Explorers - Tacoma - 2023

Youth Program

Tacoma Explorers

Year-round Outdoor Adventure for Youth ages 9-13

Please read this description in its entirety before registering.

Note: Explorers membership is $550 in total for the year. Participants may register here and pay in full, or may contact ryannp@mountaineers.org to set up a quarterly payment plan. 

We offer financial assistance! To apply for financial assistance click here.

Our Explorers program provides youth ages 9-13 and their parents/guardians with the opportunity to get out on an outdoor adventure once a month. Explorers is designed to expose youth to a variety of outdoor activities, build skills and confidence, and have fun! Participants will have the chance to climb, hike, snowshoe, cross-country ski, paddle, explore, and learn how to be safe in the outdoors. The Explorers group is also intended to prepare students for Mountaineers Adventure Club (MAC) in the future, which focuses on bigger adventures including mountaineering and advanced climbing.

Explorers will be supported by Mountaineers staff, but parents will be expected to play an active role in supporting their children, driving to trips, supervising, and possibly even leading some trips if they feel ready. Staff will provide opportunities for parents to advance their own outdoor skills as well as learn key skills for leading kids safely in the outdoors. This program will focus on skill-building for both youth and adults, and on building an outdoor community.

*Note that while  parents/guardians are expected to be active participants in the club, there is plenty of flexibility so that youth can participate in a trip even if a parent/guardian can't make it.

Explorers is a club and requires a time commitment and program fee of $550 (which can be paid in quarterly installments). In return, members gain a community of outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy spending time learning skills together. As families grow through our programs, lifelong friendships are built. When graduates of our teen program come home from college, they meet up with other Mountaineers friends to go hiking, backpacking and climbing. This program is just the beginning.

Note: Youth ages 9-13  register as participants, and therefore pay the registration and program fee. Parents should become a Qualified Youth Leader and then register for the Explorers program as a  Chaperone (there is no fee for this).

Explorers members generally are offered two weekend outings per month. One of the trips will be for Explorers families only, while the other trip will be a joint trip for both Pathfinders and Explorers members. We do this in an effort to both build a larger community and make logistics easier for families with siblings in different groups.

Parents who have children in the 9-10 age range may choose which program better suits their child's needs. Pathfinders-only trips will be shorter, easier, and less technical, while Explorers-only trips may be longer, more strenuous, and place more emphasis on developing technical skills. 

Please email ryannp@mountaineers.org if you have any difficulty registering.

Program Requirements
Program Activity Date Availability Leader
Tacoma Explorers Activity (optional)
Rattlesnake Ledge
Sat, Jun 22, 2024
Registration closed Jun 20
7 participants
Lake Ingalls
Sat, Jul 27, 2024 -
Sun, Jul 28, 2024
Registration closes Jul 25
5 participants
Burroughs Mountain
Sat, Aug 24, 2024
Registration closes Aug 22
5 participants
Tacoma Explorers & Pathfinders Joint Activity (optional)
Youth Trip
Sat, Jul 20, 2024
Registration closes Jul 18
8 participants
Deception Pass State Park
Fri, Aug 16, 2024 -
Sun, Aug 18, 2024
Registration closes Aug 14
6 participants
Required Equipment

All required equipment, with a few exceptions, is available to be borrowed from the Mountaineers. Before each trip, an itinerary/packing list will be distributed to the group that details all necessary gear and information for the trip. 

If families want to bring their own gear, here are some items you may find useful for most trips:


Hiking boots

Wool socks

Non-cotton active clothing and insulating layers

First Aid Kit

Program Materials

You must register for this program to see program materials.