to carry a backpack each day. The highest point of the trail is 10,550-feet and will be reached on the third day. We begin at 7,350-feet on day one; the lowest elevation is 6,350-feet and will be reached on our final morning.
This backpacking adventure will reward hikers with its overall length and immersion in the daily hiking routine, including daily backpacking skills, campsite selection, self care, orienteering skills and Leave No Trace principles.
* Average daily mileage – 8-miles
* Average temperature for Cuba/Skull Bridge area – 39-degrees low to 81-degrees high
* Campsites will be chosen daily, water sources unreliable, weather conditions unknown – this backpacking hike will focus on the fundamentals of a long hike and the decision making processes based on known and unknown conditions
* Leave No Trace practices will be followed throughout the backpacking hike
Benefits and Goals of this Backpacking Adventure:
• Intention is to provide a safe, prepared and organized trip for up to eight co-ed participants and two guides;
• Objective is to provide challenge as well as self-accomplishment while having fun and being safe;
• This backpacking adventure will have a high point of 10,550-feet and a low point of 6,650-feet. The low point is not reached until the northern terminus – the final morning of the hike.
• For some, or all the participants, this may be a first-time backpacking adventure and will be structured with preparation prior to departure from the trailhead through weekly emails beginning approximately 10-weeks from our hike date;
• A requisite for this experience is to learn and practice Leave No Trace; this will not be done formally (with exception being a short introduction at the Meet and Greet), instead using educational opportunities as they present themselves.
• This segment hike is a tucked away jewel in New Mexico with a variety of scenery and a changing terrain. Because of this, there are short strenuous sections filled in with long meadows and a more relaxed landscape.
Saturday, October 7th – Meet and Greet – 2 pm
Group will meet at basecamp where they will have access to the four-bunk cabin, privy and fire pit for the night.
Participants will meet the Lead Guide. During our Meet and Greet we will discuss the chosen route, safety perimeters, Leave No Trace overview, review and distribute gear and equipment and pack our backpacks. A goal for this evening will be to have everyone packed and ready to go for an on-time Sunday morning departure. The Meet and Greet will be a minimum of two hours but can easily extend to four based upon participant needs.
Sunday, October 8th – Day One/Night One
Approximately 3-hour drive to the trailhead with a possible car drop at the northern terminus. Focus is to get into the parks with a manageable pace for all participants. Packs will be heaviest on this day and the elevation gain exceeds 2,000-feet. We will camp in the meadows near the tree edge. Hike approximately 5.5-miles.
Monday, October 9th – Day Two/Night Two
This is a rolling pathway with pockets of dark spruce forest. Trail spends significant time near flowing creeks and grassy meadows. We will camp in transiting forest. Hike approximately 8.2-miles.
Tuesday, October 10th – Day Three/Night Three
Today we will hike to the trail highpoint before descending into old dark forest with cursive drawings dating back to the early 1900’s on now dying aspen trees. We will have water limitations for dinner and next day breakfast. Camp will be in aspen forest. Hike approximately 8.6-miles.
Wednesday, October 11th – Day Four/Night Four
The landscape has changed as we continue north. Rolling hills transition to grassy flats, ponderosa forest and hidden water in lush canyons. We will pick-up a water stash for our afternoon hike, dinner and next day breakfast. Camp will be in pinon pine forest. Hike approximately 7.4-miles.
Thursday, October 12th – Day Five/Night Five
We will climb to the mesa top for reliable water and a short jeep road walk before a zig zag descent to the canyon. Camp is in ponderosa forest. Hike approximately 8.5-miles.
Friday, October 13th – Day Six/Final Day
High colorful mesas and spits of sand provide soft footing as we travel to the Wild and Scenic Chama River. Hike approximately 6.7-miles.
Refer to our cancellation policy under the FAQ Link.
Subject to Change:
All course offerings, including dates and location, are subject to change.
Reservations are first request, first reserve. Minimum of 3/Maximum of 8. Cancellation policy applies.
Updated: June 20, 2017
October 11, 2017 – Land Navigation Workshop – SIX SPACES AVAILABLE
This date has been reserved for a Land Navigation 101 Workshop.
About This Project?
We don’t yet know —
It is a late time of year. Is the snow flying or not yet flying? This project date could be at any number of trailhead. Might consist of any type of needed project work. Will probably require a heavier jacket and will most definitely include cake and tasty treats provided by the Crew Leader.
No Experience Necessary
What You Need To Know
We will carpool to the trailhead. Wear long pants and close toed shoes; a long sleeved shirt is suggested. Dress for the weather. Bring work gloves, eye protection, lunch, snacks and water.