big sur camping
March 9 - 11
camping & hiking
registration deadline: Monday, March 5
Time exploring BIG SUR'S ICONIC SPOTS, from sweeping ocean vistas to secluded beaches to hidden swimming holes.
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.
- 5:30pm departure from the Bay, Opening Ceremonies and dinner on the road
- Campsite set-up in Big Sur
- Learn our foolproof 'Flaming V' fire-building technique
- 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
- French-press coffee and hearty breakfast
- 4.5 mile hike with 350' elevation gain in Point Lobos State Natural Preserve, hiking along oceanside bluffs and through wooded glens [click here for hiking map]
- Tasty picnic lunch on trail
- Short afternoon hike to get up close and personal with the legendary McWay Falls
- Back 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
- French-press coffee and hearty breakfast part deux
- Camp break-down and pro tips on gear and trip planning
- Head to Andrew Molera State Park to spend the day wandering the ridge and beach trails
- Mediterranean picnic lunch feast and closing ceremonies on the beach
- Afternoon return to San Francisco*
*Exact return timing pending traffic and hiking speeds, but anticipate an evening arrival.
GUIDES RESERVE THE OPTION TO MODIFY TRIP ITINERARIES AS NECESSARY DUE TO WEATHER, ILLNESS, INJURY OR OTHER UNFORESEEN INCIDENTS.
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, everyone says this before they go.
To feel more confident before signing on, read our FAQs for the info you need.
+ 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
- Lightweight shoes/sandals for hanging out at our campsite that can be worn with socks (like Crocs/Tevas/Chacos rather than flip-flops)
- 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, 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, running water, hot quarter-fed showers (though no one ever takes one), and potable water spigots. You won't need to pee or poop outdoors, but we'll go over pro tips and strategies so you're prepared whenever you're in a place without indoor plumbing.
You are responsible for your own transportation to and from Trail Mavens locations, but we help coordinate carpools for ladies leaving from the Bay Area.
If you're a driver, expect your passengers to contribute to cover gas and wear & tear. If you're a passenger, expect to contribute to your driver to cover gas and wear & tear. 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. For even more details on carpooling, check out our Transportation FAQ.
+ OUT OF TOWNER?
Plan to book flight arriving in the Bay Area no later than early Friday afternoon, 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.
... learn by doing, and feel empowered when given the chance to make suggestions and decisions.
... 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.
... want everything—dishes, decisions, and dinner—to be done for you.
... don't want to experience the outdoors with a group of rad, like-minded women.
your Investment: $395 [$375 before January 9]
trip fee includes...
... all Big Sur park admission/campsite fees
... delicious meals from Saturday morning 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 firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get you set up.