Applications are open for 2023 Ascend Programs!

Descriptions | Schedule | Applications

*Due to the stormy winter we have been having, youth backpacking and day hike destinations are TBD

We are thrilled to announce the introduction of FOUR new trips this year to accompany our much loved Youth Day Hikes, Youth Backpacking Trips, and Teen & Adult Stewardship Backpacking Trips!

  • Teen Salmon River Fish Count – July 17-20: Open to older teens pursuing education or careers in environmental science, wildlife biology, etc., this trip will focus on river ecology and spend time exploring the Salmon and Klamath Rivers while receiving education and training about fish populations.
  • Adult Stewardship – Waldorff Crossing (May 9-11) **Apps due ASAP**: In answer to community feedback, Ascend is offering several new 1-3 day trips that take place during the shoulder seasons of spring and fall. The first will be on the lower elevation and less frequented trails of western Trinity Alps near the North Fork of the Trinity River. Participants will spend 3 days clearing the trail to ensure packers have access to pick up specialists doing fish count dives down the North Fork.
  • Adult Stewardship – East Weaver Lake Trail (Oct. 14-15): This 2-day car camping stewardship trip is a great intro to Ascend Adult trips for those who may not be able to get away for a longer backpacking adventure. Join Ascend Guides and like-minded adults for a weekend of learning about crosscut saws and logging out fallen trees that are impeding the popular East Weaver Lake Trail.
  • Multigenerational Day Hike – Weaver Bally (Sept. 30): If you or your family can’t make the Canyon Creek overnight multigenerational trip in July, join us for a family friendly day hike up on Weaver Bally where individuals, teens, and families can join in on stewardship tasks and take a hike to East Weaver Lake.

We can’t wait to get out in the Wilderness with YOU!

Applications Due May 15

**Don’t forget! Spring Break Day Camp Applications are due April 3rd! Apply Here**

Ascend Mountain Prom is BACK!

Saturday March 25th • 6pm-11pm • Weaverville Veteran’s Hall

| Live DJ | Photo Booth | Food Trucks | Local Beer & Wine |
Lip Sync Competition • Prom Royalty Court Competition

This year’s Mountain Prom is going to be SO fun!

The Lip Sync Competition is full with acts, so come enjoy the show and cast your vote to see who wins the Grand Prize Weekend getaway in Trinity Village!

And don’t worry, you can still win prizes by entering the Prom Royalty Competition! Enter yourself or nominate a regal friend and spend the night schmoozing and campaigning for votes to  win 1 FREE night at the Lewiston Valley Motel AND a Gift Certificate to the Weaverville Pet Motel.  

Kids are welcome to join the fun too in the Youth Royalty Competition for a chance to  win seats and concessions for two to Trinity Theater!

Best of all, proceeds from these Mountain Prom activities go to a GREAT cause – Ascend programs that create meaningful experiences in wilderness for youth and adults!

Dress Up, Dress Down, Wear Your Boots And Your Gown!

See you at Ascend Mountain Prom 2023

Ascend Spring Break Day Camp!

Ascend is excited to announce our Spring Break Day Camp for youth ages 5-14 throughout the week of April 10-14, 2023

 Each day campers will be formed into age-appropriate groups to participate in activities, including but not limited to, short day hikes, camp cooking classes, nature based arts and crafts, outdoor skills, as well as interactive guided walks to learn about local natural resources.

Our Camp Counselors are trained in Wilderness First Aid, CPR, games and fun team building exercises.

Don’t have plans this spring break? Don’t worry! Sign up for one day or all five and make sure your child has a memorable spring break with Ascend!

For information and application visit our webpage here

Happy New Year Trinity County!! 🎉

We are so looking forward to 2023 and want to know what YOU want to see from Ascend in the New Year!

As we prepare for the upcoming season, please tell us what YOU want to see from Ascend in 2023 by filling out this brief survey (1-2 min). Longer backpacking trips for youth? Shorter? More adult opportunities? More guided family outings? Spring break day trips? What do YOU think? We can’t give you the programs you want unless you give us your valuable opinions, insight, and feedback so please take a moment!

Ascend’s goal is to make wilderness accessible to everyone in our community. Please help us design our programs to serve you and make the greatest impact in Trinity County. Fill out our brief survey today!

Thank you & End of Year Giving

We are so grateful for everyone who donated and shared our Giving Tuesday campaign, you all are awesome!! We’re going to roll this giving momentum right into the end of the year giving season, so it’s not too late to donate to Ascend.

