Volunteer as a PCT Trailhead Host

Tom checks a thru-hiker's permit.

Volunteer Trailhead Host “Terminus Tom” provides visitor information for a thru-hiker in 2017.

The natural resources and unique recreation opportunities provided by the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail are impacted by five interrelated challenges:

  • Rapidly increasing number of visitors
  • Concentration of visitors in time and space
  • Insufficient awareness of or adherence to Leave No Trace practices
  • Choosing campsites in unsustainable locations with impacts to fragile habitats and water sources
  • Lack of understanding of management objectives including trail permit requirements

While the environmental deterioration, aesthetic damage, crowding and conflict that may result from the above conditions are not new problems, the increasing popularity of the PCT has reinforced the need for improved visitor information and visitor use data in select areas. Visitors come from a variety of backgrounds with varied levels of experience. Volunteer Trailhead Hosts work collaboratively with PCTA staff, USDA Forest Service staff and partners to provide accurate information and ensure that resource protection messages and management objectives are communicated to trail users. 

PCT Southern Terminus Trailhead Host
February-May 2022

The Cleveland National Forest is seeking a pair of volunteers (the position may be filled by one volunteer but a pair is preferred) to provide information and collect visitor use data at the southern terminus of the Pacific Crest Trail near Campo, California.

This position will last approximately 13 weeks from late February until about the end of May 2022. During this period the Terminus Hosts will be based at the PCT Southern Terminus trailhead between 7am –12pm, 5 to 6 days per week, working under the supervision of the Pacific Crest Trail “Crest Runners.”

Protecting the PCT experience is dependent upon informed users and current and reliable data. The Pacific Crest Trail Southern Terminus Trailhead Hosts serve as key members of the PCT team, providing visitor information and education and compiling visitor use data. The hosts often serve as the first face-to-face contact for trail users and should possess strong communication skills and be customer service oriented. The hosts will provide information to trail users about regulations, Leave No Trace principles and trip planning. The hosts will also compile and maintain visitor use data and keep detailed records.

The position will be primarily field-based and work in an outdoor setting in a variety of weather conditions. The host will follow enhanced safety protocols while volunteering during the Covid-19 pandemic.

If You or Someone You Know is Interested

  • Read the full Southern Terminus Trailhead Host position description
  • To apply please send a cover letter and resume to: [email protected] by February 4, 2022
  • The PCTA and the Forest Service are interested in finding a pair or individual who is interested in filling the Trailhead Host positions. As large numbers of visitors can arrive at the same time, having two Hosts has proven to be more effective in communicating with trail users, sharing information, and collecting data; however, qualified individual applicants will be considered for the position.
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