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We invite you to sign up for one or more of our Volunteer Trail Crews this summer.

Become a volunteer crew member to help us improve and preserve The Colorado Trail. We promise lots of fun, rewarding work, fresh air, and new friends! Scroll down or use the quicklink buttons below to find out more about the program, review the summer schedule, and find links to sign up. New to volunteer trail work and want to learn more about our crews? Great!  Click here for a Trail Crew Volunteer Orientation video or here for a readable version. 

Operations & Alerts MapTrail Crew OverviewCrew TermsSchedule & Sign Up

2024 CREW STATS

22

Different trail crews

94

Crews are full

395

Crew members

COLORADO TRAIL OPERATIONS & ALERTS MAP

Check the google map above for Trail work locations and crew campsites. We will also flag any major trail obstructions, reroutes, and planned closures. Open the layer menu (click the button in the upper left corner of the map) to see more display options.

JOIN A VOLUNTEER TRAIL CREW

2024 Trail Crews will open for registration on Feb 1, 2024!

Important: Please review this information carefully before signing up for a crew. Click here for a Trail Crew Volunteer Orientation video or here for a readable version.  General questions regarding crews or volunteering can be sent via email to ctf@coloradotrail.org or by phone at 719-398-1688.

Overview: Volunteer Trail Crews vary in length from one to seven days. We provide training, tools, hardhats, group camp equipment, and leadership. Volunteers are responsible for their own transportation to the crew location and for their personal equipment, including tent or camper, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, dishes and eating utensils, work clothes, and other personal items. Some crews have meals provided, and those are noted below. Crews typically involve a hike to the project site each day, and basecamp crews may require a drive and a hike each day if the campsite is not within reasonable hiking distance of the project site. Crews can be accessed by a 2WD vehicle unless otherwise noted.

Crew Sponsorship: If you are interested in being a donor to support one of the trail crews, send an email to Executive Director, Tisha McCombs, at tisha@coloradotrail.org to get further details or click here to make your donation online and select your crew to sponsor. Each trail crew sponsorship is $2,000 (based on the average cost of our 2024 trail crews), which covers supplies, food for volunteers, construction materials, and other associated costs. In the past, CTF charged a fee from participating volunteers to help cover a small portion of these fees; however, we changed this policy to no longer require participants to pay to help off-set these costs. Instead, each trail crew will be sponsored by a donor looking for a specific project to fund to support CTF’s ongoing efforts to keep the Colorado Trail the best maintained long-distance trail in America! When you visit the link above, you will have the option to sponsor a full crew, a partial crew, or multiple crews!

Participants: No previous trail building experience is required. Participants must be at least 18 years of age (or have already completed a previous trail crew) and in good physical condition. For minors wishing to participate in their first trail crew, they must be accompanied by an adult that assumes all responsibility for the minor during the crew.

Registration: Crew registration opens Feb 1st and is done online using the links below. Those with no access to a computer or smartphone can call our office any weekday before 10am to register.

Deposit: We require a $50 refundable deposit to hold your spot on the trail crew, which will be refunded upon successful completion of the crew. If you register and then decide not to attend the trail crew, your deposit will be forfeited.

Subject to Change: Due to the uncertainty around planning due to weather and other uncontrollable circumstances, there is potential for changes on these crews. If a schedule change is made by CTF, all crew members will have the option for a deposit refund.

Thank you! We need your help in caring for The Colorado Trail, all 567 miles, and truly appreciate your involvement.

CREW TERMS

ONE-DAY: Snacks and a jug of water to fill up water bottles are provided. Crew members are responsible for providing their own lunch.

BASECAMP: Basecamp crews meet at a camping location accessible by vehicle. Meals are provided, but crew members assist with camp setup, meal preparation, kitchen cleanup, camp take-down, and other camp tasks.

VEHICLE-SUPPORTED HIKE-IN: Due to very technical 4WD access and limited campsite parking, crew members will hike with a daypack to the campsite while backpacks, tools, and group gear are transported by vehicle to (and from) the campsite. Crews are self-supported with each crew member bringing their own food, cooking equipment, and water treatment method. CTF provides bear safe food storage equipment and a group tarp. Crew members will construct a backcountry toilet facility.

BACKPACK: Crew members backpack to camp, carrying personal gear and one or more tools and group gear. Crews are self-supported with each crew member bringing their own food, cooking equipment, and water treatment method. CTF provides bear safe food storage equipment and a group tarp. Crew members will construct a backcountry toilet facility.

