Volunteer Today!

The Indian Peaks Wilderness Alliance (IPWA), a Boulder-based nonprofit, is seeking volunteers to join us and support our mission of assisting the U.S. Forest Service (FS) by going on hiking patrols this summer season to help protect our local wilderness areas.

As Edward Abbey once said,
“The idea of wilderness needs no defense – only more defenders.”


Interested in becoming a volunteer? Click here to apply online.

Uniformed IPWA members, badged as ‘Forest Service Volunteers’ but often viewed by the public as “wilderness rangers”, help to educate visitors to the Indian Peaks and James Peak wilderness areas. We inform about wilderness regulations (dogs off leash, campfire restrictions, etc.), we answer questions (“how far to the lake?” etc.), and we record data while on patrol which is submitted via online reports to the FS. In short, as citizen volunteers we offer education and information. We do NOT do law enforcement. We help the Boulder Ranger District of the FS manage and preserve the wilderness.

In addition to summer patrols, volunteers help in the Forest Service office, do winter patrols, greet hikers as trail head hosts, and help out with trail projects.


The new volunteer application period begins the beginning of April. There are a LIMITED number of spots available as many of our volunteers return year after year. The online application process is followed by an interview. A MANDATORY all day training session is the first Saturday in June at the FS office in Boulder. The minimum commitment is four total days of patrolling on weekends June-Sept. First-year IPWA volunteers must also contribute a new member fee of $75 (due at the training) which helps offset the costs of the uniform and training provided.


Interested in becoming a volunteer? Click here to apply online.

Boulder Ranger District
U.S. Forest Service
2140 Yarmouth, Boulder, Colorado
Need directions to the Boulder Ranger District Office?
Get a map through Mapquest here dir_map01