There are numerous hiking and backpacking clubs and organizations worldwide that provide fantastic opportunities to meet fellow outdoor enthusiasts and go on adventures!
Included in the list below are brief descriptions of the groups. Also included are groups that do not sponsor hikes, but are dedicated to the outdoors and wilderness preservation. Thanks to all of these organizations for helping preserve nature!
American Hiking Society
The AHS was founded in 1976, and they’re dedicated to trail preservation. This is the group that organizes the great annual event called National Trails Day, where volunteers around the U.S. get together to preserve local trails.
American Alpine Club
This one is for all of the mountaineers and climbers out there! They do not sponsor trips, but are very active with conservation and support for the climbing community.
Appalachian Mountain Club
This group has been around since 1876! They have chapters in the Northeast from Maine to Washington D.C., and their group of volunteers lead about 7,000 trips per year. The AMC sponsors a wide range of adventure trips, including hiking, backpacking, cross-country skiing, rock climbing, and water sports like canoeing and kayaking!
California Mountaineering Group
This is a small group of technical climbers (meaning they use sophisticated gear like ice picks, crampons, and ropes!) who organize mountaineering adventure trips year round.
Colorado Mountain Club
This group has over 3,000 hiking, climbing and skiing events every year!
Leave No Trace
If you don’t know Leave No Trace principles, then check out their website and learn them! LNT teaches people like us who love the outdoors how to reduce the detrimental impact humans can leave on the environment. It is easy to do individually, yet powerful when everyone follows the simple techniques.
The Mountaineers are dedicated to preserving and protecting the wilderness, but also sponsoring fun adventures. They have hiking, backpacking, snowshoeing, and many other events and classes. What is great is that they cater to all skill levels, not just expert technical climbers.
National Parks Conservation Association
This group is dedicated to America’s National parks. They’re independent (not government sponsored), and their goal is to “protect and enhance America’s National Parks for present and future generations.”
National Park Foundation
This group was chartered by Congress to “strengthen the connection between the American people and their national parks.”
The Sierra Club has loads of local hikes anyone can join, and organizes camping, backpacking, and even international trips. Definitely a great way to meet fellow hikers and get outside!
Are there other U.S. hiking organizations that you are involved in? Contact us or post them in the Comments section below. Happy trails!