Apply Today for Ascend Summer 2022!

Ascend is thrilled to be offering our most diverse schedule yet with opportunities for adventure and stewardship for everyone!

Trip descriptions and applications are just a click away, follow the links below.

  • For trip descriptions and details including destinations visit our trip page here!
  • Fill out an Application for Youth and/or Adult trips digitally or download and print here!

2022 Schedule Sneak Peak

As always, Ascend provides everything necessary for their backpacking and stewardship trips at no charge to participants. We’ll be officially launching our application and full details about our trips before the end of March, so check back in to apply.

Celebrating 20 YEARS of Ascend!

This holiday season, Ascend is reflecting on 20 years of providing safe outdoor experiences for youth in Trinity County. It’s been a wild ride and we’ve made some amazing memories along the way. To celebrate 20 years of Ascend and in anticipation of 20 more engaging and successful years, we are asking for support from our community to raise funds for our 2022 hiking season.

Our day trips and overnight hiking trips are facilitated FREE of charge for youth and adults because we believe forging connections to outdoor spaces is beneficial for everyone and are dedicated to creating opportunities for youth and adults to discover the restorative and positive powers of wilderness.

We feel so lucky to have been able to take many of our participants on their FIRST EVER hike or backpacking experience. For many, experiences with Ascend have sparked a curiosity and interest in the outdoor industry and public service that has opened up new and exciting career opportunities for these young hikers.

This past year, we were able to create a work experience trip for local teens that was a huge success. The positive feedback we got from these teens was overwhelming. Some said they’d found a path to pursuing a career in outdoor trail work and stewardship and others said they were, “[…]hoping I get to take this opportunity next year”. With financial support from our community, we can not only provide this experience for teens again, but continue expanding our programming to broaden our reach and ability to support Trinity County youth.

We have already begun collaborating with our amazing partners to bring more day hikes, multi-day trips, and work experience stewardship opportunities to youth in Trinity County that will improve our amazing trail systems and allow space for hikers to delve into the wilderness and themselves. 2022 is going to be another AWEsome year!!

There’s nothing like looking to the past to energize for the future! We can’t WAIT to bring more opportunities and experiences to our youth and teenage participants in 2022. If you haven’t yet, please consider contributing to Ascend with a tax-deductible donation!

Summer of 2021 Success!

Ascend Wilderness Experience had an AWEsome 2021 summer providing safe and inspiring experiences in wilderness and local natural recreation areas.

In our 2021 summer backpacking season, Ascend scheduled 24 days in nature with youth and adults, amounting to 270 user days in wilderness, 182 of them with youth aged 6-18. For day hikers as young as 6, Ascend led three activity focused day hikes on the East Weaver Creek Trail in the Weaver Basin Trail System.  Hikers followed clues to make discoveries about their surroundings and made fun stops along the route to do activities such as watercolor painting.

For young people ages 8 and up, Ascend facilitated four youth day hikes into the Trinity Alps Wilderness.  Youth adventured to stunning lake destinations while participating in educational and confidence-building exercises. Ascend’s Trinity Alps day hike destinations included Big and Little Boulder Lakes, Stoddard Lake and Tangle Blue.

This year, Ascend formed it’s first ever teen crew to undertake trail work in the Trinity Alps Wilderness, in collaboration with local Forest Service officials.  Seven teens ranging in age from 14-17 participated in a trail work experience trip that included resume building skills for seven days of hiking and stewardship.  The group backpacked into Poison Canyon, with pack mules transporting tools and food supplies, to set up a base camp at Lilypad Lake. 

The crew day hiked from the lake to various work sites throughout the trip, using hand tools such as shovels, pulaskis, and crosscut saws under the direction of Forest Service Wilderness Trails Crew Leader, Erik Rademacher, to repair the tread on several miles of trail in the Poison Canyon Basin.

Teen Stewardship Crew

New to Ascend’s programming in 2021, adults were invited to participate in some of the day hikes in June and July.  Ascend organized three all-ages hikes into the Trinity Alps Wilderness that featured stewardship activities such as trimming brush encroaching on trails and removing logs lying across trails. Participants ranged in age from 7 to 72 and every hiker assisted in stewardship activities.

Ascend also hosted its much requested all-adult stewardship trip.  For years community members have asked us to organize more hikes for adults and we are thrilled to report it was a huge success.  Also working in the Poison Canyon Basin trail system, this group logged out approximately 70 fallen logs and gave much needed attention to about 16 miles of this trail system.  We are happy to report the Lilypad Lake and Thumb Rock trails are in good condition again, barring any after effects from the River Complex.  Special thanks to this hardworking team!

Adult Stewardship Crew

We know the end of this season has been hard for everyone in our rural communities, but it is more important than ever to continue our work of fostering connections between local people and our environment. Community donations are vital to our continued growth and ability to offer quality programs to you and your family that support our shared community. You can donate by going to our main page and clicking the yellow “donate” link.

Your participation and commitment to Ascend means the world to us and we are honored by your support. Your tax deductible donation means that we can continue providing valuable services to improve outdoor experiences in our community. Just this year we were able to:

  • Monitor 70 miles of trails
  • Provide 270 user days in the wilderness with participants
  • Spend more than 1700 hours of volunteer hours doing stewardship on our local trails.

We couldn’t have done it without you!  THANK YOU!

Sign Up Now!

