Lodges and Huts
Maintenance Work Parties
Maintenance at the huts is performed by 'work parties' of volunteers during September and October each year. The most important task is cutting, transporting, and stacking firewood so that the wood stoves provide warmth during winter months. Early work parties, scheduled when snow has barely melted, have recently been added in June-July so that chain saws can be used before there are serious concerns about forest fires. In September-October there is also general cleaning, minor repair work such as replacing cracked window panes and checking roof screws, and applying a coat of preservative stain to exterior wood surfaces. (See photos from previous work parties.)
The Sierra Club provides tools and supplies, including food. All you need do is bring gear for a simple backpack, clothes you don't mind getting dirty, and a healthy attitude toward manual labor.
Unless there are special circumstances, work parties meet Saturday morning after breakfast at Clair Tappaan Lodge in Norden. (See the work party schedule.) You can stay overnight Friday and get your breakfast at no charge. (See more on finances.) Depending on road conditions, it is usually possible to drive to Bradley and Ludlow Huts, Peter Grubb requires a one- to three-mile backpack, and Benson requires a three- to six-mile backpack.
The group usually works until mid-afternoon Saturday, then breaks for a little recreation. Ludlow is within sight of Richardson Lake, Peter Grubb is within a 45 minute hike of Sand Ridge Lakes, and all are within easy access of great views. Work resumes after breakfast on Sunday and continues until early afternoon. The work party breaks up in time for return to Clair Tappaan lodge and/or home at a reasonable hour.
Work party leaders will help set up car pools; but participants must make and confirm the actual arrangements. As with all Sierra Club outings, volunteers must sign an Acknowledgement of Risk and Liability of Waiver Form; in the case of minors, the form must be signed by a parent/guardian.
Follow this link to the latest work party schedule and information about contacting leaders.