Introduction to Trail Running: Backcountry - 2022

Trail Running Course

Introduction to Trail Running: Backcountry

Learn how to get started with wilderness trail running. Go farther and faster in the backcountry safely.

COVID-19: Learn about our most up-to-date guidance for participants and leaders on our COVID-19 Response page. All participants and leaders must agree to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct before participating in this Mountaineers course.

Introduction to Trail Running: Backcountry is designed to introduce participants to trail running in more remote wilderness locations. The curriculum focuses on how to travel as a runner in the backcountry safely, and the knowledge and resources you'll need. This course is ideal for outdoor recreation enthusiasts with an interest in trail running and runners who wish to take their trail running to the next level. It's recommended that you are in shape to comfortably run 6 miles on hilly trails (hiking uphill is OK) in order to have a successful experience during the field trips.  

This course's badge is required for participation in backcountry trail running trips with the Mountaineers. (Frontcountry trail runs are open to everyone.)

Course Format

The course consists of the following components:

  • A virtual lecture of approximately 2 hours - required
  • 1 outdoor session of approximately 1 1/2 hours - required 
  • 2 field trips from the list of field trips offered - required  
    **(Only sign up for 2 field trips  until all students have gotten a chance. At that time we will allow additional runs if wanted)**

Graduation Requirements 

These are requirements for graduation that must be completed in addition to the course's own activities.

  • Participation in one Mountaineers backcountry trail run (in addition to the 2 course field trips)
  • Participation in Stewardship badge for taking part in a trail maintenance (or similar) activity
  • Wilderness First Aid or another equivalent training  
  • Navigation badge or "staying oriented on trails" training or other navigation training
  • Low Impact Recreation skill badge (earn this through a free online self-paced training with the Mountaineers)
Course Requirements
Course Activity Date Availability Leader
Classroom session
Online Classroom
Thu, Jul 7, 2022
Registration closes Jun 30
16 participants
2 instructors
Cougar Mountain: Harvey Manning Trailhead
Thu, Jul 14, 2022
Registration closes Jun 30
17 participants
2 instructors
Intro to Trail Running: Backcountry Field Trip (optional)
Cedar Butte (Olallie State Park)
Mon, Jul 18, 2022
Registration closes Jul 16
6 participants
0 instructors
Dirty Harry's Balcony
Tue, Jul 19, 2022
Registration closes Jul 17
4 participants
1 instructor
Middle Fork Snoqualmie River
Sat, Jul 23, 2022
Registration closes Jul 21
4 participants
Otter Falls & Lipsy Lake
Sun, Jul 24, 2022
Registration opens Jul 7; Instructor registration open now
6 participants
0 instructors
Granite Lakes
Tue, Jul 26, 2022
Registration closes Jul 24
5 participants
1 instructor
Annette Lake
Wed, Jul 27, 2022
Registration closes Jul 25
6 participants
Wallace Falls
Wed, Aug 3, 2022
Registration closes Aug 1
5 participants
1 instructor
Olallie Lake
Thu, Aug 11, 2022
Registration closes Aug 9
6 participants
0 instructors
Fragrance Lake Loop
Sat, Aug 13, 2022
Registration closes Aug 11
5 participants
1 instructor
Snoquera Falls Loop
Sun, Aug 14, 2022
Registration closes Aug 12
6 participants
1 instructor
Mirror Lake
Thu, Sep 8, 2022
Registration opens Jul 1; Instructor registration open now
5 participants
1 instructor
Required Equipment

Please wear layers of breathable, technical clothing suitable for outdoor aerobic activities for this course's outdoor activities.

  • Waterproof jacket, hat, buff, gloves, sunglasses
  • Trail running shoes
  • A runners vest or small day pack suitable for trail running
  • Bring snacks and water
  • Trail running-adapted ten essentials
Course Materials

You must register for this course to see course materials.