A circus is a weekend of hiking and climbing trips in New Hampshire. It’s a great way to meet fellow outdoorsy folks and check out the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

How do circuses work?

Roughly 60-70 participants carpool up to MITOC’s Camelot cabin in Groton, New Hampshire on Friday night. Once everyone gets to the cabin, we plan hiking and climbing trips for Saturday. On Saturday we split into smaller groups going to different destinations in the White Mountains. After their trips on Saturday, everyone returns to the cabin, and we’ll cook dinner, roast marshmallows, and plan trips for Sunday.

When are circuses held?

Circii are held roughly monthly April through October. They will be announced on the main MITOC mailing lists at least two weeks in advance. Signups usually close the Tuesday before the circus. There will be a pre-trip meeting at 7 PM the Wednesday before the circus. For more specifics, see the announcement email and trip signup page.

Who can come on a circus?

All levels of hiker and climber are welcome. There will be trips ranging from beginner to difficult. Circuses are the first MITOC trip for many.

Climbing at Circus

Due to the nature of leading safe climbing trips, space is very limited. Climbing trips require a significant amount of time investment and attention from the leader. It’s more like an apprenticeship than a group trip. We highly recommend that those interested in starting outdoor rock climbing:

We unfortunately don’t have the resources to take everyone who wants to try rock climbing at circus, so be flexible and come prepared to go hiking if the beginner climbing trips are full.


The fee for the trip is $20 for current MIT students, $30 for all others. This covers all gear rentals (sleeping bags, pads, tents, etc.), breakfast Saturday and Sunday, dinner on Saturday, cabin usage, and White Mountains permits. You must also be a current MITOC member (you can pay membership dues here) and plan on reimbursing your driver for your share of gas costs.


Contact circus-chair@mit.edu.