Susan Alcorn Events

Sat. Feb. 11, 2023, 10:00-4:45 (breakfast included) 
Nor Cal Ruck 2023 (ALDHA (American Long Distance Assoc. -West) . 
Held at Camp Herms, 1100 James Pl, El Cerrito, CA. “This day-long event is designed for all sorts of backpackers (from novice to expert) to prepare themselves for the hiking season. The primary focus is on attendees looking to set out on their first long-distance hike be it on the Camino de Santiago, Pacific Crest, Continental Divide, Timberline, Wonderland, or John Muir Trail.” But all are welcome!


​10:45-11:25 – Susan and Ralph Alcorn will speak about local (Bay Area) training hikes: Nifty 90 Peaks in the Bay Area and more. Q & A to follow. 
2:20-4:00 – Susan and Ralph Alcorn will lead a breakout session with Guy Joaquin, co-coordinator of the Nor Cal Pilgrim group, and are ready to have a lively Q & A session on the Camino de Santiago routes.   

Ruck info and registration link here. $38 includes all day events, breakfast and lunch.

Wed.  Feb. 15, 2023, 5:00-6:00 PM.
How to Thru-hike Over 60+”  5 Thru-hikers aged 60+ share advice for staying Motivated and in Shape. Meet Nancy Huber (70), Susan Alcorn (81), David Fanning (71), Scott Williams (70), and Karl Riters (80), hikers that didn’t start seriously rocking the long trails until middle age and older — and they’re still going strong.”  Moderated by Dean Krakel (70). Info here

How to Thru-hike Over 60 Years Old

Five thru-hikers age 60+ share advice on gear, training, nutrition, injury, recovery and motivation to get you inspired to backpack a long trail. The program will be a panel discussion of the topics. It is being given due to the great response to the earlier Treeline article, How to Thru-hike Over 60 Years Old: 5 THRU-HIKERS AGED 60+ SHARE ADVICE FOR STAYING MOTIVATED AND IN SHAPE by Dean Krakel. Note: This event is sold out, but contact Treeline about  recordings. 

Saturday, Feb. 19, 2023. Presidio Tunnel Tops Hike, San Francisco, CA. 10:00 AM – 3:30 PM. Let’s see what’s happening in the Presidio’s new Tunnel Tops with a hike offering sweeping views of the City, Pacific, San Francisco Bay, and Golden Gate. We’ll meet at the Presidio Visitor Center for a brief view of the interactive displays.

From there, we’ll head for the exciting new Presidio Tunnel Tops with its unique public spaces — huge lawns, freeform benches made from fallen trees, wonderful overlooks, and fun and fancy rocking chairs. Then we’ll admire extensive, native plantings as we make our way down to The Outpost, an innovative play and learning center for children.

Next we’ll cross over Crissy Marsh — probably seeing a Great Blue Heron or multiple grebes — and out toward the Golden Gate Promenade. After walking along the bay, we’ll find ourselves under the Golden Gate Bridge learning a bit about measures to reduce earthquake damage. Finally, we’ll take the Coastal and Bay Area Ridge Trails up to Arguello Gate and back to the Visitor Center.

Schedule: Meet us at 10:00 AM for check-in and briefing at the Presidio Visitor Center (210 Lincoln Blvd). We plan to have lunch at Rob Hill Campground and expect to arrive back at the Visitor Center by 3:30 PM. If there are any changes (e.g., due to severe weather), we will email registered participants.

Level of Difficulty: Moderately difficult. About 6.5 miles and 659 feet total elevation gain. A combination of dirt trails, paved sidewalks, and a short time on quiet city streets. This hike is ideal for those who can hike for 4 hours.

Advance online registration is required. Click the Register Now button below to sign up by Thursday, February 16. Because space is limited, we ask that you register if/when you are certain you can attend. Thank you!

Cancellation: Please email us at so we can offer your space to someone else.

Getting There: The Presidio Visitor Center can be reached by car (paid parking available), free Presidio Go Downtown shuttle to/from Embarcadero BART, and Muni 43 (bus). For complete details, see the Presidio Tunnel Tops Getting Here page.

Carpooling: Registered participants will have access to an online “Carpool Bulletin Board” to post a message if they need a ride or can give one.

What to Bring: Dress for the weather. (layers work well), snacks, water, sun (or rain!) protection, and bring a bag lunch (or arrive early and buy from the food trucks that start arriving in the Presidio at 9:00 AM). Clipper card or app if you take BART and/or bus. Cash if you plan to attend the post-walk social (see below).

Post-Hike Social: We’ll continue to Colibri Mexican Bistro in the historic Presidio Officers’ Club for dinner and drinks.

Leaders: Led by chapter members Ralph and Susan Alcorn.

