About Summit Trek & Travel

Our mission: To inspire others to dream, and to challenge and empower them to reach those dreams, while simultaneously instilling a deep love of our natural world and a desire to steward it respectfully.

Summit Trek & Travel is dedicated to developing Outdoor Adventurers who love the planet and who are able to explore and enjoy our natural world competently, comfortably, and with confidence.

We specialize in experiences that put outdoor adventure within reach for those who have traditionally not had equal access, those who thought they weren’t “athletic” enough, and others who put their own dreams of adventure on the backburner to care for family or career.

Meet Nancy Ball

CAO (Chief Adventure Officer) of Summit Trek & Travel, and an avid outdoors woman.

Nancy has 18 years’ experience backpacking, 16 years’ experience leading trips, 5 years as a Certified Outings leader for Sierra Club, certified in Wilderness First Aid for 10 consecutive years, is a former camp director, life-time member of Girl Scouts, and a former naturalist.

“…the best organized, action packed, safest adventure you can imagine!”

“I was encouraged to do things outside my comfort zone and ended up having a blast.”

Nancy is passionate about sharing outdoor experiences with others, especially those who have not had the time, the opportunity, or the access to enjoy these experiences in the past.

“I was encouraged to do things outside my comfort zone and ended up having a blast.”

Nancy is passionate about sharing outdoor experiences with others, especially those who have not had the time, the opportunity, or the access to enjoy these experiences in the past.

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“Patient, fun, funny, challenging and supportive— Nancy is one of the best teachers I’ve ever encountered.”

Nancy says, “It’s my goal to meet every participant who joins us, ‘where they’re at’ and to give them the support, encouragement, tools, and knowledge they need for success. I know how to do this, and I can teach you. Whatever your starting point is, I promise together we can do this!!”

Interested in information about our upcoming trips and events, general hints and tips for backpacking, and occasional product recommendations, but never spam? Sign up for our e-newsletter!



Best. Experience. Ever!

Being part of the Summit Sisters Backpacking School was so much more than attending a series of classes.  Even though I had some camping history, I learned and experienced so much more.  I met other women in all phases of life trying to push themselves. I learned things about myself that had been hidden for years or never discovered until now.  I learned about gear and leave no trace. I learned that when you remove all the distractions of everyday life and put only what you need on your back, life has an incredibly simple beauty. Do you know the beautiful sound of nature’s quiet? Have you heard the symphonic transition of music from sundown to sunrise?  Can you get these things by yourself? Maybe…. But there is a richness that grows in this community. I love these women who have made me laugh until I cried. I would do this again with much less hesitation!  Come join us….   Just follow the laughter!

—Cherie H.

Patient & Helpful

I have participated in several trips which Nancy Ball has led and thoroughly enjoyed them all. Nancy is a very responsible leader who pays attention to the details. She is both patient and helpful in making sure everyone is both safe and having a good time. I would highly recommend Nancy as a trip leader.

—Ella H.

I Feel Confident

When I started on this camping journey I didn’t know what to expect. I’d always wanted to hike and camp. Now I feel confident in my camping skills and want more women of color to experience the great outdoors as I have.

—Stephanie M.

Amazing at Organizing

The first time I meet Nancy was on a trip to Peru around 15 years ago and I have been doing adventures with her ever since.

She is amazing at organizing trips!  Lots of research goes into every trip she plans.  If you are looking for a fun and adventurous trip that is well organized and planned out she is the one to travel with.

—Beth H.

Yes You Can

Let me just tell you that Nancy is one of the best teachers I’ve ever encountered. Patient, fun, funny, challenging and supportive. The first time Nancy and I talked about the possibility of backpacking, she said: “Yes you can. I will help you.”  In four amazing months, our small group trained together (hiking with our ever-increasing backpack weights and strengthening with weekly yoga), learned together (like how to pitch a tent, plan our meals, keep each other safe), and grew together (deepening bonds of support). Never, ever did I think I could manage a four-day backcountry adventure. But I did—we did—with joy, courage, challenge, and laughter. If you think you’re too old, too afraid, too out of shape, too whatever—think again. Yes you can. Nancy will help you.

—M.E.  S. 

I Had a Blast

My husband and I went to Costa Rica February 2020 with Summit Trek and Travel. The trip was advertised to include 3 things: education, service and adventure. We certainly experienced all of these in a Jungle Paradise Adventure. The accommodations were rustic, comfortable and PERFECT! We were lulled to sleep by the waves (50 feet away) and enjoyed the howler monkey wake up call. The food was amazing and they were able to accommodate a vegetarian diet. Summit Trek and Travel organized our adventures with local tour operators. We were well briefed on what to expect including a detailed packing list. I was encouraged to do things outside my comfort zone and ended up having a blast. We definitely recommend travel with Summit Trek and Travel!

—Rita and Chuck B.


At the beginning of 2020, two events changed my world—first a divorce and immediately after that, Covid-19. My solace was hiking at the Cincinnati Nature Center. One day I saw a woman with a pack on her back and told my friend I had always wanted to backpack, but didn’t know anything about it or how to start at this point in my life. She introduced me to Nancy Ball. And that changed my life a third time—for the better.

Four months of training and a four day backpacking trip later, I felt empowered, strong, self-sufficient, confident of my new skills, peaceful and supported by an amazing group of women. Can’t wait for the next trip!

—Susan E.

Action Packed, Safe

Nancy was a fantastic organizer and leader for our Grand Canyon trip which included 2 nights camping on the rim, then down to the bottom of the canyon for a 2 night backpacking stay, and out again.  Nancy had all the details pinned down very nicely and was extremely conscientious about safety.  She researched the Hermit Trail, and even organized an orienteering course to develop our compass skills. She is certified in Wilderness First Aid and is a Sierra Club hiking and backpacking trip leader.  I highly recommend Nancy as a leader and organizer of trips in the USA and abroad.  For those in the group who had another week’s vacation, she organized a tour of Lake Powell, The Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness and Antelope Canyon, including the world famous “Wave” rock formation. Nancy will provide the best organized, action packed, safest adventure you can imagine!

—Amelia M.

The Best Experience

I had the privilege of going to Costa Rica in 2017 (1 week) and again in 2020 (3 weeks) with Summit Trek and Travel organized and led by Nancy Ball owner. I only used a travel company once before and by far the best experience I have ever had was with ST&T!! Nancy had presentations prior to one making a commitment to the trip that was very well organized, providing every detailed step of the itinerary, cost and what to expect along with the history of the area.  Nancy also covered the “How To’s” such as booking your flights, packing light weight and efficient,  money including what currency, tipping etc. What I like most about ST&T is the fact that we were engaged in the community having the opportunity to do a local day of volunteer work giving back to the community and meeting and working alongside the local people. I would highly recommend ST&T for any trip as this travel company does it all from backpacking to staying in lovely all equipped cottages.

—Denise T.

Highly Recommended

I have traveled with Summit Trek and Travel on two trips to Costa Rica (2017 and 2020). Both trips were wonderful!  Summit Trek and Travel was meticulous with details, kept us informed of steps we needed to take to book our flights, provided us with a suggested gear list, and even gave us tips for communicating with the local Costa Ricans. All of the activities that were planned were fun and educational.  Activities included wildlife viewing, canyon exploring, snorkeling, rappelling, hiking, and much more. We also learned about the local culture. At least one day on each trip was dedicated to participating in a service project to help the local community, which was really cool. I highly recommend Summit Trek and Travel!

—Kim T.

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