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.

transportation FAQ

Does Trail Mavens provide transportation?

No. You're responsible for your ride to and from trip destinations. 


We know this would make things easier on some of you, but the additional expense would mean we've have to add around $250 to the cost of every Maven's registration, or more on further destinations.

Sounds crazy, right? But driving on a highway is about a thousand times more dangerous than hiking on a trail, and the insurance would make trips prohibitively expensively for many.

We so value the learning and community that stems from the diversity of our groups. Bottom line: we don't want Trail Mavens to be just for women who can spend $650 or more on a weekend away.


We know we don't have to - we don't know of any other organization like us that does - but we have so many reasons:

  • Being carless is a big barrier to getting outdoors, and we want to make things as easy for you BART-ers and Muni-ers and darn-it's-late-so-I'll-Lyft-ers as possible.
  • Mavens get extra hours of fun and bonding time in the car. It's waaay better to have great conversation and share mapping / DJing responsibilities than to drive alone.
  • Carbon emissions = global warming. If we can squeeze into one or two cars instead of spreading out into two or three, we're always down. Plus, it makes things more affordable for both drivers and passengers.

how does carpooling work?

We don't know how many car owners will sign up for a given adventure, so we can't finalize arrangements until a trip sells out, or registration has closed.

If you've indicated you have a car on your registration form, you'll most likely be assigned to drive. (Only rarely do we have more drivers than we need. #citylife) We recommend reimbursement at 25 cents/mile, and that cost will be divided among all the carpool passengers, whether they drove in your car or not. This means passengers can switch freely between cars all weekend, and you can have quality car talk with everyone on your trip.

If you do not have a car, there are a few outcomes:

  • If we have enough drivers, you'll grab a ride and pitch in for mileage.
  • If we don't have enough drivers, you may rent a car for the weekend and split the cost with other passengers. (This is great practice for when you're planning your own adventures and need wheels to get to Yosemite before the first frost, plus the rest of the group will worship you.)
  • If we don't have enough drivers, you may grab a ride with another Maven who has rented a car for the weekend. You'll share in the cost of the rental, and make sure to buy her coffee, snacks, and Slurpees every time you make gas and bathroom breaks, because she's a hero.

If you're traveling from another location (think: LA-based Maven who meets us in Big Sur rather than coming up to SF to carpool), you're responsible for arranging your own transportation, and you're exempt from this discussion of reimbursements and car rentals. This doesn't concern you, so go take a bubble bath! No one takes as many bubble baths as they deserve.

how much will transportation cost?

Because we can never predict how many drivers or participants will sign up, this cost is variable. Here are a few scenarios to illustrate the potential variance:

Sample Destination: Big Sur
Total round trip mileage: 306 miles
Recommended reimbursement: 25 cents/mile divided among passengers, or $76.50

Scenario 1: 

Five participants total, including one car owner
All Mavens fit into one car
The car owner is reimbursed ~$76.50 for mileage
$76.50 / four carless Mavens = $19.12 / person

Scenario 2: 

Six participants total, including two car owners
Two cars necessary to transport all Mavens
Both car owners are reimbursed ~$76.50 for mileage
$153 / four carless Mavens = $38.25 / person

Scenario 3:

Seven participants total, only one car owner
Two cars necessary to transport all Mavens, including one rental
The car owner is reimbursed ~$76.50 for mileage
The renter is reimbursed the cost of the rental + gas (let's say $250)
All participants minus the car owner split the cost of the mileage and the rental + gas
$326.50 / six carless Mavens = $54.41 / person

Scenario 4:

Six participants total, three of them driving themselves from outside the Bay Area (i.e. exempt from carpooling), no Bay Area car owners
One rental needed to transport Bay Area Mavens
The renter is reimbursed the cost of the rental and gas (let's say $250)
All carpoolers split the cost of the rental + gas
$250 / three carpoolers = $83.33 / person

(We could go on, but we bet you get the idea.)

In each scenario, carpooling remains more affordable than a) having Trail Mavens provide transportation or b) renting a car solo.

Even taking public transportation to Big Sur costs $55-$63 (plus three transfers / six and a half hours), more expensive than all but the final scenario.

I'm a passenger. How and when should I pay my driver?

We recommend using Venmo, Paypal, or cash at the start of each trip, with a quick check-in at the end in case there are additional expenses incurred (like the final tank of gas necessary to return the rental full). If there are an odd number of passengers, you may end up splitting your contribution between both drivers to make sure they're reimbursed the same amount.

I'm a driver. Where should I drop my passengers off at the end of each trip?

You don't need to drop your passengers off at home - you've already been a rockstar and done the hard part by driving them to and from a gorgeous outdoor destination!  

Choose a spot convenient for you and for public transportation. Every Maven is smart and capable, and can figure out the easiest way to get home on public transportation, Lyft, or Uber.

have another question about transportation that we forgot to answer?

we bet someone else is wondering the same thing. ask below, and we'll reply and add it to this list!

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