Four hiking destinations that’ll inspire your next corporate retreat
Time to whisk the team away to a place for a little bit of work, but mostly play. There’s nothing quite like leaving the office behind and touching back to our roots. Hiking through the natural landscapes and bonding with our coworkers in a place far removed from the humdrum daily grind helps foster a new sense of camaraderie and workplace satisfaction.
More companies everyday are beginning to realize the immense benefits that a well-planned corporate retreat can give. Gone are the days of stuffy boardrooms and cold coffee at the old recreation center. Destination vacation trips with beautiful natural surroundings and intriguing team-based activities constitute the best way to build a great team.
From fresh air swirling in from open Appalachian trails to the beating of the ceaseless west coast waves.
These are the 4 top destinations for your next company hiking retreat.
Santa Barbara Coast
Situated to the backdrop of the scenic Pacific coast, Santa Barbara’s outlying nature reserves cast the perfect environment for a rustic retreat. Set on hundreds of lush acreage between the El Capitán State Beach and Santa Ynez Mountains is a luxury wilderness resort called El Capitán Canyon. Nestled and surrounded by Sycamore and Oak trees, the location stands at the perfect nexus between mountain ranges and the ocean breeze.
There are a number of trails directly accessible from the resort, with a few mountain trails just a car ride away. In the nearby town of Goleta, California is the Bill Wallace El Capitan Trail, which is an easy to moderate 4.2 mile trail that’s available for use all year round. Some nearby trails include the Gaviota Peak, which is a 6.5 mile trek to the summit. Additionally you can treat your team to nearby waterfalls, wind caves, hot springs and wide reaching vistas from the ridge.
The resort offers customized sites for company retreats. You can either opt for your team to live in luxury furnished yurts or even a tented lodge. There’s flexibility for all sizes of teams. El Capitan Canyon also provides a great deal of team building activities, so you don’t have to worry about where to go or what to do after bonding on the mountain trails. Those walks on the beach can get chilly, so make sure to come prepared. Share some branded love and gift the attendees a company logo jacket to wear on the retreat. All lodgings and food is provided at this resort. Stop at the homey campground store and pick up fresh organic fruit alongside other essentials.
If you’re privy to roughing it, the local El Capitan State Beach has campgrounds available too. Part and parcel of the surrounding state park, your team won’t run out of things to do here.
Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia
Stretching through a number of east coast states is the wide ranging Blue Ridge Mountains. In Virginia alone, you can hike a fourth of the Appalachian trail. Verdant carpets of forestland cover these incredible mountains. Turning from bright green in the summer to a cornucopia of orange red kaleidoscope in the Fall, there’s never a dull time to come and visit.
Virginia has over 38 State Parks and 21 National Parks. The city of Pembroke is a great place to start. On a 2,600 acre nature reserve sits a stoney hotel dating all the way back to the 1800s. Mountain Lake Lodge is famous for its grounds and stately architecture. It also was the filmatic backdrop for the movie “Dirty Dancing.” You can always strut your stuff later at this inclusive resort after exploring what seems like a near endless amount of hiking trails.
A close destination is the Cascade Falls, a moderate 4 mile hiking trail that leads to a 69 foot waterfall. One hour away is the Appalachian Trail that leads to McAfee Knob, one of the most popular and largely photographed sections of the trail. Panoramic views of the surrounding valleys and mountains make this a triumphant summit to embark on with your team. USA Today Travel even voted it as one of the greatest hikes in the country!
Camelback Mountain in Scottsdale
There’s nothing quite like the scorching Arizona heat that’ll get the blood pumping. Considered by many to be one of the best urban hikes in the world, Camelback Mountain landmarks the northeast horizon of Phoenix. There are two different hiking routes – the Echo Canyon trail and Cholla trail. Respectively, the length is 1.23 and 1.41 miles to the summit from each trail. Echo is one of the most popular and direct routes up the mountain, but is considered difficult.
With the help of an experienced hiking guide, your team can get off to a great early start and enjoy the views in a safely guided environment. One of the premier places to stay at surrounding the area is a luxury resort called The Phoenician. The resort offers everything from airport pickups that’ll speed your team through the urban core to team-based activities on the grounds. Equip everyone with some company event t shirts for an extra boost of solidarity.
As this is one of the few great hiking places in an urban area, there’s a great deal of other activities you can take part in later on. There’s free wine tastings at the resort and even a 27-hole golf course.
Nightlife in this area is offered up by the numerous resorts scattered around the area. Gather the team for drinks later on at Sanctuary’s contemporary Jade bar, or book some well needed R&R to recover later on at the spa.
Montana Rock Creek
In a secluded Montana valley, the spirit of the frontier is still alive. Between the small town of Missoula and Montana’s capital city Helena resides Montana’s Rock Creek. Surrounded by the Kootenai, Lolo, Flathead and Nez Perce Clearwater national forests, the opportunity to traverse the forested trails are endless.
The Ranch at Rock Creek is the premier spot to lay your hat. A luxury lodging unmatched in the northwest regions of Montana. Customized company group activities include horseback riding through the hills, fly-fishing in mountain streams or even cross-country skiing in the winter. Fine wines and five star dishes pair well with this Old West abode.
Set out on a peaceful hiking trip through flowered meadows cut through by crystal streams. While you might be tempted to break out the old tassel poncho on the trails, we recommend a smarter look – like a simple fleece jacket with your company’s logo. There will be plenty of time later to play cowboy. Rugged mountaineers also have plenty of opportunities to roam through the rolling hills. Head out into town at night with a great selection of small town eats and drinks.
Great for travel in both the winter and summer months – you can tune your retreat any which way you’d like for the seasons.
What to give Employees for the event
Nothing like a gathering of the tribe to get the creative juices flowing. Your team will benefit immensely as they leave the sometimes abstract and grueling work behind for something in nature. Hiking retreats and everything that comes with it is a great way to build up team morale and to boost the strength of your company.
A few tips before heading out to the wild beyond. Make sure to fill your team in on some basics to bring. Namely, some great hiking boots, weather friendly clothing and essentials for the outdoors. You can solidify the tribe by providing company branded apparel for the retreat to use when hiking.
Our selection of Patagonia jackets with your company logo will keep you warm and styling throughout your whole trip.
It doesn’t matter where we’ve been or where we’re going – the backpack is a necessity.
Sometimes we need a little extra warmth without the extra bulk. Fellas, look no further than a Patagonia Nano air vest.
Has a plain t-shirt ever been a wrong choice? Nope. Stay cool and active with this Under Armour apparel.
A North Face company logo jacket will keep you looking slick as you transition back inside from the trails.
Keep it sporty and aired out with this long sleeve tee. Sweat resistant so you can beat the heat.