Conditioning Hiking Series 2024

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 with significant elevation gain. We start hiking in April and build on mileage and elevation each month, ending with a graduation hike in September. ***REGISTRATION is by LOTTERY ONLY***PLEASE SEE BELOW FOR LINK to the LOTTERY and FULL COURSE INFO and EXPECTATIONS***

This course is a big commitment, so to learn about what is expected 


Lottery-based registration:  We anticipate that  all spots in the course will be filled through the lottery.  To learn more about and to enter the LOTTERY>>>GO HERE! 

Participants must be a Mountaineers member with current waiver on file to register for the CHS course.   Guest members may enter the lottery and postpone becoming  a full-member until the course registration if they wish. (This will not impact your chances in the lottery.)  For Mountaineer's Membership questions please email Member Services:

Cost: The course fee is $190.00. Scholarships are available.   

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

  • Before Apr 1 - $180 
  • Apr 1-30 - $135
  • May 1-31 - $90
  • After May 31 - no refund



The Course kicks off in March and is designed to prepare hikers who are currently experienced at the moderate level for the challenges of strenuous, long-distance day hiking.  It is designed to offer welcoming small-group hiking opportunities in which participants can build relationships by hiking with many of the same people over the 6 month season.  All hikes are limited to current course participants along with CHS graduates (alumni) 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 the 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 be comfortable with group hiking and socializing with your fellow participants.

What to Expect

 The 2024 CHS program consists of:

  • Mandatory (no exceptions!Orientation, In-Person, on Sunday, March 10th (8:30am-3:30pm)   
  • 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) 
  • And one graduation hike in September (= 11 hikes total for the Course)

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

In order to graduate participants are required to earn a Stewardship Credit  by completing one day of trail maintenance or other work that falls under the Mountaineers definition of Stewardship (you have the whole season to complete this but we recommend getting it done as early as possible)

We also require a Low Impact Recreation badge- This process is all online and consists of a few videos and a quiz (acquiring this badge needs to be completed by June 1st) . 

This course has been historically very popular, so please be ready to put in the time and effort to graduate.  

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 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 greatly depending on our hike leaders preferences along with anticipated conditions (snow, etc). But in general our hikes range from 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 Sat & Sun of every month, but we do try to offer some weekday hikes for those with flexible schedules. 

To get an idea of the types of hikes that will be offered and when, you can see the list of hikes that were offered in 2023 by clicking onto the the second tab in this google sheet (the first tab contains overview information and monthly hike specs).  It is important to understand that the actual hikes offered and the schedule are finalized on a month-to-month basis dependent on conditions, leader preferences, etc.   Each month, participants will be able to sign up for their two hikes for the following month.  For example, sign-ups for June hikes will be on Wednesday May 22nd.  (Sign-ups are always on Wednesdays, at 9am for CHS-1 hikes and at 1pm for CHS-2 hikes.)

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

  • Coast Clean-Up Weekend (with lodging) on the Olympic Coast, April 19-21
  • Columbia Gorge Weekend (near Cascade Locks), May 17-20
  • Mt. Rainier Campout Weekend, July 18-21, (featuring  hikes in and around the park)
  • North Cascades Campout Weekend, August 8-11,  (depending on conditions this weekend may be switched to the Olympic Peninsula)

**Please note that our optional overnight trips will entail extra lodging and/or campsite costs. 

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

Badges you will earn:

Course Requirements
Course Activity Date Availability Leader
CHS 2 Hike (optional)
Lily & Lizard Lakes
Sat, Apr 20, 2024
Registration opens Mar 20
8 participants
Green Lake (Mount Rainier)
Sat, May 11, 2024
Registration opens Apr 17
8 participants
Snoquera Palisades
Sat, May 25, 2024
Registration opens Apr 17
8 participants
Cathedral Rock-Deception Pass Loop
Sat, Jul 27, 2024
Registration opens Jun 19
8 participants
Gladys Divide
Sat, Sep 7, 2024
Registration opens Aug 14
8 participants

Additional badges needed to graduate


Course Materials

You must register for this course to see course materials.