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
GoHike Participant Orientation
Online Classroom
Thu, Mar 7, 2024
Registration closes Mar 5
7 participants
15 instructors
Online Classroom
Thu, Mar 21, 2024
Registration closes Mar 19
1 participant
19 instructors
March GoHike Pacing Hikes: 2 to 4 miles, 0 to 750 feet of elevation gain (optional)
Luther Burbank Park
Sat, Mar 9, 2024
Registration closes Mar 4
1 participant on waitlist
1 instructor
Terrace Trail & De Leo Wall
Mon, Mar 11, 2024
Registration closes Mar 8
1 participant
1 instructor
Tradition Plateau
Sat, Mar 16, 2024
Registration closes Mar 14
0 participants
0 instructors
Lord Hill Regional Park
Sun, Mar 17, 2024
Registration closes Mar 14
2 participants on waitlist
0 instructors
Discovery Park
Tue, Mar 19, 2024
Registration closes Mar 17
4 participants
0 instructors
Cougar Mountain Loop
Sun, Mar 24, 2024
Registration closed Feb 29
2 participants on waitlist
0 instructors
Grand Ridge Trail
Tue, Mar 26, 2024
Registration closes Mar 24
2 participants
0 instructors
Saint Edward State Park
Sun, Mar 31, 2024
Registration closes Mar 28
5 participants
0 instructors
March GoHike Pacing Urban Walk: 2 - 4 miles, 0 - 750 feet gain (optional). (optional)
Carkeek Park
Sat, Mar 9, 2024
Registration closes Mar 4
0 participants
0 instructors
Washington Park Arboretum
Sat, Mar 9, 2024
Registration closes Mar 4
0 participants
0 instructors
Paradise Valley Conservation Area
Sun, Mar 10, 2024
Registration closes Mar 8
1 participant on waitlist
0 instructors
Bridle Trails State Park
Tue, Mar 12, 2024
Registration closes Mar 10
7 participants
1 instructor
Seward Park
Thu, Mar 14, 2024
Registration closes Mar 12
4 participants
0 instructors
Union Bay Natural Area
Sat, Mar 23, 2024
Registration closes Mar 21
1 participant on waitlist
0 instructors
Camano Island State Park
Sat, Mar 30, 2024
Registration closes Mar 24
4 participants on waitlist
0 instructors
Redmond Watershed Preserve
Sat, Mar 30, 2024
Registration closes Mar 27
0 participants
0 instructors
April Hikes: 2.5 - 5 miles, 250 - 1,000 feet gain (optional)
May Creek & Lake Boren
Mon, Apr 1, 2024
Registration closes Mar 30
9 participants
1 instructor
Twin Falls (Olallie State Park)
Sat, Apr 6, 2024
Registration closes Apr 4
0 participants
0 instructors
Chanterelle Trail
Sat, Apr 6, 2024
Registration closes Apr 1
0 participants
0 instructors
Licorice Fern Trail
Sat, Apr 6, 2024
Registration closes Apr 1
1 participant on waitlist
1 instructor
Middle Fork Snoqualmie River
Sun, Apr 7, 2024
Registration closes Apr 5
1 participant on waitlist
0 instructors
Discovery Park
Tue, Apr 9, 2024
Registration closes Apr 7
4 participants
0 instructors
Saint Edward State Park
Thu, Apr 11, 2024
Registration closes Apr 9
6 participants
0 instructors
Carkeek Park
Fri, Apr 12, 2024
Registration closes Apr 8
5 participants
0 instructors
Heybrook Ridge
Sat, Apr 13, 2024
Registration closes Apr 10
2 participants
0 instructors
Ebeys Landing
Sat, Apr 13, 2024
Registration closes Apr 11
2 participants on waitlist
0 instructors
Anti-Aircraft Peak—Clay Pit Peak Loop
Sat, Apr 13, 2024
Registration closes Apr 11
2 participants
0 instructors
Redmond Watershed Preserve
Sun, Apr 21, 2024
Registration closes Apr 19
7 participants
0 instructors
April GoHike Urban Walk: 2.5 - 5 miles, 250 - 1,000 feet gain (optional) (optional)
Richmond Beach Saltwater Park
Fri, Apr 5, 2024
Registration closes Mar 31
6 participants
1 instructor
Cheasty Greenspace
Fri, Apr 12, 2024
Registration closes Apr 10
10 participants
0 instructors
Deadhorse Canyon & Rainier Beach
Sun, Apr 14, 2024
Registration closes Apr 12
9 participants
1 instructor
Farrel-McWhirter Farm Park
Sat, Apr 20, 2024
Registration closes Apr 17
8 participants
1 instructor
Paradise Valley Conservation Area
Sat, Apr 20, 2024
Registration closes Apr 18
9 participants
0 instructors
