About Us

Our Mission

Alta Trails is more than just a backpacking program for women. We believe that immersing ourselves in nature and surrounding ourselves with other inspiring women creates a valuable opportunity for creativity, contemplation, and self-discovery.
From the moment we set foot on trail, we are intentional about building a community that cultivates question-asking, embraces quirkiness, and celebrates each member’s journey. Together we can take bold risks because our “trail family” is there to pick us up when we fall.
Our mission at Alta Trails is to facilitate the spiritual and emotional development of women and girls and to increase their involvement and leadership in outdoor adventure.
We approach this work by leading overnight backpacking trips for groups of women and girls in the beautiful mountains of western Virginia and North Carolina. During our time in the woods, Alta Trails participants learn to pitch tents, filter water, cook on camp stoves, build campfires, and practice environmentally sustainable camping methods.
When we are not hiking, our trips focus on teaching essential backpacking skills, embracing self-love and acceptance, and exploring our personal faith journeys together. (Important sidenote: When we say faith we don’t explicitly mean Christian faith or even religious faith. We just mean exploring YOUR beliefs, whatever they may be.)
Alta Trails was founded in 2018 by Emma Wright as an attempt to bridge her loves of feminism, spirituality, and backpacking. We are excited to see where this great adventure leads us, and we hope that you will come along for the ride. We are growing rapidly, so check back often for new updates and opportunities!

Our Director – Emma Wright

Emma _Wonka_ Wright

Some people like fluffy pillows. Some people like long, hot showers. And some people like sleeping on the ground, hiking, and eaing Poptarts for four months straight – I’m one of those people.
In 2016, I thru-hiked the entire 2,200-mile Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. Hiking alone for four months made me acutely aware of my gender and all the biases that undermine women in outdoor adventure sports and in broader society. Backpacking has taught me about myself, my strength, and my relationship with God in ways I never could have imagined. I created Alta Trails to offer women affordable backpacking opportunities focused on self-discovery and adventure. I am certified in Adult and Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED and Wilderness First-Aid.
When I’m not in the woods, I live in Durham, NC and work at a physical therapy and personal training studio. I spend my summers trying to find any excuse to work at Shrine Mont Camps. I began working at Shrine Mont Camps in 2013 and have served in many capacities, with everything from cabin counselor to chaplain. I spent the summer of 2016 leading many hiking and backpacking trip as the Program Director of Explorers’ Camp.
In my free time, I enjoy hiking, running, singing in choir, watching Duke Basketball, reading nerdy books, and eating anything chocolatey.
Contact me with any questions/concerns at altatrails@gmail.com.

Our Staff 

IMG_0048All of our trip leaders have extensive experience working with youth and leading hiking trips. They are all trained in Adult and Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED, and have undergone specific training for their work with Alta Trails.
These rockstar women are goofy, empathetic, trustworthy, strong and… often smelly…, but most importantly they are determined to give you a safe, adventurous weekend filled with laughter and love.
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