Trail Construction & Restoration
CFI is grateful for everyone who volunteered in 2016. Please check back early next year to learn about volunteer opportunities available during the 2017 field season!
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.