Friends of the Dillon Ranger District (FDRD) is a Silverthorne-based nonprofit organization that ensures that our National Forest is not negatively impacted by its immense popularity here in Summit County. FDRD partners with the US Forest Service and many, many volunteers to sustain the local forest and enhance the recreational experience for all users. In their 15-year history the organization has grown to a team of four full time staff, two summer seasonal staff and over 1,000 dedicated volunteers.

With more than 60 projects planned every calendar year, the group’s active volunteers contribute thousands of hours maintaining and improving trails, planting trees, pulling invasive weeds, educating visitors and offering extensive youth programming.

Throughout the summer, FDRD offers hiking tours on topics like mining, geology, forestry, wildlife, wildflowers and birds of prey. Their extensive Youth Programming includes interactive presentations on macroinvertebrates, forest health, animal adaptations and leave no trace philosophy. They also staff a Youth Forest Steward crew of local teenagers who work to improve the trails and campgrounds around us.

Throughout the winter, FDRD offers free weekly “Ski with a Ranger” tours at Arapahoe Basin, Breckenridge Ski Resort, Keystone, Copper Mountain and Ski Cooper. They also offer Snowshoe tours, both during the day and on nights with a full moon.

Additionally, their website has fantastic resources on local trail descriptions, directions and maps.

FDRD never stops! The group is always looking for more volunteers and help with fundraising. Check out their website and get involved today! You can help preserve the National Forest that makes Summit County a world-class destination.

Posted by Kelly Smith on


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