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6 Adventures for Women, by Women

Our favorite camps, clinics, and trips designed for and run by lady shredders

(Abby Dell/SheJumps)
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Our favorite camps, clinics, and trips designed for and run by lady shredders

According to the Outdoor Industry Association, 46 percent of U.S. outdoor sports participants are women. And sometimes those women like to take trips with other women, where they can learn, enjoy, and challenge themselves in the company of other ladies who rip. Here are some of our favorite opportunities.


Alpine Finishing School

Selkirk Backcountry Lodge, British Columbia

For experienced backcountry skiers and splitboarders, this weeklong mountaineering skills course is taught by ACMG ski guide Kate Devine and held each April at a backcountry lodge in British Columbia. Put on by the nonprofit organization She Jumps, the camp will teach you glacier travel, crevasse rescue, route finding, orienteering, avalanche safety, and more, surrounded by gals with the same high-alpine objectives as you. From $2,300.

Run Wild Retreats

Iceland

Elinor Fish, an ultrarunner with a focus on mindful running, leads women’s trail-running retreats around the world. This summer, she’s offering a weeklong hut-to-hut running trip in Iceland. You’ll learn how to train smarter, recover more fully, and build a running routine that actually fits into your busy life. This is basically a sweet vacation—including wellness workshops, communal Scandinavian dinners, and geothermal lagoons—that happens to include beautiful daily trail runs. From $4,800.

Outessa Series

California, Oregon, and New Hampshire

This summer, you can join REI on all-women trips (dubbed the Outessa Series) to places like Kirkwood, California; Mount Hood, Oregon; or Waterville Valley, New Hampshire. You’ll spend a three-day weekend hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, and stand-up paddleboarding. A chef whips up fresh meals on site, and you can opt for DIY camping or splurge to have a camp host set up a deluxe tent for you. From $749.

Chicks with Picks

Greece

In April, Chicks with Picks is leading a new weeklong rock climbing trip to the Greek island of Kalymnos. You’ll scale limestone cliffs hanging over the Aegean Sea and receive guiding and instruction from world-class female climbers. The eight-day trip includes six days of guided climbing geared toward climbers of all levels. Not up for an international trip? Chicks with Picks also leads trips to domestic locales like Utah, Grand Teton National Park, and Kentucky’s Red River Gorge. From $1,999.

Ladies All Ride

Various Locations

Ladies All Ride brings together female mountain bikers of all levels for weekend retreats at nine locations around the country, including Bend, Oregon; Big Sky, Montana; Sedona, Arizona; and Brevard, North Carolina. You’ll start with skills clinics from pro mountain biker and All Ride founder Lindsey Richter to learn tips like cornering and body positioning, and then you’ll hit the singletrack for group rides. From $375.

Surf Diva Surf School

La Jolla, California

For newbies, San Diego’s Surf Diva Surf School offers two-day women’s surf camps every weekend year-round at the beginner-friendly break off La Jolla Shores Beach. You’ll get board rental, pro instruction, and easy-to-learn tips that’ll have you catching your first waves in no time. For intermediate surfers looking to up their game, the school also offers five-day and overnight camps for more in-depth instruction. From $165.

Filed To: Travel / Adventure / Women’s
Nicolas Henderson/Creative Commons )

San Marcos, Texas

Billed as the world’s toughest canoe race, the Texas Water Safari, held each June, is a four-day, 260-mile jaunt from the headwaters of the San Marcos River northeast of San Antonio to the small shrimping town of Seadrift on the Gulf Coast. There’s no prize money—just bragging rights for the winner. Any boat without a motor is allowed, and you’ll have to carry your own equipment and overnight gear. Food and water are provided at aid stations along the way. Entry fees start at $175 and increase as race day approaches.

The Ring

the-ring-race.jpg
(Courtesy Quatro Hubbard)

Strasburg, Virginia

The Ring is a 71-mile trail running race in early September along the entire length of Virginia’s rough and rocky Massanutten Trail loop. To qualify, you need to have run a 50- or 100-mile race before the event and win a spot through the lottery system. Entry is free. Complete the run and you’ll become part of the tight-knit Fellowship of the Ring and be eligible for the Reverse Ring, which entails running the trail backwards in the middle of winter.

Plaza2Peak

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(David Silver)

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Each spring, competitors gather in Santa Fe’s historic plaza with a simple goal: be the first to reach 12,308-foot Deception Peak, 17 miles and 5,000 feet of elevation gain away. Competitors run or bike the first 15 miles to the local ski area before transitioning to their waiting ski-touring setups for the final push to the top. Time stops only when they’ve skied back down to the tailgate in the resort’s parking lot, which is funded by the modest entry fee of around $25. To add to the sufferfest, some participants sign up for the Expedition category, in which they strap their skis, skins, boots, and poles to their bikes for the long ride up. Start dates vary depending on snow conditions, but look for the event page to be posted on Facebook in late March or early April.