Update to Booking Policy
Beginning on March 1, 2024, all bookings must be paid in full at the time of purchase. However, at Wildwood, we want everyone to be able to enjoy the outdoors, and that means keeping our trips affordable. Payment plans will be available through Shop Pay Installments at checkout, and scholarships are available for those in need. Please contact us if you would like more information.
Anyone that has booked prior to March 1, 2024, will continue with their current payment plan. Deposits will be due at the time of booking, and the remaining balance will be due 1 week before the start of the trip.
2024 Beginner Backpacking Trips
Upcoming 2024 Beginner Backpacking Trips:
- April 26-28: Women's Appalachian Trail Beginner Backpacking Trip- Max Patch, NC (3 days / 2 nights) SOLD OUT
- May 10-12: Women's Appalachian Trail Beginner Backpacking Trip- Roan Highlands, TN (3 days / 2 nights) SOLD OUT
- June 21-23: Appalachian Trail Beginner Backpacking Trip- Roan Highlands, TN (3 days / 2 nights)
- June 28-30: Women's Appalachian Trail Beginner Backpacking Trip- Roan Highlands, TN (3 days / 2 nights) SOLD OUT
- August 16-18: Women's Appalachian Trail Beginner Backpacking Trip- Max Patch, NC (3 days / 2 nights) SOLD OUT
- August 31-September 2: Women's Appalachian Trail Beginner Backpacking Trip- Max Patch, NC (3 days / 2 nights) SOLD OUT
- October 4-6: Women's Appalachian Trail Beginner Backpacking Trip- Roan Highlands, TN (3 days / 2 nights) SOLD OUT
Appalachian Trail Beginner Guided Backpacking Trip: Max Patch to Hot Springs, NC
This 3 day/ 2 night guided backpacking trip is perfect for beginners or first time backpackers! You'll hike alongside an experienced backpacking guide for approximately 20 miles over the course of 3 days on the Appalachian Trail, starting at the iconic grassy summit of Max Patch and finishing in Hot Springs, North Carolina. Explore the beautiful rolling hills, wide-open mountain views, and winding woodland trails of the Appalachian Mountains, one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world. All backpacking gear is included on this hike, and you will be outfitted with a comfortable backpack, trekking poles, tent, inflatable sleeping pad, sleeping bag, and cook kit.
- Day 1: Orientation and Hike: Meet in Hot Springs, NC and get fitted for a backpack and gear, and shuttle to the trail head near Max Patch. Then hike approximately 7 miles to the first campsite where we will set up tents, cook dinner, and settle in for the night.
- Day 2: Hike and Camp: Make breakfast, break down camp, and hike approximately 10 miles to the second campsite. We will stop for lunch and take breaks along the way, then set up camp for the night.
- Day 3: Hike Out: Make breakfast, break down camp, and hike approximately 3 miles back to the starting location where you will return your gear. The trip will finish between 12 and 2 pm on the final day.
Daily mileage may vary. Your guide may make adjustments to the itinerary to best fit the group's needs and experience level.
What to Bring:
Your guide will provide you with a detailed gear checklist a few weeks before your trip that’s tailored to your trip location and expected weather. You’ll be expected to bring your own clothing, footwear, food, and medications. You will also have the opportunity to ask specific gear questions during your Pre-Hike Virtual Orientation with your guide. Here are some general guidelines for your gear:
- Clothing: You’ll need a system of layering for your backpacking clothes. Remember that cotton kills! Cotton clothing has a tendency to absorb water, become heavy and uncomfortable, and takes a long time to dry! Athletic clothes with breathable fabrics are much better. You won’t need to bring a clean set of clothing for each day. Instead, you’ll want to pack an outfit for hiking, an outfit for sleeping, a warm layer, and a rain jacket. An extra pair of socks and underwear are a good idea, too.
- Shoes: Generally, a pair of comfortable running shoes or trail shoes are better suited for the terrain and weather of the Appalachian Mountains than heavy hiking boots. Many backpackers also choose to bring a pair of lightweight sandals or camp shoes to wear in the evenings. Whatever you wear, make sure to test them out at home before bringing them on a week-long trip!
- Toiletries: Toilet paper, toothbrush and toothpaste, a small bottle of soap, and hand sanitizer are all you need! Leave the deodorant, make-up, hair products, lotions, and other scented items at home. Embrace your natural self while backpacking!
- Food: Everyone has different food preferences, dietary restrictions, and caloric needs. Packing the right amount of food for a backpacking trip can be challenging. Your guide will send you a list of suggested foods and a sample menu to help you come up with your own food supply. You’ll also be able to ask questions and get advice during your Pre-Hike Virtual Orientation.
- Trip cost includes a non-refundable $150 booking deposit. The remainder of the cost is due 1 week prior to the trip. Trips may be canceled up to 1 week before the start date for a refund, minus the deposit. Within 1 week of the trip, a 50% refund will be offered for cancellations. No refunds will be offered for cancellations within 48 hours of the trip start date.
- We hike rain or shine! Backpacking is a challenging endurance sport, and it can be uncomfortable during inclement weather. We do our best to make sure hikers are adequately prepared for adverse weather. However, safety is our biggest priority. In the case of severe weather that could affect the safety of our hikers, our guides have the discretion to cancel a trip. In this case, full refunds will be offered or vouchers given to reschedule.
Max Patch Beginner Backpacking TripDiscover Max Patch
3 Days / 2 Nights
- Explore the Appalachian Trail at Max Patch in North Carolina, just 45 minutes from Asheville. This gorgeous mountain-top meadow boasts panoramic views and diverse natural landscapes, from lush forests to open meadows.
- Encounter a rich tapestry of wildlife, including deer, native birds, and black bears, and catch sight of vibrant wildflowers along the trails.
- Hike through the winding woodland trails of the Appalachian Mountains, camp under the starry night sky, and enjoy the warmth of a crackling campfire.
- Perfect for first time and beginner backpackers, this trip includes all the gear you need, on-trail meals, and support from an experienced backpacking guide.
Roan Highlands Beginner Backpacking TripDiscover the Roan Highlands
3 Days / 2 Nights
- Traverse the Roan Highlands, just 1.5 hours from Asheville and 3 hours from Knoxville.
- This series of wildflower covered, grassy mountain summits is a favorite spot on the Appalachian Trail. Explore the mountain balds and hike through the rhododendron lined forest trails.
- All gear included
Explore the Wild with an Experienced Backpacking Guide
Hi, I'm Nicole, founder of Wildwood Hiking Company! I started Wildwood after completing my thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail in 2022, a 2,194 mile trek from Georgia to Maine over the course of 6 months. My time on the trail was life-changing and empowering, and my experiences helped me gain the strength and courage to go out and build a life I love! I hope to share the joy and beauty of nature with others through backpacking.