Conditioning Hiking Series - Seattle - 2023

Day Hiking Course

Conditioning Hiking Series

A course for experienced hiking enthusiasts who are interested in challenging themselves by working up to long-distance day hikes of 15+ miles including significant elevation gain. We start hiking in April and build on mileage and elevation each month, ending with a graduation hike in September. ***PLEASE SEE BELOW FOR FULL COURSE INFO and EXPECTATIONS***

Lottery-based registration:  Course spots will be offered first to winners of the CHS lottery, which you can enter here.  If you have any questions about the course (or the lottery) please register for a (free) Q&A session on Zoom, Jan 10th 6-8PM  here.

Participants must be a Mountaineers member with current waiver on file to register for the CHS course.   Guests may enter the lottery and postpone becoming  a full-member until the course registration if they wish.  Please email with registration questions.

Post-Lottery (only if space available) Registration Open to All:  If the course is not full after the lottery-based process, registration for remaining spots will open up on February 13th.

Cost: The course fee is $170.00. 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 - $160 
  • Apr 1-30 - $120
  • May 1-31 - $80
  • After May 31 - no refund

Overview:   The CHS Course kicks off in March and is designed to prepare hikers who are currently experienced at the upper-easy/moderate level for the challenges of strenuous, long-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 CHS graduates from past years.  (Current course participants always get priority in hike sign-ups.)

Minimum Qualifications: This course is not meant for beginner hikers.  (If you are a novice hiker we suggest you check out the Mountaineers 'GoHike' series here.)  For CHS, you should be capable of a minimum sustained pace of 1.5 miles per hour (think 1h20m up Rattlesnake Ledge trail or 2h40m up Mt. Si trail).  Participants are strongly encouraged to dedicate time outside of the course to increase their strength and endurance and thus make their time on the trail that much more enjoyable. You should be available and committed to go on at least eleven hikes over the course of the summer. You should also enjoy and feel comfortable with group hiking and socializing with your fellow participants.

What to Expect: The 2023 CHS program consists of a 

  • Mandatory (no exceptions please!Orientation, In-Person, on Saturday, March 11th (8am-4pm)   
  • A minimum of two CHS hikes per month building in mileage and elevation gain from April through August (5 months x 2 hikes/month ==> 10 hikes)
  • Plus one graduation hike in September ( ==> 11 hikes total)

During orientation, we will cover course guidelines and expectations, how to sign up for hikes, and other basics including the 10 essentials, nutrition for long days on the trail, fitness, etc

Participants are also required to earn a Stewardship Credit  (by completing one day of trail maintenance), as well as a Low Impact Recreation badge (consisting of a few videos and a quiz, and which is required by June 1st) in order to graduate. 

This course has been historically very popular, so please  be ready to put in the time and effort to graduate.   If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the course leaders or join us for our CHS Q&A Zoom Call on Tuesday, January  10th from 7-9pm.

Prior to your first hike in April, you will choose between moderate (CHS-1) or faster (CHS-2) paced hikes. If you are uncertain which "pace group" is best for you, we will offer up "Pacing Hikes" in March and our leaders will help you select a pacing group.  Once the course begins in April any participant who has trouble keeping up with the group on a CHS-2 hike may be asked to switch to CHS-1.

Where We Hike:  Our hike destinations vary depending on anticipated conditions (snow, etc) and range from the Eastern WA to the Olympics, from Mt. Baker to the Columbia Gorge, and everywhere in between including our 3 fabulous National Parks, along with the Kitsap peninsula, Mount St. Helens, Hwy 2, and the I-90/Snoqualmie Corridor.  We mainly offer hikes on each Sat/Sun of every month, but we do strive to offer many weekday hikes for those with flexible schedules. 

To get an idea of the types of hikes that will be offered and when, you can view sample hike schedules from a previous year here for CHS-1 (1-2 mph pace group) and here (for the CHS-2 (2-3 mph pace group).  

Additional Info:  Other popular annual events* (all optional) offered with Seattle CHS include:

  • Coast Clean-Up Weekend (with lodging) on the Olympic Coast, April 21-23
  • Columbia Gorge Weekend (May) near Cascade Locks, May 19-21
  • Mt. Rainier Campout Weekend, July 20-24 (featuring  hikes in and around the park)
  • North Cascades Campout Weekend, August 17-21 (highlighting several stunning hike destinations in the 'American Alps'. 
  • Please note that our optional overnight trips have minimal extra lodging and campsite costs associated with them. 

And all CHS graduates become eligible to sign up for the ongoing (year to year) CHS Alumni Course. 

Badges you will earn:

Course Requirements

This course has no scheduled activities.

Additional badges needed to graduate


Course Materials

You must register for this course to see course materials.