Trail Mavens


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
september 18 - 20

adventure type:

camping & hiking

activity rating:

moderate to challenging


Make sure you read our FAQ for juicy details that are relevant to all our trips!

Trip Highlights

  • Teach and learn camp set-up and break-down, map-reading, fire-starting, camp cooking, and Leave No Trace principles
  • Explore the best hiking in Big Sur, including the Ewoldsen and Bluff Trails
  • Have your mind blown by the beauty of McWay Falls
  • Hang, laugh, and learn with a posse of inspiring women
  • Relax. Unplug. No emails, no cell phones (except to take pictures, of course)
  • A portion of your ticket goes back to Big Sur State Parks, to preserve and protect them for future generations

special guests

We're thrilled to partner with two SF gems on this adventure: photographer Kara Brodgesell ( and Peak Design, makers of the game-changing Capture Clip.

Have a fancy camera but never bring it out because you don't really know the difference between aperture and F-stop? Kara (the woman responsible for most of the photography on the Trail Mavens website) will give pro tips on how to get the most out of your manual settings.

Have a fancy camera but never bring it out because you're afraid of hiking with it? Peak Design's Capture Clip provides a simple, comfortable way to carry your camera safely, and we'll have them available for any Mavens who want to use one.

Itinerary Summary


5:30pm post-work departure from SF, dinner on the road, campsite set-up in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, and workweek wind-down with wine and conversation.


Blue Bottle French-press coffee and hearty breakfast, 9 mile hike and photography along the eye-popping Bluffs Trail in Andrew Molera State Park, lunch on the beach, relaxing and camp skills office hours, dinner prep, fire-building, wine and feasting.


French-press coffee and hearty breakfast part deux, camp break-down, hike and picnic lunch along the 5 mile Ewoldsen Trail in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, closing ceremonies by McWay Falls, and return to San Francisco, arriving in the evening, exact timing pending our hiking speeds and how quickly we can drag ourselves away from those cerulean waters.


  • All Big Sur state park admission/campsite fees.
  • Guided, hands-on instruction and facilitation.
  • Meals (Saturday breakfast/lunch/dinner, Sunday breakfast/lunch), snacks, and wine/whiskey.
  • Shared items: tents, stove, cookware, fuel, plates, utensils, and camp chairs, lanterns, basic First Aid, firewood.
  • Sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and headlamp are provided at no additional cost for any woman who does not have her own.

Not Included: Friday dinner, personal incidentals, and DSLR cameras (you'll need to bring your own).


You probably already knew this, but we'll be sleeping in two- or three-person tents. Plan to share your tent with 1-2 other trip participants.

We are strong believers in delicious food to fuel adventure, and take care to create healthy, tasty menus (think oatmeal and berries before a big hike, or zucchini mushroom burritos for dinner). We're happy to plan around our vegetarian and vegan Trail Mavens. Gluten-intolerant? We've got you covered! However, because planning gluten-free meals requires us to shift our plans for the entire group, we ask you note it during registration only if it presents a health issue for you, rather than an inclination.


Participants are responsible for their own transportation to/from Big Sur. For trip participants coming from the Bay Area, Trail Mavens will make every effort to coordinate carpools leaving from a central SF location. Each passenger will contribute $30 to their driver to cover gas, wear, and tear (not included in trip investment). If we do not have enough drivers, Mavens may need to band together to rent a car for the weekend.

Participants choosing not to carpool may be subject to additional park entrance / parking fees.


Plan to book flight arriving in the Bay Area no later than Friday early afternoon, and departing no earlier than 10pm on Sunday night, or Monday morning.

Wondering where to stay? We recommend trying an Airbnb in or near Noe Valley, the area we'll depart from.

+ cancellation policy

Should you decide to cancel your trip for any reason, Trail Mavens is able to offer refunds at the following rates:

  • 21+ days prior to trip departure date: 75% of trip cost refunded.
  • 14-20 days prior to trip departure date: 50% of trip cost refunded.
  • 4-13 days prior to trip departure: 25% of trip cost refunded.
  • 1-3 days prior to trip departure: No refunds.

Trip Investment: $375 (early bird) 
                                $395 (after aug. 18)

Additional questions? Email