Backcountry Trails Program corpsmembers are assigned to one of 6 backcountry trail crews that will live in remote wilderness camps performing trail work for an uninterrupted 5-month season. Locations vary, but often include Yosemite, Kings Canyon, Inyo, Shasta-Trinity, and Klamath. Crews spend 40 hours per week learning and performing traditional trail maintenance and construction skills using predominantly non-motorized hand tools like crosscut saws, rock bars, and grip hoists. In addition to work hours, members are required to participate in camp chores and crew activities, such as curriculum and events. On weekends, members are encouraged to explore the wilderness surrounding their camp in groups of 4 or more. All program policies still apply on weekends.
Members live with crew supervisors and sponsors from our partner agencies for the duration of the season, making this an excellent opportunity to learn directly from experienced trail workers, supervisors, and cooks, and build a strong professional network within the National Park Service, US Forest Service, and California State Parks. BCTP is very highly regarded in the trail world, and the majority of our members have gone on to work for other conservation organizations for one or more seasons.
Members earn a $2610/month stipend, plus a $3447 AmeriCorps education award upon completion. A required $500/month deduction pays for all food costs. Health insurance, housing (camping), and Wilderness First Aid certification are provided for free. We can also provide most required backpacking equipment for those who are not able or do not wish to purchase their own.
Must meet AmeriCorps and CCC eligibility requirements. See website for more information. Applicants DO NOT need to be California residents.
This is an entry-level work development program. No trails or wilderness experience is required.
Desire to work hard, engage with a community of diverse people, adhere to strict program structure and policies.
About Backcountry Trails Program
The Backcountry Trails Program (BCTP) was established in 1979 and is the longest running special program of the California Conservation Corps. The BCTP has also been an AmeriCorps program for more than two decades.
It is a five-plus month commitment to intense work and adventure with unique learning experiences in a truly spectacular environment. Those who complete the program will leave with renewed vigor, optimal fitness, augmented work ethic, and will be better able to live and work cooperatively with others.
Corpsmembers learn the historic skills of trail maintenance and construction, and the process of building healthy, inclusive communities. Highly regarded in the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, and trails community, the BCTP offers a path for those interested in pursuing a career in related fields. An estimated 70-percent of BCTP alumni have gone on to work in trails and other conservation related fields for at least one season.