LAAF Travels PNW!
Experience the reason why the Pacific Northwest is such a coveted place to live and explore. From peaks in every direction to Jurassic-era flora, the scenery will keep you in awe.
Whether you're a new or seasoned backpacker, these Seattle-based trips are designed to teach you the skills to feel confident in the backcountry. You'll come away knowing other gals to adventure with.
Backpacking basics course
Join us on the trail!
Spend 2 days and 1 night hiking and camping in the North Cascades National Park with an awesome group
Learn all the backpacking tips and tricks from our female guides so you can embark on your own adventures
Recharge in the beauty of the Pacific Northwest while we take care of the planning and logistics
Savor healthy and tasty meals prepared by your guides
I still have my best picture of the weekend in mind: five women eating a warm chocolate pudding while chatting and admiring Ross Lake and the mountains on the beach. I promise you, I can still feel its flavor in my mouth!
We had so much fun on our recent LAAF travels adventure! The food was delicious, nutritious and made with love. Katie and Megan were excellent guides - they helped us stay safe while encouraging us up the mountain, and had many great tips and tricks for backpacking throughout our journey. It was an empowering experience overall and I can't wait for my next adventure with LAAF travels!
I had the most incredible time on this trip! I've been wanting to backpack for years, but I was always too overwhelmed and intimidated by the gear and my own lack of knowledge to take the plunge. Katie and Megan are incredibly fun and engaging teachers and I left the weekend feeling empowered and excited to backpack again! The food was great and so was the company - I can't imagine a more fun way to make new friends and new hiking buddies!
The entire process from registering through the end of the trip was such an invaluable learning experience, whether it was about gear and packing, meals and cooking in the wilderness, bear awareness, Leave No Trace principles, backcountry pooping, planning multiday trips, and being flexible about changing plans as a group...I am so glad they offered the Backpacking Basics Course in the stunning North Cascades.
Katie and Megan really know how to help you feel taken care of out in the backcountry. They both had so much knowledge to share and always created a comfortable environment for anyone who had questions/concerns.
I really enjoyed getting outdoors and communing with women in such a fundamental way. I wanted to learn safety and basics so that I could go backpacking with my daughter and have this special time for both of us while she's still young. I feel confident that I have learned what I needed to get out there now.
Here's what others are saying about us...
2021 Dates &
North Cascades, here we come! Check out specific dates below for the total mileage and elevation. We created these trips with the time of year, snow levels, and your comfort in mind. There's just one thing you need to know... you can't go wrong with any of these options!! *
June 5-6 (Sat-Sun)
Total mileage: 15 miles
Elevation: 840' gain, 1250' loss
July 17-18 (Sat-Sun)
Total mileage: 14.5 miles
Elevation: 2300' gain, 500' loss
July 29-30 (Thurs-Fri)
Total mileage: 14.5 miles
Elevation: 2300' gain, 500' loss
Aug 26-27 (Thurs-Fri)
Total mileage: 10 miles
Elevation: 2000' gain, 620' loss
Sept 2-3 (Thurs-Fri)
Total mileage: 14.5 miles
Elevation: 2300' gain, 790' loss
*We acknowledge that the lands we recreate on are the ancestral homelands of present-day Native Nations, including the Nooksak, Upper Skagit, Sauk-Suiattle, Coleville and Yakima. Read more here.
This is how it feels when you put up your own tent for the first time!
Once you sign up for our backpacking basics course, we'll send you resources to get you prepared before we meet at the trailhead. You'll receive ideas for snacks to pack, info on Leave No Trace principles, and a step-by-step video on how to pack your backpack.
Some of us will still overpack, and that's okay. The best way to refine your system is to get out on the trail and learn from trial and error.
The goal is maximum comfort and minimum frustration.
Meet us at the trailhead at 9 a.m. for some coffee and pancakes! We'll do introductions and tighten up our packs.
Then our adventure begins!! We'll head up the trail and put our legs to the test.
Along the way we'll teach you Leave No Trace Principles, about the local flora and fauna of the area and how to be bear-aware. You'll also fuel up on some lunch prepared for you by your guides.
Once we make it to camp, we'll show you how to set up your tents and leave you some personal time to swim, read, or make friends- the choice is yours.
In the evening we'll cook you a kick-ass backcountry meal. We'll also provide you with tips and tricks for planning and preparing your own meals so that you're equipped to whip out those skills on your own adventures.
Rise and shine, sunshine! You'll wake up to the sounds of nature and a beautiful view. You'll have time to enjoy camp life a little more while we cook you a hearty breakfast. Our adventure will continue once we pack up our tents and gear.
Lunch will be enjoyed with a view as we find our way down the trail. Maybe we'll spot some wildlife along the way!
The trip will end back at the trailhead by mid-afternoon. You'll go on your way with sore legs and hopefully, lots of LAAFs to remember.
Where will we go?
We're headed to the North Cascades National Park!
We'll give you more specifics on where we'll meet and camp closer to the date. But expect to drive UP TO 3 HOURS FROM SEATTLE to meet at a trailhead.
Fly ageric mushrooms
pancakes and fresh blueberries!
So, what's included?
-Two experienced guides certified in Wilderness First Aid
-Breakfast, lunch and dinner on Day 1
-Breakfast and lunch on Day 2
-Group cooking gear
-Group water filter
-Camping permits in the North Cascades National Park
-Transportation to trailhead
-Gratuities for your guides
What gear will you need?
For a comprehensive PACKING LIST of what to bring, Click here. You can print the list and check things off as you go!!
If you want to try out backpacking but aren't ready to invest in all the gear, here are some ideas:
First, consider borrowing from a friend so you have time to play around and get used to it! If that's not an option, we have some of the essential gear in our backstock. Let us know ASAP what you need (it's first come, first serve) and we'll do our best to outfit you. Otherwise, we have rental options.
LAAF Travels has partnered with Arrive Outdoors to get you a 10% discount on your rental gear, just click here. You can choose individual items to rent or create packages and they'll ship right to your front door.
Group sizes will depend on Washington state and federal guidelines regarding coronavirus safety measures in the outdoors. See our COVID-19 response.
Our trips will likely have between 5 to 8 participants including your two guides.
Sharing a tent is a great way to get to know other LAAF Ladies, and it reduces our footprint in the backcountry. See the current status on sharing a tent during Covid-19 here.
We don't like to skimp on a good meal, even if it means packing in a little more weight. Our shared meals will be vegetarian and organic as much as possible. We like to cook healthy and hearty meals that will give you energy for hiking and leave you feeling full and happy at the end of the day.
Do you have any particular dietary needs? Let us know well in advance and we'll do our best to provide alternative options.
Pacific banana slug
Our beginner backpacking course is designed to help you gain backcountry skills and to leave you with a sense of accomplishment.
This trip is for anyone who wants to break into backpacking and is willing to prepare for two days of hiking with weight.
WE'RE ALL ABOUT BODY POSITIVITY!!
All sorts of shapes and sizes CAN and DO make it up mountains.
To make sure you have the best time possible, we ask all participants to train for our backpacking courses and to be able to hike without too much discomfort.
You should be able to:
Carry a 30 pound pack while hiking a distance of up to 7 miles a day
Navigate a sometimes narrow trail while gaining up to 2,300 feet of elevation
We recommend future LAAF PNW Ladies to begin a training routine at least two months before the trip departure.
This should include:
Weekly hikes of 3-5 miles with 500 + feet of elevation gain
Strength training to keep those knees and other joints strong
If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.