Before You Sign Up

Read this important information before you fill out an application

To register for a project, submit a completed application with payment. Wilderness Volunteers’ projects are filled on a first-to-sign-up basis; however, Wilderness Volunteers reserves the right to review your application to ensure that the project is appropriate for your level of fitness and experience. If you are not accepted for the project, you will not be charged.

Your Responsibility

Service projects are cooperative endeavors. Participants need to be accommodating of each other and supportive of group efforts. A sense of humor, adventuresome spirit, and appreciation of the outdoors is always welcome! Many projects require participants to hike in groups of at least three on the off days due to the remote area and changeable weather.

You are responsible for selecting a project (with the aid of our staff) that is appropriate for your abilities (project ratings are described here), reading the materials sent to you to prepare you for the project, bringing appropriate equipment as advised by Wilderness Volunteers, acting courteously to other participants, adhering to our COVID-19 safety guidelines, and following Leave No Trace camping ethics as taught by our leaders. You are responsible for getting yourself to the meeting place; we provide a Roster and a Project Forum so that participants can contact each other. Our liability carrier prohibits Wilderness Volunteers staff and leaders from making pre-project travel arrangements for participants.

All volunteers must have the ability to live in remote areas where there are few amenities and the weather is unpredictable, must be willing and able to work throughout the day on the project and assist with camp chores, and maintain a positive attitude in a group setting throughout the week.

Please Note

Do not book nonrefundable travel until you have received confirmation of your acceptance for the project.

Wilderness Volunteers reserves the right to cancel any project if conditions (such as fire danger or low sign-up) make it impossible to proceed. If this happens, your full project fee will be refunded. We are not responsible for additional expenses incurred by you in preparing for the project (i.e. nonrefundable airfares, gear, etc.).

Project Leaders have the right to disqualify a participant at any time during the project if they feel that he/she is incapable of continuing without jeopardizing their own or the group’s health, well-being, or safety. Under these circumstances, no refund is given.
The projects are all 6 or 7 days long; no provisions are in place for folks to leave early or come late. If you can’t do the entire project, it’s inappropriate to sign up.

Service projects are cooperative ventures between Wilderness Volunteers and the public land agency. Wilderness Volunteers projects are planned a year in advance and sometimes an agency’s work priorities change. Participants need to be accommodating of itinerary changes.

Our goal is to have full projects to get the work projects completed and be as useful to the agencies as possible. Please don’t sign up for a project if you aren’t sure you can do it. If you hold a space and cancel, you prevent someone who could have done the project from signing up. It is often hard to find participants in the weeks immediately preceding the project— everyone has busy lives!

These are Prohibited

Pets, children, firearms, federally illegal/recreational drugs, and fireworks are not allowed on projects. Please do not bring them. Playing music on portable speakers is also prohibited on projects.

Fitness, Weight, Smoking & Alcohol

All of our projects require you to be in good shape and ready for a week of hiking and work appropriate to the project. You will have a better time on your project if you choose a project in line with your abilities.

Due to the aerobic requirements of service projects and the aesthetic concerns of smoking (litter, secondhand smoke, fire danger), we strongly discourage smoking. Some projects are designated nonsmoking at the request of the leader.

While we don’t prohibit alcohol, we suggest that you leave it at home. The wilderness is a great place to have heightened senses, and alcohol is a depressant. It is also dehydrating. If you do bring a bit of something to sip, make sure it’s just a bit and doesn’t become a problem. Some projects are designated no alcohol by the agency or the leaders.

Travel and Expenses

Projects begin and end at the trailhead; participants must provide and/or arrange their own transportation to and from the project. Projects involving on-project auto transportation require participants to provide their own auto transportation or arrange carpools with other project members. All travel costs, program fees and incidental expenses incurred on our volunteer service projects can be viewed as charitable contributions and are deductible to the limits of the tax code (save your receipts!) as determined by the IRS. Check with your tax advisor for further clarification.

Wilderness Volunteers will review all applications within two weeks of receipt and notify you by email of your acceptance. After you are accepted to a project, you will be able to sign into the Participant’s Area and view more information about the project including an equipment list, travel information, and rendezvous instructions (some projects meet the evening before the project begins). Please check your project packet for information on when to book return transportation as some leeway might be required.

Insurance and Liability

Participants who are traveling to the projects via commercial carriers are urged to consider project cancellation insurance (available online or through a travel agent). This insurance protects you against financial loss if you must cancel or interrupt a project because of illness or injury to yourself, a family member, or a traveling companion. All project participants must provide their own health and accident insurance; in case of injury, the cost of evacuation and treatment is the responsibility of the participant. Each participant will be required to fill out a Medical Information and Assumption of Risk Form before participating on any project.

Cancellations and Refunds

The office must be informed of cancellations directly via phone (928-255-1128), email (, or mail (PO Box 22292 Flagstaff, AZ 86002). The sooner you inform us of your need to cancel, the better the opportunity we will have to fill the project.

    • If you cancel 60 days or greater from a project:

– One time transfer with no fee to another project in the same calendar year OR
– Get a refund of your project fee minus a $150 cancellation fee

    • If you cancel 30-59 days before a project:

– One time transfer with no fee to another project in the same calendar year OR
– Get a refund of your project fee minus a $200 cancellation fee

    • If you cancel 0-29 days before a project:

– No transfers
– No refunds

Reservations may be cancelled within 14 days of acceptance with no cancellation fee. (This does not apply to reservations made within 30 days of a project start date.)

As a small nonprofit on a tight budget, Wilderness Volunteers cannot make exceptions to this refund policy for any reason, including personal emergencies or weather.

We make every effort to run each project as advertised but sometimes project details (leaders, campsites, work project, etc.) must be changed in order to run the project. Wilderness Volunteers is not responsible for last minute project cancellations due to natural disasters (fire, flooding, volcanic activity, etc.)

If Wilderness Volunteers is forced to cancel a project due to low sign-up, etc. we will attempt to do so at least 30 days before the project start date. If a project is cancelled by Wilderness Volunteers, you will receive a full refund. Wilderness Volunteers is not responsible for airline tickets, other tickets or payments, or any similar fees or penalties that you may incur as a result of any project cancellations or changes.


Qualified participants who sign up for a project that is full will be put on a waitlist pending space becoming available; your credit card will not be charged and payment details will be deleted. You can cancel from the waitlist at any time. Once you have been notified of space availability you will have a limited time to decide if you still want to do the project and resubmit payment information.

Cancellations do occur. If you would like to be on the waitlist for any project that is currently full, submit an application. We’ll let you know if space becomes available.

Support Wilderness Volunteers!

Wilderness Volunteers is cultivating a passion for Wilderness! We are a national nonprofit organizing volunteers for stewardship projects in cooperation with public land agencies across the USA.