A few weeks ago I took a friend, a woman in her early 60's , to the Trinity Alps. She is a long time avid hiker, but she had never been backpacking before. We made a few mistakes, from starting late in the day due to the long drive, to an ill fitted pack, wrong shoe ware, a trail on the hot side of the mountain, a bit long of a hike.
We made it to a nice spot right before dark.
We had the whole next day for hiking around the lakes, swimming, relaxing and truly appreciating the surrounding beauty, from the mountains to the smaller rocks, plants, gnarled trees, critters, the wonderful water and so forth.
We were lucky to have great company and laughed a lot.
I was a little worried that the blisters and the exhaustion would mean this was a one time deal for my friend. Luckily I was wrong; we are going out again next weekend, a little closer to us, to The Emigrant wilderness.
My friend will be moving to Colorado in October to take care of her mother and I have a feeling that she will want to continue going out and exploring. This is not someone unfamiliar with the outdoors, nor someone that has not appreciated the beauty of nature in it's many forms, on the contrary. Backpacking will be just another way for her to enjoy this and I am happy to have had a little part in it.
Don't be afraid to take a newbie out!