About Stephens State Forest

Stephens State Forest boasts more than 15,500 acres of land, including more than 20 miles of trails to explore. The forest is abundant with wildlife, including many songbirds. While visiting the forest, we will take advantage of the backpacking trail system, which contains six miles of trails.

Stephens State Forest is located about one hour south of Des Moines. You can find out more information here.

Trip Itinerary


  • Depart Des Moines at 4:00 pm. Dinner on the road.

  • Set up camp in the Lucas Unit and intro to basic camping skills.

  • Opening fire circle.

  • Relax! Enjoy some snacks (gourmet s’mores!), drinks, and conversations around the campfire. Then crawl into your cozy tent for some well-deserved rest.


  • Enjoy a cup of freshly brewed coffee or tea around the fire while we cook a healthy and filling breakfast for you to enjoy.

  • Explore Stephen’s State Forest’s awe-inspiring landscape on a 6-mile hike throughout the park. Learn basic map and orienteering skills, trail safety tips, leave-no-trace principles, and identification of flora and fauna.

  • Enjoy a picnic lunch while on the hike.

  • Down time at the campsite. You can read a book, journal, go fishing (we’ll bring the poles) take a nap, take another hike — it’s up to you!

  • Indulge in a delicious dinner, complete with dessert.

  • Fire circle and reflection time.


  • Enjoy a cup of freshly brewed coffee or tea around the fire while we cook a healthy and filling breakfast for you to enjoy.

  • Break down camp and a presentation on planning your own camping trip.

  • Return home.

Your Investment


Trip fee includes

  • Delicious meals cooked for you from Saturday morning to Sunday morning, including snacks, dessert, wine, tea, and coffee.

  • Park admission and campsite fees.

  • Guided, hands-on outdoor skills instruction and facilitation from our experienced guides.

  • Tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, and camp chairs.

  • A Wander Women tote bag filled with goodies for you to enjoy after the trip.

  • Membership in our private Facebook group and exclusive access to Wander Women day hikes, happy hours, and other special events.

  • 1% of every trip purchase will be donated to the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation to help them fund future endeavors across the state of Iowa

We want our trips to be accessible to all women. Please contact hello@wanderwomeniowa.com to learn more about payment plans and alternative pricing plans.

Ready to treat yourself to an Iowa hiking and camping adventure?! Register now!

Before registering, please read our trip cancellation policy and review our FAQ Page