HCV: Access to meeting location involves rough, unpaved roads. High clearance vehicles (HCVs) are recommended, but 4WD is not required. Road conditions may change with significant precipitation.

4WD: Access to meeting location involves very rough and steep roads of varying lengths. A high clearance vehicle with low range four-wheel drive (4WD) is recommended.

CHALLENGING HIGH-ALTITUDE: Volunteers considering this type of crew should be physically active and acclimated to elevations above 9,000 feet. Volunteers living below 5,000 feet should plan on acclimating for several days to a week above 9,000 feet prior to the crew. Please contact us before registering if you have questions about your physical fitness for this crew.

CDT CO-LOCATED: The Colorado Trail shares 314 miles of its length with the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail, a Congressionally-mandated, 3,100-mile-long trail stretching from Mexico to Canada that is stewarded by our friends at the Continental Divide Trail Coalition. Nine of our 2024 trail crews are on co-located sections of the CT/CDT.

CREW 0124, LOST CREEK WILDERNESS TREAD & DRAINAGE

  • June 6-9 (4 days)
  • Leader: Matthew Smith
  • BACKPACK, HCV, CHALLENGING HIGH-ALTITUDE
  • Elevation 10,200 ft., Segment 4, South Park RD

Join this crew working in the remote Lost Creek Wilderness to help improve this current section of the Colorado Trail that is located on an old logging road that needs drainage improvements. This crew will focus on improving muddy creek crossings along with reestablishing trail drainage features that have filled in and not functional. The crew will be camping in close proximity to the worksites which will be reached via a stout 5-mile backpack hike with moderate grades. Road is HCV only but 2WD vehicles will be parked and volunteers shuttled in with coordination with Crew Leader.

CREW 0224, TWIN LAKES TRAIL CLOSURE

Join this crew in the picturesque Twin Lakes region to help Colorado Trail users with navigation on this busy section with lots of non-system social trails. Social trails are user created trails off of a main trail formed by users traversing off trail to look at a point of interest. The crew will be working on closing these social trails using native materials to help protect the local resources by concentrating use.  The project site will be reached via a moderate hike of up to 1.5-miles each way from the meeting location. This is a great crew for beginners.

CREW 0324, GUERNSEY CREEK 1 NEW TRAIL, WOMEN-ONLY

This Women-only crew will continue construction on a trail realignment to replace a deeply eroded and braided section of the Colorado Trail. This is a legacy project for the Women-only crews with this crew being the 3rd year in a row the group will be working on this project. The worksite is located within close proximity to the campsite. Road is HCV only but 2WD vehicles will be parked and volunteers shuttled in with coordination with Crew Leaders. Crew members will construct a backcountry toilet facility and will not have access to a PortaPotty.

CREW 0424, GUERNSEY CREEK 2 NEW TRAIL

This crew will continue construction on a trail realignment to replace a deeply eroded and braided section of the Colorado Trail. The worksite is located within close proximity to the campsite. Road is HCV only but 2WD vehicles will be parked and volunteers shuttled in with coordination with Crew Leaders. Crew members will construct a backcountry toilet facility and will not have access to a PortaPotty.

CREW 0524, GUERNSEY CREEK 3 NEW TRAIL

This crew will continue construction on a trail realignment to replace a deeply eroded and braided section of the Colorado Trail. This third crew working on this project in 2024, will also focus on closing the old trail alignment using native materials. The worksite is located within close proximity to the campsite. Road is HCV only but 2WD vehicles will be parked and volunteers shuttled in with coordination with Crew Leaders. Crew members will construct a backcountry toilet facility and will not have access to a PortaPotty.

CREW 0624, TIN CUP PASS 1 BRIDGE MAINTENANCE 

Join this crew to help replace 3 rotting log bridges located in the historic Tin Cup region. This crew will remove the old bridges and build new ones using native materials with help from the Forest Service. Secondary projects will include replacing broken railings on a dimensional lumber bridge and also tread and drainage work. Campsite and worksites are located in close proximity to the drop off area.    

CREW 0724, TIN CUP PASS 2 BRIDGE MAINTENANCE

Join this crew to help replace 3 rotting log bridges located in the historic Tin Cup region. This crew will remove the old bridges and build new ones using native materials with help from the Forest Service. Secondary projects will include replacing broken railings on a dimensional lumber bridge and also tread and drainage work. Campsite and worksites are located in close proximity to the drop off area.    