Money from your donations will help us create opportunities for youth and adults to experience wilderness while stewarding our community trails in the Trinity Alps Wilderness during the summer AND help us expand into schools during the school year where we can reach more students with our newly developed After School Outdoor Education Program.

We’ve already been able to reach students at Burnt Ranch School, Junction City, Trinity Center, and Van Duzen with programs about orienteering, water quality, invasive species, nature journaling, outdoor ethics and more!

Our goal is to instill curiosity and wonder so students can be engaged in the outdoors and develop a connection with nature that positively impacts the choices they will make in the future as young adults in our community. And it’s been so fun and inspiring to see how interested and engaged the students are in these topics!

Help us continue impacting these Trinity County students with AWEsome extended learning activities in 2023 by donating and thank you so much for your continued support of Ascend!

Help Ascend raise $2,000 for Giving Tuesday!

As Thanksgiving comes our way, we hope you remember Ascend this year
during Giving Tuesday.

Just this year Ascend was able to serve our community by providing free wilderness experiences for 55 youth participants during our 7 weeks of summer programming.
You can sponsor a hiker’s 2023 wilderness experience by donating today!

Ascend is also bolstering our Outdoor Education Program by bringing our outdoor curriculum to After School Programs across the county. We’ve already visited Burnt Ranch, Junction City, Van Duzen, and Trinity Center in 2022.
Help us continue to broaden our impact by donating today!

To donate, you can sponsor a hiker or simply give what you can at the link below between now and December 1st. We look forward to achieving our goal of $2,000!

Summer 2022 Recap & Highlights

This August, Ascend Wilderness Experience wrapped up another fantastic summer of outdoor hiking trips, providing a more diverse schedule of free outdoor opportunities for all ages than ever before. Ascend hosted youth, adults, and families on 7 overnight camping experiences and 2 day hikes in the Trinity Alps Wilderness Area. On these trips, Ascend not only facilitated opportunities for distraction free immersion in wilderness, participants from ages 6-76 also learned about backcountry skills and ethics and were given opportunities to perform important stewardship tasks on trails affected by wildfire in 2021.

Youth Hiking and Backpacking Trips

Ascend’s flagship youth overnight backpacking trips were among these overnight experiences. Three different trips adventured into different areas of the Trinity Alps Wilderness, giving youth the chance to build connections in their groups and within themselves in the unique setting of backcountry wilderness.

3-day Backpacking trip (Ages 9-11)

Ascend’s 3-day backpacking trip for youth ages 9-11 hiked into Deadfall Lake, camping in the shadow of Mt. Eddy. During the 3 mile hike into the lake, Wilderness Guides reported that the group was eager to help one another share the weight in their packs and stayed together supporting each other on what was many of their first hikes amongst peers, carrying all of their own camping supplies. The next day, a group rallied to summit Mt. Eddy itself, motivating to get an early start and gain the summit in just 3 hours! Afterward, everyone was excited to spend the day catching tadpoles and playing in the gorgeous alpine lake before a well earned evening around the fire playing games and listening to stories.

5-day Backpacking trip (Ages 10-13)

Youth ages 10-13 were taken on a 5-day backpacking trip up to East Boulder Lake. These youth scrambled up peaks, enjoyed lakeside sunsets and covered many miles exploring this unique area on the cusp of the Scott Mountains. These amazing hikers were motivated to cover a lot of ground and managed to see over 20 lakes from amazing vantage points along the trail and swam in as many as they could as well. Two participants reported their favorite lake was crystal clear Washbasin Lake and that it was really special to hike a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail.

5-day Leadership & Mentor Training Trip (ages 12-14)

The second 5-day youth backpacking trip was for ages 12-14 and intended for youth who exhibit aptitude or desire to take on a leadership role in wilderness. This trip hiked up Canyon Creek and made it up to both Boulder Creek Lakes and Canyon Creek Lakes. Participants were tasked with widening the trail at the base of the Boulder Creek Lakes spur by clearing overgrown bushes and were joined by Forest Service Rangers on the final night at camp to discuss wilderness ethics and recreational usage of public lands. On the last night around the campfire, 14-year-old Flora Cruise beamed as she told everyone that the trip had been the highlight of her summer.

Youth Day Hikes (ages 6-8 & 9-11)

Day Hikers filtering their drinking water from a creek

In June, Ascend hosted two day hikes where youth as young as 6 spent the day hiking into lakes and swimming holes where they could explore the natural world and enjoy the June alpine runoff, safely playing under the watchful eye of water safety certified Ascend Wilderness Guides. On these day hikes, youth participants learned about water filtration, local ecology, and enjoyed craft projects that used natural materials.

