GoHike:  Beginner Hiking Course - 2024

Day Hiking Course

GoHike: Beginner Hiking Course

Make 2024 your year to start hiking! Are you looking for a community with a sense of belonging within a supported learning environment to begin your hiking journey? Then this is the course for you! In the GoHike: Beginning Hiking Course, we start with the basics: preparation, knowledge, safety, and fitness tips, to make hitting the trail less daunting and more fun. The main goal of this course is to get outdoors in a community with other hikers who are starting out, or who just want to hike at a comfortable, social pace, while developing skills and confidence to start a lifetime of hiking. ***PLEASE SEE BELOW FOR FULL COURSE INFO and EXPECTATIONS***

Participants must be a Mountaineers member with current waiver on file to register for the GoHike course.   

registration: 

Registration will open for new participants and returning course participants all at the same time. Please email info@mountaineers.org with registration questions.

Cost: The course fee is $90.00. Scholarships are available.   

Cancellations are subject to the following refund schedule.   (The  $10 club cancellation fee is taken into account in the numbers below).

  • Before Apr 1 - $65
  • Apr 1-30 - $45
  • May 1-31 - $25
  • After May 31 - no refund

Course Overview

GoHike is designed to prepare hikers who are beginners or individuals looking for easy to moderate level of hiking and urban walking trips. We offer a small group trip environment in which participants can build connections and friendships over time by hiking with many of the same people on each trip. This course helps ease fears and prepares participants with safety first in mind, and always within an accepting, compassionate and fun learning environment. You will let go of fears of not having the right gear, feeling out of shape or not fitting in. This course is where you DO fit in, and our leaders meet you where you are to help you achieve your goals.

We begin  with basics:  preparation, knowledge, safety, conditioning and  fitness tips, to make hitting the trail less daunting. The main goal of GoHike is  getting outdoors and on the trail with others who are starting out, or who want to hike at a comfortable, social pace. We will introduce you to the essentials of hiking, encourage you to set personalized conditioning and hiking goals month by month during the course, and most of all, connect you with a community of fellow beginning hikers. All backgrounds, shapes and sizes will find a welcoming home with GoHike! 

Who is GoHike For?  

  • Beginners - completely new to hiking and/or new hikers with minimal experience
  • Hikers who haven’t been out for a while and want to ease back into activity.
  • Hikers looking for easy to moderate hikes with a gradual and progressive goal-orientated approach.
  • People who are already comfortable hiking but want to find a community of people who are looking for easy to moderate hikes or urban walks within a social environment.
  • Hikers of all shapes, sizes and backgrounds.

Not sure if GoHike is right for you? Join us for an informational session on January 11, 2024 from 6:30 - 7:30 PM. Pop in, meet the course creators and a few of our leaders. We will share our mission, values and address any questions or concerns you may have before registering for this course. Register here:  https://www.mountaineers.org/locations-lodges/foothills-branch/events/gohike-info-session

GoHike: goals, Expectations and style:

Goals:

  • Encourage and inspire our participants to reach their personal hiking goals.
  • Provide education and information on gear, safety, clothing, nutrition, hydration, etiquette and trip planning.
  • Foster community and belonging among our participants, our leaders and the lands we recreate on.
  • Lead and learn in a collaborative spirit.
  • Foster compassion, understanding and curiosity with one another and in nature.
  • Have fun, be safe and enjoy one another's company.

Expectations:

  • Participants are able to complete a 2-mile, fairly flat hike/walk in under 1.5 hours, including rest stops. 
  • Committed to learn, grow, and actively participate within the mission and values of this course. 
  • Commitment to build and maintain your hiking endurance over the course. This means going on walks near your home and/or training at home or in a fitness facility in between course hikes to continue to build your hiking endurance and stamina over time. 
  • Committed to building community in a social learning environment where we take care of one another with kindness, respect, and compassion
  • Committed to a growth mind-set. 
  • Committed to thoroughly read all course communications via email, course page and Facebook page.
  • Commitment to borrow or buy the minimum gear for your safety and comfort in advance of going on the offered hikes.  It doesn’t have to be expensive or fancy gear, and we’ll help you figure out what you need and find the best deals. We will introduce gear recommendations at each level appropriate to the needs of the season.
  • Committed to having fun while learning how to be outdoors safely! 

style:

  • Course leaders are knowledgeable, friendly, experienced and love to share their love of nature.
  • We strive to have two leaders on each course trip to maintain a low leader/participant ratio to better meet our participants needs and promote safety.
  • Through actions and words, leaders are inclusive and supportive.
  • We lead hikes in a casual to moderate pace, allowing for flexibility. 
  • We emphasize leave no trace principles and act as environmental stewards.
  • Leaders are detail-oriented, patient and encouraging.
  • Leaders are fun and strive to build community.

baseline pace requirement:

To be prepared for the course, participants must be able to complete at a minimum, one 2-mile fairly flat hike or walk in under 1.5 hours, including rest stops, by March 1.

