GoHike:  Beginner Hiking Course - 2023

Day Hiking Course

GoHike: Beginner Hiking Series

Make 2023 your year to start hiking! In the GoHike: Beginning Hiking Course, we start with the basics: preparation, knowledge, safety, conditioning and fitness tips, to make hitting the trail less daunting and more fun. The main goal of the GoHike Course is to get outdoors in a community of 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 one time. Please email info@mountaineers.org with registration questions.

Cost: The course fee is $85.00. 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

The GoHike Course kicks off in March and is designed to prepare hikers who are beginners or individuals looking for easy to moderate level hiking challenges of short to middle distance day hiking.  It is also designed to provide a small-group trip environment in which hikers can build relationships over time by hiking with many of the same people on each trip.  All hikes are limited to current course participants and GoHike graduate alumni from past years.  (Current course participants always get priority in hike sign-ups.)

Don't let yourself be held back because of fear of not having the ‘right’ gear, of being unprepared or unsafe, of being out of shape, of being too slow, of just not fitting in. The GoHike: Beginning Hiking Course, starts 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!  Whether you are brand new to the trail or have been away for a while, this course will meet you where you are, help you find your trail to success, and have fun doing it!

Who is GoHike For?  

GoHike is designed to prepare hikers who are beginners or individuals looking for easy to moderate level hiking challenges of short to middle distance day hiking. 

  • Beginner hikers – or people who haven’t been out for a long time – and looking for an easy gradual and progressive approach
  • People who are already comfortable hiking but want to find a community of people who are looking for easy to moderate social hikes or urban walks
  • Anyone who wants to hike in a social, mutually supportive atmosphere
  • We welcome aspiring hikers of all backgrounds, shapes, and sizes!

Course Schedule

  • GoHike Student Orientations: Our GoHike course Orientations are designed to "equip" you with the information you need for getting out on the trail. This year we are introducing a staggered orientation requirement. 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, optional but recommended for returning GoHike participants. Online virtual classroom session March 2, 2023  6:30 to 8:00 pm. Register for the GoHike Orientation 1 when you register for the course.

Orientation 2 - MANDATORY FOR ALL GoHike PARTICIPANTS. Online virtual classroom session March 16, 2023  6:30 to 8:00 pm. Register for the GoHike Orientation 2 when you register for the course.

  • Pacing Hikes - One pace hike is recommended, to help you determine where you are and what level of hikes and pace you want to work toward – March 11-31, Registration for pacing hikes will open on February 1.
  • Must complete “Low Impact Recreation” training 
  • Must complete Outdoor Advocates Network Introduction to Public Lands eLearning course and successfully pass the associated review to earn your badge
  • Must complete 6 or more course hikes, at least one a month – April to September
  • Must complete one, at least half day or full day Stewardship activity
  • Check-ins: Optional virtual online zoom sessions - Monthly, April - August
  • Season Celebration and Graduation: October 13, 2023, in person at the Mountaineers Seattle Program Center.

Course Components

Course Orientation 1

March 2, 2023, 6:30 to 8:00 pm. MANDATORY for all NEW GoHike Participants, optional, but recommended for returning GoHike Participants. In 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. Register for the GoHike Orientation 1 when you register for the course. 

Course Orientation 2

March 16, 2023, 6:30 to 8:00 pm. 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. Register for the GoHike Orientation 2 when you register for the course. 

Pacing Hikes

One pacing hike recommended. Pacing hikes will be offered in March. 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   - no pressure, no judgment!

Registration for pace hikes will open on February 1. Space is limited so please sign up for only one.  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.

The Hike Series

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.

You should be available and committed to go on one pace hike in March (recommended) and at least six course hikes, one hike a month, April - September. Over the course of the summer you should be prepared to increase mileage, and elevation gain gradually, 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 you will go on. You will hike in small groups of 6 to 12 current course participants and alumni with one or two leaders.

We will communicate predominately by email and will use our GoHike FaceBook Group page to make announcements and share additional course information. More details on this at Orientation.

We will hold monthly virtual online zoom CHECK IN sessions - these one hour online sessions will be held 6:30 to 7:30 pm, on the second Thursday of the month, April through August. These optional sessions will include topics related to beginning hiking, such as conditioning and goal setting, gearing up, nutrition and hydration, hosw to plan your own hikes and most importantly, checking in with you to see if you have any questions.

Monthly Hike Progression

Over the course of the summer you should be prepared to increase mileage, and elevation gain gradually from April - September, with your September hike being your most challenging hike of the series. 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 2023 course participants may register for a second hike and GoHike Alumni grads  may register for a hike, as space is available.

March Pace Hikes: 1 hike recommended for new participants but are open for all participants,  2 to 4 miles, 0 to 750 feet gain

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

Graduation

We will hold an in-person graduation celebration on October 13, at the Seattle Program Center.

Where we hike: Early hikes and urban walks in the series could involve a half day or long summer evening 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 on 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

  • MANDATORY attendance for all NEW GoHike participants at the virtual online GoHike Orientation on March 2, 2022 6:30 to 8 pm.
  • MANDATORY attendance for ALL GoHike participants at the virtual online GoHike Orientation on March 16, 2022 6:30 to 8 pm.
  • Completion of one, at least half day or full day Stewardship activity
  • Completion of the Low Impact Recreation video series.
  • Completion of Outdoor Advocates Network Introduction to Public Lands eLearning course and successfully pass the associated review to earn your badge.
  • Completion of a minimum of 6 course hikes, at least one per month between April - September.