Bellevue Botanical Garden
Sun, Apr 21, 2024
Registration closes Apr 19
8 participants
1 instructor
Meadowdale Beach Park
Mon, Apr 22, 2024
Registration closes Apr 20
4 participants
1 instructor
Bridle Trails State Park
Thu, Apr 25, 2024
Registration closes Apr 20
10 participants
1 instructor
GoHike Monthly Check-In
Online Classroom
Thu, Apr 18, 2024
Registration closes Apr 16
75 participants
17 instructors
Online Classroom
Thu, May 23, 2024
Registration opens Apr 5
73 participants
Online Classroom
Thu, Jun 20, 2024
Registration opens May 3
73 participants
Online Classroom
Thu, Jul 18, 2024
Registration opens Jun 7
73 participants
Online Classroom
Thu, Aug 22, 2024
Registration opens Jul 5
73 participants
GoHike Stewardship Field Trip (optional)
Northern State Ghost Town
Sat, Apr 27, 2024
Registration closes Apr 21
9 participants
2 instructors
May Hikes: 3 to 5.5 miles, 300 to 1,250 feet gain (optional)
Fragrance & Lost Lakes
Sat, May 4, 2024
Registration opens Apr 5; Instructor registration open now
8 participants
0 instructors
Wallace Falls
Sun, May 5, 2024
Registration opens Apr 5; Instructor registration open now
10 participants
0 instructors
Cherry Creek Falls
Mon, May 6, 2024
Registration opens Apr 5; Instructor registration open now
6 participants
1 instructor
Rattlesnake Ledge
Wed, May 8, 2024
Registration opens Apr 5; Instructor registration open now
8 participants
0 instructors
Cedar Butte (Olallie State Park)
Fri, May 10, 2024
Registration opens Apr 5; Instructor registration open now
10 participants
0 instructors
Stimpson Nature Preserve/Geneva Pond Loops
Sat, May 11, 2024
Registration opens Apr 5; Instructor registration open now
6 participants
1 instructor
Saint Edward State Park
Sun, May 12, 2024
Registration opens Apr 5; Instructor registration open now
10 participants
0 instructors
Debbie's View via Bullitt Fireplace Trail
Tue, May 14, 2024
Registration opens Apr 5; Instructor registration open now
6 participants
0 instructors
Seward Park
Fri, May 17, 2024
Registration opens Apr 5; Instructor registration open now
8 participants
0 instructors
Oyster Dome–Samish Overlook Loop
Sat, May 18, 2024
Registration opens Apr 5; Instructor registration open now
10 participants
0 instructors
Far Country Falls
Sat, May 18, 2024
Registration opens Apr 5; Instructor registration open now
10 participants
0 instructors
Soaring Eagle Regional Park
Tue, May 28, 2024
Registration opens Apr 5; Instructor registration open now
10 participants
1 instructor
May GoHike Urban Walk: 3 to 5.5 miles, 300 to 1,250 feet gain (optional) (optional)
Downtown Edmonds
Fri, May 10, 2024
Registration opens Apr 5; Instructor registration open now
6 participants
0 instructors
Bridle Trails State Park
Mon, May 27, 2024
Registration opens Apr 5; Instructor registration open now
10 participants
0 instructors
June Hikes: 3.5 to 6 miles, 400 to 1,500 feet gain (optional)
Ebeys Landing
Sun, Jun 2, 2024
Registration opens May 3; Instructor registration open now
10 participants
0 instructors
Squak Mountain: Bullitt Fireplace Access
Mon, Jun 3, 2024
Registration opens May 3; Instructor registration open now
10 participants
0 instructors
Iron Goat Loop
Sun, Jun 9, 2024
Registration opens May 3; Instructor registration open now
6 participants
0 instructors
Squak Mountain: May Valley Access
Sun, Jun 9, 2024
Registration opens May 3; Instructor registration open now
10 participants
0 instructors
Big Tree Ridge
Tue, Jun 11, 2024
Registration opens May 3; Instructor registration open now
6 participants
0 instructors
Sauk Mountain
Sat, Jun 15, 2024
Registration opens May 3; Instructor registration open now
10 participants
1 instructor
Mount Erie, Sugerloaf, Heart Lake & Whistle Lake
Thu, Jun 20, 2024
Registration opens May 30; Instructor registration open now
8 participants
0 instructors
Swauk Forest Discovery Trail
Sat, Jun 22, 2024
