US Hiking Pages

US Hiking is the premier volunteer hiking organization in the United States. We organize free hikes to many of the most beautiful and iconic locations around the country.

We promote hiking as a tool for self empowerment. Hiking should be more than just for the exercise and outdoor adventure. It could be a process to discover ourselves and to push boundary of our potential.

Our goal is to empower a new generation of hikers who are physically fit, mentally strong, and confident to face life's challenges. Join us today, and help us spread the message of self
empowerment.

Nature of Our Event

Our events are conducted like house parties. In this case, the Great Outdoors will be our house. The hike leader is the host, and you are the invited guests. All socially appropriate etiquette for a house party need to be observed accordingly. For us, every event is a social gathering at its core, even for a dangerous level 10 advanced hike. .

Two 6 Month Cycles

We divide our yearly program into two 6-month cycles. January and July are the beginning of each cycle, meaning our hikes will start easy and escalate upward, in terms of difficulty, until the end of the cycle.

Individual Time Trial

To quantify improvement over time, near the end of each 6 month interval, we will hold individual time trials for participants to mark their performance so that they can compare their progress over time. Individual time trial is entirely voluntary, but it is a powerful tool at your disposal. .

All Volunteers

US Hiking is an all volunteer organization. Its organizer, co-organizer, assistant organizers and event organizers receive no monetary nor in-kind compensation of any kind.

Liability Waiver

Most of our events will have a Liability Waiver requirement, meaning you will need to have a signed waiver on file to RSVP. It is a good idea to get it done ahead of time. You can sign it electronically. This is the link: Waiver. .

Becoming a Hike Leader

Our organization is operated by volunteers. It is tireless efforts of volunteers that make our events possible. We are always looking for qualified individuals as future hike leaders. To become a hike leader, you will need to lead at least 1 hike every month. If you are able and willing, feel free to contact our Organizer or C0-organizer.

Starting a New Chapter

We want to expand US Hiking beyond Los Angeles. If you are interested in organizing an US Hiking chapter outside Los Angeles, please contact our Organizer or Co-organizer.

A Physical Fitness Commitment

It is not uncommon for us to see someone with little hiking experience signing up some of the most advanced hikes like Iron Mountain or Baldy from Village as their first hike. Even though we stated clearly that these hikes are extremely difficult and risky, it did not seem to deter them. If I did not allow them to participate, their reaction could be rather dramatic sometimes. .

Physical activities are discriminating by nature. It is not something anyone should jump straight in and expect instant gratification. Rather, it should be done gradually over a long period of time. That was why our programs are divided into 2 tracks, each is 6 month long. It is designed to be a gradual but escalated conditioning process, and also why I often asked that you stay with the program. Try your best not to skip events as to give back what you have accomplished. .

Progress Monitoring

When you hike with our group, your progress is important to us because we want you to do well. Behind the scene, hike leaders are observing. We often exchange thoughts on suitability for a particular member to take the next level of challenges. If you stay with the program, we would be more comfortable with your pursuit. If you don't, we could have some reservations.

For example, if you want to join our level 9 hikes, then you should join our level 8 hikes so that your hike leaders know level 9 hikes are within your reach.

Our advanced hikes are conducted in progressively faster pace as the level of difficulty increases. The pace of our level 8 hikes will be fast, level 9 hikes will be faster, level 10 hikes will be very fast, only suitable for elite hikers.

Advanced Hikes

Our monitoring process usually kicks into high gear when you sign up for an advanced hike. Many of you are new to our group and may not be familiar with our prescreening policy. .

For advanced hikes, everyone will be on the waiting list first. Your name will be added to the list after the hike leader has the opportunity to review your hiking history. Only hikers who the hike leader think can complete the hike within expected time span will be added to the list. .

It is not uncommon for hikers to stay active for a while and then drop off for one reason or another. If achieving physical fitness is in your mind, you should stay with the program. Even if the hikes are not your type of hike, sign up anyway. Stay active to keep your body in shape. If you stop, you will give back what you have accomplished so keep it up. .

If you aspire to do advanced hikes but haven't hiked much recently, please start with our recreation hikes. Do a few of them so that we know what you are capable of doing. Then join a level 7 hike, an entry level advanced hike. Once successfully completing your first advanced hike, it would be much easier for your hike leaders to add you to other advanced hikes. .

Risk Management

Outdoor activities are inherently dangerous. For hikers who hike half a dozen times a year, these risks may seem remote, but for hike leaders who lead hikes regularly these risk factors are clear and present. .

Looking at our own experience on trails, we have seen many hiking accidents, including death. Fortunately, they did not occur on our hikes. As hike leaders, it is our responsibility to foresee what could happen and devise a plan to avoid or minimize it. .

We can categorize risks into two groups: environmental and human.

Environmental risks are dangers inherent in the wilderness. It could be the trail, falling rocks, slippery slope, mercurial weather, heat, cold, ice, etc. .

Human risks are dangers inherent with a hiker. They range from physical condition, known or hidden health issues, thrill seeking nature, carrying littler water to reduce weight, fasting before hikes to lose weight, or willful disregard of basic safety protocol. .

If there is one area that we have more disagreements with hikers, it must be about safety. As far as we are concerned, there is no higher priority than to ensure a hiker's safe return. .

If you look at our scheduled events, you would see that we have more level 9 and 10 events than most hiking groups. Naturally, that also means the risks we face as a group are much higher than other groups. To make sure hikers can complete the hike and go home safe, we must have a higher safety standard. .

It is common for hikers to take on higher risk in a group setting than he/she would have at home. As hike leaders, we need to have a clear head so that we can see the danger and advice hikers to avoid them. .

Hike leaders are not police. We have no legal authority to force hikers to move one inch. If a hiker intends on doing something dangerous, there is little we can do to force them not to do it. That said, if a hiker refuses to follow hike leader's instructions to avoid danger, he/she may not be invited back again. .

The bottom line is we intend to have lots of fun during hikes, but by the end of the day, we all want to go home safe. .

Table of Contents

Page title Most recent update Last edited by
Organizer's Choice - Equipment, Shoes and Apparel January 13, 2015 11:28 PM Mike C.
Day Hike Equipment List December 1, 2014 12:24 AM Mike C.
Support Giving May 30, 2014 8:27 AM Mike C.
Event Portfolio May 30, 2014 10:30 AM Mike C.
About US Hiking January 23, 2015 8:44 AM Mike C.

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