GoHike:  Beginner Hiking Series - Foothills - 2020

Day Hiking Course

GoHike: Beginner Hiking Series

Is 2020 your year to start hiking? Do you want to experience the beauty of our Pacific Northwest trails, but don’t know where to begin? In the GoHike: Beginning Hiking Series, we start with basics: Preparation, safety, general fitness tips and knowledge to make hitting the trail less daunting, and then get you out on a series of lovely stress-free hikes with a main goal in mind: Getting outdoors with others who are starting out, or who just want to hike at a comfortable, social pace, and making this journey together.

Hiking is both calming and energizing. It’s a way to connect with nature, and build community with new people.  We'd love to help you make 2021 your year to start a lifetime of hiking, with a compatible and fun community of people, in one of the loveliest places in the world to do it!   

If you've been dreaming of hiking, but find yourself  holding back because of fear of not having the ‘right’ gear or being unprepared or unsafe, out of shape, or too slow, we want to help you put those fears behind you! Join our new GoHike Beginning Hiking Series for stress-free trip and tips for how to prepare and where to go.

We'll start with basics: preparation, safety, general fitness tips, and knowledge to make hitting the trial less daunting, and then get you out on a series of stress-free hikes with compatible companions and an experienced volunteer leader. We all have one  main goal in mind: get outdoors with others who are starting out, at a comfortable, social pace, making this journey together.

We will introduce you to the essentials of hiking, help you set personalized goals month by month during the course, and most of all, connect you with a community of fellow hikers who are looking for low-pressure, fun, beautiful hikes! People of all experience and fitness levels will find a welcoming home with us! Whether you’re 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?  

People who want to start hiking and would like a community and support to make it happen, starting from where they are!

  • Beginner hikers – or people who haven’t been out for a long time – and looking for an easy gradual start
  • People who are already comfortable hiking but want to find a community of people who are looking for easier more social hikes
  • Anyone who wants to hike in a social, mutually supportive atmosphere
  • We welcome participants from all backgrounds!  As an organization that values equity and inclusion, we highly encourage people of color, women, LGBTQ individuals, and veterans to participate (many of our leaders are women!). 

Course Schedule

  • Student Orientation – March
  • Pacing hikes (to help us determine where you are and what level of hikes and pace we need to offer) – March
  • Must complete “Low Impact Recreation” training before mid April (this is an easy and interesting series of short videos and a quiz at the end, to help you know how to be a good 'trail citizen'!)
  • Complete 5 or more course hikes – at least one Go Hike hike a month mid-April to mid-September
  • Check-ins: Monthly
  • Graduation: September

Monthly Hike Schedule:  mid April to mid Sept 

  • We'll start in mid April offering hikes between 2 and 4 miles with little elevation gain, 
  • We will offer a progression of hikes with small increases in mileage and gain by month but we'll also continue to make easier hikes available through the summer  for people who may not feel ready or interested to move up.
  • Each month we'll offer a range of hikes and provide descriptions with pictures to build your excitement for what you'll be doing and aiming toward!
  • We'll organize monthly check-ins where we'll help you overcome any roadblocks and assess the level that you will want to try the next month.  (Don't worry, no  'cold calls' - we just want to touch bases with you each month to help you set and meet your goals!)

Course Requirements

  • Attendance at the GoHike orientation on March 5 (please register below)
  • Completion of Low Impact Recreation video series
  • Completion of one GoHike Pacing Hike (March)
  • Completion of at least one GoHike course  hike monthly between mid April and mid September, for a total of at least 5 hikes.
  • “Extra Credit” :  Try a Mountaineers "open" hike, or plan and complete a personal or family hike

 Participant commitment and expectations

  • Ability to complete a 2-mile fairly flat pacing hike in under 1.5 hours including rest stops at the time you sign up for the series
  • Commitment to make the time to go on at least 1 course hike each month between mid April and mid September.
    • Early hikes in the series could involve a half day or long summer evening including driving to the trail, but after April the hikes are likely to require being able to get away on a weekend day for 6 to 8 hours including travel time.
  • Commitment to build your stamina over the course of the spring and summer to walk a little further and a little higher to get to more and more amazing places
    • This means going on walks near your home in between course hikes to continue to build your stamina over time
  • Willing to complete the Mountaineers ‘Low Impact Recreation’ video course during the first month of the series so that you will start out as a great ‘trail citizen’!
  • Commitment to borrow or buy the minimum gear for your safety 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.

