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National Summit Day FAQs

You have questions about National Summit Day on August 1, 2020. We have answers.

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Click here for the National Summit Day event page.

What is National Summit Day?

National Summit Day is a celebration of summits and those who climb them. Whether your summit is a gnarly 14er or the neighborhood hill, boot up and hit the trail to join the community of hikers. The 3rd Annual National Summit Day is a chance to get out and enjoy the heights, breathe the fresh air, and make memories with ALL the people who love those things, too.

When is National Summit Day?

The event takes place on Saturday August 1, 2020, a fine day for high-point hiking if ever there was one.

Does it cost money?

No and that’s the beauty of it. You’ll do something you probably would’ve done anyway, but you’ll join a fellowship of hikers from coast-to-coast, and help support a great cause.

How do I sign up?

If you’re on this page (, you came to the right place. There are two ways to get involved: You can register as an individual and go out and climb a hike yourself, like the rugged individualist you are. Or, you can register to lead a hike, which means tromping up a high point with a group of like-minded hikers. You might even make a new friend or hiking partner!

Is the pandemic going to affect this?

Not totally sure yet, but we’re definitely going to be communicating with hike leaders and participants on how to hike in a group while respecting social distancing. Our ultimate goals for the event are for it to be fun, accessible, and safe. You’ll hear more from us about this as the situation evolves, but don’t worry: We’re in your corner.

How do I lead a hike?

Great question! Most important is to select a route you’re psyched on, give accurate information to people trying to join your group, and be where you’re supposed to be when you say you’ll be. Side benefit: All registered groups will be eligible to win a gear prize package, and a gear grand prize. Sign up yourself, invite your friends, open it to strangers—everyone wins!

Am I accepting liability for anyone who comes with me?

Nope. All National Summit Day participants are required to sign the waiver when they register, this puts the responsibility for their personal safety on them.

How do I join a hike that someone else is leading?

Easy one. Go to and click “Join a Hike.” This will generate a map with a drop-down menu of choices. Make sure you’re up for the distance, elevation gain, and start time. We’re putting group size limits on most hikes so the sizes don’t get unwieldy.

What’s this about a photo contest?

All group hike leaders will receive a customizable summit flag. Fill out your group’s name, the summit you climbed on the flag, and snap a hero shot of your group. Then post it to social media, tagging @backpackermag and #nationalsummitday. The winning photo will be published in BACKPACKER’s November/December issue.

I have a different question. How do I ask that?

Email us at and we’ll get you an answer.

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