The Cairn Foundation Logo

About Us

Nurturing the Next Generation of Empowered and Self
Confident Girls Through Outdoor Adventure

Mission & Vision

For girls and young women, The Cairn Project expands outdoor access by supporting community-based wilderness and outdoor education groups around the country through a small grants program. For women, we’re bringing together a community that is inspired to catalyze outdoor passion into a force for good, share learning and stories, and raise the profile of women and girls in outdoor adventure.

Our Story

We met in Boulder, Colorado, but our friendship has taken us on adventures near and far: the deserts of the American Southwest, the coast of North Africa, the mountains of the Continental Divide, and many places in between. While our jobs have taken us to different home-bases, we’ve maintained an enduring bond over a shared preoccupation with exploring all mountains, everywhere.

As we’ve cooked up an ever expanding Girls’ Trip Bucket List, one adventure has always been near the top: hiking the John Muir Trail. In 2015 we decided it was finally time to go for it; we would thru-hike the JMT. The planning and gear list commenced.

Pouring over topo maps of the JMT during a trip to Utah, we realized we could make this hike in the Sierra even more fulfilling. We could use it as an opportunity to share our passion with a wider community, and help ignite an ardor for the outdoors in the next generation of young women. With that, The Cairn Project was born.

The goal underpinning The Cairn Project is to help foster our future leaders and stewards. We both know from personal experience that outdoor exploration can be truly transformative for young women – seeding self-esteem, inner strength, and the tenacity to embrace the unexpected.

We hope you’ll join us in building The Cairn Project’s community.

Alison signature

Alison Wright, Founder

Sarah signature

Sarah Castle, Founder

We’re Women Passing on the Magic of Outdoor Adventure