Homestead Meadows



Start Date


End Date


Time Commitment

Full time (30+ hrs/wk)


Short-Term (few weeks/months)


United States


ABOUT THE SITE:  Tent camping only

(high clearance vehicles are also okay)

  • Showers are available ($2), but a drive to another campsite is required
  • Access road can be negotiated by a high-clearance vehicle, but 4WD is recommended. It is an unimproved road, and not graded gravel. A 2WD sedan would not be able to successfully use this road.
  • Altitude of campsite and jobsite is +/- 8,500'. Volunteers traveling from low elevations should plan to take time to acclimate before working.

Volunteers should plan on arriving at the campsite between 6pm and 8pm on the first day of the session, and departing after lunch on the last day.

PROJECT PARTNER: Arapahoe-Roosevelt National Forest

HISTORY: Homestead Meadows is a popular hiking destination, and a detailed description of the hike and this fascinating historical site was covered in Denver Channel 7's "Get Outside" series. Hiker and reporter Deb Stanley wrote,

"It probably seemed liked a great offer, 160 acres for just a small filing fee. But like most great offers, there was a catch. Homesteaders had to live on their land for 6 months of every year for 5 years. They had to build a home and improve the land. That's just what several families and one woman agreed to do in an area now known as Lion's Gulch. The Griffith, Brown, Irvin, Engel, Laycock, Boren and Hill families and Sarah Walker moved here between 1889 and 1923. 15 miles of trails now wind between what was once a neighborhood of homesteads.

The trailhead for Homestead Meadows is at Lion Gulch on Highway 36 between Lyons and Estes Park. Thousands of people drive by this parking area on the side of the road every day and probably have no idea why there are so many cars parked here. ... This was such a fascinating place, we spent quite a bit of time exploring the buildings and trying to imagine life here."

Today, Homestead Meadows remains an invaluable public resource and a beautiful reminder of times past. The area was not settled by miners, which makes it unusual among ghost towns in Colorado; instead, farmers and ranchers - both men and women - staked claims here. With every year that passes, the buildings continue to deteriorate.

Join HistoriCorps this July to save this incredible site for future generations. Our primary focus will be on the Laycock cabin, which is pictured on this page; and if we have time we will turn our attention to more buildings. We'll receive privileged auto access to the site.

Several photos of Homestead Meadows and its residents, both current and historic, can be found here. Some are shared here as well. Enjoy!

SCOPE OF WORK: Volunteers will be working with HistoriCorps field staff to learn and improve their skills at the following preservation tasks:

  1. Reinforce timbers to support remaining roof and wall: 35% 
  2. Install new roofs: 35%
  3. Remove dilapidated roof and wall framing: 30%

*Note: Tasks vary by day and by week, depending on a variety of factors including: weather, project priorities, previous groups' work, and more. Though it is likely you will get to learn and practice most or all of the above tasks, it is not guaranteed. The higher percentage of the scope a particular task is, the more likely you will get to practice it.

WHO CAN COME: All are welcome, no experience is necessary! Those age 14-17 must have a parent/guardian onsite; those under age 14 are not permitted on HistoriCorps projects with rare exceptions.

CAMP & KITCHEN HELPER POSITION: New for 2018! We have one spot available per session for a volunteer who, instead of project work, prefers to help our field staff with camp and kitchen chores. If you're interested in this position, choose that ticket below and register normally.

WHERE: The jobsite and campsite are both in Homestead Meadows. The site is accessed via a short drive on private land, and volunteers should plan to drive slowly to respect the owners.

Location of jobsite: Google Map, and the map to the left.

CAMPSITE: We will be camping onsite - and it's a beautiful site! Tent campers can be accommodated, and if you have a nimble, high-clearance trailer you should be able to negotiate the road in.

AREA TOURISM: Homestead Meadows is near Estes Park, CO, the gateway community of Rocky Mountain National Park! Incredible scenery and outdoor activities are abundant onsite and nearby.


  • Please visit our Volunteer Information and FAQs page for general information.
  • Plan to arrive between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. on the first day of your project session.
  • Volunteers will need to bring their own camping equipment, including tent with rainfly and groundcloth, and sleeping bag and pad.
  • HistoriCorps will provide volunteers with meals including: breakfast, lunch, dinner, water and snacks.
  • Field staff will train volunteers in the project work. All tools are provided. Please do not bring your own tools – we don’t want them to get lost!
  • Volunteers are responsible for their transportation to the campsite and jobsite.
  • Volunteers must come prepared with proper attire including: sturdy work shoes, long pants and a work shirt.
  • Are you interested in earning a hands-on education in historic preservation? This project counts towards the HistoriCorps Institute Certificate of Achievement in Heritage Conservation and Construction, contact Jamie Tobias at, or enroll online today!

Remember, we can't do it without you - truly! HistoriCorps projects require a lot of careful preparation and planning for volunteers, and we carefully orchestrate our work and meal plans around your registration. When you register, we take it seriously and understand that you are committed to joining us for the full project duration. So before you complete your registration, kindly remember to double-check the calendar, project location, and scope of work to make sure it's a good fit for you (and if you're not sure, give us a call! We are here to help.).

You will know if you have successfully registered if you receive an auto-generated email and/or a HistoriCorps staff member greets you. The majority of our communications with you will be via email, so please do check your spam/junk folders to make sure you're getting information from us!

If you have any further questions, please contact Liz Rice at or at 720-287-0100 ext. 231. Thank you for your interest in this project!

HistoriCorps is a service learning partner of the U.S. Forest Service, Department of Agriculture committed to the preservation and stewardship of significant resources on public lands.

  • Session 1
  • July 22, 2018 - July 27, 2018
  • Session 1, Camp and Kitchen Helper
  • July 22, 2018 - July 27, 2018


  • Training Provided
  • Housing Available


  • Groups
  • Families
  • International Volunteers