2017 Trail Crew

Hiring 2017 Wilderness Conservation Corps interns

Save trails, discover the wilderness, make money for college
Siskiyou Mountain Club is hiring college interns to work our 2017 field season. Interns spend a summer living from their backpacks, working on remote trail projects in Southwest Oregon. In addition to working four 10-day hitches, interns spend 10 days in July participating in writing workshops, drafting essays, backpacking (without tools), and meeting with land managers and industry professionals to seize on future employment opportunities. Interns build resumes, gain a powerful career experience. They make a $1,600 stipend and work towards $2,000 in tuition reimbursement.

Interns are trained to perform trail work to US Forest Service and Siskiyou Mountain Club standards under the direction of qualified crew leaders. They work in step with previous SMC interns who have worked into staff positions. Some interns work into future staff positions with Siskiyou Mountain Club, government agencies, and other non-profits.

Field work
You will be working harder than you have in your life to revive trails that have disappeared from the heart of of remote wilderness areas. The Siskiyou region is home to the most remote wild lands on the West Coast. Our wilderness areas are defined by rugged character, untrammeled nature, and diversity. So are our crews. You will be required to perform tasks including, but not limited to:

  • Restoring trails damaged by wildfire
  • Trail construction and re-routes
  • Building rock walls and long-lasting structures from native materials onsite
  • Finding and restoring lost trails
  • Restoring illegal campsites
  • Routine maintenance, including brushing trail corridors and re-aligning historic trail benches
  • Removing noxious weeds
  • Using old-fashioned crosscut saws

Academic work
Interns complete coursework accredited by Southern Oregon University’s Outdoor Adventure Leadership program major. Complete lessons including, but not limited to:

  • Daily readings from outdoor authors
  • Daily documentation of conditions, accomplishments, other metrics
  • Ecology of the Siskiyous including plant identification, basic geology and natural history
  • Wilderness management decisions
  • Four essays completed over the course of summer

Position location
The SMC is based in Ashland, OR. SMC provides transportation between Ashland and work locations. SMC will provide camping accommodations with laundry, showers, and internet service during time off.

Interns receive a $40 per-diem, which is paid out after each 10-day work hitch. After completing the academic program, interns receive $2,000 in tuition reimbursement.

Expected responsibilities

  • Work effectively with crew members and crew leaders to complete field assignments.
  • Maintain high quality stewardship standards
  • Demonstrate passion for SMC mission and serve as organizational representative to the public while on the trail
  • Practice Leave No Trace principles on project sites and in camp
  • Follow and practice SMC policies without waiver
  • Sustain a fun, safe and positive work environment in challenging conditions
  • Complete coursework


  • Must be enrolled in accredited community college or university. No for-profit colleges.
  • Ability to complete strenuous physical tasks day in, day out, including traveling on foot over rough terrain for up to 10-miles per day carrying 50 pounds or more
  • Ability to live and work in remote, primitive settings with no access to communication technology
  • No tobacco use or mobile devices on the trail
  • You must be able to participate in training session and all four work hitches.
  • Basic lightweight backpacking gear including sturdy boots, durable apparel, and a lightweight sleeping bag, tent, stove, utensils and backpack.
  • Ability to work in and manage poison oak

2016 schedule

June 23 – 29: Orientation (unpaid). Backpack into the Kalmiopsis Wilderness and learn the basics you’ll need to live and work in the backcountry for the summer
July 3 – 26: Two ten day hitches in the backcountry with four days off in between each hitch.
July 27 – August 5: Education and Exploration Week. Meet with land managers and industry leaders to seize on future employment opportunities. Participate in writing workshops. Take backpacking trip through Kalmiopsis Wilderness, without tools.
August 7 – 30: Two more ten day hitches with four days off in between.

Still interested? Just click here to apply.