College students and college-aged young adults: Turn your spring break trip into a conservation vacation by joining us for our 10th Alternative Spring Break! During this week of service and adventure you’ll give back to the environment, meet new people, and explore the great outdoors! Plus, it’s FREE!
We're partnering with the Bureau of Land Management to provide you with a unique experience for your spring break. This is a multi-day project with five nights of camping in Gold Butte National Monument, starting Sunday evening. We'll stargaze at Nevada’s dark skies, breathe in crisp desert air, enjoy gourmet camp meals, and learn about our environment from local experts. During the days we'll restore habitat in Lime Canyon Wilderness, survey oases of springs amid the sandstone, and explore otherworldly rock formations. This year we’re setting aside even more time to explore the areas we’re working to protect. We’ll take a few short hikes to see petroglyphs, visit hobgoblins at Little Finland, and more! There is no experience necessary - we'll provide all of the gear and information that you'll need.
The trip is free! All meals, gear, and transportation to and from Las Vegas are provided thanks to grant funding through the Southern Nevada Public Lands Management Act (aka SNPLMA). This support provides funds for us to host the event and get students out on the ground to accomplish critical restoration projects and foster stewardship in Nevada while gaining experience in the natural resources field.
About Gold Butte National Monument – Gold Butte National Monument covers nearly 300,000 acres of remote and rugged desert landscape in southeastern Nevada, where dramatically chiseled red sandstone, twisting canyons, and tree-clad mountains punctuate desolate stretches of the Mojave Desert. The brightly hued sandstone provides a stunning canvas for the area’s famously beautiful rock art, and the desert provides critical habitat. The area is popular for outdoor recreation, and visitors to the monument can hike to rock art sites, drive the Gold Butte Backcountry Byway to the area’s namesake mining ghost town, hunt desert bighorn sheep, or tour the area’s peaks and canyons on horseback. The Gold Butte National Monument offers over 500 miles of motorized recreation trails
The area is sacred to the Moapa Band of Paiute Indians and the Las Vegas Paiute Tribe and includes thousands of petroglyphs, and traces of human habitation, such as agave roasting pits and shelters, dating back over 12,000 years. While individual petroglyphs sites are important individually, they derive their sacred nature from their relationships to other sites — through physical and spiritual trails and histories that connect them. Gold Butte National Monument recognizes this landscape of interconnections. Read more here.
This isn't our first Gold Butte ASB Rodeo, check out how much fun we had last time here!
Frequently Asked Questions
To give you a better idea of what it’s like to be at Alternative Spring Break, check out the answers to our most frequently asked questions. You can also get a feel for the experience by watching this video and checking out pictures from ASB 2018 at Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge.
What do Alternative Spring Break participants do?
Volunteers are a vital part of keeping our public lands and wilderness areas safe and clean. Alternative Spring Break participants will volunteer by working on the ground with others to heal and protect wild places. This trip is fun, rewarding, and can be a great way to meet new Friends. You’ll also get to explore the places we’re working to protect and learn about our environment from local experts.
What is the cost?
It's free! Thanks to our funding, we're able to provide all the meals, gear, and transportation, including tools, safety gear, cooking equipment, chairs, and tents. All we ask you to bring is personal items, like clothes. We do ask for a $49 deposit to confirm your commitment, which will be fully refunded when you join us for Alternative Spring Break. The deposit helps us accommodate as many people to participate as we can.
Do I need to have prior experience?
Nope! Alternative Spring Break doesn’t require prior restoration or camping experience, and we encourage all levels of experience to get involved. You’ll receive a safety and training session by the leaders before you begin working on a project, including proper techniques and appropriate tool use.
What do I need to bring? Click here for a list of what to bring. (This may vary slightly as ASB gets closer. If it does, we’ll make sure you know!)
How do I sign up for Alternative Spring Break?
Signing up is simple and there’s no application! Simply fill out your contact info at the bottom of this page and click the red “Send RSVP” button. We’ll send you an email with information about the deposit and a link to a short survey. The $49 deposit is to confirm your RSVP and will be fully refunded. It helps us accommodate as many people to participate as we can. If the deposit it tough for you, let us know and we’ll work it out. The survey includes things like dietary restrictions and medical information that helps us plan for the week.
How do I get to the project?
We’ll provide all transportation, including picking you up and dropping you off at a location in Las Vegas. We ask that folks carpool with us and not use their own vehicles to get to ASB. As you can likely imagine, if everyone drives separately, we simply don’t have enough room to park all of the vehicles. Masks will be provided and are required in vehicles.
Do I have to stay for the entire project?
We ask that you come for the entirety of Alternative Spring Break. It’s simply too logistically difficult for us to plan meals and coordinate safe projects when the group size fluctuates. You won't want to leave early, anyway :)
Will there be a camp host or chef on the project?
We’ll be cooking up gourmet camp dinners and desserts every night! We’ll have coffee, tea, and a breakfast bar in the mornings. We’ll also have lots of tasty snacks and lunch fixings.
What are the age requirements?
Due to the week-long nature of this project and US Fish & Wildlife Service volunteer protocols, we can only accept participants that are 18 years of age or older. This trip is intended for young adults and college aged adults. We have many opportunities for people outside of that range. Typical participants range in age from 18-30. Thank you for understanding.
Can I bring my dog?
Due to safety reasons and concern for the animal’s well-being we do not allow pets at Alternative Spring Break. There are swinging tools and moving objects at our work sites, which could be potentially hazardous. In addition, while your pet may be adorable and well-behaved, not everyone is comfortable around dogs.
What about Covid?
Our staff and AmeriCorps members are all fully vaccinated and will undergo covid-19 testing prior to departing for ASB. Participants will be required to provide a negative test before departure and we will all - staff, volunteers, participants - undergo rapid testing on the day of departure, provided by Friends of Nevada Wilderness. Should anyone feel ill during the trip, we will have rapid tests on hand. Masks will be provided and required in vehicles, as well as in any situations in which safe distancing is not possible. We aim to keep everyone safe and healthy and to have fun!
If you have questions, please contact Peter Sbraccia at [email protected]!
We can't wait to see you on the trail!