Wilderness Trekking School (WTS)

Includes 5 evening lectures and small group meetings, and 5 field days (see Curriculum and FAQs for full details).


Registration for the Fall 2018 session is now closed!  Registration for the Spring 2019 session will open in late January.


Lecture Dates: Tuesdays: September 4, 11, 25, October 2, 9 (check-in opens 6:30 pm), Foss Auditorium, American Mountaineering Center, Golden


Your choice of one of these field day groups:

  • Thursday groups meet September 13, 20, 27, October 11, November 15 
  • Saturday groups meet September 15, 22, 29, October 13, November 17  
  • Sunday groups meet September 16, 23, 30, October 14, November 18

Enrollment fee: Early Bird registration is $150 until August 28  for current CMC Members; $170 on and after August 28 (class will probably be full before then).

Hiking in Colorado’s mountains is fabulous recreation! Wilderness Trekking School (WTS) is for all – whether you want to bag a few 14ers – OR – just want to enjoy the scenery. WTS is a great introduction to the Colorado Mountain Club and a place to meet new friends. WTS is Colorado Mountain Club’s largest school, a comprehensive course on mountain hiking. Students are all ages, from 18 to 70+. If you’re new to hiking, WTS gives you the opportunity to learn how to travel safely – and with confidence – in the backcountry. If you’re an experienced hiker, WTS gives you a chance to review, to enhance your skills, and possibly to fill in some gaps. WTS also fulfills one of the requirements for a Denver Group C hiker classification and for taking Backpacking School.

Topics covered include gear, map & compass, weather, nutrition and hydration, backcountry emergency, travel techniques and avalanche awareness, Leave No Trace, and more.

The course consists of five Tuesday night lectures, five field days, and some homework (yes, really!). Students are divided into groups of 10-13 people, based on preferred field day, with consideration for hiking level and age. Instructor teams consist of a senior instructor and two assistant instructors. Students have the opportunity to learn techniques of safe backcountry travel and to practice in a supportive environment. Students plan and complete a hike with their field group. WTS is a great place to learn and practice new skills, make new friends, and become a safe backcountry traveler.

I thought I knew a lot about hiking. Was I wrong! WTS taught me so much more than I imagined.” –WTS Student



2018 Fall Schedule             2019 Spring Tentative Schedule

Online sign-up  (Note – You will be asked to log into CMC.org at the bottom of the linked page.)

Student Manual and Learn More articles

Photos of WTS in Action!

Instructor Photos

WTS Committee Contacts

Testimonial – Don’t Leave Home Without It

Denver Post article – 4/24/12

WTS Waiver

Wanted: WTS Instructors

Instructor Forms

Poetry Corner