Group Volunteering at Rocky Mountain National Park

ESRI Story Map Screenshot for Volunteer Page
Click on this interactive map to view volunteer projects taking pace around Rocky.
 
A large group of people dressed in work clothes stand on a grassy ridge with snow-covered mountains in the background
38 volunteers served on National Trails Day in RMNP (6/2/2016)

NPS Photo

Thank you for your interest in volunteering at Rocky Mountain National Park!

Rocky Mountain National Park is home to one of the most dynamic and hard-working volunteer programs in the National Park Service. Each year, Rocky enlists volunteer groups to help paid staff on various projects. The park completes projects AND groups learn about the park through service—it's a win-win! In 2017, over 1,700 volunteers took part in a group volunteer opportunity. Our projects range from trail work, to vegetation projects, fire fuel reduction work and litter clean ups. How will you get involved in your park this summer?

 

Projects

The following describes the various projects that we invite volunteer groups to participate in. Please have a look at the project descriptions, the group size and minimum age required, and the day and time options to see which project(s) work best for your group. If your group is slightly larger or you have other needs you would like to discuss, please contact the RMNP Volunteer Program Office: 970-586-1330 or e-mail us.

 

Vegetation

Logistics

  • Group Size: 2–25 people
  • Minimum Age: 12 years old
    • Volunteer groups bringing children need to provide one adult leader for every five volunteers under the age of 18.
  • Time Options: 9 am–4 pm, 8 am–12 pm
  • Days of Projects: Tuesday–Friday, June 5–October 31 (except holidays)

Project Description

Exotics and re-vegetation volunteers support resource management and research personnel in any or all of the following areas: exotic plant removal, vegetation and restoration, and seed collection.

Trails

Logistics

  • Group Size: 4–25 people
  • Minimum Age: 12 years old
    • Volunteer groups bringing children need to provide one adult leader for every five volunteers under the age of 18.
  • Time Options: 9 am–4 pm, 9 am–1 pm
  • Days of Projects: Monday–Thursday, May 15–September 29 (except holidays)

Project Description

Assist Rocky Mountain’s Trail Crew with a variety of trail projects for the summer. Projects vary and may include: flood recovery and tread repair on all of the park’s accessible front-country trails, including Sprague Lake, Lily Lake and Bear Lake.

Fire Fuel Reduction

Logistics

  • Group Size: 5–15 people
  • Minimum Age: 16 years old
    • Volunteer groups bringing children need to provide one adult leader for every five volunteers under the age of 18.
  • Time Options: 9 am–4 pm, 9 am–1 pm
  • Days of Projects: Monday–Sunday, June 1–September 29 (except holidays)

Project Description

Help Rocky’s Wildland Firefighters fight the next wildfire before it starts! We’re looking for volunteers to assist our fire crews with fuel reduction projects. Downed trees, limbs and branches need to be collected and stacked into large piles.

General

Logistics

  • Group Size: 6–40 people
  • Minimum Age: None
    • Volunteer groups bringing children need to provide one adult leader for every five volunteers under the age of 18.
  • Time Options: 8 am–12 pm, 9 am–1 pm (can also accommodate two hour projects)
  • Days of Projects: Monday–Friday, May 15–September 29 (except holidays)

Project Description

Litter Clean-ups: Assist Rocky Mountain NP staff with a litter clean-up! These projects will be front-country and likely near roads, so it is important that groups with young children bring chaperones (1 for every 5 kids).

Painting: Help Rocky Mountain staff paint benches, cabins, signs, and other structures. Painting skills aren’t required but would be helpful.

Various Maintenance Projects: Help Rocky Mountain staff with a variety of Maintenance tasks from building benches, fencing, assists with carpentry or other odd jobs that are essential for the park. Tasks vary and are numerous! Be ready for anything!

 

Logistics

  • Entrance: The Volunteer Office will provide the group with a free entrance pass for the dates of service. (This will be emailed to the group point-of-contact ahead of time.)
  • Vehicles: Groups must provide their own transportation. Carpooling is highly encouraged due to limited parking.
  • Camping: For every four hours of service, groups may be eligible for one night of free camping at Moraine Park Campground (projects on the east side of the Continental Divide) or Timber Creek Campground (projects on the west side of the Continental Divide). Free group camping is based on availability.
 
Five trail workers use hand tools to repair a trail through snow-covered trees
16 volunteers served on National Public Lands Day (9/24/2016)

NPS Photo

Things to Keep In Mind

Weather and Environment:

  • Check the weather conditions and come prepared. In the summer months, it might rain, become very windy, or even be very cold and snowy at higher elevations. In contrast, your day of service might be during a warm spell. It's your responsibility to check the weather and plan accordingly by furnishing your own outdoor weather gear to ensure personal safety in extreme cold, extreme heat, rain, snow, and other weather conditions.
  • Rocky Mountain National Park is a high-elevation park ranging from 7,600 feet to over 14,000 feet in elevation. Most volunteer work takes place between 7,600 and 12,000 feet. Keep this in mind when planning your work here. Make sure you acclimatize to the elevation before your scheduled work day.

What to Bring

  • For all projects, we ask that volunteers wear long pants, long sleeve shirts, and closed-toe shoes or boots. We also ask that groups come prepared for a day of work by bringing a backpack with plenty of water, food, a hat and sunscreen, and clothes appropriate for the weather. A backpack with a waist belt is recommended for trail projects.
  • The NPS leaders will provide leadership, tools, and equipment for the projects as well as any necessary safety equipment.
  • Group leaders are responsible for overall group supervision.
 

Next Steps

  • If you have considered the above information and would like to volunteer at Rocky, email the Volunteer Coordinator to request a catalog of opportunities. They will also send you a project request form to fill out and send back.

Remember, an application does not guarantee a project. Please wait for paperwork from the volunteer office before making plans for your project. Group projects will be assigned in the order project requests are received.

Thanks for your interest in volunteering with your group at Rocky Mountain National Park!

 

Boy Scouts of America and Girl Scouts of the USA

Rocky Mountain National Park has many special opportunities for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts who volunteer.

Last updated: March 7, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1000 US Hwy 36
Estes Park, CO 80517

Phone:

(970) 586-1206
Through winter, the Information Office is open 8:00 am–4:30 pm Mon–Fri. Recorded Trail Ridge Road status: (970) 586-1222.

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