Contact Us - Backcountry Wilderness Area Staff

Backcountry Team

Mark Giebel, Director

If you’re curious about the nooks and crannies of the Backcountry Wilderness Area, ask Mark. He started as a lifeguard with the HRCA 24 years ago, began conducting research in the Backcountry in 2001, and became the director of the Backcountry Wilderness Area in 2006. 
  • Born & Raised: Lone Tree, Colorado
  • Educated: Trinity University San Antonio, Texas: Biology
  • Where He Can Be Found Outside the Backcountry: Outdoors with his wife
  • He Did What?!?: Studied ecology in Ecuador for a semester in college

303-471-8885  |

AnnaKate Hein, Program Supervisor

Most often spotted leading a troop of kid explorers from Camp Backcountry’s Base Camp, AnnaKate oversees all of Backcountry’s programs including Camp Backcountry, youth programs, and school groups
  • Born & Raised: Georgia
  • Educated: University of Georgia: Political Science, minor in Music and Environmental Ethics; Vermont Law School: Masters in Environmental Law and Policy
  • Where She Can be Found Outside the Backcountry: Paddle boarding rivers, mountain biking, and camping 
  • She Did What?!?: Studied marine ecology and human environmental impacts in Antarctica

303-471-8876  |

Carla Baca, Equine Programs Coordinator

With more than 30 years of equine experience behind her, Carla runs our horse programs which include horseback trail rides, hayrides, pony programs, and horse camps.
  • Born & Raised: New Jersey
  • Educated: Fairleigh Dickenson University: Speech Communication
  • Where She Can be Found Outside the Backcountry: Horseback riding and motorcycle riding 
  • She Does What?!?: Has seven horses, eight chickens, two dogs, & four cats

303-471-7078  |

Gus Brunger, Property Maintenance Coordinator

If it needs built or fixed in the Backcountry Wilderness Area, Gus is on it.
  • Born & Raised: Castle Rock, Colorado
  • Educated: Colorado State University: Natural Resource Recreation & Tourism
  • Where He Can Be Found Outside the Backcountry: Fly Fishing & Hunting
  • He Did What?!?: Played lacrosse for 14 years

303-471-7042  |

Maggie John, Education Coordinator

Whether it’s teaching the rock cycle to preschoolers or planning the perfect week at Camp Backcountry, Maggie assists with all kinds of programs in the Backcountry Wilderness Area. 
  • Born & Raised: Virginia
  • Educated: University of Virginia: Environmental Planning & Environmental Science
  • Where She Can be Found Outside the Backcountry: Camping, snowboarding, & mountain biking
  • She Did What?!?: Won a national championship in ultimate Frisbee

303-471-7054  |

Lindsey McKissick, Communications & Outreach Coordinator

You’ll find Lindsey trying to capture the best of the Backcountry Wilderness Area with words and photos along with bringing awareness to it through the Backcountry Conservation & Education Fund nonprofit.
  • Born & Raised: Colorado & Illinois
  • Educated: University of Wyoming: Journalism; Masters in Communication
  • Where She Can Be Found Outside the Backcountry: Hiking, paddleboarding, mountain biking, & camping with her husband and two daughters
  • She Did What?!?: Interviewed pro athletes like Yao Ming, Nolan Arenado, & Von Miller in her former life as a sports reporter.

303-471-7076  |  Lindsey.McKissick,

Program Leaders

Horse Program Instructor

Horse Program Instructor

Horse Program Instructor

HorseProgram Instructor

Program Instructor
Professional Christmas light tour guide

Program Instructor

Liked to catch butterflies as a kid... to feed them to chickens

Program Instructor

Liked to catch butterflies as a kid... to feed them to chickens

Preschool Program Instructor

Loves dinosaurs and wants a pet Brontosaurus

Preschool Program Instructor

Can make dolphin noises

Preschool Program Instructor

Lived in Puero Rico with 23 cats

Party Host

Eats yogurt with literally everything

Party Host

Obsessed with sparkles

Party Host
Still sleeps with glow in the dark stars on her walls

Camp Backcountry Counselors

Nature Camp Counselor
Shockingly good at laser tag

Nature Camp Counselor

Master squirrel hypnotizer

Nature Camp Counselor

Harry Potter trivia expert

Nature Camp Counselor

Coral reef aficionado

Nature Camp Counselor

Aspiring beekeeper

Nature Camp Counselor

Art Camp Counselor

Avid wildflower admirer

Art Camp Counselor

Mother to a lizard named Frida Kahlo and a fish named Beyonce

Expedition Camp Counselor

Possesses 12 hacky sacks

Expedition Camp Counselor

Fanatical about reptiles and has 2 pet snakes

Horse Camp Counselor

Has been kissed by a wolf

Horse Camp Counselor

Grew a 4’ sunflower from a half-eaten seed

Horse Camp Counselor

Dolphin attack survivor

Horse Camp Counselor

Plays hide and seek with her dog

Horse Camp Counselor

Infatuated with prehistoric creatures

Horse Camp Counselor

Is an actress and was in a horror film

Before & After Counselor

Lived in Puerto Rico with 23 cats

Before & After Counselor

Best feat— swimming with whale sharks

Before & After Counselor

Can make dolphin noises

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