2024 Trip Descriptions

Which Ascend Wilderness Experiences will you participate in this year? We’ve added a few more trips in 2024, so mark your calendars and register today! This Summer season will be full of fun and valuable backpacking, camping, and learning adventures for all ages! We hope to see you on the trail!

Youth Day Hike Series (June 24, 26, & 28) – This introductory experience is designed for youth participants to enjoy an adventurous day in the outdoors with a trained Ascend Wilderness Guide. For the youngest age group of 6-9 years old we may visit Lewiston Lake or Trinity Lake trail combined with swimming and picnic lunch, or Lake Eleanor in the Trinity Alps Wilderness. For the 9-11 year old age group a typical trip will be 2-4 miles round trip. Older aged groups (12-15) will hike 4-6 miles round trip. 

Examples of hike destinations in the Trinity Alps include Boulder Lakes and Stuarts Fork for younger groups and Tangle Blue Lake or Stoddard Lake for an older group. We also go on hikes outside the wilderness in areas like the Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, Deadfall Lakes, etc.

Youth Backpacking Trips – Ascend’s flagship program is a multi-day immersion youth backpack trip into wilderness, which has proven to foster personal and social development, leadership skills, and to spark interest in the stewardship of Trinity County’s environment, and beyond. During our trips we will have a variety of guests from various environmental careers joining the groups to teach participants about botany, fire science, Leave-No-Trace Wilderness Ethics, and more.

  • Ages 9-11 (July 10-12 & July 16-18) – These 3-day introductory backpacking trips are designed for youth who are just dipping their toes into independent outdoor adventures. Hiking distances are age appropriate and destinations may include: East Boulder Lake, Stoddard Lake or Boulder Lakes in the Trinity Alps Wilderness.
  • Ages 10-13 (July 22-26) – The 10-13 year old group will spend a full 5 days immersed in the backcountry of the Trinity Alps. The location of this trip is currently TBD, but is sure to have options for amazing vistas, alpine lakes, solitude, and communing as a group and in wilderness.
  • Ages 12-14 (July 29-Aug 2) – For the 12-14 year old age group, Ascend offers a Leadership and Mentor training trip to expand upon our flagship youth backpacking trips. These trips are geared to inspire an even deeper interest in wilderness experiences, offer intermediary experiences in field science or outdoor career based learning or for those considering being a Junior Wilderness Guide for future Ascend trips. During this backpacking trip youth will spend an afternoon participating in stewardship tasks in addition to supplemental leadership activities facilitated by Ascend Wilderness Guides for this specific trip. 

Teen Trail Building & Work Experience Trip (June 24-30) – Ascend Wilderness Experience will offer a 7-day stewardship focused backpack trip for teens into the Trinity Alps Wilderness. The trip is open to teens ages 14-18.

Four of the seven days will be devoted to stewardship activities while the remaining three days will be spent backpacking, hiking, and enjoying the backcountry. This trip offers valuable resume and skill building work experience and also serves the community and the wilderness by accomplishing important tasks under the leadership of Forest Service personnel and an Ascend Wilderness Guide. Participants should expect to work hard during days devoted to stewardship activities and will receive a stipend for their efforts.

Stewardship on the trip will include activities such as removing brush and digging. The 2024 trip is devoted to rehabilitating the trail system up Boulder Lakes trail to Foster Lake. It will include up to eight teens and all necessary gear, safety equipment, tools, training and food will be provided. The Forest Service will be providing pack mule support, which will transport all food, tools and camping equipment.

Stewardship is a key element of this experience and we expect that all participants will actively participate in the project and maintain a positive attitude in a group setting throughout the trip. Participants on this trip will learn valuable skills and trail building techniques, especially if they have an interest in outdoor recreation career paths.

Teen Field Science Internship (July 15-19) – New to Ascend’s offerings this year is an exciting opportunity for older teens to participate in Botany Survey’s and Lake Core sampling with Cal Poly Humboldt Botanists and Geologists.

This trip is designed for teens ages 14-18 who are interested in pursuing education in environmental sciences. Youth will work with botanists to learn how to collect and study plant specimens, which will be used in the Cal Poly Humboldt labs to evaluate the regional biodiversity, and build a greater understanding about fire resiliency in the Klamath Mountains.

Youth will also work with Cal Poly Humboldt Geologists taking lake core sediment samples which will be used to analyze a history of watershed contaminates and climate change. This 5-day backpacking excursion will take place up Stuarts Fork, camp at Morris Meadows, and work with geologists at Emerald Lake in the Trinity Alps. Everything necessary will be provided by Ascend including pack mule support to help carry equipment and some camping gear. Teens will receive a stipend for this work experience.

