What We Do

For over 30 years, IPWA volunteers have provided countless hours patrolling and maintaining trails, educating users of the backcountry and wilderness areas, and supporting education programs to foster environmental stewardship - thus creating and preserving a legacy of these cherished areas for future generations.

The IPWA achieves its mission to "Preserve and Protect the Indian Peaks and James Peak Wilderness areas" by four main programs and a wide variety of 100% volunteer-based project work.

IPWA Programs

Wilderness Restoration

Trail Work

Trail Maintenance

Tree Clearing

Invasive Weed Removal

Wilderness Education

RMA Presentation by Stuart Dodd.jpg

Research Grants


Wilderness Information Specialists

Teach the Teachers

Wilderness Advocacy

Wilderness Under Siege Poster.png



Social Media

Lecture Series

Interpretive Program & Center

Wilderness Patrols

2017 Daryl and Yonah.jpg

Summer Patrols

Winter Patrols

Trail Head Host Days

  1. Wilderness Restoration: 

    • Our volunteers work on trail restoration projects including trail maintenance, tree clearing, and invasive weed removal. We also partner with other volunteer groups to coordinate larger restoration efforts. ​To learn more, visit the Trail Restoration Projects page.​

  2. Wilderness Education:

    • We support education programs by funding research grants awarded to graduate and undergraduate students researching the ecological impacts within Colorado's high-country region. To learn more, visit the Research Grants page. 

    • From 2015-2019, the IPWA also funded and managed a summer Wilderness Ranger Internship program in partnership with the USFS Boulder Ranger District. Note: due to the pandemic and continuing staffing shortages, the internship program was cancelled.

    • In 2018, we piloted a "Teach the Teachers" program to expose student teachers to wilderness ethics and environmental conservation principles, so that they can in turn inform their elementary students (primarily in urban schools).​​​​ To learn more, visit the Teach the Teachers Program page.

  3. Wilderness Advocacy

    • We advocate for the wilderness by promoting wilderness values and responsible use through outreach, newsletter and social media posts and by hosting occasional lectures or talks on wilderness topics.

    • We are also developing an interpretive program that will include volunteer-led interpretive hikes and "campground talks" for the public. 

    • The IPWA is working with the USFS on plans to renovate and update a historic miner's cabin located at the gateway to the Indian Peaks Wilderness near Hessie trailhead. The goal will be to renovate the cabin to become a Wilderness Interpretive Center during the summer hiking season (more info coming soon). 

    • To learn more about our advocacy, see our News & Events page and contact us to sign up for the newsletter!

  4. Wilderness Patrolling

    • During the summer season, our volunteers patrol the trails in the Indian Peaks and James Peak Wilderness areas, providing assistance to visitors, educating the public about wilderness regulations and Leave No Trace principles, monitoring trail usage and conditions for the Forest Service, and helping with trail maintenance and clean-up.  ​To learn more, visit the Summer Patrol Program page.

    • In 2015, this IPWA Patrol program was expanded to incorporate the winter season as well. To learn more, visit the Winter Patrol Program page. 

    • In 2016, the IPWA initiated the Trailhead Host Days Program in which IPWA volunteers host an informational booth at popular trailheads. We typically hold 3-4 weekend events each season. To learn more, visit the Trail Head Host page.

To learn more, visit the Volunteer Opportunities page.