The SCCA Volunteer Programs


 Trail Information Specialist volunteers Anna and Rod greet visitors at the Canyons of the Ancients Visitor Center.


  • Trail Information Specialist Program: With increasing visitation to trails and other public sites located in CANM, the volunteer Trail Information Specialist’s main responsibilities will be to position themselves near popular trailheads or rove within high use recreational areas for the purpose of orienting visitors by providing important information about BLM rules for visiting the area, Leave No Trace and Visit With Respect information, and interpretive information and materials such as informational brochures and Junior Ranger packets to visitors. TIS volunteers will perform their volunteer service at various popular locations in the Monument such as the Lower Sand Canyon Trail Area, Upper Sand Canyon Trail & Sand Canyon Pueblo, Lowry Pueblo, Painted Hand Pueblo, and Escalante Pueblo. Service is preferred in 3 to 4 hour increments of the volunteer’s choosing, during high visitation days such as Thursday through Sunday.

Interested in the Trail Information Specialist (TIS) program? Wondering if this volunteer opportunity is right for you? Find out more about the this volunteer opportunity and how to become a TIS volunteer in popular locations throughout the Monument such as the Visitor Center and Museum, Lower Sand Canyon and Rock Creek Trails, Sand Canyon Pueblo, Painted Hand Pueblo, and Lowry Pueblo.  

For more information, please contact Markleigh Swanson by email at 

  • The Cultural Site Stewardship Program: SCCA oversees this program which includes almost 60 volunteers who monitor 100 cultural sites on BLM/Canyons of the Ancients National Monument and on other BLM/Tres Rios areas in Southwest Colorado. Stewards report on impact or damage to sites due to human, animal, or natural causes. If you are interested in becoming a Cultural Site Steward please click here for a link to complete an online Site Steward Questionnaire.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Openings for new volunteers for this program are limited. Please complete the questionnaire so we can save a site for you to monitor. 

Please contact Mark Nelson at if you have any questions about the Cultural Site Stewardship Program, applying to be a NEW volunteer with this program, your current volunteer status with this program, or the upcoming trainings.

  • Wilderness Study Area Monitoring: Canyons of the Ancients National Monument includes three Wilderness Study Areas (WSA) and one Instant Study Area (ISA). Cahone Canyon WSA, Cross Canyon WSA, Squaw/Papoose Canyon WSA, and the Rare Lizard and Snake ISA comprise approximately 26,000 acres of pinyon-juniper woodlands, riparian, and sagebrush ecosystems for travel on foot only. WSA’s are managed to preserve their wilderness value until Congress makes a decision to either designate the areas as wilderness or to release the areas for non-wilderness management. Volunteers hike these remote areas and report on usage.

If you are interested in becoming a WSA Monitor and participating in the training, or if you have any questions about the WSA Monitoring Program please contact Markleigh Swanson by email at

  • Monument Maintenance and Improvement:

From road cleanup to trail maintenance, Southwest Colorado Canyons Alliance Volunteers do it all! Maintaining 176,000 acres and a world-class museum takes dedication and energy. Feet on the ground assist Monument personnel to preserve and protect this exceptional landscape and phenomenal museum and research facility. To volunteer on the Monument, please contact Markleigh Swanson at

  • Education: Southwest Colorado Canyons Alliance promotes education about the Monument, stewardship of natural and cultural resources, responsible recreation, and Leave No Trace ethics. To volunteer helping with education activities please contact Markleigh Swanson at
  • Special Events: Southwest Colorado Canyons Alliance hosts special events throughout the year and outreaches to the community through events sponsored by other local organization. For more information on how you can help, please contact Markleigh Swanson at