Trail Ambassador Program

The Inyo National Forest is the second-most-visited National Forest in California. Yet most visitors pass through without ever having identified a plant, learned the name of a peak, or picked up a piece of trash. Friends of the Inyo’s Trail Ambassadors aim to change that.

After a highly successful pilot season in 2017, the 2018 Trail Ambassador Program has doubled its reach, staffing four Trail Ambassadors across the Eastern Sierra from Mount Whitney to Yosemite. Trail Ambassadors seek to ignite a passion for environmental stewardship, connecting visitors and local residents with public lands through education, interpretation, and hands-on restoration.

Click here to meet our Trail Ambassadors. Be sure to say hello if you spot them out on the trails!

Support the Trail Ambassador Program Today!

Two more chance to join our Trail Ambassadors for some great interpretive programming this summer*!

Taking and Making: a History of our High Sierra Waters
10 AM at the Mosquito Flat Trailhead in Rock Creek

Wednesday 8/29

Plants of Little Lakes Valley: Their Uses and Identification
10 AM at Rock Creek Lakes Resort

Saturday 9/22

*If you would like to schedule a personalized interpretive hike for your group, please contact

Volunteer out on the trail:

  • Trail Work Thursdays: join the Trail Ambassadors one Thursday each month for a morning of trail work or clean up on high country trails. 2018 Trail Work Thursdays will happen on June 21 in Bishop, July 19 in Lone Pine, and August 16 in Mammoth. Check our calendar for meeting locations and times. All ages welcome! Please wear work-appropriate clothing and bring water, snacks, and sun protection.

Updates from the world of the Trail Ambassadors

Member Profile: Amy King Miller & Steve Miller from Rock Creek Lakes Resort

Below is the unabridged version of a conversation featured in the Fall 2018 Jeffrey Pine Journal. In late August, Communications & Outreach Manager Alex Ertaud sat down on the deck of the Rock Creek Lakes Resort with Amy King Miller and Steve Miller, managers and co-owners of the aforementioned establishment. We touched on how they came into the role, what the place means to them, and how they came to be great supporters of the Trail Ambassador Program. Alex Ertaud, Friends of the Inyo: Sitting here at the Rock Creek Lakes Resort, right, that’s the official name? Amy King Miller,…

Musings of a Trail Ambassador

by Melissa Petrich, Friends of the Inyo Trail Ambassador. As I patrolled the Horton Creek Trail I was reminded of a statement a friend made a few years back: “Environmentalists are the most selfish people.” At the time, this statement took me aback. Confused, I decided not to think about it too much, but here I am years later with that comment still in the back of my mind. His statement was quickly followed with, “Environmentalists are not trying to conserve the earth for the earth’s sake, but for the sake of humans. We are conserving it for ourselves and…

Families Enjoy Rock Creek with Trail Ambassadors

A Better Family Vacation! Starring Trail Ambassadors at Rock Creek Julia Runcie and the Trail Ambassadors rescued us from our fourth of July doldrums. (They can save your family vacation too!) Friends of the Inyo leads family friendly hikes and volunteer events bringing lucky folks together with nature.  This last weekend included two hikes ripe with fun, sun, and adventure (for free!) Our family planned to bounce from car rides, the Mammoth Amusement Park,  sugar highs, boredom, fights, etc… Our weekend trip with Friends of the Inyo (A Better Way) My dad and I enjoyed getting into the John Muir…

Halfway Point for the Trail Ambassadors

Thanks to YOU, we reached our fundraising goal this spring and were able to fully staff our 2018 Trail Ambassador Program with four incredibly talented individuals: David, Melissa, Lauren, and Robin.  Their beat extends from Cottonwood Pass to Lundy Canyon, and since June 12 they’ve been hard at work maintaining trails throughout the Inyo National Forest. The Trail Ambassadors also lead regular service projects for volunteers and teach interpretive programs on topics ranging from alpine lake ecology to mushroom ID. We’re blown away by everything the Trail Ambassadors have accomplished so far this summer: 1202 visitor contacts 736 hours of volunteer time…

Watch Out for Washouts

Major storms in July devastated Eastern Sierra roads and trails. A 40-foot-high mudslide across 168 West stranded hikers in the Sabrina Basin, and severe washouts made the Pine Creek Pass and Piute Pass Trails nearly impassable. Another mudslide closed the Lundy Canyon Road and destroyed a portion of the trail reroute our Stewardship Crew spent three weeks building in June. Luckily, Friends of the Inyo’s Trail Ambassadors are poised to address exactly this type of emergency. With extensive experience, flexible schedules, and great attitudes, they can act as first responders for trail crises throughout the region. On short notice, we…

Huge thanks go to our 2018 Supporters:

Mary Bates Abbott, Aguabonita Flyfishers, Timm Alexander, Katherine Allen, William Apt, Ralph and Nasrin Barbee, Lindsay Barksdale, Marie Bartorona, Julian Birrell, Kurt Bomke, Michael Boone and Lisa Lilley, Lynn Boulton, Anne Bramhall, Carol Broberg, Eileen Burger, Joan Busby, Alison and Henry Collin, Kevin Corcoran, Naomi Cridebring, Tess Dahlgren, J Paul and Laurie David, Laura and Mark Deem, Diane Dickey, Bill Dunlap, Donald and April Durkee, Christophe Ertaud, Nancy and Claude Fiddler, Steve Filarsky and Barbara J Ward, Karen Fisher and Sam Roberts, Gayle Frickel, Linda Garberson, David German and Judy Rittenhouse, Don and Linda Goffinet, John and Ros Gorham, James and Donna Gottfried, Michael Graber, Joan Hamilton, John and Julie Helms, Laird Hendricks, Tom Hinck, Carolyn Honer, Linda and Delbert Hubbs, David Humes, June Lake Pines, Kathleen Kahn, Barbara Kalkis, Kevin and Ann Klinefelter, Gary and Karen Kvasnicka, Ron and Katharine Lang, Mark Langner and Lynn Inouye, Jacob Lustig, Ann and Keith Mangold, Viki Maxwell, Roberta McIntosh, George Mellon, John Moore, Donovan Otto, Michelle and Don Paolilli, Barb and Dennis Phillips, Leo and Delia Pisculli, Phil Pister, Katie Quinlan and Tim Tiernan, Robin Rickershauser, Renee Rivera, Marc Mankowski, Maggie Saffen, Suzanne and Sanford Scholton, Aaron Setran, Linda Shepler, John and Judi Skillman, Harrison Snider, Lawrence Stern, Peter Thiemann, Ann Tozier and Henry Blommer, Jean Tozier, Libby Vincent, Michael and Terri Wachtler, Stephen Walker, Edie and Erich Warkentine, Matthew Watson, Ben Wickham, Monda Wiseman, Carole Mall, and the following organizations:

The Trail Ambassador Program wouldn’t happen with out you.
Thank you!