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 2019 session is now open!  Note – Saturday and Sunday field days are now full. Thursday field days are still available.  If you cannot do Thursdays, please do not sign up.

If you would like to be put on a waitlist for Saturday or Sunday field days, please send an email to [email protected] with “WTS Waitlist” in the subject line.  Indicate your preferred field day of Saturday, Sunday, or Either in the message.

Lecture Dates: Tuesdays: September 3, 10, 24; October 1 and 15 (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 12, 19, and 26, October 17, and November 14;
  • Saturday groups meet September 14, 21, and 28, October 19, and November 16;
  • Sunday groups meet September 15, 22, and 29, October 20, and November 17

Enrollment fee: Early Bird registration is $150 until August 27  for current CMC Members; $170 on and after August 27 (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



2019 Fall Schedule             2020 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