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Moe Mountains: Women's backpacking group leading summer trip exclusively for women 50 and up

Moe Mountains
Posted at 12:32 PM, May 22, 2024

BOZEMAN — If you’re a woman over the age of 50 and you want to try backpacking but you’re not sure if it’s right for you—Well, I have some good news. I’m here to tell you about an all-women's backpacking group called Moe Mountains.

“I was really nervous because, come to find out, I was by far the oldest one on the trip,” says Julie Gulley.

Julie is 64 and loves the outdoors. She’s been backpacking for around 3 years and decided to join the Moe Mountains backpacking trip last summer that was open to women of all ages. Julie tells me she was the oldest woman on the trip by at least 20 years.

“So that was pretty intimidating to me. Plus, this was a pretty big hike,” Julie told me.

Julie says although last year's trip was beautiful and the women were encouraging, she still felt she couldn't keep up. That’s why she’s excited for Moe Mountains backpacking trip this summer, which is only for women ages 50 and up.

“One of the biggest concerns is, they don't want to try to keep up with 20-year-olds who sprint up the mountain. They want to be able to take their time. And their pace is just a little bit different. And their priorities are different,” says Lauren Hostetler, the founder of Moe Mountains.

Lauren's two passions are backpacking and being a nurse, both of which inspired her to create Moe Mountains. This is Lauren’s first 50-and-over backpacking trip, which will last four days in the Beartooth mountains. I asked Lauren why it’s important to offer this opportunity to women over the age of 50.

She told me, “You’re in a different stage of life, and you want to connect with other women who are in that stage of life. Talking about grandkids and your kids that are grown."

Lauren uses her backpacking and nursing history to create a three-month preparation course for the women joining this trip. Before they even get to the trailhead, these women are exercising weekly, learning about what materials to bring, what clothes to wear, what food to pack, and more.

“My goal is to just really prepare them as best as I can and arm them with the knowledge they need before we hit the trail,” says Lauren.

Which is why Julie says she feels much more comfortable going on the women's 50 and up trip. I asked what she would say to women who might be considering joining the trip, and she said, “Well I've already tried to talk like three of my friends into going”.