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First Year Adventures

Welcome, First Year students!

In collaboration with First Year Programs, UWild (pronounced U-Wild) hosts a number of trips for incoming University of Washington students.

Who participates in UWild First Year Adventures?

These trips are ideal for the incoming student looking to meet others and learn a new skill while experiencing the amazing wilderness areas around our beautiful state.

Who Leads Trips?

All trips are led by fellow UW students, who are trained wilderness educators. Your leaders will guide you through the development of outdoor skills, provide insights on their experience as a UW student, and introduce campus resources.


UWild’s First Year Adventure Trips align with summer A&O and fall Dawg Daze activities:

For students participating in Summer A&O, UWild’s First Year Adventures offers 4-day trips in the disciplines of backpacking and rock climbing. Please see the trip descriptions and details below.

Dawg Daze events are typically longer in length, 5-7 days in duration. These trips are more involved and require the participant to play a more active role in planning and preparing for the trip.

 Summer A&O:

Backpacking Trips

Olympic National Park – Coastal Wilderness  (Registration Closed)

You will negotiate 20 miles of wilderness beach within Olympic National Park with a full pack and a huge smile. Over three days you will learn to cook, set up beach camps, negotiate headlands and tides, all the potential to be rewarded with unimaginable campsites on the beach, amazing sunsets, and new friends. Backpacking experience is not required, however hiking on the sand with a heavy pack requires a moderate level of fitness. Your leaders will teach you the basic skills of packing a pack, cooking on a backpacking stove, and setting up a backcountry camp, and reading a map and tide chart. 

Trip Dates: July 7-9
Cost: $300
Details, Itinerary, and Trip Policies: Coastal Trip Packet   Packing List: Coastal Packing List

Olympic National Park – Royal Basin  (Registration Closed)

This three-day trip will set up a base camp and explore the milky waters of Royal Lake in the upper basin. The second day without the burden of heavy packs. The hike begins with moss covered trails, surrounded by hemlocks and firs and climbs to the craggy alpine littered with milky blue lakes and tarns. The trip is 15 miles round-trip and it is helpful to have done some mountain hiking, but no backpacking experience is necessary. This trip is great for those looking to gain some backpacking experience. Your leaders will teach you the basic skills of packing a pack, cooking on a backpacking stove, and setting up a backcountry camp. 

Trip Dates: July 14-16
Cost: $300
Details, Itinerary, and Trip Policies: Royal Basin Trip Packet   Packing List: Royal Basin Packing List

Olympic National Park – High Divide Trail (Registration Closed)

Experience a little bit of everything – views of the Mount Olympus, walking through old growth forest, and dip your toes in high alpine lakes. Over the three days, you will carry all your possessions, climbing to great heights and outstanding views. This hike is 19 miles, is considered moderate to strenuous and would be an ideal trip for someone with regular mountain hiking experience but no backpacking experience is needed.Your leaders will teach you the basic skills of packing a pack, cooking on a backpacking stove, and setting up a backcountry camp. 

Trip Dates: July 21-23
Cost: $300
Details, Itinerary, and Trip Policies: High Divide Trip Packet   Packing List: High Divide Packing List

Climbing Trips

Sea to Sky – Camp and Climb (Registration Closed)

A three-day camp and climb trip to Washington State’s most picturesque rock climbing destination, Mount Erie. With 360 degree views of mountains and the coast, climbing at Mount Erie puts you in a spectacular position and will be a memorable experience. This trip is ideal for both those with no previous rock climbing experience and those who have some prior experience. You will learn the basic climbing skills including knots and top rope belaying. We will be car camping at a nearby state park and drive to the rock climbing site each day. You can expect to hike .5 to 2 miles per day on trails that can be uneven and muddy. Climbing will begin on easy and moderate terrain and will progress depending on the group. Transportation and meals provided.

Trip Dates:
July 7-9 (Registration Closed)
July 14-16
July 21-23 (Only a few spots left!)
Cost: $250
Details, Itinerary, and Trip Policies: Sea to Sky Trip Packet   Packing List: Sea to Sky Packing List

Dawg Daze

Riding the Root – Sustainable Food Systems and Bike Touring on Whidbey Island

Spend four days touring UW and Whidbey Island by bike while learning about food systems and agriculture. This bike tour is perfect for those wanting to learn camping and road-touring basics, as well as get in the dirt to learn about veggies and plants. Each day will include between 20-50 miles of biking and 1-3 hours of farm work. We will visit the UW farm, vegetable and shellfish farms, a food bank, and the WSU Bread Lab. The bike tour culminates with a final ride to Deception Pass State Park to camp near the beach. After a night at the beach, we will ditch the bikes and take a driving tour of the WSU Bread Lab located in the Skagit Valley. This is the perfect way to learn from people who themselves are striving to make a difference in our food system. Explore what it means when environmental and social justice become one and the same.

Trip Dates: September 22-26
Cost: $350
Details, Itinerary, and Trip Policies:

North Cascades National Park – Sea Kayaking and Backpacking Ross Lake

Come explore the North Cascades with us on this 11-day trip! You will explore Ross Lake by sea kayaking and backpacking. On this unique trip, you will spend half the trip sea kayaking the full length of Diablo and Ross Lake (27 miles) with all of your possessions and pitch camp on picturesque shores and islands of this high alpine reservoir. During the paddling portion of the trip, your group will have the option of exploring Desolation Peak where Jack Kerouac lived in a fire lookout and wrote his book, “Desolation Angles” and referred to many times in his book “Dharma Bums”.  The other half of the trip, you will explore the East Bank trail (31miles) by foot and view the North Cascades in a whole new light! While backpacking you will get the chance to dip your toes in high alpine lakes, walk in remote valleys and gaze upon craggy peaks.This extended multi-sport expedition is one of a kind!

Trip Dates: August 27-September 7
Cost: $650
Details, Itinerary, and Trip Policies:

To Register:

A&O Registration Form

Dawg Daze Registration Form

*The above form does not guarantee entry into the program you are interested in, we take registration requests on a first come first serve basis.  Please wait for a UWild staff member to contact you with your status and payment information.  We cannot accept registration and payment online like the rest of our programs due to the fact that incoming Freshman are not currently on campus with an active membership to our facilities.
To Connect With A UWild Staff Member

For Backpacking Trips, contact Janelle Deane,
For Climbing Trips, contact Garrett Genereux,
For Riding the Root, contact Matt Jensen,