Women of Color Wilderness Retreat

  • Balanced Rock Foundation Balanced Rock Foundation
  • Yosemite National Park Road, Yosemite Valley, CA, USA
  • Jul 25 - 28, 2019 (4 days)
  • $595.00 - Program Price

About This Event

Join an incredible community of inspired women on the backpacking trip of a lifetime! We will explore identity, community, and transcending both internal and external limitations during this empowering experience. This trip is beginner friendly and gear loan is available.

Anyone who self-identifies as a woman including queer and trans woman, and as non-white such as Black, Hispanic/Latinas, Asians, Native Americans, Indigenous people and mixed race people is welcome and encouraged to join!

We’ve found that women — and specifically women of color — are highly under-represented in the backcountry. In this four-day course, we hope to share our love for the Yosemite wilderness by introducing women of color to the beauty of its backcountry in a supportive environment. Our amazing, experienced instructors create a safe space for learning, while inspiring participants to go beyond their comfort zones for an empowering and rewarding experience.

Our core curriculum of yoga and reflection is incorporated on this trip as much as weather and time allow. Outdoor yoga classes on glacially polished granite expanses allow us to unwind after a day of hiking. Balanced Rock values time set aside for journal-writing and sharing in order to reflect on personal growth and achievements during the trip. There will be plenty of time to savor, and enjoy the mountain landscape of the High Sierra.

As featured in Outdoor Afro: Black Women DO Camp – Experience Yosemite this Summer! Our annual Women of Color Backpacking Retreat began in 2004 and, to our knowledge, was the first of its kind for women of color in the country. We are excited and encouraged to know that there are other WOC backpacking programs becoming available. Tuition assistance is available.

Want to donate to help support our Women of Color programs? Click here.

Highlights:

Backpacking, hiking, and camp-craft skills

Shared adventure with other women of color

Outdoor yoga, journal writing, and personal reflection

Immersion in granite peaks and forests of the Yosemite wilderness

Fresh meals include local and organic ingredients

Tentative Itinerary

Thursday

We will meet at the trailhead at 9 am on our first morning. We will take time for introductions and trip orientation. Next we will have thorough instruction on what and how to pack our packs and then be on our merry way. The hike to our new home will take us the entirety of the day. We will stop for breaks and to enjoy the scenery. We’ll enjoy a delicious dinner after yoga as the Range of Light, bathed in alpenglow, lives up to its reputation. Evenings may include fireside stories, music, or gazing at the Milky Way from the cozy comfort of our sleeping bags.

Friday

The next day allows us to adapt to the natural rhythms of the planet, and flow with the specific needs and desires of the group. We may move our camp or go for a day hike and exploration of the surrounding landscapes. We may now feel a settling into our new home among granite domes and peaceful lake waters. In addition to the adventure of backpacking, each day provides opportunities for swimming in alpine lakes, day hikes to sweeping views of the High Sierra, or perhaps relaxing creek-side. Evenings are set aside for intentional discussion, wilderness education, creative journaling, music-making, or quiet contemplation around the campfire.

Saturday

We might enjoy a long summer day with a lovely hike, yoga session and/or meditation session. We may choose to summit a nearby alpine peak and enjoy a lovely evening under the stars. We will continue to cover topics such as: instruction in backcountry travel skills, Leave No Trace, hiking and camp-craft, and instructor area of specialty.

Sunday

Our last morning, we will enjoy a final yoga class and meditation before sharing our final breakfast together in the field. Then we will pack our backpacks and begin our hike back to the exit trailhead. After putting closure on our journey together, we will aim to conclude by 2 (contact info blocked)

Note on Itinerary: This schedule is an outline. It is subject to change depending on the needs of the group and allowing for spontaneous inspiration. Almost all of the activities offered are optional. This program operates rain or shine.

Packing list available here

Price Includes

Professional instruction and guiding, campground and permit fees, first-aid supplies, and group gear for backpacking and camping. Balanced Rock provides delicious and high-quality meals, cooking gear, and water purification supplies.

Not Included

Transportation to and from your hometown to Yosemite, park entrance fees, and personal items.

Cancelation Policy available here

Balanced Rock integrates the wonder of the natural world with the beauty of humanity through reflection, yoga and adventure. I am nearly complete with my 200 hour Yoga teacher training through BR and I am consistently impressed with the level of time and attention this organization puts into developing teachers and longtime learners of yoga and life. ~P.J. S.

Schedule


Venue Highlights

Our staff and instructors are a fun group of inspired mountain adventurers who have honed their skills living and loving life in connection with wilderness. Accomplished musicians, artists, naturalists, yogis, healers, chefs, and free-spirits Balanced Rock instructors have a knack for making people feel super safe and comfortable in the mountains. We strive to help people feel capable and competent in their own selves in the wilderness through our competent, attentive guidance.

Accommodations


Menu Types

  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • Pescetarian
  • Ayurvedic
  • Includes Meat
  • Organic
  • Gluten Free
  • Dairy Free
  • Nut Free

Menu/Cuisine


Directions

Each course explores a different region of the Park. With our staff of resident Yosemite experts, we specialize in visiting less crowded, yet stunningly beautiful corners of the Park. We have decades of collective experience in exploring Yosemite National Park, and have a wide range of hidden sanctuaries, secluded lakes, outdoor granite-slab yoga “studios”, and comfortable campsites in our routes and itineraries. If you want to also see some of the more popular icons and destinations, there is ample time at the beginning and end of each course.

Once you complete your registration for a course, we will send you detailed directions and a map to the meeting place for your course. This will usually be a campground inside the park boundary on the Tioga Pass Road.

Thank you!

We're glad you've joined our retreat community. See you around :)

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Why Retreat?

We asked people why they go on retreat, here's what they said:

I teach yoga part time and am a mom of two toddlers full time. I love my life, but goodness do I need a break. My husband and I have been putting off our wedding ceremony for 4 years because life has gotten in the way. We haven't had a single night alone since our family has grown. I wouldn't change a thing about our lives now, but it would be so wonderful to remember what it's like to 'just be us.' Antrim
 

Retreat Guru's Vision

We believe human beings are innately wise, strong and kind. This wisdom, although not always experienced, is always present. Going on retreat is a beautiful way to reconnect to our basic sanity and health. Our aspiration at Retreat Guru is to inspire people to experience authentic retreats and reconnect with their innate wisdom, strength and kindness.

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