Volunteer Trail Crew

Photo by Meg Killen

Volunteer Trail Crew

Adventure with a Purpose


We are 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 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 Volunteer Trail Crew 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 to sign up for one of our 2018 offerings.

Project Name Landscape D.R.* Dates Slots?
Big Pryor Mountain Pryor Mtns M May 25 - 27 FULL
National Trails Day Whitefish Range E June 2 YES
Vermilion River Trails Cabinet Mtns S June 21 - 24 FULL
Lewis & Clark Pass Fire Rehab Scapegoat S June 25 - 29 YES
Hi-Line Trail Fire Rehab AP Wilderness S July 22 - 29 FULL
Mystic Lake Clearing AP Wilderness VS July 28 - Aug 4 FULL
Mystic Lake Fire Rehab AP Wilderness S Aug 5 - 11 FULL
Centennials W.S.A. Centennial Mtns S Aug 19 - 24 FULL
Kading Kick-Off Electric Peak R.W. S Aug 31 - Sept 3 YES
Jewel Basin Swan Range VS Sept 6 - 10 PRVT
North Fork Blackfoot Blackfoot-Clearwater S Sept 20 - 23 FULL

*Difficulty Ratings: E= Easy // M= Moderate // S= Strenuous // VS= Very Strenuous*


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 couple year's 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 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 need be, 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 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: 

  • Easy: Project requiring a short hike and less demanding physical work. All aspects of the day, including hiking and trail work, can be self-paced.
  • Moderate: Project requiring less 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 be available at all times. 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 a 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 you need to discuss with MWA staff prior to registering.
Project Deposits

MWA requires a $50 refundable deposit to hold your place on a Field 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.

Please remember that project deposits are refundable. Accounts will automatically be refunded at the end of our field season.


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 have to incur to find your replacement on the crew. Thank you for your understanding. 

Waiting Lists 

Those projects listed as "Waitlist" means they are at capacity, but you can still register and be added to the wait list. You'll still have 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. At this point, for projects listed as "FULL", we are no longer accepting applications, as our waitlist is also quite full.