CREW 0824, ROCK CREEK NEW TRAIL

Join this crew to start work on building a brand-new section of trail to replace a deeply eroded and braided section of the Colorado Trail located near the peaceful Lost Creek Wilderness. The worksite is located within a moderate 0.5-mile hike each way from the campsite location. Secondary projects will include closing the old section of trail and maintaining drainages in the near vicinity.

CREW 0924, GEORGIA PASS TREAD & DRAINAGE 

  • July 17-21 (5 days)
  • Crew Leader: Paul Smith
  • BACKPACK, CHALLENGING HIGH-ALTITUDE
  • Elevation 11,800 ft, Segment 6, South Park RD
  • CDT Co-located

Join this crew to develop your trail skills in tread and drainage at the foot of beautiful Mt Guyot. Crew will focus on making improvements to eroded sections of the Colorado Trail and close unwanted spur trails. The crew will be camping in close proximity to the worksites which will be reached via a moderate 1-mile backpack hike with moderate grades. Crew members may hike up to 1-mile each day to reach the different worksite locations.

CREW 1024, FOOSES CREEK 1 TREAD AND DRAINAGE

Join this crew to continue the work done over the past 4 years on a new 2.25-mile trail realignment to replace an eroding and very steep section of the Colorado Trail located below the Monarch Crest. This first crew will be working to improve switchbacks, tread hardening and will work on improving water crossings. The campsite will be reached via a stout 5-mile hike from the meeting location. The worksites will be reached via a moderate 1.5-mile hike each way from the campsite location.

CREW 1124, FOOSES CREEK 2 TRAIL CLOSURE

Join this crew to work on closing the old trail alignment after volunteer work over the past 4 years on a new 2.25-mile trail realignment to replace an eroding and very steep section of the Colorado Trail located below the Monarch Crest. This second crew will be focusing on closing the old section, hardening water crossings, and improving trail conditions for all user groups.  The campsite will be reached via a moderate  3.7-mile hike from the trailhead. The worksites will be reached via a moderate 2-mile hike each way from the campsite location.

CREW 1224, COLLEGIATE PEAKS WILDERNESS 1 ROCK WORK

Join this crew to work on a new trail alignment of the Colorado Trail that is located in the majestic Collegiate Peaks Wilderness. This crew will focus on building rock walls to stabilize a sandy section. Camp will be located approximately 3.5 miles and 1,500 ft of climbing from the end of the Illinois Creek road and will include some off-trail hiking. The worksite will be located in close proximity to the campsite. This is one of the most difficult crews on the schedule due to challenges with high elevation and working above tree line.

CREW 1324, HOPE PASS 1 TREAD AND DRAINAGE

  • August 5-9 (5 days)
  • Crew Leader: Daniel Zier
  • BACKPACK, CHALLENGING HIGH-ALTITUDE
  • Elevation 9800 ft, Segment CW01, Leadville RD
  • CDT Co-located

Join this crew to develop your trail skills in tread and drainage with unreal views of Twin Lakes. Crew will focus on making improvements to eroded sections of the Colorado Trail, close unwanted spur trails, and also narrowing the super wide trail corridor. The campsite will be reached via a short hike from the meeting location. The worksites will be reached via a moderate 2-mile hike each way from the campsite location.

CREW 1424, COLLEGIATE PEAKS WILDERNESS 2 ROCK WORK

  • August 8-11 (4 days)
  • Crew Leader: Matthew Smith
  • BACKPACK, HCV, CHALLENGING HIGH-ALTITUDE
  • Elevation 12,000 ft., Segment CW02, Gunnison RD
  • CDT Co-located

Join this crew to work on a new trail alignment of the Colorado Trail that is located in the majestic Collegiate Peaks Wilderness. This crew will focus on building rock walls to stabilize a sandy section. Camp will be located approximately 3.5 miles and 1,500 ft of climbing from the end of the Illinois Creek road and will include some off-trail hiking. The worksite will be located in close proximity to the campsite. Depending on results from Crew 1224 with project completion, this crew might backpack further in on this new trail section to work on additional projects.  This is one of the most difficult crews on the schedule due to challenges with high elevation and working above tree line.

