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.

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Introducing Jessica Mastors

I grew up in the woods and spent a week every summer at an environmental education camp, trawling my ponding net through the muck in search of diving beetles and tadpoles and dissecting the occasional owl pellet.

At fifteen I spent three weeks in Maine backpacking and rock climbing with Outward Bound, which taught me that hiking stops being terrible after about two weeks, and that your hair starts to clean itself (!) after about the same about of time. It was in the final days of that trip, scrambling south through the field of boulders known as Mahoosuc Notch, that we encountered an extremely thin and haggard-looking man walking very, very slowly in the opposite direction. He told us he’d walked all the way from Georgia, and our little minds were blown.

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Trail Mavens Guide | Scoring NorCal's Most Coveted Campsites

Booking campsites in Northern California is a little like finding a brand-new pair of hiking boots in your size at REI's monthly garage sale: three parts timing, one part luck. We can't help with the luck part, other than encouraging you to send lots of good karma out into the world and follow Leave No Trace principles, but we can help with the timing. Here's how to land campsites at some of Northern California's most sought-after campsites: Angel Island, Steep Ravine, Julia Pfeiffer Burns, Yosemite, Kirby Cove, and Wildcat Camp in Point Reyes.

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Trail Mavens Guide | Angel Island Backpacking

Anyone lucky enough to live in the Bay Area can't truly say they know the area until they've been to Angel Island. Situated what feels like a stone's throw from downtown Tiburon, the island features ideally-situated picnic areas, paved roads for cycling and trails for running and hiking, and views for days. Case in point:

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Trail Mavens Guide | Big Sur: Andrew Molera, Pfeiffer Big Sur, and Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Parks

We spent this past weekend in Big Sur scouting for our upcoming adventure there in December, and it was one of those weekends that makes you overjoyed to be a Californian: warm, breezy afternoons, crisp starry nights, and a glorious mix of turquoise ocean, dramatic cliffs, and towering trees. We're so pumped to head back in just a month with a passel of amazing ladies.

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Trail Mavens Guide | Backpacking Sky Camp, Point Reyes

This past weekend, a group of five Trail Mavens backpacked to Point Reyes' Sky Camp (check out the full trip details here). Sky Camp is overlooked among Point Reyes' backcountry campsites - you can tell because there are often Sky Camp sites remaining on recreation.gov well after all the Wildcat and Coast campsites have been booked - but all the better for the rest of us who are in the know.

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