Backpacking Trips at GAC

“The future will belong to the nature-smart—those individuals, families, businesses, and political leaders who develop a deeper understanding of the transformative power of the natural world and who balance the virtual with the real.  The more high-tech we become, the more nature we need.” —Richard Louv

GAC is unique among camps in offering our young campers the chance to hike, explore, and camp out in the wilderness.  We are surrounded by beautiful trails and lakes in the John Muir and Kaiser wilderness areas.  Depending on their age and ability, campers enjoy non-strenuous trips ranging from two to four miles one-way.  Games are played along the way, and the pace is slow.  Campers have fun trail mix (with chocolate!) and water bottles for snacking and drinking as they hike.

Once at their camp sites, campers play, help cook dinner over the campfire, and get to experience living in nature.  They also have a lot of free play and exploring time.  Many forts and structures are built out of sticks and pine cones!  Many kids are hesitant about backpacking, because they don’t think carrying a pack sound like fun.  But, over and over, we have heard campers recall their backpacking trip as one of their favorite camp memories.

Back in the 1960s and 1970s, when all GAC campers attended camp for a month, backpacking trips were longer.  We are still committed to getting kids out in nature even when they’re only with us for two weeks.   We will continue to teach campers about how fun it is to be in nature, because we know the positive life-long impact a love of nature can have.  We hear from many past campers asking for advice about where to backpack in this area, because they have fond memories of their GAC backpacking trips.