Trail Mavens

OUTDOOR ADVENTURES FOR URBAN WOMEN

Skill-based camping and backpacking trips for groups of extraordinary women. Ready to build fires, read maps, pitch tents, hike, laugh, and drink wine around the campfire? Join one of our weekend adventures.

big sur camping

trip dates:

april 7-9

adventure type:

camping & hiking

activity rating:

moderate


Trip Highlights

Time exploring BIG SUR'S MOST BEAUTIFUL SPOTS, from McWay Falls to lush canyons to secluded beaches

 

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.


Itinerary Summary

FRIDAY

  • 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

Saturday

  • French-press coffee and hearty breakfast
  • 4.6 mile hike (with a healthy amount of elevation gain on Big Sur's iconic Ewoldsen Loop, complete with panoramic ocean views and lush redwood gullies
  • Picnic lunch on trail
  • Photo ops at McWay Falls, which everyone must see once before they die
  • 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

sunday

  • French-press coffee and hearty breakfast part deux
  • Camp break-down and pro tips on gear and trip planning
  • 5.4 mile hike in Andrew Molera State Park to a secluded beach, keeping an eye out for dolphins and whales
  • Mediterranean picnic lunch feast
  • Closing ceremonies, and 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.


why big sur?

Water too blue to be real. Relaxing in a camp chair, stretching out your limbs, and listening to morning birdsong as you sip a mug of coffee. Dipping your feet into the Big Sur River to cool them off after a day of hiking. The smell of campfires and the wonderful blend of chocolate, graham, and marshmallow melting in your mouth.

McWay Falls alone makes Big Sur a worthwhile destination. Add in the lesser-known spots - Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, with its secret swimming holes and lovely campsites, both shaded by graceful, towering redwood trees; the Big Sur Bakery, which has fantastic baked goods and coffee; and Andrew Molera State Park, with its hidden beaches and miles-long oceanfront trails - and Big Sur becomes unmissable.


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 Mavens 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
  • Water bottles and/or hydration bladder with a minimum 2L capacity
  • Sunscreen/sun hat/sunglasses
  • Health insurance card & ID
  • Tampons/pads as needed
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste/toiletries
  • 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, toilets and 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...unless you want to.

No need to change your plans because of your period. Period. For more detailed info on managing your time of the month in the outdoors, we recommend these posts by Snowqueen and Scout and REI.

+ transportation

Participants are responsible for their own transportation to and from Trail Mavens locations, but we help coordinate carpools for ladies leaving from the Bay Area. Each passenger contributes to her driver to cover gas, wear, and tear. If no trip participants/insufficient trip participants own cars, we'll share contact information so you can band together and split a rental.

Want 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 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.

... 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

trip fee includes...

... all Big Sur state 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 WFR 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

PAYMENT PLANS

We don't want finances ever to be the thing that gets in the way of your coming on a Trail Mavens trip, so we  offer installment plans. To learn more, email hello@trailmavens.com and we'll get you set up.

REGISTER

Additional questions? Email hello@trailmavens.com, or call 415-265-5062.