Out Trails LGBTQ+ Running Retreat Coming to Mount St Helens

A weekend retreat for the LGBTQ+ trail running community Hosted by Out Trails & Aspire Running.

Making Outdoor Spaces More Queer & Inclusive – To run is to experience and express freedom, curiosity, and joy in the outdoors. On trails, we liberate our hearts, our minds and become part of a tribe of humans who find connection by moving their bodies in wild spaces. Runners come from all backgrounds and many of us are gay! This coming October 6-9, 2022, newly organized LGBTQ running affinity group, Out Trails is partnering with Aspire Adventure Running to host a first-of-its-kind affinity trip exclusively for the LGBTQ+ community.

We are inviting 40 runners, all identifying as LGBTQ+, to the Mount St. Helens Science and Learning Center for 3 nights and 2 full days of running/hiking. From the lodge basecamp we will share meals, stories, music, and laughter, and on trails we will experience the landscape shaped by one of the most destructive volcanic events in modern history.

Daily pace groups and a choice of distances each day makes this event open to trail runners of all abilities. Whether it’s moderate days on ridge-lines overlooking the Cascades, or the goal of completing a full Loowit Trail Circumnavigation, this weekend will be a non-competitive and supportive environment to run, play, and experience the trails with a like-oriented community. This Adventure Trip will be hosted by Queer Pro Ultra Runner & Out Trails Founder Ryan Montgomery and Queer Pro Ultra Runner, author and USATF National Champion Addie Bracy – both well-known LGBTQ advocates in the trail running community.


We Have Scholarships Available for LGBTQIA+ Athletes! – Out Trails and its supporting partners, Gnarly Nutrition, Ultimate Direction, Altra Running, Summit Coffee, and BioLite, are providing ten (10) Full-Registration Scholarships for members of the LGBTQ community to cover their registration cost. Anyone interested in applying for the scholarship, can submit an application HERE before the June 30 deadline.

Registration, Scholarship Applications, and Additional Trip Information – To learn more about the trip, scholarship details, or to register for the Running Retreat, please visit the Out Trails LGBTQ+ Running Retreat Course Page.

Why Affinity Trips? On trails, we liberate our hearts and minds and become part of a tribe of humans who find connection by moving our bodies in wild spaces. Runners come from all backgrounds and many of us are queer! Thus, we create affinity trips for this purpose. By limiting events to individuals of a specific affinity group, we are opening a space that celebrates the unique culture of these groups and creating space for human connections unique to an exclusive gathering. While specific affinity events may limit some individuals from participating, they add to a more diverse and inclusive running culture as a whole.

Out Trails Founder Ryan Montgomery, who identifies as a Queer, Gay Pro Ultra Runner, started Out Trails, because he saw the need members of his running community to have more inclusive outdoor spaces that are explicitly for queer people.

“I know that I am not the only queer person who spends a lot of time outside–oftentimes in remote places. I know so many trans, queer, gay, and non-binary folx… who trail run or hike, and each of them tell me it’s hard to find spaces that feel fully supportive or safe.”Ryan Montgomery, Out Trails Founder, and Pro Ultra Runner

Aspire Adventure Running is dedicated to building a community of runners connected to wild spaces. Their affinity trips support diversity and inclusivity in the outdoor spaces through meaningful partnerships and collaborations.

“Trails, mountains, and wild spaces are a source of inspiration to runners of all ages, ethnicities, backgrounds, genders, and orientations. With the increased recognition of diversity across the trail community we are excited to support opportunities for subsets of our larger trail community to gather, celebrate, and build community through shared experiences.”Abram Dickerson, Founder, Aspire Adventure Running


About Mount St. Helens
Before George Vancouver and the first Europeans sailed the northern Pacific coastline, Mount St. Helens was known to the Klickitat people as Loowit or Louwala-Clough, meaning “smoking or fire mountain.” That indigenous namesake prevailed on May 18, 1980 when Loowit erupted. The 9 hour explosion reduced the mountain’s summit by over 1,300’ and blasted a 1 mile wide, horseshoe-shaped crater into the north side of the mountain wiping out 234 square miles of forest. This history, ancient and modern, is etched across the surrounding landscape and continues to be written by geological and environmental authors. To run in this zone is to connect with this deeply storied landscape.

About Out Trails
Out Trails is a community of LGBTQ+ and ally trail runners & hikers, celebrating and promoting diversity out on the trails. We believe outdoor spaces are for everyone to find community and to enjoy. Out Trails hopes to build upon and accelerate the existing, and already amazing, outdoor running communities. Our programming, group runs, and trips aim to create safe, welcoming spaces for athletes of all identities and abilities.

About Aspire Adventure Running
Aspire organizes single and multi-day running adventures in wilderness terrain across Cascadia and Northern California. We provide logistical and emergency support paired with delicious meals and community for a unique and memorable backcountry running experience.