• Volunteer Opportunities

The canyons need your help!

Volunteers are the backbone of the Cottonwood Canyons Foundation, leading wildflower walks during the summer, guiding students through a winter wonderland on snowshoes, taking photos and tabling at community events, and getting dirty while building trails and digging out stubborn invasive weeds. Opportunities abound for assisting us in our mission to improve the environments of Millcreek Canyon, Big Cottonwood Canyon, and Little Cottonwood Canyon.

Scroll down to browse our volunteer opportunities, or click the quick links below:

Graffiti Removal   Habitat Restoration   Wildflower Guides   Silver Lake Field Trip Guides   Snowshoe with a Naturalist  Tour with a Ranger   Organizational


Stewardship opportunities take place from late spring to early fall and are the most physically rigorous volunteer opportunities in the Cottonwoods. You’ll certainly get your workout in while giving back to the canyons you love. Believe it or not, they require constant maintenance and care: from improving existing trails to creating new ones, from graffiti removal to litter pick up, and from pulling invasive weeds to planting native seedlings, many hands make light work!

Trail Work

Trail work is physically demanding yet rewarding! Trail Crew volunteers hike over uneven terrain to get to and from their work site, and use heavy tools such as shovels, mcleods, and pulaskis (training on use of these tools is provided). Work is sometimes in minimal shade and often on hot days.

Typically, the Trail Crew takes volunteers Wednesdays through Saturdays, depending on their workload. Work days usually begin at 7:45 AM and wrap up at 2:45 PM. Schedule a work day for yourself or for your group! All trail work requires pre-registration. Visit our calendar to see our large community event days.

If you are looking to schedule a trail work day for a larger community or corporate group, or would like to arrange a date as an individual, please e-mail our Trails Director (trails@cottonwoodcanyons.org)

Graffiti Removal

CCF is partnering with the Salt Lake Climbers Alliance and the Forest Service to wash away spray paint increasingly found on boulders and rock outcrops in the canyons. Get ready to learn what “elephant snot” is!  Email our Trails Director for information on graffiti removal service days.

Invasive Weeds and Restoration

Join the fight against invasive weeds in Millcreek Canyon and Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons. Weed pulls are a great opportunity to get involved in protecting the health of your water supply! Invasive weeds are a threat to ecosystem health for a myriad of reasons. Help out by spending a morning, afternoon, evening, or a day pulling weeds in our beautiful mountains. Organize a group of coworkers, friends, your community group or just come on your own! Training and tools are provided. Please dress appropriately for the weed pull in work clothing you do not mind getting dirty. We recommend long-sleeves. Be sure to bring water, a hat, sunscreen and get ready to have fun! Our weed pulls run April through August each summer. Visit our calendar to check out the schedule and e-mail our Invasive Weeds Coordinator (plants@cottonwoodcanyons.org) to schedule a weed pull.


Are you looking to broaden your ecology and natural resource knowledge in the Wasatch Range and share this wisdom with others? We need you! Volunteer opportunities change with the seasons, but there is something for every aspiring or seasoned environmental educator. We provide the necessary training to confidently lead naturalist tours on trail or snow. To get involved email: education@cottonwoodcanyons.org for Fall Silver Lake Field Trips and Snowshoe With a Naturalist, and volunteer@cottonwoodcanyons.org for Wasatch Wildflower Guides and Ski With A Ranger.

Wasatch Wildflower Guides

If you love wildflowers and have an interest in interacting/working with the public, come join us as a Wasatch Wildflower Guide. No wildflower ID experience necessary–we’ll give you all the training you need to lead tours in Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons during peak blooms. You must be able to attend at least five Wednesday evening trainings from 6-8 PM late May through late July, and guide at least two days during the Wasatch Wildflower Festival. You’ll receive a guide t-shirt, a group of great hiking friends, and our endless appreciation! Interested in becoming a guide? Contact us at volunteer@cottonwoodcanyons.org to get involved for summer 2020. We will be accepting volunteers through May 10th.

Fall Silver Lake Field Trip Guides

When the students go back to school for the fall, we begin our 4th Grade Silver Lake Field Trips at the Silver Lake Visitor’s Center in Big Cottonwood Canyon, and we need interpretive tour guides! These field trips cover animal adaptations, watershed health, habitats, and the water cycle in a gorgeous mountain setting. We often see moose, brilliant fall foliage, and a variety of fascinating water bugs! Volunteers receive interpretive and curriculum-specific trainings before leading tours. Tours run Tuesday-Friday, 10 AM to 12 PM, from the beginning of September to the beginning of October. Guides must be able to lead at least one field trip group a week. Contact us at education@cottonwoodcanyons.org to get involved for Fall 2020!

Snowshoe with a Naturalist Guides

January through March, guides swap hiking boots for snowshoes and lead both field trip and community groups on tours of Spruces Campground in Big Cottonwood Canyon. Like the Silver Lake Field Trips, these tours cover watershed health and adaptations, as well as scat and track identification in the snow. Volunteers receive interpretive and curriculum-specific trainings before leading tours. Field trip tours run Tuesday-Friday, 10 AM to 12 PM, but we also host a number of Full Moon Tours and Alta Snowshoe Tours.  Guides must be able to lead at least one field trip group a week. In return, guides receive ski pass perks. Contact us at education@cottonwoodcanyons.org to get involved for Winter 2021!

Ski with a Ranger Guides

Mid-December through March, we have a dedicated group of volunteers on skis who give naturalist tours to resort-goers at Brighton, Solitude, Alta, and Snowbird. Volunteers interact with visitors between co-led tours on easy ski runs. Tours cover canyon geology, history, winter ecology, watershed, wildlife, and more! Guides must be able to volunteer 6-8 weekend days during the season, including holidays. Training on tour topics is provided before the season begins. Contact us at volunteer@cottonwoodcanyons.org to get involved for winter 2021 by September 28th .


Photo by C. Friedli

Do you love taking photos, writing blog posts, interacting with the community, or graphic design? Are you a social media expert? Come help us out at summer events, tabling opportunities, or in the office! We can always use help connecting with the Salt Lake Community in new and effective ways. Please Contact us at education@cottonwoodcanyons.org  and or Community Education Director will contact you about your interests in helping out as an organizational volunteer.

If you have any questions about volunteering, feel free to contact us at volunteer@cottonwoodcanyons.org. Thank you for your interest!