All-Ages (Adult/Multi-generational/Family) Stewardship Hikes – These all-ages hikes are designed to accommodate every experience level. Although each one includes a stewardship activity, we specifically design them to accommodate families, anyone new to hiking, people both young and old, anyone wanting to hike with others, etc. We encourage teens to join this trip, however any participating youth under 15 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Stewardship is a key element of this experience and we expect that all participants, including youth, will actively participate in the project and maintain a positive attitude in a group setting throughout the trip. We provide all safety gear, transportation, food, trained guides, and gear if needed. Even if you’re unsure about your physical capabilities, this is a good opportunity to learn or simply give back to our local trails.

  • July 20 – Day hike to Lake Eleanor. This family friendly day hike will visit lake Eleanor in the Trinity Center area. Because this hike is less than a ½ mile, it’s an excellent beginner hike, especially for very young participants, families, or those just beginning to wet their hiking whistle. This group will help “brush” part of the trail as the stewardship activity for the day which simply means to clip away bushes from the trail with loppers. There will be an opportunity to picnic by the lake and enjoy the scenery.
  • July 27 – Day hike from Weaver Bally to East Weaver Lake. This family friendly hike is 2 miles round trip, and minimal elevation change. The stewardship activity during this day hike is to “re-bench” parts of the trail. Trail Benching is a maintenance technique used to increase trail accessibility, maintain the structure of a trail and minimize erosion. The process involves cutting “tread” into the hillside to define the trail shape.
  • August 3 & 4 – Boulder Lakes overnight backpacking trip. This itinerary is designed for beginners to overnight backpacking. Big and Little Boulder lakes are a 2 mile hike with lily pad-lined shores, good fishing, shady campsites, granite cliffs, and numerous opportunities for day hikes. This group will help “brush” part of the trail, but will also have ample time to enjoy the wilderness qualities of the destination. 

Adult Backpacking Stewardship Trips – Ascend Wilderness Experience offers a variety of backcountry stewardship trips for adults who want to hike deeper and explore more trails. We offer to either join for a day hike, weekend, 5-day or 7-day options.

During these immersive trail stewardship trips, eight volunteers will have the opportunity to work alongside Forest Service and Ascend personnel in rehabilitating the trail systems in the Alps. 

Physical work will include activities such as removing brush and downed logs from trails, and digging to re-establish washed out or overgrown trail tread. All necessary group gear, safety equipment, tools, training, and food are provided. Any individual gear such as backpacks, sleeping bags, and sleeping pads are also available to borrow if needed. 

During our 7-day trips pack mule support is provided to transport all tools, food and camping equipment into the backcountry.

These trips are guaranteed to be scenic and rewarding but also physically demanding. Volunteers must be prepared to live in the backcountry, be willing and able to work throughout the day on the project and maintain a positive attitude in a group setting.

  • May 18-19: Waldorff Crossing Trail – Ascend is hosting a spring trip this year to care for this less traveled trail in the western Trinity Alps near the North Fork of the Trinity River. Waldorff Crossing is a lower elevation forested trail that provides the best access for pack mules to pick up specialists doing fish count dives down the North Fork of the Trinity River. Thus, Ascend Guides and participants will spend 2 days brushing to widen corridors and performing logouts to ensure safe access for users. **Applications for this trip are due ASAP**
  • June 15-21: Canyon Creek Adult Stewardship Trip – This trip is also offered to those who can only attend the weekend (June 15 & 16) or five days (June 17-21). Currently the popular Canyon Creek Trail is inaccessible for pack support, so unlike our other adult backcountry trips, we will not be able to support the group with pack mule support. The group will base camp near the trail junction to Boulder Creek Lakes. 
  • June 29: Swift Creek Day Hike – Group will work on brushing the stock trail about one mile from the trailhead. Option for a day hike to Granite Lake is possible.
  • July 4-11 Yolla Bolly Middle Eel Wilderness Stewardship with Bigfoot Trail Alliance Ascend partners with BFTA often to recruit volunteers. This group will hike in via Hopkins Camp Trailhead. Click this link to view the agenda and register at Bigfoot Trail Alliance.
  • Sept 21-22: Lilypad Lake, Poison Canyon Trail – Log outs and brushing along the 3.5 miles to Lilypad Lake. 
  • Sept 29-Oct 5: 7-day backcountry trip partnering with Bigfoot Trail Alliance in the Coffee Creek Area. Trip is already full, but if you’re interested, sign up to be placed on the waitlist.
  • Oct 19-20 Coffee Creek Area – Car camping and day hike stewardship on local trails. Because this project is late season, we’ll wait to hear from the Forest Service where our efforts will be most helpful. We’ll car-camp at an established campground such as the Trinity River Campground outside of the Coffee Creek area and likely do stewardship on trails such as Sugar Pine, Stoddard, Long Gulch, or similar day hike accessible trails. If you sign up for this trip, we’ll keep you updated. 

Registration for these Ascend Wilderness Experience Trips is due by May 15, 2024.

Join us!