Southern California Trail Skills College

Volunteers install a new check step at a 2019 Trail Skills College near Idyllwild, CA. Photo by Landon Welsh

2022 Southern California Trail Skills College

The Southern California Trail Skills College is a free weekend event for volunteers to learn about trail maintenance and stewardship. Beginners and experts alike can benefit from Trail Skills College courses like Intro to Trail Maintenance, Waterbars & Checks and more.

Trail Skills College will be offered free of charge in an effort to inspire 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 2022 Southern California Trail Skills College will be hosted from October 13th-16th, 2022 in the Idyllwild, CA area. Stay tuned for more details! 

Remember, Trail Skills College is offered free of charge in an effort to inspire volunteer maintenance of trails. In exchange for attending a day-long training, we encourage you to volunteer at least 8 hours of work on trail projects in the coming year. Visit the online volunteer schedule to learn more.

When is it?

The 2022 Southern California Trail Skills College will be held October 13th-16th, 2022.

Where is it?

The 2022 Southern California Trail Skills College will be hosted near Idyllwild, CA. More details to come!

Are meals and lodging provided?

Camping will be available from 10/12 through 10/16.

Meals will be provided.

What classes are being offered?

Details to come!

What should I bring?

  • Layers work best as outdoor temperatures, weather, and your activity level will vary through the day. Follow
    the layering system for your work and camp clothes. Long pants are required to conduct trail work. Long
    sleeve shirts are recommended for sun and insect protection and in some areas are required for trail work.

    • Layer 1: Long underwear tops, bottoms, and socks; made of lightweight wool or synthetic material.
    • Layer 2: Mid-weight wool or synthetic pants and shirt. Can be more than one layer; bring additional
      layers if you get cold easily. Cotton is not advised.
    • Layer 3: Rain coat or other water/wind resistant coat or poncho and rain pants.
  • Sturdy boots with slip-resistant tread that offer firm and flexible support. No sandals or sneakers
    while working on the trail but you may want these in camp. Saw students have specific footwear
    requirements. See the Crosscut & Chainsaw Training page.
  • Warm hat and warm gloves while at camp.

  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping mat
  • Pillow

  • Sealable plastic container to pack lunch in
  • Plate / bowl for breakfast and dinner
  • Silverware
  • Cup / insulated drinking mug
  • Water bottles / hydration pack

  • Sun protection: sunscreen, sunglasses, hat, lip balm
  • Insect repellant
  • Flashlight or headlamp
  • Daypack
  • Alarm clock

  • Camp chair (compact)
  • Supplemental snacks
  • Camera
  • Bandana
  • Safety gear (i.e. hard hats, gloves) will be provided throughout the weekend. However, if you have safety gear that you would prefer to use, please bring it with you.

What should I leave at home?

Please do not bring pets to Trail Skills College.

As with any camp, please do not leave valuables in your tent during the day. Plan on either storing your valuables on you, in your vehicle, or leave them at home

Can’t wait?

You can learn new trail maintenance skills by volunteering on a PCTA trail crew any time. Most crews don’t require any previous trail maintenance experience. Knowledgeable and experienced crew leaders are on site to teach you the necessary skills. Visit the online volunteer schedule and Trail Gorillas Facebook to find trail projects near you.

If you have questions about Trail Skills College, contact PCTA’s Volunteer Training Program at [email protected]

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