National Public Lands Day @ Rio Grande Natural Area

Come work on trail construction and erosion control in the San Luis Hills Wilderness Study Area next to the Rio Grande Natural Area!
Type of Work:
Ecological Restoration, Recreation, Trail Construction, Trail Restoration/Maintenance
September 28, 2019 - September 29, 2019
8:00 am-4:00 pm
Physical Difficulty:
Minimum Age:
Southern Mountains
Groups Allowed:
Payment Required:
Individual, Family, Friends Registration Organized Group Registration
You will be sent to a secure registration site.


Project photo by Mike Blakeman

Where You'll Be:
Spent the weekend in the San Luis Hills Wilderness Study Area near the Rio Grande Natural Area,
an incredible landscape near the New Mexico border that runs along the Rio Grande River corridor and features beautiful cliffs, bluffs, canyons, and river views. With distant views of the Sangre de Cristo and San Juan Mountains, this remote area is rich in cultural history and is a priority area for protection of the natural resources of the river corridor.

What You'll Do:
Join up to 50 volunteers in celebrating National Public Lands Day in a vast and scenic area of Colorado! One volunteer crew will spend the weekend building rock structures with a hydrologist from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) while others work to transform the John James Trail - currently an old, two-track road - into a singletrack trail for hikers and equestrians. All volunteers have the option to enjoy campsites under starry skies and free meals provided by our volunteer Crew Chefs.

Please Note: High clearance and 4WD are HIGHLY advised for access to the camp and project site.

Why It Matters:
Volunteers' efforts will have a two-fold impact: the rock structures you create will help preserve the health of the Rio Grande River by preventing a significant amount of sediment from washing into it, and the rebuilt John James Trail will provide new-and-improved recreation opportunities for both residents and visitors alike. Plus, you'll be part of the nation's largest single-day volunteer effort to care for America's public lands!

Need-to-Know Details:

  • Minors under 18 must be accompanied by an adult 21 years or older on overnight projects.
  • Volunteers are responsible for providing their own camping equipment. 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 or call 303-715-1010.