Explorers - Tacoma - 2020

Youth Program

Tacoma Explorers

Year-round Outdoor Adventure for Youth ages 10-13

COVID-19: Learn about our most up-to-date guidance for participants and leaders on our COVID-19 Response page. All participants and leaders must agree to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct before participating in this Mountaineers course.

Explorers Membership is $520 for the year. A $130 deposit is required for your first month. The remainder can be paid in full, or in quarterly installments. 


Explorers is a year-round course, focused on teaching outdoor skills and providing outdoor experiences for kids 10-13 and their families. Explorers members will have the chance to learn and try a variety of outdoor sports, and will learn important skills to keep them safe in the wilderness. Activities include hiking & backpacking, rock climbing, snowshoeing, kayaking, cross-country skiing, building snow shelters, rope skills such as belaying and rappelling, wilderness first aid, wilderness navigation, ice ax skills, and more.


Parents and welcome and encouraged to participate along with their child. We have had many parents join us who had no prior outdoor skills and greatly enjoyed learning alongside their kids! If you have a younger child (age 6-9) you may decide if you would like them to join the Pathfinders Program, or you may have them join Explorers along with their older sibling if you think they are up to the challenge!


Members meet one Tuesday evening per month at the Tacoma Mountaineers to plan trips and practice skills, and then go on at least one weekend outdoor trip per month. Past trips have included:

Day hikes around the Cascades and Olympics, including Lena Lake, Summit Lake, High Hut, Ingalls Lake, Burroughs Mountain, 

Backpacking trips to Ozette Triangle, Esmeralda Basin, Ancient Lakes

Rock climbing trips in Leavenworth, Vantage, and Exit 38

Kayaking in Lake Washington

Snowshoeing at Paradise, Stevens Pass, Reflection Lakes

Cross-country skiing at Cabin Creek and Crystal Springs Sno-Park

Bicycling the Carbon River Road

Ice ax skill practice and igloo-building at Paradise, Mt. Rainier


All trips are supervised by adult staff and/or trained volunteers. Parents are expected to be active chaperones at at least 1/3 of trips and meetings, either by helping drive carpool, participating in the activity and helping provide supervision, or helping instruct. Carpool drivers can be reimbursed at 24 cents per mile. All staff and volunteers must pass a background check and be certified through The Mountaineers in any skill they are teaching or trip they are leading. 


Outdoor equipment can almost always be borrowed from The Mountaineers when given enough notice (usually 1-2 weeks prior to trip).  See the gear list below for more details.


Explorers  membership is $520 for the year. An $130 deposit is required for your first month. The remainder can be paid in full, or in quarterly  installments. Your Explorers membership costs cover: staff time, transportation costs, gear, camping fees and permits, and food for longer trips. At your first meeting, you will choose how you want to pay the remainder of your Explorers membership fee. 

Program Requirements
Program Activity Date Availability Leader
Tacoma Explorers Meeting (optional)
Tacoma Program Center
Tue, Sep 14, 2021
Registration closed Sep 12
10 participants
Required Equipment

Almost all gear can be borrowed from The Mountaineers, but here are a few things that may come in handy:


Hiking Boots

Sleeping bag

Sleeping pad

Outdoor clothing: Rain proof layers, insulating layers (like fleece or down), base layers, wool socks, warm hat

Nalgene bottle or water bladder

First Aid Kit

Please note that all participants must bring a mask/facial covering and personal hand sanitizer for the foreseeable future.

Program Materials

You must register for this program to see program materials.