Registration opens May 3; Instructor registration open now
6 participants
1 instructor
Talapus Lake Trail
Tue, Jun 25, 2024
Registration opens May 3
6 participants
Teneriffe Falls
Wed, Jun 26, 2024
Registration opens May 3; Instructor registration open now
10 participants
0 instructors
Lime Kiln Trail
Thu, Jun 27, 2024
Registration opens May 30; Instructor registration open now
8 participants
0 instructors
Iron Goat Trail to Wellington
Fri, Jun 28, 2024
Registration opens May 3; Instructor registration open now
10 participants
0 instructors
Langus Riverfront Park & Spencer Island
Fri, Jun 28, 2024
Registration opens May 3; Instructor registration open now
8 participants
0 instructors
Hansen Ridge
Sat, Jun 29, 2024
Registration opens May 3; Instructor registration open now
6 participants
0 instructors
Fragrance Lake
Sat, Jun 29, 2024
Registration opens May 3; Instructor registration open now
10 participants
0 instructors
June GoHike Urban Walk: 3.5 to 6 miles, 400 to 1,500 feet gain (optional) (optional)
Juanita Bay Park
Fri, Jun 7, 2024
Registration opens May 3; Instructor registration open now
6 participants
0 instructors
July Hikes: 3.75 to 6.5 miles, 500 to 1,750 feet gain (optional)
Little Si & Boulder Garden Loop
Mon, Jul 1, 2024
Registration opens Jun 7; Instructor registration open now
10 participants
1 instructor
Wallace Falls
Fri, Jul 5, 2024
Registration opens Jun 7
8 participants
Talus Rocks Loop Trail
Wed, Jul 10, 2024
Registration opens Jun 7; Instructor registration open now
6 participants
0 instructors
Green River Trail & Natural Resources Area
Fri, Jul 12, 2024
Registration opens Jun 7; Instructor registration open now
8 participants
0 instructors
Lookout Mountain Forest Preserve
Tue, Jul 16, 2024
Registration opens Jun 19; Instructor registration open now
8 participants
0 instructors
Chuckanut Ridge
Sun, Jul 21, 2024
Registration opens Jun 7; Instructor registration open now
10 participants
0 instructors
Mount Sawyer & Tonga Ridge
Mon, Jul 22, 2024
Registration opens Jun 7
8 participants
Poo Poo Point via Chirico Trail
Wed, Jul 24, 2024
Registration opens Jun 7; Instructor registration open now
10 participants
0 instructors
Blue Lake
Sun, Jul 28, 2024
Registration opens Jun 7; Instructor registration open now
10 participants
0 instructors
Mount Fremont Lookout, Berkeley Park & Skyscraper Mountain
Mon, Jul 29, 2024
Registration opens Jul 1; Instructor registration open now
8 participants
0 instructors
July GoHike Urban Walk: 3.75 to 6.5 miles, 500 to 1,750 feet gain (optional) (optional)
Saint Edward State Park
Fri, Jul 5, 2024
Registration opens Jun 7; Instructor registration open now
6 participants
1 instructor
August Hikes: 4 miles to 7 miles, 600 to 2,000 feet gain (optional)
Bagley & Chain Lakes
Sat, Aug 3, 2024
Registration opens Jul 5
6 participants
Kamikaze (Teneriffe) Falls
Mon, Aug 12, 2024
Registration opens Jul 5; Instructor registration open now
10 participants
0 instructors
Boulder River
Tue, Aug 13, 2024
Registration opens Jul 24; Instructor registration open now
8 participants
0 instructors
Cougar Mountain Loop
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
Deception Pass State Park
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
10 participants
0 instructors
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
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
10 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
Soos Creek Trail to Lake Meridian Park
Fri, Sep 13, 2024
Registration opens Aug 2; Instructor registration open now
8 participants
0 instructors
Spray Park
Sat, Sep 28, 2024
Registration opens Aug 2; Instructor registration open now
10 participants
0 instructors
Around South Tiger Mountain
Mon, Sep 30, 2024
Registration opens Aug 2; Instructor registration open now
10 participants
0 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