Stewardship Trips

Multigenerational Weekend (Families, Teens, & Adults)

In terms of stewardship experiences, Ascend hosted 3 overnight experiences as well as partnering with the Watershed Center to provide a Wilderness Guide for their Hayfork Youth Crew. Ascend kicked off the summer by hosting their Multigenerational Weekend, which brought families together in the outdoors. The trip facilitated first time wilderness experiences for two 8-year-olds, as well as gave the opportunity for one family’s first camping trip all together with their children. This trip also incorporated significant trailwork in which adults were able to retread the East Weaver Lake trail while their kids widened the trail corridor by removing brush that was encroaching into the path. Our Wilderness Guide reported that seeing family’s work together and having the multigenerational dynamic between participants was really special.

7-day Teen Stewardship and Work Experience Trip (Ages 14-17)

Ascend also hosted its second annual Teen Stewardship Work Experience. This year, our group set up basecamp at Boulder Lake, which had been severely impacted by the River Complex Fire. Accompanied by FS Wilderness Patrol and an Ascend Guide these teens spent 4 of their 7 days working incredibly hard to rehabilitate trail that had been decimated by wildfire as well as open up overgrown areas along the Tracy Trail. Ascend was tasked with performing most of its major stewardship tasks in burn scars where the River Complex Fire burned particularly hot, leaving gaping holes in the trail where deep rooted trees had been incinerated. The devastation to these areas made progress slow and also sparked interesting conversations between the guides and teens who were curious about fire and forest aesthetics. Stewardship was time consuming and dirty in these areas and FS partners were pleased by the magnitude of tasks our teen volunteers and Wilderness Guide were able to accomplish. 

Teen participants said they left the trip with resume-building trailwork skills, an appreciation for  the work ethic the trip guides modeled, and an appreciation for the outdoors and trails. They learned proper use of hand tools and used equipment to perform rock work, retread trail that had been decimated by fire, and opened up overgrown areas that had not burned but had been neglected. This work will prevent erosion on steep, burned out hillsides and increase access for future hikers that will be camping in the area and giving attention to this heavily impacted area. Participants earned certificates from both Ascend and the Forest Service that will help bolster their resumes as they enter the workforce in coming years. Ascend is incredibly proud to be able to offer work experiences to youth in Trinity County and their participants are appreciative as well. One participant reported that “these experiences are valuable to me because I am really looking forward to working with the forest service as a career”.

5-day Adult Stewardship Trip (ages 18+)

Ascend’s final trip was the 5-day all adult stewardship trip. This trip hosted participants from ages 36 to 76 who hiked up Swift Creek all the way to Landers Lake. The group cleared the trail of fallen logs and debris and retreaded areas where the River Complex Fire had burned incredibly hot, making the trail completely unrecognizable and leaving gaping holes where trees that had been rooted deep into the ground had been completely incinerated. Ascend volunteers and guides filled these holes, stabilizing the trail for future mule teams to access the area and perform more trail rehabilitation. 

Wilderness Guides reported that the teamwork that these adult participants exhibited was truly impressive and coordinated. Participants supported each other and some even got to do their first solo day hike while feeling safe and supported by having a radio in case of emergency.

Thank you for another amazing summer season!

Ascend is incredibly grateful to all our partners, funders, participants, and guides who worked so hard to make these trips happen. Thank you so much to everyone who helped ensure we had another AWEsome summer!

Thank you for your timely Applications!

We are blown away by the amazing applications from youth and adults eager to participate in our Summer 2022 programs. Thank you!! We have filled all of our youth openings and have just a few slots available for adults. Turn in applications if you would like to be considered or added to the waitlist!

We will be reviewing applications and contacting applicants to confirm participation or waitlist status as soon as possible. Stay tuned!

2022 Applications due May 15th!

Just TWO WEEKS left to apply for your summer 2022 Ascend Wilderness Experience!

All trips are FREE with gear, guidance, food, transportation, and pack mules (if necessary) provided

Join us for a Youth Day Hike (June 20, 22, 24), Youth Multi-day Trip (July 16-18, 18-22, 25-29), Teen Stewardship Experience (July 9-15), Adult Stewardship Experience (July 8-12), or a Multigenerational Weekend (June 25-26).

| Schedule | Trip Details and Descriptions | Applications |

No experience necessary! All of Ascend’s wilderness guides are Wilderness First Aid, CPR, and Water Safety certified as well as Ascend trained to make sure safety is priority while providing opportunities for enhanced awareness of and connection to self, others, community and environment through wilderness adventures, environmental education and stewardship.

Make sure to include an Ascend Wilderness Experience in your 2022 summer – Apply Today!