About the Stewardship Site:
Standing at 14,433 feet, Mount Elbert is Colorado's tallest mountain and the apex of the Rocky Mountain Range. Elbert draws thousands of hikers, and the Mount Elbert Trail (also called the South Mount Elbert Trail), ascending the mountain's east flank, is one of the most popular routes. It climbs through the San Isabel National Forest and across alpine tundra, crossing paths with the occasional marmot, pika or mountain goat before reaching the summit.
About the Volunteer Experience:
Colorado's 14,000-foot mountains - dubbed "fourteeners" - pay a price for their popularity, in the form of erosion and trail widening. On this project, volunteers will reroute the lower 2 miles of the South Elbert Trail, constructing new tread along a more sustainable alignment. Work may also include alpine restoration, and the closing of "social trails," which contribute to erosion. Tasks will be physically moderate to difficult and at high altitude, making this project perfect for adventurous and physically fit volunteers, comfortable working at intermediate-and-above skill levels.
Please Note: Due to the remote location, volunteers are required to participate in the entire duration of the project.
About the Overall Impact:
As one of the most visited fourteeners, Mount Elbert is also one of the most vulnerable. Mount Elbert's three main summit routes can see tens of thousands of hikers in a single summer! This project will address issues stemming from high-use, improving trail erosion and protecting the surrounding delicate alpine habitat.