CREW 1524, HOPE PASS 2 TREAD & DRAINAGE

  • August 12-16 (5 days)
  • Crew Leader: Daniel Zier
  • BACKPACK, CHALLENGING HIGH-ALTITUDE
  • Elevation 9800 ft, Segment CW01, Leadville RD
  • CDT Co-located

Join this crew to develop your trail skills in tread and drainage with unreal views of Twin Lakes. Crew will focus on making improvements to eroded sections of the Colorado Trail, close unwanted spur trails, and also narrowing the super wide trail corridor. The campsite will be reached via a short hike from the meeting location. The worksites will be reached via a moderate 2-mile hike each way from the campsite location.

CREW 1624, HIGH POINT ROCK WORK & NEW TRAIL

Join this crew to start making much needed trail improvements to this section near the Highest Point on the entire Colorado Trail. Crew will be building rock structures to stabilize the existing trail and starting on a new trail alignment to fix a steep section of trail, with all of the work located above tree line. Camp will be located approximately 3.5-miles and 1,000 ft of climbing from the meeting location, with nearly all of the hike above 12,000 ft and above tree line, some of it off-trail. The worksite will be reached each day via a stout 1.5-mile hike each way, mostly off-trail with around 1,000 ft of climbing from the campsite. It is safe to say that this crew is the most difficult trail crew on the entire 2024 schedule. 

CREW 1724, WEST MOLAS PASS TREAD, DRAINAGE & TRAIL CLOSURE

  • August 20 (1 day)
  • Crew Leaders: Darin Radatz and Connie Wian
  • ONE-DAY
  • Elevation 11,200 ft, Segment 25, Columbine RD

Join this crew to develop your trail skills in tread and drainage in the beautiful San Juan Mountains. Crew will focus on making improvements to eroded sections of the Colorado Trail and will close unwanted spur trails. The worksite will be reached via a moderate 2-mile hike each way from the meeting location.

CREW 1824 ANIMAS RIVER BRIDGE MAINTENANCE

Join this crew to improve two bridge crossings located along the Animas River in the majestic San Juans. The first project will involve dismantling a rotting bridge crossing and replacing it with stepping stones. Secondary projects will involve replacing broken railings along the bridge crossing the Animas River and improving tread and drainage. A few crew members will have access to ride in on the train to the Elk Park station to bring in project tools and supplies, while the majority of the group will backpack in from the Molas Pass area. For those that will be backpacking in, the worksites can be reached via a stout 3.7-mile hike with around 1700 feet of elevation difference each way. The campsites and worksites are located in close proximity. 

CREW 1924, LUJAN PASS NEW TRAIL

Join this crew to start construction on trail realignments to replace deeply eroded and braided sections of the Colorado Trail located near Lujan Pass. Access road is 2WD to the campsite. The worksite will be reached via a moderate 1-mile hike each way from the campsite location. Crew members will construct a backcountry toilet facility and will not have access to a PortaPotty.

CREW 2024 FOOSES CREEK 3 TURNPIKE

Join this crew to work on building log turnpike structures with support from the Forest Service to improve a muddy section of the Colorado Trail with drainage issues. Secondary projects will include working on tread and drainage projects in the area. The worksite will be reached via a gentle 0.5-mile hike each way from the campsite location. Road is HCV only but 2WD vehicles will be parked and volunteers shuttled in with coordination with Crew Leaders. This is a great crew for beginners.

CREW 2124 LONG GULCH BRIDGE MAINTENANCE  

Join this crew to work on rebuilding multiple rotting bridges in this part of the Colorado Trail located right next to the peaceful Lost Creek Wilderness. Secondary projects will include working on tread and drainage projects in the area. The campsite is located within close proximity to the worksite locations. This is a great crew for beginners.

CREW 2224, MOUNT PRINCETON STEPPING STONES  

Join this crew to develop your trail skills in rock work right at the base of regal Mount Princeton. Crew will focus on making improvements to a water crossing from a failed bridge by installing stepping stones in the creek for trail travelers to cross. Secondary project will involve making a horse crossing. The worksite will be reached via a gentle 1-mile hike each way from the meeting  location. This is a great crew for beginners.

Partnership Crew Opportunities

CTF is contacted throughout the year by companies and volunteer groups that want to bring a large group of people to work on a volunteer project together. To facilitate this, CTF offer a small number of partnership crews each year. The goal is to partner with an organization for each one that can commit to filling the entire crew with their group (a minimum of 15 volunteers required). If you are part of a company or group that wants to partner for one of these crews, contact Tisha McCombs at tisha@coloradotrail.org to discuss details.