“One day’s exposure to mountains is better than cartloads of books. See how willingly Nature poses herself upon photographers’ plates. No earthly chemicals are so sensitive as those of the human soul”
– John Muir
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.
American Long Distance Hiking Association – West Interested in hiking the Pacific Crest Trail? Or perhaps hiking the Appalachian Trail? Or maybe you’re thinking of the Triple Crown (PCT, AT, and CDT!) Check out this group to find fellow thru-hikers and long distance hikers.
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 axes, 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!
Wild Wilderness A group focused on making sure public wilderness is not privatized and is going to be available for future generations to enjoy.
Alpine Club of Canada
A group of Canadian mountaineers and climbers who organize year round trips in the Canadian Rockies. What is really cool is that they maintain alpine and backcountry huts in the Canadian Rockies (think of all of that beautiful Canadian mountain scenery!), and the huts can be reserved by both members and non-members.
East Coast Trail Club
If you’re looking to explore the beautiful east coast of Newfoundland, Canada, this club will lead the way! They offer hikes and walks along a strech of the east coast of Newfoundland.
The Federation of Mountain Clubs of British Columbia
This group encompasses multiple clubs throughout British Columbia, Canada. They sponsor hiking and backpacking adventures throughout British Columbia.
This is a group with over 100,000 dedicated to walkers (ramblers). They organize walks for various difficulty levels, ranging from short local walks to hillside treks.
As they describe it, “anybody who enjoys lightweight camping”. This group of backpackers organizes weekend trips in the U.K.
The Confederation of Bushwalking Clubs
In the land down under, they don’t hike, they bushwalk! This club is dedicated to bushwalking in Australia, and they hike in National Parks, National Reserves, Forests, etc.
Federated Mountain Clubs of New Zealand
This is a national association of over 100 clubs in New Zealand that sponsor a variety of outdoor adventure activities and promote the preservation of the backcountry.
Wellington Tramping and Mountaineering Club
A group of people who love the outdoors and sponsor tramping (aka hiking), backpacking, and other outdoor adventure trips.
Outdoor Club Japan
International/Japanese group based in Tokyo.
Vista Trek P. Ltd.
Trekking guides in Nepal.
Do you have a club or organization to add to this list? Contact us!