Volunteer FAQ'sFrequently asked questions we get about volunteering and the process
HOW DO I REGISTER FOR A PROJECT?
To register for CDTC projects, please review, complete, sign, and return these forms to CDTC as soon as possible:
- Volunteer Registration (Fill Form Online) (Download – Print and Return)
- Volunteer Acknowledgement and Assumptions of Risks and Release and Indemnity agreement
Registration forms may be completed online here(link) or submitted by mail to:
CDTC Volunteer Program
PO Box 552
Pine, CO 80470
Registration is on a first come, first served basis. You can register for as many projects as you are able to attend. CDTC will process your registration based on the day we receive it, and place you on all projects indicated. In the event your project is full we will try to place you on an alternative project (if indicated). As space is limited, please only register for projects you know you’ll be able to attend.
To receive e-mail communications from CDTC regarding your project(s), please be sure to write your e-mail address clearly and add firstname.lastname@example.org to your address book.
WHAT DOES IT COST TO VOLUNTEER?
It is free to volunteer! We encourage you to make a donation or become a CDTC member to help us cover project costs.
Please note: Some partner projects may have different fees through the partner organization. To register for Partner Project(s) on the CDT contact the partner organizations directly as indicated in the project description.
WHY BECOME A MEMBER OR MAKE A DONATION TO CDTC?
CDTC is a non-profit organization dedicated to the completion, management and protection of the Continental Divide Trail. To best accomplish this goal, we work with the land management agencies to plan and coordinate as many volunteer projects each season as possible while maintaining high quality customer service and support for each and every volunteer. CDTC works to cover a majority of our expenses through fundraising and sponsorship.
Membership in CDTC and your donations help offset the expenses associated with each of our volunteer projects. These expenses include project identification and planning, recruitment, training, mailings, meeting & site visits with federal land managers, travel, tools, insurance, volunteer field supervision, and covering any national park or camping fees associated with a project.
They also help to support the CDTC website and informational brochures and maps. All volunteers receive a CDTC volunteer t-shirt, a goody bag filled with donated items and food for the project whenever possible.
HOW WILL I KNOW IF I’M ACCEPTED?
Your final acceptance is contingent upon CDTC’s receipt, review and approval of the registration forms. Once CDTC has received and processed your completed forms, you will receive a confirmation email.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER I’M ACCEPTED?
If you are confirmed on a project we will mail you a Project Fact Sheet(s) about a month before your scheduled project. This sheet will provide you with all the details you need to plan your trip including: meeting place, time and location, schedule, directions, maps, camping descriptions and locations, hiking distances, what’s provided, recommended personal equipment, etc.
HOW DO I REGISTER FOR PARTNER PROJECTS?
To register for Partner Project(s) on the CDT contact the partner organization directly as indicated in the project description.
DO I NEED TRAIL EXPERIENCE TO PARTICIPATE?
For most CDTC projects, no experience is required, only a willingness to learn. CDTC and the partnering agency will provide you with the on the ground training you will need to have. If experience is necessary, or the project is more strenuous, it will be noted in the project description.
HOW DIFFICULT ARE THE PROJECTS?
The specifics will be noted in each project description. While trail maintenance is inherently physical, most CDTC projects can accommodate a wide range of abilities and physicality. Please don’t hesitate to contact us to see if a project is right for you.
EASY: Suitable for a wide range of abilities. May include: Minimal hiking distances (1-3) miles, “light” work (brushing, minor tread repairs), mild elevation gain, front country setting. May be suitable for children, families. Great for first time volunteers.
MODERATE: May require longer hiking distances (3-6 miles), elevation gain of over 1000 ft. and/or more physically challenging work (heavy digging, trail construction, structures). Suitable for individuals who are comfortable on a short day hike.
STRENUOUS: Longer hikes (5+ miles), backpacking or more primitive conditions, higher elevation or elevation changes. Suitable for individuals who have some experience outdoors or with physical work.
WHAT DO I BRING?
Each volunteer is responsible for bringing their own personal gear for the project duration. Each project will vary in length and for the specific car camping/ backpacking setting. Please review the Project Fact Sheet you will receive after registration for Personal Equipment Recommendations for each project.
DO I BRING MY OWN FOOD?
Meals are provided on most CDTC projects. Some projects will have volunteer Crew Chefs who are there solely to cook and function as a camp host. Other projects will require the trail crew members to split up and perform the cooking and camp chores. We are always looking for more great Crew Chefs. Please visit our website or contact us for information on our Crew Chef program.
WHAT WILL I HAVE TO CARRY TO THE PROJECT SITE?
On most of the projects you are required to carry your personal gear (day pack or backpack) and up to two tools (shovel, Pulaski, pick mattock, etc.). Some projects may have pack animals to assist carrying tools and some personal equipment. This will be indicated on the Project Fact Sheet for each project.
WHAT WILL WE DO?
Each project will vary, but common tasks include:
- Cutting and removing fallen trees to clear the trail corridor
- Maintaining and constructing structures such as rock walls, steps, or bridges
- Clearing overgrown vegetation on the trail
- Maintaining and improving the trail tread
WHAT ARE THE AGE REQUIREMENTS?
For most projects, volunteers must be at least 18 years or older. Some projects will allow participation of children ten years and older with the supervision of an adult. Please contact us at email@example.com for specific questions regarding children and each volunteer project.
HOW DO I GET THERE?
Each volunteer is responsible for getting to the meeting site. CDTC encourages volunteers to carpool to the projects. If you are interested in carpooling to the project meeting site, please contact CDTC for an authorized list of volunteer email addresses. Some projects require 4WD vehicles. Please review the transportation requirements on each Project Fact Sheet.
DO I NEED TO VOLUNTEER FOR THE ENTIRE LENGTH OF THE PROJECT
We are filling positions for volunteers who can attend the entire length of the project first. If there are still spaces available, we will then consider individuals that can work for a portion of the project length. It is mandatory to participate in the first day of the project for the orientation, safety and project overview briefings.
CAN I BRING MY DOG(S)?
Dogs are not allowed on project work sites for safety reasons and concern for the animal(s) and others involved on the project.
WHAT IS THE ALCOHOL POLICY?
CDTC does not provide alcohol on projects, though occasionally a sponsor will provide donated libations. If a volunteer decides to bring and consume alcohol, they need to so in moderation and outside the designated work hours.