SUPPORT CFIEvery donation counts!

SUPPORT CFIEvery donation counts!

Donations from individual Fourteener enthusiasts play a critical role in CFI’s field successes. Gifts match restricted grants, while funding expenses many foundations and corporations will not cover, such as feeding field crews and transporting crews and supplies to remote trailheads.

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UPDATESWhat we've been doing

  • Pre Project Prep – Mount Columbia  – September 29, 2016

    Most hikers can appreciate the amount of work it takes to build a trail from scratch. The hiking, the digging, the pushing around of giant … Read More >>

  • Aeolus. God of Wind, Builder of Trails  – September 26, 2016

    Those who come up the mountain may see us at work, a crew of figures moving rocks, flipping with bars, moving things in bags, and … Read More >>

  • It’s All a Learning Curve  – September 23, 2016

    “Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself, and know that everything in life has purpose. There are no mistakes , no coincidences, … Read More >>

  • Opening Day  – September 19, 2016

    4:45 in the morning. We rest by Twin Lakes, like always, waiting for the crew to regroup after the steep ascent. This morning is special, … Read More >>

Trail Construction & Restoration

CFI would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who volunteered in 2016. Please check back next spring for information on volunteering in 2017. Follow us on Facebook or subscribe to our newsletter for more current updates!


CFI has run volunteer trail construction, maintenance and restoration projects since 1994. While no experience is necessary to volunteer on a field project, the following information should provide an idea whether this would be a suitable experience for you.

Who can volunteer?

CFI volunteers need to be 18 years of age or older. (Youths aged 14-17 may participate if accompanied by a parent or guardian.) Volunteers must be in good physical shape so that they can hike to the project site (usually located above 10,000 feet), work a full day using hand tools, and hike back to the trailhead.

When are projects held?

Projects are held from mid-June through early October—the only period when Fourteener trails are clear of snow. Because of Colorado’s summer “monsoon” season weather, every project gets off to an “alpine start.” (That means really early for non-climbers.) This is done so that we can get in a full day of work and have the crew headed down the mountain well before thunderstorms begin in the early afternoon.  Start times can vary by peak, but groups typically depart the trailhead no later than 6:30 a.m.

What equipment do I need to bring?

CFI provides all the necessary trail tools and safety equipment for volunteer projects, including work gloves, hard hats, and safety glasses. Participants need to bring at a minimum: a backpack, 3-5 liters of water, raingear, sunglasses, sunscreen, a fleece jacket, long pants, sturdy hiking boots, and a lunch and snacks. A full list of items to bring will be provided ahead of time for each project.

Am I fit enough?

In general, if you are fit enough to do a full-day hike or similar activity (such as a full day of skiing or snowshoeing), then you should be sufficiently fit to do a CFI volunteer project. Projects rarely are located near a summit—so we don’t hike as high as someone climbing a Fourteener—and we pace our work throughout the day. Watch the video below to get a better idea of what is involved in volunteering for CFI.

What might I do?

Each CFI project is different based on the unique features and needs of the peak where the volunteer project is being held. However, work focuses on maintaining existing constructed trail features, building new trail features and revegetating damaged alpine tundra. The following video shows what this work looks like to provide you with a better sense of whether a CFI project is right for you.