Lost Trails Found Crew Member

Washington Trails Association

Seattle, Washington

Job Type Temporary
Salary Details $20 per hour

Season: May - October 2024, Pay: $20 per hour, open until filled 

Washington Trails Association (WTA) is the nation’s largest hiking and trail maintenance nonprofit. We have a 50-year legacy of engaging the hiking community to ensure Washington's trails stand the test of time. With more than 27,000 members and an online community of over 300,000 and growing, we are connecting people to the outdoors — from everyday adventures to backcountry explorations. Each year 4,500 WTA volunteers perform over 160,000 hours of trail maintenance across the state. We mobilize hikers as public lands advocates, trail stewards and on-the-ground experts sharing knowledge with fellow hikers. WTA's strength is our community and our vision depends on fostering an inclusive organization where everyone feels welcome and represented. Together we can ensure there are trails for everyone, forever.

Position summary

Washington Trails Association is seeking Lost Trails Found Crew Members who love working with people and share our commitment to trail stewardship and building inclusive crew dynamics. The Crew Member works outdoors helping the Lost Trails Found Crew Leader, Assistant Crew Leader and other Crew Members in building and maintaining trails on public lands.

The Lost Trails Found (LTF) crew will work in backcountry locations on National Forests throughout Washington State. This crew focuses on a broad variety of backcountry projects restoring lost trails while primarily working a seven day hitch schedule. The LTF Crew will be predominantly self supported, and each member is required to carry their tools, food and camp supplies into remote settings.

The ideal candidates will love working outdoors with others in all weather, have prior experience camping and doing trail work, and share our belief that everyone should feel safe and included in the outdoors community. The Crew Members will complete work specified by local land agencies and defined by the Lost Trails Found Crew Leader while in the field. Crew Members will positively contribute to a backcountry crew community and are an integral part of completing these trail projects.

Over the course of the season, the six person Lost Trails Found Crew, (two leaders, and 4 Crew Members) will complete backcountry trail maintenance projects in remote settings. The ideal candidates will be self motivated and have experience in multi-day backcountry projects in the field. The Crew Member is a temporary, field-based position that reports to the Lost Trails Found Crew Leader.

Primary Responsibilities

Supporting trail work projects

  • Contribute to a positive and affirming work environment for other crew members while in backcountry settings
  • Complete projects as defined by the LTF Crew Leader that may include annual maintenance, new trail construction, logout, installing drainage structures, and construction of steps, turnpike, puncheon and retaining walls
  • Help LTF Crew Leader and Assistant Leader effectively manage emergency situations following WTA’s emergency response protocols
  • Positively represent WTA mission, programs, and membership in all interactions with volunteers, trail users, and others
  • Follow safety protocols as defined by LTF Leaders during remote work hitches 
  • Report all incidents affecting the safety, health, and well-being of crew to LTF Crew Leader

Supporting camp and crew members

  • Help foster and support a culture of feedback and provide regular and effective feedback to peers
  • Create and contribute to an inclusive and safe space for all crew members while on trail and at camp
  • Practice Leave No Trace principles and WTA camp risk management procedures

Experience, Skills, Knowledge, and Values

Competitive candidates will highlight the following in their application, or express willingness to learn:

  • Two or more seasons of experience with trail crews or conservation corps
  • One or more seasons with experience building or maintaining hiking trails, building rock retaining walls, and other projects related to annual trail maintenance
  • Demonstrated ability to create a group/community space where every member (people of diverse races, ages, genders, sexual orientations, abilities and economic backgrounds) feels included and valued
  • Ability to work in an outdoor environment in a variety of weather conditions and follow minimum impact guidelines; some projects may include hiking up to 10 miles daily in a variety of terrain including river crossings and climbing over downed trees
  • Demonstrated commitment to WTA’s mission and values on diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Experience camping in backcountry settings and spending extended periods in the backcountry
  • Demonstrated ability to accept and integrate feedback graciously, and give effective feedback to peers 
  • Ability to learn WTA’s emergency response protocols and effectively manage emergency situations
  • Ability to work 10-hour days in remote settings
  • Chainsaw or Crosscut saw experience (crosscut bucking preferred)
  • Valid driver’s license required
  • Availability through October 2024


The Lost Trails Found Crew Member is a temporary position starting May 6, 2024. The expected schedule is four days on/three days off, at the beginning of the season, with a transition to seven days on and seven days off hitch schedule in mid June. Schedule will include predominantly remote backcountry locations with the crew hiking into their designated project site for the duration of the hitch. Projected schedule is 10-hour days throughout the duration of the season. A typical work week is 40 hours with a weeklong, unpaid summer break in early August.


Compensation for this position is $20.00/hour. A supplementary per diem rate of $50/day is provided for multi-day backcountry trips. WTA provides a hard hat, work gloves and safety glasses. WTA does not provide boots, clothing or other personal outdoor and backpacking gear required for fieldwork, but does provide a $200 reimbursement annually to offset wear and tear on personal gear. Position is eligible for paid holidays, sick leave, health stipend and an employer match retirement plan. 

A WTA vehicle will be provided for transportation to work parties. Reimbursement for up to 250 miles per round trip will be provided for staff members who use a personal vehicle to fulfill program needs, unless commuting to/from base of operations.   

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

WTA is committed to advancing equity and continually working to become a more inclusive organization. We believe WTA, and Washington’s hiking community, is made better by people with varied backgrounds, identities, abilities and lived experience. People of color and others with identities that are underrepresented in the outdoor industry (including but not limited to: gender identity, class, socioeconomic status, conviction history, sexual orientation, age, ability, and background) are strongly encouraged to apply.

In order to provide equal employment and advancement opportunities to all individuals, employment decisions at WTA will be based on merit, qualifications and abilities. WTA does not discriminate in employment opportunities or practices on the basis of age, caste, color, creed, gender identity, marital status, honorably discharged veteran or military status, national origin, citizenship or immigration status, political ideology, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, genetic information, the presence of any sensory, mental or physical disability, status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, the use of a trained service animal by a person with a disability, or any other status or characteristic protected by federal, state or local law.


Click on or copy the following URL link to our application form to apply for this position: https://forms.gle/BkQtzHnf3R8TqtWTA and email your resume to seasonaljobs@wta.org. The position is open until filled.

If you have any questions, please contact seasonaljobs@wta.org. View other available jobs at www.wta.org/careers. We look forward to hearing from you!

When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Conservation Job Board.

Category General / Stewardship, Outdoor Recreation
Tags Trail Maintenance