Understanding the gohike Postings

  • The course begins with an orientation which we ask all students to register for and attend.  This will help you begin to connect with the leaders and other participants in the series, and to know what to expect on the trail and how to get prepared. 
  • Next is a set of "Pacing Hikes".  These are short close-in hikes led by one of our experienced leaders, to help you and us understand the pace and level of hikes that you feel ready to undertake and how a Mountaineers group hike works.
  • Then there will be a series of hikes beginning mid-April and continuing through September; giving you plenty of time to get in the 5 hikes that are required for you to graduate from the series.
  • Hikes start with 2 miles/up to 500 feet of elevation, and with each month, easy hikes will continue to be posted but additional hikes will be listed with more distance and elevation gain for those who seek to get out a bit further and higher. Maximum by end of season would be 8 miles and up to 2,000 feet of gain, if you choose to aim for this.  (But you can register for shorter and easier hikes the entire summer if you prefer - whatever you feel comfortable to do!)
  • You are only required to do one official hike in the series per month.  (We encourage you to hike on your own outside the series to enjoy the outdoors and build/maintain your stamina!  This will be particularly important if you want to progress to the longer hikes with more elevation gain.)
  • About a week or so before each trip, trip leaders will email participants, providing information for the hike, what you need, and what to expect. If you have any questions or concerns about the hike itself, please reach out to the trip leader and they will help you.

 Registering for your GoHike trips

After you register for the GoHike series, then you will need to register individually for the orientation (required), one of the pacing hikes (strongly recommended) and five of the hikes.  The orientation will be open for registration as soon as the series opens, and the pacing hikes will be open for registration immediately after the orientation.   (Please register for just one of the pacing hikes.)

Then, the official hikes in the series will open for registration the last Friday before the month of the hike (you can scroll down in the series listing to see when each hike opens for registration), and you will need to go in and register for those separately.  The hikes are displayed in categories of distance and elevation gain so that you can see and choose what you feel ready to take on;  you can also click on the name of a hike and more details will come up including where and when to meet and details about the route and preparation needed.  PLEASE REGISTER FOR ONE HIKE PER MONTH BUT DO NOT REGISTER FOR MORE THAN ONE.  It may be possible to register later for additional hikes if space remains one week before its departure date - keep an eye on the listings!  We encourage you to take private hikes in between with your friends and family, and also to consider easy hikes that are offered on the Mountaineers hiking activity page!

Below are instructions to register for the series hikes:

Log on to your Mountaineers Profile

  1. Go to My Courses and Programs
  2. Click on GoHike: Beginner Hiking Series
  3. If on a laptop/desktop, click on which is under Registration Status to the right of the screen. If on a smartphone, a button labeled "Manage Registration" will be at the bottom of the screen. (You will need to scroll down to see it.)

                -  What pops of is a list of trips you can sign up for.  Only a subset of the trips within the coming month will be open for registration.

                -  Click the box next to the trip you wish to take.

                -  Click Save Changes. You will then receive an immediate confirmation email of your  registration.


Course Requirements
Course Activity Date Availability Leader
March GoHike Pacing Hikes: 2 to 4 miles, 0 to 750 feet of elevation gain
Paradise Valley Conservation Area
Wed, Mar 24, 2021
Registration closed Mar 18
2 participants
April Hikes: 2.5 - 5 miles, 250 - 1,000 feet gain (optional)
Paradise Valley Conservation Area
Thu, Apr 29, 2021
Registration closed Apr 20
1 participant
Palisades Lakes
Tue, Jul 27, 2021
Registration closed Jul 25
8 participants
Sheep Lake (Chinook Pass)
Thu, Aug 5, 2021
Registration closed Aug 3
8 participants
Chanterelle Trail
Sat, Apr 1, 2023
Registration closed Mar 27
5 participants
0 instructors
Tradition Plateau
Sat, Apr 1, 2023
Registration closed Mar 30
0 participants
0 instructors
Required Equipment

Start from where you are and 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.