Trail Crew Leader – Mount Rainier National Park

Washington Trails Association

Ashford, Washington

Job Type Temporary
Salary Details $22 - 23/hr
Deadline Nov 30, 2023
Required Experience 2 - 6 years

Inspiring Hikers to Create Trails for Everyone, Forever

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 a Trail Crew Leader who loves working with people and shares our commitment to trail stewardship and volunteerism. The Trail Crew Leader works outdoors leading volunteers in building and maintaining trails on public lands. The position’s primary responsibility is to lead single and multi-day work parties in Mount Rainier National Park, Washington. This is a temporary, full-time, field-based position based in Mount Rainier National Park and reports to the South Puget Sound Field Coordinator.

Primary Responsibilities

Leading volunteer work parties (70%)

  • Ensure physical and emotional safety for a volunteer crew of diverse ages and backgrounds
  • Support, motivate, and train volunteers to complete a variety of trail projects ensuring all technical work is to standards. Projects may include annual maintenance, tread construction, drainage structures, and constructions of steps, turnpikes, puncheon and retaining walls
  • 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

Preparing for work parties (15%)

  • Arrive at each work party with tools, refreshments and work plan
  • Coordinate work party projects and plans with WTA staff and land manager
  • May communicate directly with volunteers via email and phone prior to work parties
  • May assist other WTA staff and volunteers in identifying appropriate volunteer trail projects

Documenting work parties (10%)

  • Ensure morning safety review is delivered to volunteers and documented
  • Maintain and submit Sign-in and Liability Release for volunteers in a timely manner
  • Prepare and submit summary report and thank you email to volunteers for each work party in a timely manner
  • Report all incidents affecting the safety, health, and well-being of volunteers
  • Using a WTA cell-phone, provide digital photo documentation of project progress and volunteer engagement

Outreach & other (5%)

  • May assist efforts to engage hikers, volunteers and community groups in other WTA programming (e.g. representing WTA at events in the region)
  • Perform other tasks in the front and back country to ensure program success
  • Work as a member of the Mount Rainier Trail Crew on assigned days
  • Potential to engage youth through school programs and trail maintenance events

Experience, Skills, Knowledge, and Values

WTA is committed to supporting professional development, so we encourage you to apply even if you do not meet all the qualifications listed.

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

  • Demonstrated commitment to WTA’s mission and values on diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Demonstrated ability to create a crew community where every member feels included and valued
  • Demonstrated skills in trail maintenance and building
  • Ability to effectively manage emergency situations
  • Ability to accept and integrate feedback graciously and give effective feedback to team members
  • Ability to work in an outdoor environment, including hiking and backpacking up to 6 miles daily in a variety of terrain, and follow minimum impact guidelines
  • WFA and CPR certification minimum requirement valid through the duration of employment; WFR certification preferred 
  • Valid driver’s license and ability to drive a truck on highways and dirt roads
  • Ability to work weekends and 10-hour days 
  • Reliable internet (library and other public access is fine) for work party planning and documentation
  • Demonstrated experience leading a team in an outdoor setting

Location and Schedule

The Trail Crew Leader is a temporary position starting April 2024 and continuing through October 12, 2024. The expected schedule for the Trail Crew Leader is 30-40 hours a week over 4-5 days each week. Generally, work parties will occur Thursday-Sunday unless otherwise defined, and requires working most weekends. Work party-related communication as well as documentation of activities may occur outside of work party days. A few times during the season the crew leader may be assigned to lead volunteers in backcountry trail projects 4-7 days in length. Mandatory paid training will be in mid April in or near Seattle, WA, with an additional paid training May 17-19, 2024. The trail maintenance team will be on a weeklong midseason hiatus occurring at the beginning of August where work parties will not occur.  Housing will be provided during the duration of work occurring at Mount Rainier, beginning in June and ending at the beginning of October. Housing will be provided during the duration of work occurring at Mount Rainier, beginning in June and ending at the beginning of October. 


The hourly rate for this position is $22.00 - $23.00 per hour depending on experience, for training, day trip crew leading, administrative and scouting assignments.  A supplementary per diem rate of $50/day will be provided for multi-day backcountry trips. WTA provides a cell phone, 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 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 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.


To apply:  

Click on or copy the following URL link to our application form to apply for this position: https://forms.gle/TZWCfC6pmP7NUewu9 and email your resume to seasonaljobs@wta.org. In your subject line add “Trail Crew Leader – Mount Rainier National Park”. 

The position is open until filled, with priority given to applications received by November 30, 2023.  Applicants moving forward will be contacted in December and interviews to take place through mid- December. We create opportunities for candidates to discuss any results prior to hiring decisions being made. 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, Outreach