First Year Adventures

Welcome, First Year Huskies!

In collaboration with First-Year Programs, UWild (pronounced “you wild”) hosts a number of adventures for incoming University of Washington students.

Summer 2024 Trips:

Apply Here!


San Juan Sea Kayaking


Difficulty: Moderate- you will kayak anywhere from 3-8 miles in one day.

Dates: August 21st-27th & September 15th-19th

Price: $550

Description: Embark on a sea kayaking odyssey through the enchanting San Juan Islands. Immerse yourself in the pristine beauty of the Salish Sea as you paddle alongside majestic orcas, explore secluded beaches, and marvel at breathtaking sunsets. With each stroke of your paddle, discover a new adventure amidst the rugged coastline and lush forests of this Pacific Northwest paradise. Join us for an unforgettable outdoor experience that will leave you rejuvenated and inspired.




Hoh-River Backpacking


Hoh-River Backpacking:

Difficulty: Moderate- you will hike anywhere from 3-8 miles in one day.

Dates: July 8th-13th, September 1st-6th : Price: $550


Embark on a captivating journey along the Hoh-River Trail in Olympic National Park. Traverse ancient forests, encounter diverse wildlife, and marvel at stunning river views. With its moderate terrain, this adventure promises unforgettable moments amidst the pristine wilderness of the Pacific Northwest.




Mt.Baker Mountaineering


Mt.Baker Mountaineering:

Difficulty: Strenuous- You will be carrying heavy gear at high elevations, you need to be physically fit for this trip.

Dates: July 9th-13th  : Price: $750


MT.Baker  is one of the Northwest’s five major volcanic peaks. Rising more than 10,500 feet above sea level, attempting a climb of this mountain is as rewarding as it is challenging. You will earn incredible views while you build lasting memories and friendships. 




Gem Lake Backpacking


Gem Lake Backpacking:

Dates: July 18th-20th

Price: $400


Over 3 days you will cover 10 miles and 2,200 feet of elevation gain. You will hike to Gem lake and spend the night right next to a  beautiful alpine lake. In the morning you can take a nice cold plunge and enjoy a nice cup of coffee surrounded by the pine trees and your fellow huskies!




Rock Climbing at Mt.Erie


Rock Climbing at Mt.Erie:

Dates: July 23rd-26th & August 26th-29th

Price: $450


Climbing at Mt Erie offers some of the best things about Washington, excellent climbing, rocky beaches, panoramic view and breathtaking sunsets. There is no better way to be introduced to the vertical landscapes than by climbing with friends at Mt Erie. This action-packed trip will include: travel to camping and climbing sites, and exploring incredible vistas while building strong friendships with your future classmates. 




Mt.Rainier Car Camping


Mt.Rainier Car Camping:

Dates: July 28th- August 2nd

Price: $600


Experience the awe-inspiring grandeur of Mount Rainier with a memorable car camping adventure. Set against the backdrop of Washington’s iconic peak, immerse yourself in the tranquility of alpine meadows, towering forests, and cascading waterfalls. Explore scenic trails, witness breathtaking vistas, and bask in the serenity of nature’s embrace. With convenient car camping facilities nearby, enjoy the perfect blend of rugged exploration and comfortable relaxation under the shadow of Mount Rainier.




Summit Series


Summit Series:

Dates: August 1st-7th

Price: $600


Experience the Summit Series: an exclusive outdoor adventure series tailored for thrill-seekers who yearn to conquer nature’s grandest landscapes, including the iconic peaks of Mt. Si, Mt. Erie, and Mt. Pilchuck. Guided by experts and surrounded by breathtaking vistas, participants embark on unforgettable journeys filled with exploration, challenge, and camaraderie. Join us and elevate your outdoor experience to new heights with the Summit Series.




Lake Crescent Kayaking


Lake Crescent Kayaking:

Dates: August 8th-12th

Price: $500


Discover the serenity and adventure of Lake Crescent , an exceptional outdoor experience nestled amidst the stunning landscapes of the Pacific Northwest. Paddle through the pristine waters of Lake Crescent, framed by the majestic Olympic Mountains. Led by experienced guides, explore hidden coves, marvel at cascading waterfalls, and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the Olympic Peninsula. Join us for an unforgettable kayaking journey.




