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Trip Details

Date Sunday  6/17/2018
End Date Wednesday  6/20/2018
Group State CMC
Event Title Kit Carson - 14er Peak Trail Maitenance/Pack in and Gear Staging
Start Time 5:00 PM
Status Approved
Leader Brinkley Messick
Member Price Free
Non-member Price Free
Available Participants 7
Type Trip
Trip Type Stewardship
Classification Difficult 
Trail Mileage 10
Elevation Gain
Driving Distance


Willow Creek Trailhead and Willow Lake Basin in the Sangre De Cristo's near Crestone Colorado

CMC is supporting this project which is managed by the Rocky Mountain Field Institute, please follow this link to register for the project through their website:



For more info Contact

Questions? Contact Molly Mazel, Volunteer & Partnership Coordinator with the Rock Mountain Field Institute,, (719) 471-7736 ext. 4#


Looking for a challenging, rewarding, and fun backcountry hiking adventure? We are seeking volunteers to help us pack our summer basecamp into the Willow Lake Basin in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains! The Willow Creek Trail is a steep and strenuous ~5 mile hike up the basin and the location where RMFI will base all of our work crews from mid-June to mid-September. Needless to say, that's a lot of equipment! A team of mules will be packing this gear towards our camp as far as they are able to go, within the last couple last miles to the basin. From that point, volunteers will help us unpack the mules and hike the gear the remaining pitch up.

This effort will help us get set up for a long summer of project work on the Kit Carson-Challenger Ridge Trail Realignment Project. The goal of this multi-year project is to construct a safe and sustainable trail system to the summits of Kit Carson Peak and Challenger Point. Volunteers helping with the pack in will be an important part of this effort and make a lasting impact on this fragile environment that is experiencing increased visitation due to the growing popularity and allure of climbing 14,000 foot peaks. 


Sunday, June 17: Participants meet the RMFI staff at the Willow Creek Trailhead by 5:00pm. We will have an orientation to the project and will camp here for the night.

Monday, June 18: We will get an early start hiking up the Willow Creek Trail ahead of the mule team, carrying just our personal gear. A little over 3 miles up the trail is where we will rendezvous with the mule team at the point they are unable to pass. Here we will unload the mules, repack the equipment for us to hike up, and continue on the remaining 1-2 miles to the Willow Lake Basin with basecamp equipment loads. If time allows, we will return to this point for another load up. This will be a very strenuous but highly rewarding day of hiking! On this night we will camp in the basin, relaxing in the crisp mountain air and cooking up a delicious backcountry dinner.

Tuesday, June 19: After a hearty breakfast, we will continue packing gear from the mules’ drop-off point until all equipment is in the basin. Another evening spent in the basin basecamp.

Wednesday, June 20: Pack up camp, hike back down to the trailhead, and head out after a good few days of packing!


On our first night we will be car camping at the trailhead. Basecamp on Monday and Tuesday nights will be the Willow Lake Basin, approximately 11,500 feet above sea level and 5 miles UP the steep and switch-backed Willow Creek Trail. This is a remote backcountry location. Our camp will be fully equipped – all group equipment, including stoves, and kitchen supplies, as well as all meals will be provided by RMFI. RMFI prides itself on providing volunteers with hea