The application period for new volunteers for the 2020 summer season will open in April.

 

Please contact us to be added to mailing list and let us know if you're interested in becoming a volunteer next season! You're welcome to join us for trail projects and events that are open to the public (see the Events page for more information).

Summer Patrol Program

 

 

Requirements:

  • Summer Patrol volunteers must be at least 18 years old and have a passion for preserving and protecting the Indian Peaks and James Peak Wilderness Areas.

  • Volunteers should be experienced hikers, familiar with Indian Peaks & James Peak Wilderness areas and comfortable hiking at elevations above 9,000 ft. Must have adequate fitness, as well as proper hiking gear including the 10 essentialsOther qualities we are looking for include good communication skills, experience interacting with the public, and appreciation of the outdoors!

  • Attendance at the full day mandatory training event held in early June is required for ALL volunteers (new and returning). 

  • Volunteers commit to a minimum of four patrol hikes in uniform during the summer season (June through the end of September), preferably on weekends and on popular (high volume) trails. Volunteers may go on solo patrols or with hiking partner(s) such as fellow volunteers or friends/family. ​If you are a first-year volunteer, you must complete at least two hikes with a mentor before going out on your own (these hikes count towards your minimum for the season). 

  • First-year IPWA volunteers must also contribute a new member fee of $75 (due prior to training) which helps offset the costs of training and uniforms (official Forest Service shirt, name badge, and rain jacket). Returning volunteers pay $25 in annual dues. 

The volunteer sign-up window opens in April for the summer season. Please email us if you're interested in becoming a volunteer at hikers@indianpeakswilderness.org. You can also join as a supporting member anytime with a donation of $10 or more. And consider joining us for a trail project or event open to the public this season (see our Events page). 

What do Volunteer Rangers do?

 

Uniformed IPWA members, badged as ‘Forest Service Volunteers’ but often viewed by the public as “wilderness rangers”, are the ambassadors of the wilderness and help to educate visitors to the Indian Peaks and James Peak wilderness areas. As citizen volunteers we are the "eyes and ears" of the Forest Service and help provide visitor counts and report on trail conditions and hazards. We inform and educate wilderness visitors and lead by example - we do NOT do law enforcement. We help the Boulder Ranger District of the U.S. Forest Service manage and preserve the wilderness through education, advocacy and trail restoration projects. 

IPWA volunteers provide the following:

  • Educate visitors about wilderness rules (dogs off leash, campfire restrictions, etc.), by applying the principles of "Leave No Trace" and "Authority of the Resource" to encourage environmentally responsible behavior instead of emphasizing the regulations. 

  • Provide visitors with a visible uniformed presence in the wilderness and answer questions (how far to the lake, etc.)

  • Record data while on patrol (counts of visitors, trail conditions, etc.) and submit a trail report online after each hike in a timely manner

  • Perform light trail maintenance (if possible) including reporting or removing downed trees blocking trails, cleaning up illegal fire rings and trash, removing invasive weeds

  • Make new friends, get some exercise and spend time outdoors, all while doing our part to protect these beautiful places!

For more in-depth information, check out A Day in the Life of a Wilderness Volunteer


In addition to summer patrols, volunteers may also help in the Forest Service office, do winter patrols, greet hikers as trail head hosts, and help out with tree clearing and trail restoration projects. Visit the Volunteer Opportunities page for more information. 

During the 2018 season, our volunteers achieved the following:

  • Completed over 600 summer patrols

  • Logged close to 4,500 volunteer hours,

  • Hiked more than 3,500 miles,

  • Contacted more than 39,000 members of the public,

  • Removed over 50 fire rings, helping to mitigate fire danger,

  • Completed the 3rd season of our successful Winter Patrol program,

  • Completed the 3rd season of the Trailhead Host program with 4 weekend days hosting a booth at the East Portal and Hessie trailheads,

  • Funded a Major Trail Reconstruction Project of the Pawnee Pass Trail,

  • In conjunction with the UNC Center for Urban Education, created and ran the Teach The Teacher program involving over a dozen student-teachers,

  • Staffed the USFS Wilderness Information Desk for the 3rd summer, and

  • Cleared the Brainard Lake Winter Trails in preparation for the upcoming Winter Season!

 

During the 2017 season, our volunteers achieved the following:

  • Completed almost 500 patrols,

  • Logged close to 5,000 volunteer hours,

  • Hiked more than 3,000 miles,

  • Contacted more than 35,000 members of the public,

  • Removed close to 100 fire rings, helping to mitigate fire danger

  • Completed the 2nd season of our successful Winter Patrol program,

  • Completed the 2nd season of the Trailhead Host program with 3 weekend days hosting a booth at the East Portal trailhead,

  • Completed a major trail project over 3 weekends, adding a 'turnpike' on the heavily used South Boulder Creek trail and cleared trees on major trails, and

  • Staffed the USFS Wilderness Information Desk for the 2nd summer!

During the 2016 season, our volunteers achieved the following:

 

  • Completed over 400 patrols,

  • Logged close to 3,600 volunteer hours,

  • Hiked more than 3,000 miles, 

  • Made contact with more than 34,000 members of the public,

  • Talked with close to 700 dog owners with their dogs off leash, and

  • Removed close to 100 fire rings, helping to mitigate fire danger 

  • Held the 1st season of our Winter Patrol program,

  • Started the Trailhead Host Program and staffed a booth on two weekend days,

  • Led a hike with students from the University of Colorado's Baker Residence Academic Program,

  • Held an invasive weed pulling event and cleared trees on major trails, and

  • Staffed the USFS Wilderness Information Desk for the summer!

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Saving Wilderness. Changing Lives.

INDIAN PEAKS WILDERNESS ALLIANCE (IPWA)

P.O. Box 17382, Boulder CO 80308   |   hikers@indianpeakswilderness.org