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.
To learn more, visit the Volunteer Opportunities page.
Invasive Weed Removal
Trail Head Host Days
Teach the Teachers
Advocacy & Leave No Trace
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 and the Winter Patrol Program page.
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.
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.
We also provide a "Teach the Teachers" program with the University of Northern Colorado 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.
Since 2016, the IPWA has held Trailhead Host Days each summer, where 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.
From 2015-2019, the IPWA also funded and managed a summer Wilderness Ranger Internship program in partnership with the USFS Boulder Ranger District.
We advocate for the wilderness by promoting wilderness values and Leave No Trace responsible use through outreach, newsletter and social media posts.
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).