Wilderness Corps

Work in the heart of Southwest Oregon’s and Northwest California’s great Wilderness Areas to recover trail configurations disappearing from the landscape. Build your resume and position yourself for a career.

General information
Our Wilderness Corps program provides interns a powerful entry into a competitive work environment and career tracks in the outdoors. WCC interns complete a remote enrichment and competency portion of the program May 1 – June 1. Then they go to work in the backwoods June 21 – August 28.

Compensation and housing
Interns receive a $1,200 monthly training stipend for July and August ($2,400 total). Interns are paid every two weeks. Interns are also eligible for up to $1,000 in bonuses for tuition assistance to your college of attendance.

You’re up for it: Apply now!

We provide rustic housing for days off. We provide secure storage for interns and transportation to and from project sites.

Remote enrichment and competency, May 1 – June 1
Throughout this period, provide regular updates online. Interns are encouraged to check in with staff through this period with inquiries and reflections. This portion of the internship can be completed anywhere in the world. All activities are required.

  • May 1: Get hired
    Receive educational materials, instructions, agreements.

  • May 9: Remote orientation
    Have a conversation and introduce yourself to the crew. Ask questions, develop clarity in expectations, and get going on your gear hunt.

  • May 15: Carhart Competency due.
    You are required to have completed the Arthur Carhart Wilderness Training Center’s Online Wilderness Competency Course by this date. The entire course takes approximately three hours and can be completed in intervals. It is free, online, and a strong resume builder.

  • June 1: Reading and essay requirements due
    Read assigned stories from interns from years past as well as a news article, and watch a 15 minute documentary on Siskiyou Mountain Club. Submit 500 word essay on your reflections from the stories and your expectations for the summer.

  • June 5 (due): Take a hike
    Before participating in another mandatory conference call, take a hike that’s new to you and post some pictures and thoughts.

    Field work and Wilderness Stewardship: June 21 – August 28
    You will be responsible for bringing trails back to life from start to finish in the heart of the West Coast’s most remote Federal Wilderness Areas. Work 10 days at a time, self supported in the Siskiyou backcountry, with four days off in between hitches.

  • June 21 – 27: Orientation
    This crash course in backcountry travel, work, and living is when you’ll learn everything you need to know for the summer. After a day in the classroom, hike straight into a remote project site and get trained up.

  • July 1 – 10: Hitch one
  • July 15 – 24: Hitch two
  • July 25 – August 3: Breakout
    Drop the tools and complete a rigorous backpacking trip that includes night hikes, river and creek travel, and off trail avenues in the most remote Wilderness Areas on the Pacific Coast. Mid season party in the backwoods. Take a few days off and refresh.

  • August 5 – 14: Hitch three
    Start exercising your leadership skills and taking on executive functions of the crew.

  • August 19 – 28: Hitch four
    Complete your project and wrap summer up in style.

  • September 15: Reflection essay due
    This 1,000 word essay needs to be well thought and judiciously crafted to receive a $1,000 educational award.

    You’re up for it: Apply now!

    • Work above schedule.
    • Working long hours in remote settings in adverse conditions.
    • Use hand tools to restore and maintain trails.
    • Be self reliant and maintain professional attitude in a wilderness setting. Crews pack in their own food and supplies and are self sufficient under the guidance of experienced staff.
    • Proper gear. We do have some loaner gear, but you need quality boots and some basic gear.

    You’re up for it: Apply now!

    • Must be 18 or over by June 21, 2019.
    • Ability to complete strenuous physical tasks day in, day out, including traveling on foot over rough terrain for up to 10-miles per day carrying 50 pounds or more
    • Ability to live and work in remote, primitive settings with no access to communication technology
    No tobacco use or electronic devices on the trail
    • You must be able to participate all aforementioned activities and exercises.
    • Basic lightweight backpacking gear including sturdy boots, durable apparel, and a lightweight sleeping bag, tent, stove, utensils and backpack
    • Ability to work in and manage poison oak

    You’re up for it: Apply now!

  • 2018 intern Yutaro Sakairi

    2018 Wilderness Corps in the 179,000 acre Siskiyou Wilderness Area

    Read more about the National Wilderness Preservation System

    Explore the most remote lands in the Pacific Northwest

    2018 intern Haleigh Martin, 2019 crew lead: “I got to make a real difference”

    Challenge is abound

    2016 interns Val Chavez and Nick Hodges

    2016 Wilderness Corps

    Daily commute to work