There are six major reasons people choose to volunteer*, and ESWA can satisfy all six of them, in multiple ways. Here they are, in order of importance, with a few examples of how we can help:
1. Help others – become a Volunteer Wilderness Ranger (VWR) and meet hikers in the Wilderness, teaching them Leave No Trace principles.
2. Be involved in the community – more than sixty local residents make up our energetic and friendly team of VWRs and Trail Crews.
3. Contribute to a cause – public lands are facing historic threats; join our Advocacy Team to fight for the cause of Wilderness.
4. Develop new skills & have new experiences – our Trail Crews will teach you to use Pulaskis, Coronas, McLeods, Mattocks, and more in repairing damaged trails.
5. Use your skills in a productive way – we will match your skills – from trail maintenance to marketing – to fit your personal desire to help.
6. Stay fit – get out there in the most protected public land in North America

  • We might add number 7: Have fun! And we do.

* D.R. Heyman, Nonprofit Management 101, Jossy-Bass, 2011.

We offer a number of ways to volunteer. They fall into two general catetories: Management (behind the scenes) and Boots-on-the-Ground. 


If you are interested in

  • organizing social events,

  • writing for newspapers and newsletters,

  • working on our Advocacy campaigns,

  • engaging social media,

  • website maintenance,

  • managing a small database of members,

  • contacting and thanking donors and others,

    or other inside-based activities, please consider volunteering. Your level of experience doesn't matter; we will get you up and running quickly. Just send us an email or call us (303 903 7127) with questions and a description of your interests.


We offer 3 signature programs that get into Wilderness.


1. VOLUNTEER WILDERNESS RANGERS (VWRs) take one day of training in early June, and do two things:

  • Trailhead Hosting: TH hosts are provided a "kit" of materials - table, chair, banner, swag, maps, etc. - and spend 4 hours at busy trailheads assisting hikers and backpackers. 

  • Trail Patrols: VWRs hike Wilderness trails, meeting, greeting, and teaching visitors, and helping to keep trails clear and campsites clean. With our expanding SAWYER program, trained sawyers are deployed to hotspots of blowdown timbers on trails.


  • Overnight pack trips service deep backcountry lakes. Gear and supplies are carried by our two llamas. Participants engage in trail work, mitigation of illegal campsites, and assessments of Wilderness character. Registration is necessary, but no special training is required. 


  • ESWA WeedSpotters map locations of invasive weeds and call in trained US Forest Service personnel to spray them. 

Read more about our 3 Boots on the Ground programs - click the underlined links above or see the dropdown menu under "Volunteer"