Participant commitment and expectations

  • Ability to complete a 2-mile fairly flat pace hike in under 1.5 hours including rest stops.
  • Available and committed to go on one pace hike in March (recommended) and complete least six course hikes, one hike a month, April - September.
  • Commitment to build and maintain your hiking endurance over the course of the spring and summer to hike a little further and a little higher to get to more and more amazing places. 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.
  • Willing to complete the Mountaineers ‘Low Impact Recreation’ video course in March  of the series so that you will start out as a great ‘trail citizen’!
  • Completion of Outdoor Advocates Network Introduction to Public Lands eLearning course and successfully pass the associated review to earn your badge.
  • 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 and where the hikes will go.

Badges you will earn:

Course Requirements
Course Activity Date Availability Leader
GoHike Participant Orientation
Online Classroom
Thu, Mar 2, 2023
Registration closes Feb 28
15 participants
17 instructors
Online Classroom
Thu, Mar 16, 2023
Registration closes Mar 14
14 participants
16 instructors
March GoHike Pacing Hikes: 2 to 4 miles, 0 to 750 feet of elevation gain
Union Bay Natural Area
Sat, Mar 11, 2023
Registration opens Feb 3; Instructor registration open now
10 participants
0 instructors
Tradition Plateau
Wed, Mar 15, 2023
Registration opens Feb 3; Instructor registration open now
10 participants
1 instructor
Licorice Fern Trail
Mon, Mar 20, 2023
Registration opens Feb 3; Instructor registration open now
10 participants
0 instructors
Discovery Park
Sat, Mar 25, 2023
Registration opens Feb 3; Instructor registration open now
6 participants
0 instructors
Lord Hill Regional Park
Sat, Mar 25, 2023
Registration opens Feb 3; Instructor registration open now
10 participants
0 instructors
April Hikes: 2.5 - 5 miles, 250 - 1,000 feet gain (optional)
Coal Creek Trail
Tue, Apr 4, 2023
Registration opens Mar 3; Instructor registration open now
10 participants
0 instructors
Bowman Bay
Sat, Apr 8, 2023
Registration opens Mar 3; Instructor registration open now
6 participants
0 instructors
Zoom Video Conference (optional)
Online Classroom
Thu, Apr 13, 2023
Registration opens Apr 6
68 participants
Online Classroom
Thu, May 11, 2023
Registration opens May 4
68 participants
Online Classroom
Thu, Jun 8, 2023
Registration opens Jun 1
68 participants
Online Classroom
Thu, Jul 13, 2023
Registration opens Jul 6
68 participants
Online Classroom
Thu, Aug 10, 2023
Registration opens Aug 3
68 participants
Online Classroom
Thu, Sep 14, 2023
Registration opens Sep 7
68 participants
May Hikes: 3 to 5.5 miles, 300 to 1,250 feet gain (optional)
Cranberry Lake
Sat, May 13, 2023
Registration opens Apr 7; Instructor registration open now
6 participants
0 instructors
Fragrance Lake
Sat, May 20, 2023
Registration opens Apr 7; Instructor registration open now
10 participants
0 instructors
June Hikes: 3.5 to 6 miles, 400 to 1,500 feet gain (optional)
Baker Lake to Maple Grove
Sat, Jun 3, 2023
Registration opens May 5; Instructor registration open now
6 participants
0 instructors
Lime Kiln Trail
Sat, Jun 10, 2023
Registration opens May 5; Instructor registration open now
10 participants
0 instructors
Wallace Falls
Mon, Jun 26, 2023
Registration opens May 5; Instructor registration open now
10 participants
0 instructors
July Hikes: 3.75 to 6.5 miles, 500 to 1,750 feet gain (optional)
Icicle Ridge
Mon, Jul 3, 2023
Registration opens Jun 2; Instructor registration open now
10 participants
0 instructors
Lookout Mountain Forest Preserve
Sat, Jul 15, 2023
Registration opens Jun 2; Instructor registration open now
6 participants
0 instructors
Talapus & Olallie Lakes
Mon, Jul 17, 2023
Registration opens Jun 1; Instructor registration open now
10 participants
0 instructors
August Hikes: 4 miles to 7 miles, 600 to 2,000 feet gain (optional)
Lily & Lizard Lakes
Mon, Aug 7, 2023
Registration opens Jul 7; Instructor registration open now
10 participants
0 instructors
Chain Lakes Loop
Fri, Aug 11, 2023
Registration opens Jul 7; Instructor registration open now
6 participants
0 instructors
Mount Fremont Lookout
Mon, Aug 14, 2023
Registration opens Jul 7; Instructor registration open now
10 participants
0 instructors
September Hikes: 4 to 8 miles, 750 to 2,000 feet gain (optional)
Lake Valhalla
Sat, Sep 9, 2023
Registration opens Aug 4; Instructor registration open now
10 participants
0 instructors
Summerland
Sat, Sep 9, 2023
Registration opens Aug 4; Instructor registration open now
10 participants
0 instructors
Mount Sawyer & Tonga Ridge
Sat, Sep 23, 2023
Registration opens Aug 4; 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

You must register for this course to see course materials.