Communications:

We communicate by email, course material documents within our course page and through our private GoHike Facebook Group page to make announcements and share additional course information.

It is critical that you adjust your settings to receive our emails.  We expect that you read our emails in a timely manner and thoroughly, or you will miss out on important information about the course, trip communications and details from your leaders.

Where do we hike?

Early hikes and urban walks in the series could involve a half day or long summer evenings including driving to the trail. As the season progresses the hikes are likely to require being able to get away 6 to 10 hours including travel time. Hikes may be held during the week, in the early evening and weekends. Participants are responsible for arranging transportation to a trailhead; carpools may be arranged by participants. Individuals should be prepared to contribute to the cost of trip expenses to carpool drivers.

Course requirements and Components

  • MANDATORY (regardless of intent to graduate) Attendance for all NEW GoHike participants at the virtual online GoHike Orientation on March 7, 2024 6:30 to 8 pm.
  • MANDATORY (regardless of intent to graduate) Attendance for ALL GoHike participants at the virtual online GoHike Orientation on March 21, 2024 6:30 to 8 pm.
  • Completion of six or more hours of Stewardship activity, to earn the Stewardship Credit Badge.
  • Completion of the Low Impact Recreation self-paced e-learning course.
  • Completion of Outdoor Advocates Network Introduction to Public Lands eLearning course and successfully pass the course quiz.
  • Completion of a minimum of 6 (SIX) course hikes, at least one per month between April – September.

Required Student Orientations

  • New participants must attend both Orientation 1 and 2 sessions.
  • Returning participants must attend Orientation 2. Orientation 1 is optional but recommended.

Orientation 1 - Mandatory for all new participants.

  • This 1.5-hour online virtual classroom session will introduce you to the philosophy and vision of GoHike. We will set the stage for our season, introducing course expectations, and demonstrate how to register for course hikes and activities. We will touch on basic preparation, safety, conditioning and fitness tips to help you start preparing for the course activities
  • Online virtual classroom session March 7, 2024  6:30 to 8:00 pm. 
  • Register for GoHike Orientation 1 when you register for the course.


Orientation 2 - Mandatory for all GoHike participants

  • 1.5-hour online virtual classroom session. We'll review GoHike expectations and schedule, cover steps to take to prepare for selecting hikes, strategies for setting goals and how you can make them happen and more
  • Online virtual classroom session March 21, 2024  6:30 to 8:00 pm. 
  • Register for the GoHike Orientation 2 when you register for the course.

Pacing Hikes

  • These are easy, low-stress hikes to help you determine where you are in terms of gear, the pace and distance you can complete comfortably, and what your season goals for conditioning and hiking are, so that you can determine what level of hikes and pace would be the best fit for you to sign up for.  Pacing hikes will help you determine where you are, what level of hikes and pace you want to work toward and help you assess your gear and clothing.
  • Pacing hikes are offered between March 9 and 31 only. Please sign up for only 1 pacing hike.
  • Pacing hikes are 2 to 4 miles, 0 to 750 feet gain
  • Registration for pacing hikes open on February 2 at 6 pm.

Monthly hike progressions

This is a beginning hiking course. To be prepared for the course, participants should be able to complete one, at least 2-mile fairly flat pacing hike in under 1.5 hours, including rest stops by March 1.

  • It is the expectation in this course for students to be prepared to increase mileage, and elevation gain gradually from April - September, with your September hike being your most challenging hike of the series. Participants are encouraged to dedicate time outside of the course for conditioning and building endurance to be prepared for the hikes that sign up for. You will hike in small groups of 6 to 12 current course participants and alumni with one or two leaders. All hikes are limited to current course participants and GoHike alumni from past years. (Current course participants always get priority in hike sign-ups.)
  • Hikes will be listed for each month within the range that is posted for that month. Monthly hikes will open for registration on the first Friday of each month, beginning in March for the April hikes. Register for only ONE hike at that time. On the second Friday of the month, course participants may register for a second hike. On the third Friday of each month, GoHike Alumni may register for a hike as space becomes available. 