Get outside with Ascend this summer! Ascend is offering a variety of day and overnight trips for all ages. Ascend provides everything necessary for your trip, including food, gear and guides. All programs are offered at no cost to participants but donations help ensure the future of Ascend programs. Click on the blue links below for more information about each trip and how to sign up.

Teen 7-Day Wilderness Stewardship Experience THIS TRIP IS CURRENTLY FULL- IF YOU SUBMIT THIS FORM AFTER 5/15 YOU WILL BE ADDED TO OUR WAITLIST. A skills and resume building adventure that combines backpacking with volunteer stewardship up Poison Canyon near Lilypad Lake in the Trinity Alps – Open to youth 14-18, Wednesday, July 7th – Tuesday, July 13th      

Youth Day Hikes on the Weaver Basin Trail– A combination of hiking and fun stops, art projects, and activities along East Weaver Creek in Weaverville- Open to participants 6-11 years old, July 6th, 8th, and 14th, 10 am – 2 pm

Youth Day Hikes in the Trinity Alps– Day trips into the Trinity Alps – Open to participants 8-18 years old, July 16th, 19th, 21st and 23rd

5-day Adult Stewardship Trip – THIS TRIP IS CURRENTLY FULL- IF YOU SUBMIT THIS FORM AFTER 5/15 YOU WILL BE ADDED TO OUR WAITLIST. A stewardship backpack trip focused on trail maintenance up Poison Canyon in the Trinity Alps – Open to adults, Sunday, June 13th – Thursday, June 17th  

Stoddard Lake Multigenerational Stewardship Day Hike – A day of hiking and stewardship along the Stoddard Lake Trail in Trinity Alps, – Saturday, June 19th

Boulder Lake Multigenerational Stewardship Day Trips – Full day outings to Big Boulder Lake in the Trinity Alps that will involve stewardship activities and day hiking – Open to adults and families, June 24th and 26th

Ascend is committed to safety, in 2021 that means following COVID-19 protocols.

Announcing 2021 Programs!

Please email [email protected] or call (530) 739-1177 to let us know which experiences interest you!

A note on COVID 19: We are committed to safety in the backcountry and in 2021 that means adapting to COVID-19 protocols.  We are monitoring the most up to date standards and guidance.  We currently anticipate that in summer 2021, COVID-19 prevention practices such as monitoring for illness, hand sanitation, masking and social distancing will still be relevant and therefore a part of all Ascend trips.   We encourage youth, adults and families who already mingle and are part of the same ‘cohort’ to consider participating together in Ascend summer programs.

Consider Ascend for your end-of-the-year donations

You still have time to make those end-of-the-year donations to Ascend Wilderness Experiences. We are looking forward to getting the youth back into the woods for 2021 after such a tumultuous and mysterious 2020.

Click on our “donate” button to the right. You can also send a check to Ascend at: PO Box 3263, Weaverville, CA 96093. Or visit our online fundraising page:

Thank you for your continued support.

Join the Journey to Giving Tuesday

Though we had to postpone our Mountain Prom this year, Ascend still needs your support! We wish we could be boogying down and dancing the night away, but since 2020 had other plans for us, we are announcing an online fundraiser for this holiday season.

As Thanksgiving comes our way, we hope you remember your favorite wilderness experience for this year’s Giving Tuesday. To donate, you can sponsor a youth hiker or simply give what you can at the link below between now and the end of the year. We look forward to achieving our goal of $5,000 (and partying together at next year’s prom).

Be a part of keeping our next generation grounded and changing the world….one backpacking trip at a time.

Donate Here

Day Hikes, Scavenger Hunts and Stewardship Challenge!

Join Ascend on the trail this summer by participating in our 2020 Summer Scavenger Hunt. We have come up with some fun hike itineraries that each include a Scavenger Hunt Challenge with a description of a special feature to be discovered during the hike. Take one of our hikes, take a photo of the special feature described and email it to [email protected] to receive a prize.

Ascend also encourages hikers to accept our Stewardship Challenge by collecting garbage on any hike you take. Post a photo of the trash you collected to our Facebook page and you’ll earn a chance to win a fabulous Trinity Alps Wilderness bandana.

2020 Summer Trips Cancelled

Ascend Wilderness Experience has made the very difficult decision to cancel 2020 programming due to the COVID-19 pandemic. After considering guidance from public health officials, schools, youth organizations and community members we have concluded that, under the circumstances, canceling our summer backpack trips and day hikes is in the best interest of our organization and the youth and community we serve.  

Thank you to all the youth and families who applied to participate in our 2020 activities. Your enthusiasm and trust means so much to us.  We are going to use this time of decreased public activities to fine tune some of our internal operations and do some exciting future planning.

We will also still, from a distance, facilitate local youth getting outside this summer and so we will be inviting young people and their families to participate in series of social-distancing-friendly scavenger hunts, following clues to make discoveries on the trail.  Stay tuned for more information.

 Taking a hike is a great way to support mental and physical health.  Here are a few tips on social distancing while enjoying a hike. Hike locally and avoid popular locations. Do not congregate in trailhead parking lots. Take a hike during non-peak hours. Avoid touching any surfaces, such as handrails and benches that other hikers are likely to touch. Be prepared for facilities, such as restrooms and trash cans at trailheads, to be unavailable. Practice excellent hygiene and leave no trace. Avoid higher risk activities. Have a mask handy and wear it if you encounter another hiker on the trail.   Ascend wishes you happy, healthy hiking!