What we're about

*** Read our COVID-19 guidelines here: https://dculbackpacking.com/about/covid-19-guidelines/ . ***

DC UL Backpacking hosts an average of 80 backpacking events each year, specializing in high-mileage, lightweight backpacking trips throughout the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond. Our membership structure helps backpackers gain or enhance their outdoor skills. In general, our trips are quite challenging but you’ll find a wealth of experienced backpackers who are eager to share advice. Visit our website (www.dculbackpacking.com) to learn more about our group and our membership and trip ranks, and to read our FAQs.

Our goal: To cultivate a community of independent outdoors men and women who want nothing more than to have a fulfilling backcountry experience–to wake early, to walk far, and to travel light.

Join us. We look forward to meeting you!

When applying to join our group, make sure to fill out our questionnaire fully. We also require that your profile photo is of yourself. If you have any questions prior to joining, please email organizer[at]dculbackpacking.com

Upcoming events (5)

Virtual Happy Hour

Needs a location

We had a good turn out and fun time last week, so let's keep this going! If all this 'social distancing' and stay-at-home orders has you missing your favorite people in the world, AKA your fellow DC UL'ers, fix that by joining in for a virtual club happy hour! Set yourself up on Discord (https://discordapp.com) and join us on the DC UL server (https://discord.gg/GPrRTy6) in #general (text channel) or Bonfire (voice channel). If there's too much conversation going on in General, feel free to head over to one of the smaller side voice channels (Campfire / Vista / Shelter) to have a less busy side conversation. Discord has a browser interface and apps for desktop and mobile, so there's plenty of ways to connect.

VMO: 20 Mile Leg Test: One-Night, One-Day Circumnavigation of Trout Run Valley

*This trip will be following DC UL's COVID guidelines. Read the full description for more information.* Care to stretch your legs and test your summer hiking skills? We're going to do a mini-weekend trip taking in the entire 27-mile Trout Run Valley circumnavigation in a 24-hour Friday night to Saturday night outing. Be home with your loved ones Saturday evening. Sweat and toil together to earn it. It’s the summer. We’ll lug plenty of water and be aware of weather conditions. Expect this to be hot. Expect a thunderstorm to roll through. Online Maps, Descriptions: http://midatlantichikes.com/troutrunvalley.htm PATC, Map F: https://www.patc.net/ItemDetail?iProductCode=PA220&Category=AG&WebsiteKey=aa6635e3-6a5c-42d8-9c1f-f122991e338c Friday Night: Drive and meet up at the Bucktail Parking area at/around 7:00 p.m. Better yet, expect to meet up at the top of Halfmoon Mountain for sunset via the Bucktail Cutoff Trail or its nearby intersection campsite by whatever time you want to roll in that evening. Looks to be about 3-4 miles for the evening. Directions from Alexandria: https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Alexandria,+Virginia/Bucktail+parking,+7629+Trout+Run+Rd,+Wardensville,+WV+26851/@38.8833942,-78.4166571,9z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m14!4m13!1m5!1m1!1s0x89b64d3e93a4abf1:0xd7f52686dbc1012c!2m2!1d-77.0469214!2d38.8048355!1m5!1m1!1s0x89b509f91d70f537:0xbbe3f119801abcbf!2m2!1d-78.6645498!2d39.0133868!3e0 Saturday: Wake up early (5:30 a.m.) to make the most of the cool morning and our 23 mile day of hiking down, around, and back up Trout Run Valley. This takes in many of our favorite little peaks in the area. With everyone self-driving, you can take all the time you want to finish up. You fast folks can probably rock this out by early afternoon. I will aim to finish up by 7:00 p.m. I expect to be hugging my lovely wife at home in Alexandria by 9:30 p.m. DC UL & COVID-19 All participants should clearly and honestly communicate any concerns they have regarding their potential exposure. Stay home if you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19, if you have been in close contact with anyone who has displayed such symptoms, or otherwise believe that you might have been exposed. Masks are required. Attendees should bring a mask (Buff, bandanna, etc.) on our trips and plan to wear it if backpacking in an area where it is impossible to stay six feet apart from other hikers. No official carpool will be set. Attendees should assume responsibility for getting themselves to the trailhead. We understand that this may impact accessibility to trip participation for those DC UL members without a car. Consider your recent fitness level before RSVPing for this trip, especially if you have not been hiking recently. If a trip leader hasn't been out on a hike with you recently, the leader may reach out to discuss the trip in more detail with you to ensure you are prepared. We will follow all VA guidance. Things look good now, hence the opening procedures. If this were to change, we of course will adhere to any new guidance and consider canceling the trip. Follow this link to read DC UL’s COVID-19 guidelines in their entirety: https://dculbackpacking.com/about/covid-19-guidelines/ If you have any concerns or considerations that you'd like to discuss with me about your participation on this trip or our guidelines, I encourage and welcome you to reach out directly to me with your questions. By RSVPing for this trip, you acknowledge that you’ve read our COVID-19 guidelines and that you agree to DC UL's liability waiver terms. (https://dculbackpacking.com/about/liability-waiver)

