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.

Yosemite Backpacking

Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne


aug 30 - sept 2

adventure type:



very rigorous

registration deadline: Sunday, August 25

Trip Highlights

HIKE THE GRAND CANYON OF THE TUOLUMNE 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


  • 9am meetup inside Yosemite National park for Opening Ceremonies and gear packing

  • Start out on the White Wolf Trailhead and hike down 8+ miles into Pate Valley to greet the wild Tuolumne River

  • Take in incredible views of Hetch Hetchy and the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne along the way

  • Dip your feet into the ice-cold snowmelt of the river while you set up camp next to it

  • Cook a fantastic feast and relax in our camp chairs with wine and whiskey

[Total distance: 8.2 miles, 450' elevation gain, 3572' elevation loss]


  • Kick off with fresh fruit, hearty oats, and tea or a hobo mocha

  • Set off along the Tuolumne River to tackle Muir Gorge, and enjoy awe-inspiring views at the top

  • Set up camp where the beautiful Cathedral Creek cascades down into the Tuolumne

  • Cook dinner, stick our feet in the river (again), and relax with awesome friends and conversation

[Total distance: 8 miles, 1742' elevation gain, 56' elevation loss]


  • Start the day with a hot cup of Joe and another hearty breakfast

  • Pick the trail back up for the uphill climb to the meadow at Glen Aulin

  • Have your breath taken away by views of Waterwheel Falls, California Falls, and LeConte Falls along the way

  • Set up camp at Glen Aulin High Sierra camp next to the PCT for a final night under the stars

  • After dinner and relaxation (and wine and whiskey), fall asleep to sounds of the gushing White Cascades

[Total distance: 6 miles, 2284' elevation gain, 98' elevation loss]


  • One more power-packed (and delicious) campsite breakfast before beginning the home stretch to Tuolumne Meadows

  • Final picnic style lunch at the visitor's center before boarding the shuttle to head back to the White Wolf parking lot

  • Depart Yosemite early afternoon

[Total distance: 6 miles, 817' elevation gain, 55' elevation loss]

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, 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 very rigorous three-night trip that requires some previous backpacking experience. You should be comfortable carrying a medium-weight pack (~35 pounds) for 8+ mile daily hikes with significant elevation gain.

+ Packing List

  • Sleeping bag rated at 30° or colder
  • Sleeping pad
  • Headlamp & fresh batteries
  • 60L+ backpack with rain cover
  • A sense of adventure
  • Backpacking bowl, mug, and utensil (a Tupperware bowl, heat-proof cup or mug, and any fork/spoon/spork set is just fine!)
  • Sleeping bag liner (if borrowing Trail Mavens sleeping bag)
  • Personal clothing
  • Sturdy, broken-in hiking shoes
  • Lightweight shoes/sandals for hanging out at our campsite that can be worn with socks (like Crocs/Tevas/Chacos rather than flip-flops)
  • Water bottles and/or hydration bladder with a minimum 2.5L capacity
  • Sunscreen/sun hat/sunglasses
  • Health insurance card & ID
  • Tampons/pads as needed
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste/toiletries
  • Personal medications
  • Glasses/contacts with solution
  • A pen
  • Field Notes notebook (Trail Mavens alumnae only)
  • Optional: hiking poles, small pillow, hand towel, earplugs, 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.


Plan to book a flight arriving in the Bay Area no later than Thursday 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.



... 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).


... 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: $465 [$445 before June 30]

fee includes...

... all Yosemite National Park backcountry fees

... delicious meals from Friday 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.


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 and we'll get you set up.

Please review our cancellation policy before registering.

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