The road less traveled is often the more fulfilling one, especially when it bypasses Robert Frost's tiger pits. Diverge from a rote route with this Groupon.
- $159 for a two-day backpacking trip in Castle Rock State Park, including equipment, breakfast, and dinner (a $329 value)
As trekkers journey through the Santa Cruz mountains, they'll catch sparkling views of the Monterey Bay and glimpses of Castle Rock's distinctive sandstone features. During the journey, knowledgeable guides elucidate backpacking skills including navigation in backcountry, wilderness safety tips, “leave no trace” principles, and backcountry cooking skills. Hikers are treated to a gourmet backcountry breakfast and dinner throughout the journey.
No hiking experience is required, but the trip is designed for those in good physical condition and aged 12 and older. Hikers should expect moderate to strenuous hiking while carrying a 40- to 50-pound backpack. The provided equipment includes a backpack, a tent, a sleeping bag and pad, a headlamp, meals, a camp kitchen, a water-purification system, a first-aid kit, a map, and a compass. Hikers should bring quick-dry clothing, warm layers, hiking shoes or boots, a bathing suit, personal-hygiene supplies, a camera, and a pocketknife.
See the schedule for Castle Rock State Park trips.
Treks and Tracks
Surrounded by craggy peaks, three men in bright-red helmets stand in the midst of wilderness, surveying the mountains around them as their group of hikers break for a snack on the rocky ground. This interface with the majesty of nature is all in a day's work for this trio of adventurers—Paul Mangasarian and Jakob and Daniel Laggner. Still, their passion for open-air exploration grows with each expedition they lead. Paul, Jakob, and Daniel cofounded Treks and Tracks with the dream of orchestrating excursions into nature that combine ancient means of travel—such as sailing, horseback riding, and hitchhiking on a centaur—with modern sports ranging from surfing to rock climbing. Though they focus on introducing novice outdoorsfolk to unspoiled wilderness around the world, Treks and Tracks' cofounders also strive to leave the awe-inspiring surroundings they visit as pristine as they found them by rigorously upholding practices of environmental stewardship on each expedition.