North Cascades Trail Skills College

Photo by Loren Schmidt

Volunteer students and instructors at the 2016 North Cascades Trail Skills College. Photo by Loren Schmidt.

North Cascades Trail Skills College

You’re invited to the second annual North Cascades Trail Skills College in Darrington, Washington. This a free weekend event open to local volunteers who would like to learn more about maintaining their local trails. Beginners and experts alike can benefit from Trail Skills College courses like Basic Saw Crew training and Drainage Design & Drain Dips.

Trail Skills College is offered free of charge in an effort to inspire citizen stewardship of trails. In exchange for attending the training, we encourage you to volunteer at least 16 hours of work on trail projects in the coming year.

The 2017 North Cascades Trail Skills College is possible thanks to the U.S. Forest Service, PCTA’s North 350 Blades, Backcountry Horsemen of Washington, Vasque and Hydro Flask.

When is it?

May 19 – 21, 2017

Where is it?

The fairgrounds in Darrington, Washington

Are meals and lodging provided?

Free car/tent camping will be available to all participants on Friday and Saturday. Meals will be provided at no cost, starting with dinner on Saturday and ending with lunch on Sunday.

What’s the fitness level of Trail Skills College?

The fitness level will vary depending on the classes you select during registration. However, all participants should be prepared to hike a minimum of 1-2 miles while carrying personal gear and tools. Participants should also be prepared for the hands on learning opportunities in many of these classes, resulting in 6-8 hours of active trail maintenance per day.

What classes are being offered?

There are no classes offered on Friday. Students can register for one class per day. Written curriculum for most of the courses is available online.

Saturday, May 20

  • 102 Tread and Drainage
  • 103 Basic Saw Crew Training
  • 203 Waterbars & Checks
  • 204 Cooking & Camping with the Crew
  • Puncheon Conversion to Turnpike

Sunday, May 21

  • 201 Drainage Design & Drain Dips
  • 297 Chainsaw Practicum
  • 304 Crew Leadership: Managing Volunteers
  • Puncheon Conversion to Turnpike
  • Puncheon Bridge Rebuild

How do I register?

Register now.

Can’t wait?

Don’t forget, you can learn new trail maintenance skills by volunteering on a PCTA trail crew any time. Most crews do not require any previous trail maintenance experience. Knowledgeable and experienced crew leaders are on site to teach you the necessary skills. Visit the online project schedule and North 350 Blades Facebook to find trail projects near you.

If you have questions about Trail Skills College, contact the Volunteer Programs Assistant at 916-285-1838 or [email protected].



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Photo by: Nathaniel Middleton