Backpacking Trips for Teens

pt reyes sunset

Backpacking Trips for Teens


The Gaia Girls Passages Wilderness Immersion Backpacking Trips are an opportunity for teens to take a step outside of their every day and enter into the majestic realms of vast wilderness areas. During the teen years when so much is changing within and without, and the bigger questions of how to be in relationship, how to stay connected to your true self, and how to share your gifts in the world are present, there is no better respite, reflection, and guide than the natural world. Come join a passionate, adventurous, and caring circle of girls and women as we venture into the beauty of the deep wilderness outside and within ourselves!

Come venture with Gaia Girls into the breathtaking backcountry of the Santa Cruz Mountains, and the Marble Mountains Wilderness!

Partial and Full Need Based and Diversity Scholarships Available Upon Request.

2018 Trips & Dates:

coastline hike

Santa Cruz Mountains to Sea/Farm Trip

6 days, 5 nights: July 25-30

Grades 7-10

Come with us on a 6 days exploration of local organic farms, serene redwood forests, and epic coastlines of the Santa Cruz Mountains! During our 5 nights together under the stars, we will build our own fires, tell stories, sing songs, and delve deeper into ourselves. Immersed in the wild, we will practice fire by friction, animal tracking, native plant identification, herbal medicine making, and more.


Marble Mountain Wilderness Immersion

8 days/7 nights backcountry, 2 days/2 nights frontcountry: August 3-12

Grades 9-12

The Marble Mountains are an exquisite and secluded land, full of ice cold springs, alpine lakes, meadows filled with wildflowers, and marble peaks from which you can see only forest and mountains stretching in all directions. They are part of the beautifully preserved landscape of Northern California that has been inhabited and cared for by the Karuk tribe, many of whom still live nearby along the Klamath River. We will be spending six adventure-filled days and five star-filled nights getting to know this land, each other, and ourselves.



Activities will include:

  • Backpacking and hiking on trails and cross-country

  • Swimming

  • Plant identification, including edible and medicinal plants

  • Navigating with maps and without

  • Fire-making

  • Backcountry cooking

  • Animal tracking

  • Backcountry crafts

  • Nature journaling

  • Hive mind ~ skills for being part of a team

  • Leadership skills

  • Communication and introspection tools

  • Nature art…. and more!


These back country trips are organized and led by our lead auntie and backpacking coordinator, Jenya Schneider. Jenya has led backpaking trips with youth since 2013. The Marble Mountain Wilderness and the Santa Cruz Mountains are possibly her favorite places on Earth, and she can’t wait to share their magic with our Gaia Girls this summer. One additional awesome Gaia Girls auntie will co-lead the trips as well.



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Contact Information


Phone: 510-508-7107


Most photography by Erika Gagnon

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