Backcountry Trails Program in partnership with Americorps

Corpsmember in foreground looks back at Corpsmembers up the trail swinging tools

A Trinity Alps Backcountry Trail Crew uses primitive hand tools to carve a new trail into the side of a mountain.

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 in miserable living conditions for minimal pay. Make no mistake – this not a paid vacation.

Participants are offered an intense 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.

The BCTP assembles six crews from widely diverse backgrounds. The crews leave behind the conveniences of modern life and venture into the mountains to spend five months doing some of the most challenging and ultimately rewarding work of their lives. BCTP 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. As a direct result of the skills acquired from their experience in the BCTP, an estimated 70-percent of BCTP alumni have gone on to work in trails and other conservation related fields for at least one season.

Hands-on trail work, living and working in remote wilderness locations, five months completely off the grid, and the potential to earn an AmeriCorps scholarship make the Backcountry Trails Program incredibly unique. Corpsmembers call the BCTP experience unforgettable and transformative.

Feel free to contact us via email The new number for the Backcountry office will be (707) 572-8752 as we relocate to Eureka in the coming weeks.

Photo of backcountry lake, water in the foreground, mountains in the deep background

How to Apply

Read about the program and how to apply for the 2023 Backcountry Trails season.

More About How to Apply

The Work and Experience

Do you have what it takes to literally move mountains?

More About The Work and Experience

Female Corpsmember wearing PPE uses rock bar to lift giant rock during trail work in backcountry