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.

Yosemite Backpacking

trip dates

september 16-18

adventure type:

backpacking

activity rating

rigorous

registration deadline: monday, September 11


Trip Highlights

HIKE UP HALF DOME in America's first (and greatest) national park, epic views & moments of awe 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

Saturday

  • 9am meetup inside Yosemite National park for Opening Ceremonies and gear packing
  • Start out on the Happy Isles Trailhead toward John Muir Trail for a 5+ mile climb up to Little Yosemite Valley Campground
  • Take in spectacular views of the Merced River from the top of Nevada Falls where you'll stop for a rest and picnic lunch 
  • Settle into camp with a delicious dinner, and relax in our camp chairs with wine and whiskey

[Total distance: 5.5 miles, 2329' elevation gain]

sunday

  • Kick off the morning with fresh fruit, hearty oats, and tea or a hobo mocha
  • Continue along the John Muir Trail until it meets the Half Dome Trail, and begin the epic ascent
  • Give yourself a huge pat on the back because you just summited Half Dome; drool over the views over lunch
  • Head back down to Little Yosemite Valley Campground for another night of great food, wine, company, and snoozing under the stars

[Total distance: 5.5 miles, 1693' elevation gain]

Monday

  • Start the day with a hot cup of Joe and another hearty breakfast
  • Pick up the John Muir Trail once more to head back to the valley, veering off to take the Mist Trail for the final leg
  • Enjoy the cooling mists of Nevada and Vernal Falls and the amazing accompanying views
  • Picnic lunch at the trail's end, with Closing Ceremonies
  • Depart Yosemite early afternoon

[Total distance: 4.5 miles, 68' elevation gain]

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


FIRST-TIME TRAIL MAVEN? YOU GOT THIS.

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, everyone says this before they go.

To feel more confident before signing on, read our FAQs for all the nitty-gritty details.

+ Experience Level

This is a somewhat rigorous trip that requires some previous backpacking experience. You should be comfortable carrying a medium-weight pack for 5+ mile hikes with significant elevation gain. Check out the July 7-9 trip for a more beginner-friendly Yosemite backpacking option.

+ Packing List

  • Sleeping bag rated at 30° or colder
  • Sleeping pad
  • Headlamp & fresh batteries
  • 60L+ 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 we dig ourselves 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

You are responsible for your own transportation to and from Trail Mavens locations, but we'll help coordinate carpools or shared rentals for women leaving from the same area. Passengers will contribute to owners/drivers to cover the cost of gas and wear & tear, or evenly split the cost of the rental. This cost is not included in your trip investment.

Want even more carpooling details? Check out our Transportation FAQ.

+ OUT OF TOWNER?

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

Airbnb is a great choice for lodging in the Bay Area. Your exact departure point will depend on the other women on the trip - we always try to choose carpool meeting locations that are convenient for everyone - but the city of San Francisco is relatively small, and you can get most places in 15-20 minutes with a relatively inexpensive Lyft ride.


IS TRAIL MAVENs FOR YOU?

TRAIL MAVENS IS FOR YOU IF YOU...

... love open, honest, hilarious conversations with other women. Surface stuff is fine at home, but you know the best stuff comes out around the campfire.

... 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.

... learn by doing, and feel empowered when given the chance to make suggestions and decisions.

... feel creative, inspired, and happy when you're outside (and you could definitely use a little more of that right now).

OUR ADVENTURES AREN'T FOR YOU IF YOU...

... think getting a little sweaty, dirty, and marshmallow-y sounds gross.

... want everything—dishes, decisions, and dinner—to be done for you.

... don't want to experience the outdoors with a group of rad, like-minded women.


trip Investment: $515 [$495 before July 16]

fee includes...

... all Yosemite National Park backcountry fees

... delicious meals from Saturday afternoon though Monday afternoon, trail snacks, chocolate, and wine & whiskey to sip in the moonlight

... guided, hands-on outdoor skills instruction and facilitation from a Wilderness First Responder-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

Trip fee is exclusive of transportation costs to/from Yosemite and park entrance fees.

PAYMENT PLANS

We don't want finances to ever be the thing that gets in the way of you experiencing 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 hello@trailmavens.com and we'll get you set up.


Quantity:
REGISTER

Please review our cancellation policy before registering.

Additional questions? Just email hello@trailmavens.com, or register for one of our upcoming online info sessions with Sasha, Trail Mavens' founder.