The Ruff Stuff: For insurance purposes, we are unable to welcome dogs, except service animals, at our events.


Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA
Left Coast Writers. 
Readers’ Books, Sonoma, CA
Hi Susan:
It was my pleasure! It was a lovely reading and the perfect day for a hike. 
Stay well,
Rosie Lee-Parks, Readers’ Books, 130 East Napa Street
Sonoma, CA, 95476; (707) 939-1779

Events We’ve Enjoyed:
Held: Thursday, October 20, 2022. Private event. Guest Speaker at the Bay Area Ridge Trail’s biannual, “Gratitude Gathering” event.” Susan Alcorn, long distance hiker and local author, will discuss her latest book, Walk, Hike, Saunter: Seasoned Women Share Tales and Trails and some of her own adventures hiking all over the world. An optional hike at the new Presidio Tunnel Tops will follow the brunch and presentation.  (100 guests)

Recent interviews:
August 12, 2022. Sierra Club Green Friday program featured author of “Walk, Hike, Saunter” Susan Alcorn, who talked about her experience backpacking and interviewing women hikers for her book. Link here to view on youtube 

Current programs available:
Seasoned Women on the Trail
Packing for the Camino
Camino de Santiago: The Norte and Primitivo Routes

Contact us at for more information about scheduling or attending future events. Descriptions of our most recent presentations are below. In addition we have several other programs about the Camino de Santiago, Patagonia and the Pacific Crest Trail. 

Susan Alcorn Events — Packing for the Camino
Many people setting out to walk the Camino have not taken long hikes before. Getting ready for a trip to Europe where they will be hiking many miles once they arrive is a brand new experience. Though planning and packing for such a trip often seems overwhelming, experienced Camino hiker Susan Alcorn can help you navigate the process.

Susan will discuss backpacks, clothing, shoes, sleeping gear, hiking poles, toiletries, first aid, and more. She’ll also share what size backpack might be needed and how to pack it so that it is most comfortable.

Even experienced Camino hikers are not in total agreement on what items are best to bring—and hope that new hikers will find it reassuring that there is no one right way—there are many right ways. What most agree on is that you should try to keep the weight of your pack low and not pack based on your fears.

This talk was most recently given with Laurie Ferris,  co-coordinator for the Northern California Chapter of the American Pilgrims on the Camino, on  Wed., Oct. 9, REI Corte Madera, Corte Madera, CA.; Wed. Oct. 23. REI Concord, and Wed. Nov. 6. REI Berkeley, CA. 
Susan Alcorn has written two books about Camino routes and completed the Caminos Francés, Norte, Primitivo, Le Puy, FR, Arles, FR, Portuguese, PT, and the Vezelay, FR.
Susan Alcorn Events presenter
Presenter, Susan Alcorn

Susan Alcorn Events on – Camino de Santiago: The Norte and Primitivo Routes

Susan and Ralph Alcorn will take you along on a breathtaking photographic journey along two of the less traveled routes of the Camino de Santiago–the Camino Norte and the Camino Primitivo.

Enjoy recent photography of beautiful cities, artistic communities, quiet fishing villages, fertile farmlands, and wild, open countryside.

Susan Alcorn Events image
An amazing musician in our albergue.

Who knows—after their program you too may be tempted to travel to northern Spain to sample pintxos (tapas), first rate wines, and frutas del mar! Marvel at the splendor of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, explore the Altamira caves with their Paleolithic paintings in Cantabria, watch the making of hard apple cider in Asturias, and walk atop ancient Roman walls encircling Lugo.


For hundreds of years, long before modern transportation was available, those making a pilgrimage to the Holy City of Santiago de Compostela started their weeks- or months-long hiking journeys from their homes. While the most well-known pilgrimage trail across northern Spain is the Francés, there are dozens of routes that are part of the Camino de Santiago.

Most recently given: Tues, Oct. 15, 2019 at the Oakley Library,  Oakley, CA. and Thurs., Oct. 17. at the San Francisco Dinner of the Sierra Club.


The Presenters of Susan Alcorn Events

Susan, a retired teacher, is the author of several hiking books, including Healing Miles: Gifts from the Caminos Norte and Primitivo. Ralph, a retired computer consultant, was raised in Yellowstone National Park, where his father was a park naturalist and ranger.

Besides hiking over 3,200 miles on Camino trails, Ralph and Susan have also hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, the John Muir Trail, and the Torres del Paine Circuit Route in Patagonia. They enjoy sharing hiking advice on their websites (Ralph’s hiking/backpacking website, click here) and via Susan’s newsletter. 

Ralph and Susan met on a Sierra Club car camping trip headed for Baja California for whale watching. They make their home in Oakland California and are Life Members of the Sierra Club.

For further information, contact us at