Our Crews

Estes Crew

The Estes Crew lives in an old Victorian house in the town of Estes Park, Colorado. They spend six weeks working with the Facilities Management division of the National Park Service on trail maintenance projects in Rocky Mountain National Park and two weeks with Resource Management assisting with re-vegetation, exotics, and restoration. This crew is part of the team that keeps heavily-used front and back-country trails accessible for over three million visitors each year. Typical trail work includes building and cleaning drainage structures, restoring trail surfaces and trimming encroaching vegetation. Revegetation includes salvaging native plants and removing invasive species.

Estes Crew

2016 Estes Crew

Shadow Mountain Crew

The Shadow Mountain Crew  lives and works in Arapaho National Forest near Grand Lake, Colorado. Bunkhouse cabins in Shadow Mountain Village provide comfortable accommodations and connection with the professional team that manages the Sulphur Ranger District’s resources. Typical trail work includes restoring trail drainage, building bridges, and using cross-cut saws in removal of hazard trees that could limit public access to the forest and Indian Peaks Wilderness.

Shadow Mountain Crew

2016 Shadow Mountain Crew

Rawah Crew

The Rawah Wilderness Crew is largely self-supervised and lives and works in the back-country of Roosevelt National Forest. Stub Creek Bunkhouse is this crew’s comfortable base camp when not overnighting somewhere along the trail. Typical work includes the use of hand tools and saws in restoration of drainage and removal of downed trees that block trails and degrade watersheds by altering back-country travel patterns. The autonomous nature of this crew’s work allows considerable flexibility in achieving its goals and places high priority on team leadership, spirit and commitment. Rawah Crew often teams up with Red Feather Crew on joint projects in Canyon Lakes Ranger District.

Rawah Crew

2016 Rawah Wilderness Crew

Red Feather Crew

The Red Feather Crew, is moving back to Dowdy Lake this year. With updated housing, the crew will be well poised to complete deferred maintenance in the Red Feather Lakes and Poudre Canyon areas. The Red Feather Crew will be doing significant work in drainage restoration, slope stabilization, and erosion control installation. They will also be finishing up on work started last year on the flood affected Lions Gulch and North Fork trails. Additionally, many of the areas they will be working in will require backcountry hitches.

Red Feather Crew

2016 Red Feather Crew

Boulder Crew

The Boulder Crew will be working with the Boulder Ranger District of the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest. They will be stationed just outside of Nederland, CO at the Kelly Dahl Campground. Much of their work will be completed along the St. Vrain drainage and in the Indian Peaks Wilderness, specifically in areas affected by the flood. Like Rawah and Fort Collins crews, the Boulder Crew’s season will involve work that requires backcountry hitches.

Boulder Crew

2016 Boulder Crew

Kawuneeche Crew 

This year the Rocky Mountain Conservancy – Conservation Corps is introducing a new crew. The Kawuneeche Crew will be living and working in the Kawuneeche Valley and throughout the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park. Rather than focusing on the natural resources, the crew will work to preserve the cultural resource of the Park alongside the special projects division. These historical preservation projects will require the crews to learn traditional methods using hand tools to help restore historic structures within Rocky Mountain National Park.

Kawuneechee Crew.JPG

2016 Kawuneeche Crew


3 thoughts on “Our Crews

  1. My Grandaughter, Hailey Frost is on one of these
    Conservation Crews. She is a very smart, hard working young lady. Her Aunt Karin Frost-Madrid,
    Who is And has been, a Supervisor with The Forest
    Service for a number of years, recommended Hailey
    For this Summer Job. I am sure she will not only meet all your expectations but surpass them. She takes pride in anything she does. She is a freshman at
    NMSU with excellent grades and will be continuing
    There this Fall. Her Family are very proud of the
    Person Hailey is becoming. She is always willing to
    Help in anyway she can and frequently volunteers
    Where ever she sees a need. I am sure you will find
    Her work with this team, more than adequate to
    satisfy your requirements.

  2. My son Garret Fox is a member of the Rawah crew but I must confess I have a difficult time recognizing him in the pictures sent back from this magical place. Whatever elixir he has consumed there has transformed him completely and to what appears to be a very strong, capable young man with a love of nature that only comes from up close and personal experience.

    To this end I submit a couple of text messages Garret sent back on the occasion when he did have cell phone service. The first text was in response to the news that a dear family friend had passed away.

    July 5th, 2016

    Hey Dad. I neither have much time nor much battery but I read your last message. Give them my love and sincere condolences. I can still hear the unending life advice that emanated from that great man’s home. I will sorely miss him. Yet as in all things, life is full of stark contrast. As Keith was leaving this world, I was witness to a world that preceded humanity. For two days I was surrounded by nothing but grazing moose, grassy meadows, and the sound of gurgling streams and whispering forest. Even with a pack making each step harder than the last, there is nothing more peaceful (on this earth at least) than pure wilderness. I love you, NMW.

    July 22, 2016

    As thunder clouds roll overhead and sheets of rain pummel the thin rain fly above me, I shift my numb legs out from under the thigh of my crew mate and the back of my crew leader. It is the last night of our first back country hitch and the storm has forced my crew to hunker down in the nearest tent. The body heat that has accumulated over the past half hour is only bearable by the stories and guffaws that resonate within. It is amazing to me how many good memories can come from such miserable circumstances. I am alive, uncomfortable, and doing great out here. Love you guys.

  3. Here is the last text message we received from Garret before he rejoins family later this week.

    It’s always strange coming back to Estes Park. The crowded streets and bustling storefronts have become as foreign to me as the wilderness was almost 12 weeks ago. Although I walk the same streets, shop in the same isles and eat the same food as those that surround me, I never feel like I belong there. My last wilderness experience came on Monday morning. My freind Otino and I rubbed our eyes as we strapped on our packs and walked across the trailhead parking lot in the glare of our headlamps. It was two in the morning when we started hiking the eight miles to the top of Long’s Peak and it wouldn’t be until noon when we’d return. What happened in those ten hours was perhaps the most stunning and strenuous experience of my summer. There were a myriad of memorable moments during that time but one in particular lingers in my mind. Hiking in the dark above Alpine, we stopped to take a short water break and to gaze at the stars. I point out a couple constellations but soon was transfixed by the shimmer of Estes Park in the valley below. No matter how much more at home I felt in the wild, I knew that I’d have to return to those bright lights and busy streets… and I knew it was the right thing to do. Spending the summer in the wilderness has been more than incredible but in order for it to stay wild I must remain a guest. It was when I realized this that I finally was able to embrace the end of my time here in Colorado. I’m ready to come home.

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