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.

june 10-12

Sure, we know the title's controversial, but we stand by it. The Mendocino coast is every bit as dramatic and beautiful as Big Sur's, and Big Sur doesn't have wine tasting, redwoods, or kayaking adventures through sea caves.  This is our favorite weekend trip!

adventure type:

camping, hiking & kayaking

activity rating:


Trip Highlights

  • Be blown away by magnificent redwoods that make the trees in Muir Woods look like saplings
  • Channel your inner seafarer as we explore the hidden caves and coves south of Mendocino by kayak
  • Dip in the Navarro River's best swimming hole, or sunbathe and skip stones on the riverbank
  • Poke in and out of the charming shops in downtown Mendocino, and walk along the town's stunning headlands
  • Try your hardest to choose your favorite Pinot as we wine-taste our way back to the Bay
  • Teach and learn camp set-up and break-down, map-reading, fire-starting, camp cooking, and Leave No Trace principles
  • Hang, laugh, and learn with a posse of inspiring women
  • Relax and unplug without emails or cell phones
  • A portion of your ticket goes back to California State Parks, to preserve and protect them for future generations

Itinerary Summary


5:30pm departure from SF, dinner at a Whole Foods on the road, campsite set-up in Hendy Woods State Park, fire, and workweek wind-down with wine and conversation.


French-press coffee and hearty breakfast, gorgeous drive through the redwoods to Highway 1, kayak tour of Mendocino's sea caves, lunch and strolling in charming downtown Mendocino and the adjacent headlands, afternoon lounging on the Navarro river in the sunshine, visit to the Apple Farm for cider and a self-guided tour (last year we held baby goats!), return to our campsite for downtime and Outdoor Skills 'office hours,' dinner, wine, marshmallows, and laughter.


French-press coffee and hearty breakfast part deux, three mile stroll through Hendy's Tall Trees Grove, camp break-down, picnic lunch and wine tasting at nearby award-winning Navarro Vineyards; exact return timing pending our hiking speeds and how quickly we can drag ourselves away the gorgeous winery.

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


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

Not Included: Personal incidentals, Friday dinner, Sunday ice cream, or any cases of wine you decide to buy


Make sure you read our FAQ for juicy details that are relevant to all our trips! You'll find answers to questions like, 'How big are these trips, anyway?' 'Is it weird if I sign up by myself?' 'What if I'm the slowest hiker / learner / kayaker?' 


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 pumped-up 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.

+ bathrooms and hygiene

Our campsite in Hendy Woods State Park is plush, as far as campsites go. It features spacious bathrooms, 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.

+ Packing list

Each Trail Maven should plan on bringing the following:

  • Sleeping bag rated at 40° or colder
  • Sleeping pad
  • Headlamp & new batteries or spares
  • A sense of adventure
  • Sleeping bag liner (if borrowing a Trail Mavens sleeping bag)
  • Personal clothing, including bathing suit
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Sandals or flip-flops for kayaking and hanging around our campsite
  • Small backpack for carrying your personal items on Saturday
  • Towel for hanging out by the swimming hole
  • Water bottles and/or hydration bladder with a minimum 2L capacity
  • Sunscreen/sun hat/sunglasses
  • Health insurance card & ID
  • Tampons/pads as needed
  • Toothbrush/mini toothpaste
  • Personal medications
  • Glasses/contacts with solution
  • A pen
  • Trail Mavens alumnae only: previous Field Notes
  • Optional: lightweight pillow, earplugs, lightweight sandals for hanging out at our campsite, camera, bandana to keep sun off your neck, small bottle hand sanitizer

Items in bold will be provided at no additional cost for any woman who needs them.


Participants are responsible for their own transportation to/from the Anderson Valley and Mendocino. 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 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.


We take participant health and risk management very seriously on our trips. All Trail Mavens primary leaders hold Wilderness First Responder or Wilderness First Aid certifications. In remote destinations, we carry a DeLorme two-way signaling device, allowing us to contact authorities and Trail Mavens HQ in case of emergency. We minimize risk on the trail by keeping groups together while hiking, encouraging everyone to drink water and apply sunscreen, and making sure we're prepared with gear appropriate to our activities. Before registering, please read the terms of conditions of Trail Mavens' release. Any questions about participant health and risk management on our trips? Contact


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

We're more than happy to help with SF trip planning if you're coming from far away. Just reach out!

+ Gift certificates

Want to give this trip as a gift? Trail Mavens gift certificates are available here.

+ 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. With that in mind, we offer installment plans, so you can spread out trip payment over three months. Sound appealing? Email and we'll get you set up.

+ 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: 50% of trip cost refunded.
  • 14-20 days prior to trip departure date: 25% of trip cost refunded.
  • 0-13 days prior to trip departure: No refunds.

Trip Investment: $375 (early bird), $395 (after May 10)


Additional questions? Email, or call 415-265-5062.