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Volunteer Work Week

Want to spend a week camping in a beautiful place doing important work with fun people? Every year, Friends of the Inyo partners with the Sierra National Forest or the Inyo National Forest to take volunteers into the wilderness to maintain trails and restore campsites and lakes shores. In 2021, join us on the Eagle Creek Wilderness Project June 21-23, and the Cottonwood Creek Wilderness Project in September.

Wilderness projects take place in scenic, remote locations throughout the high country. In past years we’ve traveled to Fourth Recess Lake, Humphreys Basin, and Shadow Creek.


Impacts to trail deep in wilderness areas present a challenge to rangers. Agency budgets fluctuate while the consistently growing demand recreation can leave  trashed camp sites, and illegal fire rings, and trails in need of maintenance.

Our Work

Each year FOI funds a forest service wilderness ranger who helps take care of these majestic landscapes. Volunteers and our Trail Ambassador crew meet this ranger in the backcountry and work to maintain trails, restore campsites, and clean lakes shores. 

The National Forests provides pack stock for support. Volunteers come from all walks of life. We’ve had long-time Eastern Sierra residents working alongside visitors from Southern California or the Bay area.

Each wilderness work week finds a new location to help in the scenic and beautiful wilderness. At the end of work days there is plenty of time to enjoy photography and scrambling to hidden alpine lakes or local peaks. 

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What’s a day like on the Volunteer work week?

A day of stewardship in the high country usually begins with stretching, and then a hike to the work site. Possible projects include running the crosscut saw to remove trees across the trail, joining the crew in technical rock or trail work, or rehabbing campsites that are impacting habitat or water quality.

We find time to have fun too. Bring your camera, fishing pole, guitar or climbing shoes. There’s plenty of time to unwind and enjoy the Sierra high country. Want to join our next volunteer workweek? Please contact for more information.

Join or Support the Volunteer Work Week


Provide a special donation for a volunteer to attend the workweek

Learn More

Contact our Stewardship director to join the Work Week 


Stories from the John Muir Wilderness Work Week 2018

I’m back to the comfort of home, and for better or worse, it is home. I know where everything goes as I unpack: a tent, a rainfly, a ground cloth, a sleeping bag, and two mattresses I carry just in case one pops. A tiny stove. Camp clothes. I unpack feeling sadness–the wilderness trip I’d looked forward to so much is over. I come from the “lowlands,” according to John Muir, and hence the question: how do I find myself on a wilderness project….

Ansel Adams Wilderness Work Week 2017

All I really needed were a few community service hours for school next year, which I just happened to put off until the last minute. However, like any fifteen-year-old nowadays, I despise heavy labor. Signing up for five days of backcountry trail stewardship in the Ansel Adams Wilderness would not have been my first choice, and I called myself crazy when I did so. Yet this week with Friends of the Inyo, the Inyo National Forest, and funding from the National Forest Foundation turned out to be one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had…

Agnew Meadows to Shadow Lake | Volunteer Work Week

Join Friends of the Inyo and the Sierra National Forest for a spectacular five day trip to Shadow Lake out of Agnew Meadows. August 9-13 RSVP deadline: Friday July 28 We’ll be doing fire ring rehab, brushing and minor trail maintenance. Projects can be adapted to physical limitations of volunteers. Volunteers are responsible for their own backpacking equipment and food (if this is a problem, please contact Julia) Volunteers must be confident in their ability to hike and work at elevation for 5 days. Pack stock are available to bring in tools and food. Bear cans required — FOI will…