April Hikes: 1 monthly hike, 2.5 to 5 miles, 250 to 1,000 feet gain

May Hikes: 1 monthly hike, 3 to 5.5 miles, 300 to 1,250 feet gain

June Hikes: 1 monthly,  3.5 to 6 miles, 400 to 1,500 feet gain

July Hikes: 1 monthly hike, 3.75 to 6.5 miles, 500 to 1,750 feet gain

August Hikes: 1 monthly hike, 4 miles to 7 miles, 600 to 2,000 feet gain

September Hikes: 1 monthly hike, 4 miles to 8 miles, 750 to 2,000 feet gain

monthly check-ins

These one-hour online sessions will be held 6:30 to 7:30 pm, from April through August and are optional but highly recommended. Each sessions will include topics related to beginning hiking, such as conditioning and goal setting, gearing up, nutrition and hydration, how to plan your own hikes and most importantly, checking in with you to see if you have any questions.

Participants can register for check-ins on the first Friday of the month of the check-in, and up to the the evening before. Zoom information will be sent out via email two days prior to check-in sessions.

Graduation celebration and potluck social

  • We will hold an in-person celebration and potluck social on October 11, 2024 at the Seattle Program Center.

Badges you will earn:

Course Requirements
Course Activity Date Availability Leader
June Hikes: 3.5 to 6 miles, 400 to 1,500 feet gain (optional)
Rattlesnake Ledge
Thu, Jun 20, 2024
Registration closes Jun 21
2 participants
0 instructors
Deception Pass State Park
Mon, Jun 24, 2024
Registration closes Jun 22
2 participants
0 instructors
Talapus & Olallie Lakes
Tue, Jun 25, 2024
Registration closed Jun 18
2 participants on waitlist
Lime Kiln Trail
Thu, Jun 27, 2024
Registration closes Jun 21
1 participant
0 instructors
Iron Goat Trail to Wellington
Fri, Jun 28, 2024
Registration closes Jun 26
0 participants
0 instructors
Langus Riverfront Park & Spencer Island
Fri, Jun 28, 2024
Registration closes Jun 24
0 participants
0 instructors
Hansen Ridge
Sat, Jun 29, 2024
Registration closes Jun 27
0 participants
0 instructors
Fragrance Lake
Sat, Jun 29, 2024
Registration closes Jun 23
0 participants
0 instructors
GoHike Monthly Check-In
Online Classroom
Thu, Jun 20, 2024
Registration closed Jun 18
51 participants
Online Classroom
Thu, Jul 18, 2024
Registration closes Jul 16
71 participants
Online Classroom
Thu, Aug 22, 2024
Registration opens Jul 5
73 participants
July Hikes: 3.75 to 6.5 miles, 500 to 1,750 feet gain (optional)
Talapus & Olallie Lakes
Mon, Jul 1, 2024
Registration closes Jun 29
4 participants
1 instructor
Little Si & Boulder Garden Loop
Mon, Jul 1, 2024
Registration closes Jun 29
4 participants
1 instructor
Long View Peak
Tue, Jul 2, 2024
Registration closes Jun 30
5 participants
0 instructors
Lily & Lizard Lakes
Fri, Jul 5, 2024
Registration closes Jun 30
1 participant on waitlist
0 instructors
Talus Rocks Loop Trail
Wed, Jul 10, 2024
Registration closes Jul 5
0 participants
0 instructors
Green River Trail & Natural Resources Area
Fri, Jul 12, 2024
Registration closes Jul 8
5 participants
0 instructors
Margaret's Way to Debbie's View
Sun, Jul 14, 2024
Registration closes Jul 12
1 participant
0 instructors
Lookout Mountain Forest Preserve
Tue, Jul 16, 2024
Registration closes Jul 9
6 participants
0 instructors
Lime Kiln Trail
Sun, Jul 21, 2024
Registration closes Jul 17
3 participants on waitlist
0 instructors
Lord Hill Regional Park
Mon, Jul 22, 2024
Registration closes Jul 16
0 participants
Chuckanut Ridge
Sat, Jul 27, 2024
Registration closes Jul 17
5 participants
0 instructors
Northern State Ghost Town
Sat, Jul 27, 2024
Registration closes Jul 25
5 participants
0 instructors
Oyster Dome–Samish Overlook Loop
Sun, Jul 28, 2024
Registration closes Jul 26
6 participants
1 instructor
Blue Lake
Sun, Jul 28, 2024
Registration closes Jul 26
1 participant on waitlist
0 instructors
Mount Fremont Lookout, Berkeley Park & Skyscraper Mountain
Mon, Jul 29, 2024
Registration closes Jul 23
3 participants on waitlist
0 instructors
July GoHike Urban Walk: 3.75 to 6.5 miles, 500 to 1,750 feet gain (optional) (optional)
Saint Edward State Park
Sat, Jul 13, 2024
Registration closes Jul 5
0 participants
0 instructors
Washington Park Arboretum
Sat, Jul 20, 2024
Registration closes Jul 18
4 participants
0 instructors
Bellevue Botanical Garden
Sun, Jul 21, 2024
Registration closes Jul 19
