Where You'll Be:
Just 8 miles north of ski destination Crested Butte lies the historic ghost town of Gothic and the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory (RMBL). RMBL is a premiere research and education facility where more than 9,000 scientists and students have studied, worked, and lived since 1928 to influence national environmental policy through pioneering research. In addition, RMBL is home to one of the busiest trail heads in Gunnison County: the Judd Falls Trail starts on RMBL property and provides scenic views of Gothic Mountain and Mount Crested Butte, an overlook of the namesake waterfall, and access to the western end of the Maroon Bells Wilderness as well as Conundrum Hot Springs.
What You'll Do:
This project is sure to be a hit as we volunteer in style with bunkhouses and cabins available for overnight accommodations, a full kitchen for our volunteer Crew Chefs, and a community room for meals and activities provided by the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory (RMBL). Open to volunteers ages 14+, you'll spend the weekend enjoying the fall colors and breathtaking views of the Crested Butte area while rerouting the popular Judd Falls Trail. Tasks will be physically moderate to difficult in nature as you close the old, unsustainable route and replace it with a new trail, which will require the construction of switchbacks and retaining walls.
PLEASE READ: Tent and car camping is not permitted at the lab. Those wishing to participate without staying in the bunkhouses will need to find alternate accommodations nearby.
Bunkhouse accommodations will be assigned by gender and limited cabins will be available for families and couples wishing to stay together; families with minors will take priority. Those who wish to stay overnight on Friday and/or Saturday must fill out an additional form emailed by VOC staff after registration. Those who wish to stay overnight on Friday must arrive by 7 PM. If you cannot make this time, please plan to stay in nearby Crested Butte or Gunnison and arrive Saturday morning. Finally, please be prepared to bring your own personal sleeping gear (linens not provided), including a sleeping bag rated at 20 degrees or lower.
Why It Matters:
More than 50,000 people use the Judd Falls Trail every summer, either to enjoy the short hike to the waterfall overlook or to access the Maroon Bells Wilderness for longer excursions. Used by hikers, backpackers, and equestrians, the current trail is not constructed to support this amount of traffic, especially by horses and pack strings. Your help this weekend will ensure that a variety of users can continue to enjoy the Judd Falls Trail while preserving the natural environment.
- Minors under 16 must be accompanied by an adult 21 years or older on single-day projects. Minors under 18 must be accompanied by an adult 21 years or older on overnight projects.
- Volunteers are responsible for providing their own sleeping gear. VOC will provide meals, tools, and work gloves.
- Cancellation: Our partners rely on VOC volunteers to accomplish critical stewardship needs, and our projects often have wait lists. If you need to cancel, please contact Emily Schaefer at 303-715-1010 ext. 116 as soon as possible so we can free your spot for another volunteer and have a full workforce.
About Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC)
Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC) is the state's oldest, largest, and leading outdoor stewardship nonprofit organization. Founded in 1984 to motivate and enable people to become active stewards of Colorado's natural resources, VOC has engaged nearly 120,000 people in more than 1,000 volunteer projects for a donated labor value of $24 million. Through award-winning youth and volunteer programs, leadership training, capacity-building programs, and collaborative efforts with nonprofits and land management agencies, VOC is an invaluable resource in Colorado, especially as our outdoor stewardship needs are approaching near-crisis levels. For more information, visit www.voc.org or call 303-715-1010.