The regional chapter for Northern California, centered on the San Francisco Bay Area, was established in January 2011. Our purpose is to keep members connected to the Camino and to introduce new people to the phenomenon. We accomplish this in a number of ways, such as social events, walks, mentoring future pilgrims and serving as a local host for hospitalero training through American Pilgrims.
For more information, contact chapter coordinators Guy Joaquin and Laurie Ferris at NorCal@americanpilgrims.org.
We’re an active chapter with a calendar full of events throughout the year. We schedule monthly hikes and walks, annual potlucks, introduction to the Camino presentations, special talks, weekend getaways, happy hours and more.
To see our confirmed upcoming events, visit the local chapter events calendar and select our chapter name in the "All Events Category" pull-down menu. This will filter to display only our chapter's events. To see what we have tentatively planned so far this year, take a look at our schedule of events.
You can also visit our email campaign archive for our latest announcements and to subscribe to our chapter mailing list. You're welcome to join our chapter Facebook group to stay up-to-date, plus hear about other interesting events happening beyond our chapter.
Lake Merritt Walk: Join us on this walk every first Saturday of the month, rain or shine. We meet at the Pergola (aka "The Columns") on the east side of Oakland's Lake Merritt at 10:30 AM and start walking by 10:45 AM. It's a level, 3.3-mile walk around the lake that takes about an hour. Afterwards, we usually grab lunch in the neighborhood or, on occasion, attend a special Camino presentation we've organized at the nearby Lakeview Branch Library. Whether you’re a newbie or Camino veteran, everyone is welcome. Bring your questions, answers and pilgrim spirit!
The program at our 2018 Welcome Home Potluck included a presentation by Emilio Escudero on "Returning Home: The Journey Continues." Emilio provided the materials to help you “unpack your Camino.”
The program at our 2017 Welcome Home Potluck included short "10x10" presentations on Camino routes “Beyond the Francés."
Laurie Ferris: Camino Inglés
Mike Miller: Camino Primitivo
Leo Halim: Camino Portugués (Coastal)
Farah Priela: Le Puy, France
Brien Crothers: Via de la Plata
Richard Duker: Camino Aragonés
Jason & Susi Jensen: Caminos Norte & Primitivo
Getting Started on the Camino de Santiago
Introduction to The Ways of "The Way"
Camino Packing Guide
Injury Prevention Tips for the Camino
Basic Spanish for the Camino
Helpful Camino Websites
Leave No Trace: Ethics for the Camino
Emilio Escudero: Returning Home: The Journey Continues
Scott Williams: Injury Prevention Tips for the Camino: Part 1
Scott Williams: Injury Prevention Tips for the Camino: Part 2
Scott Williams: Injury Prevention Tips for the Camino: Part 3
As a benefit of American Pilgrims membership, current chapter members (annual and lifetime) are welcome to borrow items from our chapter library for free. Our collection includes 25+ books, 10+ films, games and a Camino map. Visit our chapter library request page to see what's available and for information on how to check out items.
Our popular t-shirts with our chapter stamp design on front and Latin quote "Solvitur ambulando" (It is solved by walking) on back are available for purchase at our online storefront on Etsy. Wear it proud!
If you're thinking of walking the Camino and are interested in learning more, we can pair you with an experienced pilgrim who can answer your questions on how to prepare and what to expect. Just email us at NorCal@americanpilgrims.org and ask to be connected with a mentor.
Member Blogs and Websites
Laurie Ferris maintains a blog dedicated to planning for the Camino and sharing stories about the pilgrim's journey. In addition, she publishes a curated Camino events and hikes roundup every month in the Events section.
San Franciscan Mike Miller has written a blog about his Camino experiences on the Portugués, Francés, Primitivo and Finisterre.
To stay connected with us, join our chapter Facebook group.
Consider joining the American Pilgrims on the Camino Facebook group for great dialogue, Q&A, photos and a running commentary about the Camino from like-minded pilgrims around the country.