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.


september 24-26

adventure type:


activity rating:

most rigorous

registration deadline:  tuesday, september 20

Trip Highlights

HIKE in America's first (and greatest) national park, alpine lakes, stunning views, and moments of inspiration included.

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 backcountry meals, work your glutes on-trail, and enjoy the brilliance of Mama Nature.

Itinerary Summary


  • 9am meetup in Yosemite National Park for Opening Ceremonies and gear packing
  • Hike 7-8 miles into the stunning Ten Lakes Basin, passing through meadows, shaded groves, and peeping amazing views of the High Sierra
  • Set up camp next to our lake of choice (there are ten of them, after all)
  • Cook dinner & relax in our camp chairs with wine and whiskey


  • Kick off with hearty oats and tea or a hobo mocha
  • Hike 10 miles, passing South Cathedral Creek & Tuolumne Peak
  • Test our off-trail navigation skills to set up camp besides the jewel-like Polly Dome Lake
  • Cook dinner, stick our feet in the water, and relax with awesome friends and conversation


  • Leisurely breakfast and our final camp break-down
  • Hike 3 miles to the incomparably beautiful Tenaya Lake
  • Beach celebration picnic and Closing Ceremonies
  • Depart Yosemite early afternoon

Guides reserve the option to modify trip itineraries as necessary due to weather, illness, injury or other unforeseen incidents.


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.

+ Previous experience

Due to the mileage we're covering and the altitude in Tuolumne Meadows, we recommend this trip for women with some backpacking experience.

If you've never backpacked before, this trip may be appropriate for you if you're an edurance athlete or have previous experience as a long-distance day hiker.

We'll aim to cover 1.5 to 2 miles per hour while hiking.

+ Packing List

  • Sleeping bag rated at 30° or colder
  • Sleeping pad
  • Headlamp & fresh batteries
  • 50L+ backpack with rain cover
  • Backpacking bowl/cup/utensil
  • A sense of adventure
  • Sleeping bag liner (if borrowing Trail Mavens sleeping bag)
  • Personal clothing
  • Sturdy, broken-in hiking 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

Trail Mavens follows Leave No Trace principles, and we'll be pooping into catholes in the backcountry and packing out all our toilet paper and feminine hygiene products.

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 Zipcar.


Plan to book flight arriving in the Bay Area no later than Friday night and departing no earlier than 11pm Monday night, or Tuesday morning.



... love open, honest, hilarious conversations with other women. Surface stuff is fine at home, but you know the best stuff comes out while you're sharing a Platypus full of wine under the stars.

... 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).


... 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: $415 (early bird), $445 (after 9/12)

trip fee includes...

... all Yosemite National Park backcountry fees

... delicious meals from Friday afternoon though Sunday afternoon, trail snacks, chocolate, 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 Yosemite National Park, to preserve and protect it for future generations


We don't want finances ever to be the thing that gets in the way of your coming on 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 us at and we'll get you set up.


Additional questions? Email!