5 participants
1 instructor on waitlist
August Hikes: 4 miles to 7 miles, 600 to 2,000 feet gain (optional)
Fragrance Lake
Sat, Aug 3, 2024
Registration opens Jul 5; Instructor registration open now
10 participants
0 instructors
Bagley & Chain Lakes
Sat, Aug 3, 2024
Registration opens Jul 5
8 participants
Boulder River
Mon, Aug 5, 2024
Registration opens Jul 5; Instructor registration open now
8 participants
0 instructors
Anderson & Watson Lakes
Fri, Aug 9, 2024
Registration closes Aug 7
5 participants
1 instructor
Squak Mountain: May Valley Access
Sun, Aug 11, 2024
Registration opens Jul 5; Instructor registration open now
6 participants
0 instructors
Kamikaze (Teneriffe) Falls
Mon, Aug 12, 2024
Registration opens Jul 5; Instructor registration open now
10 participants
0 instructors
Cougar Mountain: Jim Whittaker Wilderness Peak Trailhead
Tue, Aug 13, 2024
Registration opens Jul 5; Instructor registration open now
6 participants
0 instructors
Redmond Watershed Preserve
Fri, Aug 16, 2024
Registration opens Jul 5; Instructor registration open now
8 participants
0 instructors
Talapus & Olallie Lakes
Sat, Aug 17, 2024
Registration opens Jul 5; Instructor registration open now
10 participants
0 instructors
Sourdough Ridge Traverse & Dege Peak
Sat, Aug 17, 2024
Registration opens Jul 5; Instructor registration open now
6 participants
0 instructors
Bowman Bay
Mon, Aug 19, 2024
Registration opens Jul 5
8 participants
Dirty Harry's Balcony
Wed, Aug 21, 2024
Registration opens Jul 5; Instructor registration open now
6 participants
0 instructors
Poo Poo Point via High School Trail
Sun, Aug 25, 2024
Registration opens Jul 5; Instructor registration open now
8 participants
1 instructor
August GoHike Urban Walk: 4 miles to 7 miles, 600 to 2,000 feet gain (optional) (optional)
Discovery Park & Locks
Fri, Aug 9, 2024
Registration opens Jul 5; Instructor registration open now
6 participants
0 instructors
Discovery Park
Sat, Aug 10, 2024
Registration opens Jul 5; Instructor registration open now
8 participants
1 instructor
Cheshiahud Lake Union Loop
Sat, Aug 10, 2024
Registration opens Jul 5; Instructor registration open now
10 participants
0 instructors
September Hikes: 4 to 8 miles, 750 to 2,000 feet gain (optional)
Little Si
Wed, Sep 4, 2024
Registration opens Aug 2; Instructor registration open now
6 participants
0 instructors
Lake Valhalla
Sat, Sep 7, 2024
Registration opens Aug 16; Instructor registration open now
8 participants
0 instructors
Squak Mountain: Bullitt Fireplace Access
Tue, Sep 10, 2024
Registration opens Aug 2; Instructor registration open now
6 participants
0 instructors
Monte Cristo, Glacier Basin, Silver Lake & Twin Lakes
Sat, Sep 14, 2024
Registration opens Aug 2; Instructor registration open now
8 participants
0 instructors
Lily & Lizard Lakes
Sat, Sep 14, 2024
Registration opens Aug 2; Instructor registration open now
10 participants
0 instructors
Annette Lake
Sun, Sep 15, 2024
Registration opens Aug 2; Instructor registration open now
6 participants
0 instructors
Wallace Falls Loop
Sat, Sep 21, 2024
Registration closes Sep 19
10 participants
0 instructors
Swauk Forest Discovery Trail
Sat, Sep 21, 2024
Registration opens Aug 2; Instructor registration open now
10 participants
1 instructor
Oyster Dome
Sat, Sep 21, 2024
Registration opens Aug 2; Instructor registration open now
10 participants
1 instructor
Teneriffe Falls
Sun, Sep 22, 2024
Registration opens Aug 2; Instructor registration open now
8 participants
1 instructor
Around South Tiger Mountain
Mon, Sep 30, 2024
Registration opens Aug 2; Instructor registration open now
10 participants
0 instructors
September GoHike Urban Walk: 4 to 8 miles, 750 to 2,000 feet gain (optional) (optional)
Lincoln Park
Sat, Sep 7, 2024
Registration opens Aug 2; Instructor registration open now
8 participants
2 instructors

Additional badges needed to graduate

Completed

Roster
Required Equipment

Start from where you are with the gear and clothing you already have or can borrow!  We'll help you identify what else you might need for safety and comfort specific to each particular hike and the conditions when and where you're going, and we'll give you lots of ideas for how to get any needed pieces of gear or clothing without spending a lot of money.

Course Materials
Name/Description