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.

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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Trip Recap: Skyline to the Sea

Skyline to the Sea is one of those trips that tops every Bay Area backpacker's must-hike list. The vistas on day one plus the huge redwoods on day two plus the gorgeous creekside trail on day three add up to an amazing adventure.

At 34+ miles over three days, Skyline to the Sea is also the most physically ambitious...

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The Somewhere Project Features Trail Mavens

My exceptionally cool friend and Trail Mavens trip leader Jenny Gottstein recommended TM to an exceptionally cool guy, Ian Hunter Elliott - I like saying his full name - who runs an exceptionally cool website called The Somewhere Project. Devoted to "helping incredible people and projects progress," TSP features "stories and projects of people from across the country, and asking how we, the TSP community, can help them take meaningful steps towards their Somewhere. Great ideas come with a heavy burden; they need support." 

In a word: awesome. In three words: such an honor! Want to read all the crazy stories I shared about how Trail Mavens came to be? Click below.


Trip Recap: Yosemite

Yosemite is hard to get off the brain, which is perhaps why I've put off posting Field Notes from our Labor Day adventure there. Something about Yosemite makes you want to linger, to savor the feeling of being exhilarated, proud, exhausted, and satisfied all at once. 

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Trip Leader Profile: Jenny

Name: Jenny Gottstein

First Trail Mavens Trip:
Mount Tamalpais Camping

AboutInstagram | Twitter

Four Things Jenny Is Great At: 
Making a mess +
guacamole +
tap dance+
bad puns 

Profession: 
Director of Games at the Go Game

The Last Thing That Made Her Laugh Out Loud: Mike Tyson dancing

The Latest Huffington Post Article About Her Work: Disaster Preparedness Gaming

Juicy Quote:

"In an urban environment, it's easy to make A LOT of superficial connections with people. But Trail Mavens is a rare opportunity to really dig in and learn about yourself and other remarkable women. There is something really special about conversations that take place while hiking, making dinner over a camp stove, or roasting marshmallows around a bonfire. Things tumble out that would never surface at a dinner party or happy hour gathering."

And finally, if you weren't already totally intrigued by Jenny G, here's a snippet from an amazing profile that was recently written about her. Click for the full piece from the Somewhere Project:

"I moved to NYC at 17, got a degree in something nerdy at Columbia, accidentally became an embedded reporter in a violent student revolt in Chile, produced a roving graffiti gallery in a U-hauls, sang on a Lady GaGa acid trance spoof track that became briefly popular in Ukraine, and spent the next 4 years throwing parties…"


Jenny will be co-leading our upcoming Butano foodie adventure. Thing you might want to too? Learn more here.

Trip Leader Profile: Abby

Name: Abby Stewart 

First Trail Mavens Trip:
Point Reyes Kayak Camping 

Blog | Instagram | Twitter

Four Things Abby Is Great At: 
Writing poetry and essays + 
empathizing + 
organizing and planning + 
teaching

Profession: 
High school English / ESL teacher

The Last Thing That Made Her Laugh Out Loud: Weird Al's 'Word Crimes'

Juicy Quote:
"My first Trail Mavens adventure was a combination of both learning about the outdoors and being inspired by a group of women, many of whom I did not know prior to the trip. Women bond with nature in a particular way that supersedes anything petty or competitive and instead fosters acceptance and introspection – that’s what I experienced with Trail Mavens. As a classroom teacher whose greatest passion is learning and sharing any of my applicable acquired knowledge with others, I knew I wanted to be a co-leader as soon as Sasha sent out the e-mail and I am so excited for the opportunity."

Abby will be co-leading our upcoming Yosemite adventure. Interested in co-leading a Trail Mavens trip? Learn more here.