Trailblazers: Women Identifying BIPOC Outdoor Program




2019 Dates and info will be available in the near future with registration opening in March. The program will run within the June to September 2019 time frame.

The information below is subject to change as the final 2019 program evolves. 

Welcome to Women’s Wilderness and thank you for your interest in our Trailblazers program! Trailblazers grew out of a desire to increase the presence of BIWOC (Black, Indigenous, Women of Color) in the outdoors while also providing training to support positive, safe, and successful hiking, backpacking, and camping experiences in outdoor environments. Through completion of Trailblazers, participants will:

  • Develop greater comfort and confidence in the outdoors
  • Gain competence in the outdoors through supported and facilitated outdoor activities and specific skill-building classes
  • Practice taking on leadership roles within each program to apply to future scenarios
  • Create a cohort of other developing outdoors-women, from which to share experience throughout the program and beyond
  • Have access to post-program mentorship for people wanting to pursue employment within the outdoor industry

There are no prerequisites for applying to Trailblazers, outside of being physically, mentally, and emotionally prepared, and having a strong desire to participate in the program. Physical health will be assessed by the regular Women’s Wilderness application process.

Trailblazers follows a seven session progression. Applicants need to be able to commit to at least 5 of 7 sessions for admission. Please see full descriptions and locations of all sessions here. This series is subsidized thanks to generous sponsorship from Outdoor Research and FERAL Mountain Co. We have a sliding scale fee; please choose a level that represents what you are able to pay.  If you need additional financial assistance, please contact us at  Additionally, all gear and clothing needed for the course is available for rent at no cost from Women’s Wilderness.

  • Session 1: Welcome, Orientation & Day Hike
  • Session 2 – How and why do I start? Where do I go? What do I bring? 
  • Session 3 – Hiking & backpacking basics – routes and navigation, Leave No Trace, trail etiquette, water purification 
  • Session 4 – Risk Management and First Aid 
  • Session 5 – Practicing in remote environments and overnight trip planning 
  • Session 6 – Trip planning, pack packing and fitting 
  • Session 7 – Gone backpacking – overnight camping trip 

Each Trailblazers session will be led by two Women’s Wilderness instructors, as well as occasional guest instructors. Guided by an advisory council of stakeholders from Women’s Wilderness, Brown Girls Climb, Black Women’s Alliance, and Native Women’s Wilderness, curriculum and programming may shift to better reflect the needs and desires of the selected group.

If you’re interested in applying to be a Trailblazer, please complete these supplemental application questions (Google form) by July 20. Answers to these short answer questions will guide enrollment decisions as determined by our advisory group. All application decisions will be made by July 25. We have capacity to support 10 participants.

Cost: This program is subsidized by our sponsors.  The sliding scale for the entire series is 3 tiers: $55 / $100 / $155.  Please choose the level you are able to afford.  If the fee is prohibitive, please contact us at; we are committed to working with all participants in making this program accessible.

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