Volunteer Trail Crew

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Photo by Meg Killen

Volunteer Trail Crew




We're glad you’re here. Volunteers like you play a critical role in the stewardship of our public lands. With land management agencies like the Forest Service and the BLM facing decreasing budgets and increased workload due to wildfires, the demand for your efforts has never been higher. Volunteers are an invaluable resource to help keep trails up to standard for public use and enjoyment.

Montana Wilderness Association has been mobilizing volunteers through our Volunteer Trail Crew (VTC) program since 2012. VTC is MWA's way of lending a hand to land management agencies across the state through boots-on-the-ground service. Joining a VTC is a fun way to get outdoors, explore beloved landscapes, and meet new people while putting sweat equity into the trails we all love to hike and ride. Want to join the cause? Sign up for a project!

Select a project below to learn more and sign up.

Project Name Landscape D.R. Dates Slots?
North Fork Blackfoot Blackfoot-Clearwater S May 9 - 12 FULL
Vermilion River Trails Cabinet Mtns S June 13 - 16 FULL
Alice Creek Rehab* Scapegoat / CDT M June 24 - 28 FULL
Kading Re-Route Electric Peak R.W. S June 28 - 30 FULL
Green Mountain Scapegoat / CDT VS June 29 - July 6 FULL
Johnson Lake AP Wilderness / CDT S July 20 - 27 FULL
Mystic Lake Clearing AP Wilderness / CDT VS July 27 - August 3 YES
Crazies - Veteran's Trip Crazy Mountains S August 8 - 11 FULL
Centennials Centennials W.S.A. / CDT S August 15 - 18 FULL
Big Snowies Big Snowy Mtns W.S.A S August 22 - 25 FULL
WildFest Jewel Basin M Spetember 6 YES
Jewel Basin Swan Range VS September 12 - 16 YES
Sluice Boxes State Park Little Belts M September 26 - 29 FULL
Adopt-A-Trail Crew Gallatin Range S Recurring Day Projects YES

Difficulty Ratings: M= Moderate // S= Strenuous // VS= Very Strenuous
*Alice Creek Rehab offered in partnership with Continental Divide Trail Coalition*
***We are still accepting registrations for the waitlist on all full projects. Don't hesitate to sign up – we almost always have last minute cancellations.***


Physical Ability – Please Be Honest

It's extremely important that you select a project that is aligned with your physical ability. If you are a first time volunteer – or it has been a few years since your last project – review this page to better understand what you are signing up for. To ensure your safety and the safety of the entire crew, you must be prepared for the level of difficulty of the project you select. Keep in mind that you'll be working full days in the field and that you must be able to work for the duration of the project. All volunteer registrations will be reviewed in detail, and we'll be giving special attention to those who sign up for projects that are "strenuous" and "very strenuous." MWA Staff will, if necessary, kindly recommend that you sign up for another project that is better suited to your experience and physical ability. Please call us if you're unsure about how your skills might align with our project work. Thank you in advance for your understanding. 

Here is what you can expect from projects with these levels of difficulty: 

  • Moderate: Project requiring fewer than 5 miles of daily hiking. Work is physically demanding, but can be self-paced according to one's comfort level. Camp is not far from the worksite and there is access to vehicles at camp. 
  • Strenuous: Project requiring some combination of long daily hikes, demanding work tasks, and a hike into a backcountry camp. Opportunities for self-paced tasks exist during the workday but may not always be available. Camp will often be established in the backcountry and will require hiking with a full pack. 
  • Very Strenuous: Project requiring some combination of long daily hikes, a long hike into a backcountry camp, especially demanding work tasks and the need to keep pace with the rest of the crew at all times. These are our most challenging projects. If you have any doubts about your ability level, contact MWA staff prior to registering.
Project Deposits

MWA requires a $50 refundable deposit to hold your place on a Volunteer Trail Crew project. The integrity of our program requires committed volunteers. If you register for a project, we are counting on you to show up. If you either cancel or do not show up, MWA will accept your deposit as a donation to offset the administrative costs associated with pre-project planning and food shopping. Deposits will be refunded no later than October 1st.


If you cancel less than one month before the project start date, your deposit will be considered a donation to the stewardship program and will be used to offset the expense we will incur to find your replacement on the crew. We understand that sometimes life happens and plans need to change. If you cancel with at least one month's notice, your deposit will be refunded. Thank you for your understanding. 

Wait Lists 

Those projects listed as "Waitlist" are at capacity, although you can still register and be added to the wait list. You'll still need to provide a refundable project deposit. In the event of a cancellation, we will begin calling everyone on the wait list. The first to respond and accept the position will be added to the confirmed list. MWA will refund your project deposit if you aren't added to the confirmed list. We will also gladly accept deposits as donations to the Stewardship program. 

More Information