camping in big sur
camping & hiking
moderate to rigorous
registrations not accepted after monday, april 24
Giant ocean vistas, seasonal wildflowers, and redwood trees to surround you as you CHALLENGE YOURSELF ON HIKES.
HANDS-ON TRAINING so you can show off your skills next time you pitch a tent (we'll make sure you look like you've been doing it since you were a kid).
ZERO STRESS around literally any planning. We handle everything from permits to bug spray, so all you have to do is soak it in.
SPACE TO DISCONNECT from the day-to-day urban living, and stop, breathe, and focus on what's happening NOW.
THE MAVEN FACTOR, a.k.a what happens when you mix dynamic, thoughtful, open-hearted women for a weekend outside.
Enough SELF-CARE to get you through any hurdle. Eat gourmet camp meals, work your glutes on-trail, and enjoy the brilliance of Mama Nature.
- Arrive in Big Sur by 5:30pm* (in time for happy hour and a sunset walk down to the beach)
- Master your tent set-up skills as we build our home base for the weekend
- Learn our foolproof 'Flaming V' fire-building technique and cook dinner over the campfire
- Kick back in your camp chair with wine and s'mores, or crawl into your sleeping bag to catch some hard-earned Z's after the workweek
*If you can't take Friday afternoon off work and must arrive later, no worries! You're welcome whenever you can make it.
- French-press coffee and hearty breakfast to fuel our day
- Hands-on practice with two kinds of stoves so you can Iron Chef it up on your next camping trip
- Challenge your glutes and take in insane views on a 9.5 mile hike with 1700' gradual elevation gain/loss into the Big Sur mountains*
- Picnic lunch and water purification lesson on trail to re-up stores of energy and water
- Return to camp for fire-building, relaxation, and a hot second to reflect and give yourself a high five for your accomplishments
- Massive dinner with fresh veggies galore, chocolate, and wine
*Click here for a trail map with elevation profile
- French-press coffee and hearty breakfast part deux
- Camp break-down and pro tips on gear and trip planning
- Short, easy walk in our campground to a lovely creek, historic limekilns, and a 100' waterfall (yes, you read that right)
- Mediterranean picnic lunch feast
- Closing ceremonies, and return to San Francisco*
*Exact return timing pending traffic and hiking speeds, but anticipate an early afternoon departure from Big Sur.
GUIDES RESERVE THE OPTION TO MODIFY TRIP ITINERARIES AS NECESSARY DUE TO WEATHER, road/campsite closures, ILLNESS, INJURY OR OTHER UNFORESEEN INCIDENTS.
We'll be exploring the section of Big Sur along Highway 1 bounded by Limekiln State Park to the north, and Gorda to the south.
Highway 1 is closed beyond Limekiln and Gorda, so this area is accessible exclusively via Nacimiento-Fergusson Road. NorCal Mavens, your drive to Big Sur will look like this. SoCal Mavens, your drive to Big Sur will look like this.
FIRST-TIME TRAIL MAVEN? YOU GOT THIS.
Every single Trail Mavens trip starts with strangers. But don't worry - if you're nervous about not knowing anyone or not being skilled enough, every single Trail Maven says this before they go.
To feel more confident before signing on, check out our (extremely detailed) FAQs
+ Packing List
- Sleeping bag rated at 30° or colder
- Sleeping pad
- Headlamp & fresh batteries
- A sense of adventure
- Sleeping bag liner (if borrowing Trail Mavens sleeping bag)
- Personal clothing
- Day pack to carry while hiking
- Sturdy, broken-in walking shoes
- Water bottles and/or hydration bladder with a minimum 2L capacity
- Sunscreen/sun hat/sunglasses
- Health insurance card & ID
- Tampons/pads as needed
- Personal medications
- Glasses/contacts with solution
- A pen
- (Trail Mavens alumnae only): previous Field Notes
- Optional: hiking poles, small pillow, hand towel, earplugs, comfy shoes for hanging out at our campsite, camera, bandana or Buff to keep sun off your neck, small bottle hand sanitizer
Items in bold provided at no additional cost for any women who does not have her own!
+ bathrooms and hygiene
Our campsite in Big Sur is plush, as far as campsites go. It features indoor bathrooms, flush toilets, and potable water spigots. You won't need to pee or poop outdoors ... unless you want to.
You're responsible for your own transportation to and from Trail Mavens adventures, but we help coordinate carpools for ladies leaving from similar locations.
If you're a driver, expect your passengers to contribute to cover gas and wear & tear on your vehicle. If you're a passenger, expect to contribute cash to your driver to cover gas and wear and tear (plus you'll be on Google Maps/DJing/where's-the-closest-bathroom research duty).
If no trip participants or insufficient trip participants own cars, we'll share contact information so you can band together and split a rental. Note that transportation costs are not included in your trip investment.
For even more details on carpooling, check out our Transportation FAQ.
+ OUT OF TOWNER?
Plan to book a flight arriving in the Bay Area no later than Thursday night or early Friday morning, and departing no earlier than 10pm Sunday night, or Monday morning.
IS TRAIL MAVENs FOR YOU?
TRAIL MAVENS IS FOR YOU IF YOU...
... love open, honest, hilarious conversations with other women. Surface stuff is fine at home, but you know the best stuff comes out around the campfire.
... haven't learned how to start the fire, work the stove, or purify water. Get hands-on practice here, with other adventurous women (so you don't have to trial-and-error on your own).
... thrive on being pushed - tenderly and lovingly - outside your comfort zone, because you know that's where the magic happens.
... feel creative, inspired, and happy when you're outside (and you could definitely use a little more of that right now).
OUR ADVENTURES AREN'T FOR YOU IF YOU...
... think getting a little sweaty, dirty, and marshmallow-y sounds gross.
... don't want to experience the outdoors with a group of rad, like-minded women.
your Investment: $395 [$375 before april 17]
trip fee includes...
... all Big Sur park admission/campsite fees
... delicious meals from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon, trail snacks, chocolate galore, and wine & whiskey to sip in the moonlight
... guided, hands-on outdoor skills instruction and facilitation from a Wilderness First Responder-certified guide, plus access to the collective brilliance of your group
... all the gear you need, just in case you don't have any; just bring clothes and a toothbrush
... a donation back to CA State Parks, to preserve and protect them for future generations
We don't want finances to ever be the thing that gets in the way of you experiencing a Trail Mavens trip. With that in mind, we offer installment plans, so you can spread out trip payment over three months. Sound appealing? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get you set up.