Volunteer Opportunities

The Friends of the Sandia Mountains sponsor many volunteer opportunities on the Sandia Ranger District.

Find-out more here. Better yet, come to one of our monthly meetings and ask us how you can become involved in preserving our Sandia Mountains!

Weekly Activities

Several FOSM groups perform activities each week weather permitting. These are the boots-on-the-ground activities for which FOSM is noted. All crews welcome new volunteers. Click on a link below for more information about each crew and its activities.

Photo credit: Sally Lowder

Youth Outreach

Requests for help from FOSM in support of youth activities in the forest grew steadily during the COVID pandemic to the point that we formalized a Youth Outreach initiative in partnership with Sandia Ranger District in early 2023. The initiative has two elements: forest education and service projects.

Visitor Orientation

Volunteers assist visitors at the Sandia Crest House from May through the Balloon Fiesta in October. Don Smiset is team leader.

Request More Information

Click here if you would like more information about any of the above activities.

Other Activities

There are lots of other ways FOSM members get involved in preserving our wonderful mountains.

Junior Ranger Program

The Friends know that children are the future of forest conservation so we have developed one more way for kids to have fun and learn about the outdoors. Bring your children to the USFS Visitor Centers at Sandia Crest or the upper Tramway terminal during the summer season (mid-May through the Balloon Fiesta) so your family can hike the nature trail and the children can earn their badge or patch as an official Sandia Mountain Junior Ranger.


We support the Sandia Ranger District Adopt-A-Trail Program by providing coordination for the generous volunteer efforts to keep our trails enjoyable all year. To find out more, click here.


FOSM board member Steve Roholt leads our Adopt-a-Highway trash-collection and brush-removal projects for our adopted section (Mile 4 to 5) of the Crest Highway (State Highway 536). Our agreement with NMDOT is to pick up trash twice per year. Future cleanup days will be scheduled in the fall and spring of each year. Click here to learn more.

National Trails Day

Each year on the first Saturday in June, we join the City Open Space Division and other organizations in sponsoring National Trails Day when volunteers make improvements on public lands. To find out more, click here.

Field Guide to the Sandia Mountains

In 2005 we co-published the Field Guide in cooperation with the University of New Mexico Press. This information-packed book is available locally at stores like REI and from online vendors Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and others. To learn more, click here.

Sandia Crest National Scenic Byway

The Friends maintain the Scenic Byway signage along the Crest road. An on-line version of the “Auto Tour Guide to the Sandia Crest National Scenic Byway” booklet that explains the numbered signs is available by clicking here.

Cibola Trail Rangers

The Cibola Trail Rangers group is an email based group of hikers, bikers, XC skiers, horsemen, etc. who frequent the trails in the Sandia Ranger District and are interested in exchanging information on trail conditions on a continuing basis. The group includes participants who are trained to take corrective action to alleviate problems that are reported. To find out more, click here.

Volunteers – FOSM

The Volunteers – FOSM email group is an easy and convenient means of communication among the USFS employees, Sandia Ranger District volunteers, members of the Friends of the Sandia Mountains and invited guests. Types of information transmitted includes newsletters, emergency messages, schedules of volunteer activities, announcements, etc. To find out more, click here.