VMO: Southern Massanutten (~40 miles)

Route 211 Park and Ride Lot

Since the Trout Run valley trip has a long waitlist, Steve G and I are just going to plan a separate trip for that weekend. The plan: We will meet at the parking lot on 211 at 8am. Then do the S Massanutten and related trails. CalTopo: https://caltopo.com/m/VQHM Caltopo reports splits of 25/15, so one can cut some distance by taking earlier turn offs than taking the Massanutten to the end. The specific directions are we'll hike south on the Massanutten trail until it ends at Cub Run road, then a left on Cub run, Left onto Friedley Gap Trail and camp where Fridley Gap and the Massuntten trails intersect. The next day, head N on the Massanutten trail, right on Morgan Run Trail, left on Cub Run Road, left on Roaring Run Trail, right on Browns Hollow Trail and right on the Massanutten trail back to the parking lot. Since it's effectively summer, we'll cancel the outing if the weather will be in the mid-80's or above. PATC Map H (https://www.rei.com/product/648865/patc-map-h-trails-in-massanutten-mountain-south-half) Nat Geo Massanutten Map (https://www.rei.com/product/777282/trails-illustrated-massanutten-and-great-north-mountain-trail-map) Please note the COVID-19 club policies: * All participants should clearly and honestly communicate any concerns they have regarding their potential exposure. Stay home if you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19, if you have been in close contact with anyone who has displayed such symptoms, or otherwise believe that you might have been exposed. * Attendees should bring a mask (Buff, bandanna, etc.) on our trips and plan to wear it if backpacking in an area where it is impossible to stay six feet apart from other hikers. * No official carpool will be set. Attendees should assume responsibility for getting themselves to the trailhead. We understand that this may impact accessibility to trip participation for those DC UL members without a car. * Consider your recent fitness level before RSVPing for this trip, especially if you have not been hiking recently. If a trip leader hasn't been out on a hike with you recently, the leader may reach out to discuss the trip in more detail with you to ensure you are prepared. * For more on DC UL’s COVID-19 policy, click this link: https://dculbackpacking.com/about/covid-19-guidelines/ Google map for trailhead: "Route 211 Park and Ride Lot" https://www.google.com/maps/place/Route+211+Park+and+Ride+Lot/@38.6411298,-78.5903243,18.25z/data=!4m13!1m7!3m6!1s0x89b4565592872221:0x7c1cd213af70a927!2sNew+Market+Gap!3b1!8m2!3d38.6428967!4d-78.6122367!3m4!1s0x89b456e0bee86b91:0x34d265e8d568744!8m2!3d38.6410985!4d-78.5899881 By RSVPing for this trip, you acknowledge that you’ve read our COVID-19 guidelines and that you agree to DC UL's liability waiver terms. (https://dculbackpacking.com/about/liability-waiver) When signing up, please email or message me with your cell phone number.

Virtual Happy Hour

Needs a location

We had a good turn out and fun time last week, so let's keep this going! If all this 'social distancing' and stay-at-home orders has you missing your favorite people in the world, AKA your fellow DC UL'ers, fix that by joining in for a virtual club happy hour! Set yourself up on Discord (https://discordapp.com) and join us on the DC UL server (https://discord.gg/GPrRTy6) in #general (text channel) or Bonfire (voice channel). If there's too much conversation going on in General, feel free to head over to one of the smaller side voice channels (Campfire / Vista / Shelter) to have a less busy side conversation. Discord has a browser interface and apps for desktop and mobile, so there's plenty of ways to connect.

Past events (800)

Virtual Happy Hour

Needs a location

Photos (34,885)