The Enchantments Day Hike Series


The Enchantments Day Hike Series:

Dates: August 11th-16th

Price: $575


The Enchantment Lakes are an alpine wonderland of pristine lakes set among polished granite, soaring peaks, blazing larches, and ambling mountain goats. Widely regarded as the crown jewel of hiking in Washington, this trail exceeds even the wildest of superlatives.This trip will be difficult, with hikes each day averaging about 8-10 miles, you will wake up early and get to camp around dinner time. This is not a backpacking course, you will be “base-camping” below at Eightmile creek and you will do a series of day hikes to see the beautiful alpine lakes wilderness.




Western WA Car Camping


Western WA Car Camping:

Dates: August 14th-20th

Price: $600


Embark on a scenic car camping journey through the stunning landscapes of Western Washington. From the lush forests of Olympic National Park to the rugged coastlines of the Pacific Ocean, immerse yourself in the diverse beauty of the region. Explore winding trails, discover hidden waterfalls, and unwind amidst the serene backdrop of nature. With a variety of picturesque campsites to choose from, Western WA Car Camping offers the perfect opportunity to connect with the great outdoors and create unforgettable memories




Oregon Road Trip


Oregon Road Trip:

Dates: August 25th-30th

Price: $550


Join us on an unforgettable journey to Silver Falls State Park and Trillium Lake, where Oregon’s stunning landscapes await. Immerse yourself in the thundering waterfalls and lush greenery of Silver Falls, then discover the tranquility of Trillium Lake nestled beneath the iconic Mount Hood. Our trip promises outdoor exploration, wildlife encounters, and breathtaking scenery at every turn.




LGBTQIA+ Backpacking


LGBTQIA+ Backpacking:

Dates: September 4th-9th

Price: $500


Embark on an inclusive backpacking adventure designed for the LGBTQ community and those in support. Immerse yourself in the beauty of nature while connecting with like-minded individuals in a supportive and welcoming environment. Experience the transformative power of the great outdoors as you hike scenic trails, share stories around the campfire, and create lasting memories together. Join us for an empowering journey of exploration, camaraderie, and celebration of diversity amidst stunning wilderness landscapes.




Rock Climbing at City of Rock


Rock Climbing at City of Rock:

Dates: September 4th-9th

Price: $950


This trip is ideal for both those with limited previous rock climbing experience and those who have been climbing outside for years. You’ll learn the basic climbing skills including knots and top rope belaying. We’ll be car camping at a beautiful nearby state park. We will be camping nestled among the rocky spires – so some days we will be climbing just minutes from our tents! Climbing will begin on easy and moderate terrain and will progress depending on the group’s desired and ability level! 




Who Participates?

These trips are for incoming first year students looking to have an adventure and get a jump start on building a community before the fall quarter begins. All of the trips are for incoming freshmen, we do not offer trips for transfer students or graduate students. Transfer students will not be accepted.

Who Leads the Trips?

Fellow UW students trained in wilderness education lead UWild’s FYA trips. These educators will guide you through the development of outdoor skills and provide insights into their experience as a UW student and introduce campus resources.

Where Do Trips Start and End?

Your trip starts and ends at the best spot on campus, the Waterfront Activities Center, the home of UWild Adventures. Located on the shore of Lake Washington and a short walk from the University of Washington Light Rail Station. Post-trip pick-up is easy as there is plenty of parking, and the aforementioned light rail to the airport.

Which Trip is right for me?

We have three indicators to provide a snapshot of the challenges and skills associated with each adventure- Difficulty, Previous Experience, and Prerequisite Skills. We suggest you find trips that fit an honest reflection of your abilities, not just the date that fits a busy summer schedule. Once we leave the trailhead the group is committed to completing the trip together, there are not typically easy exits mid-course so please pick a trip that suits your abilities.

What is Included in the Price?
Transportation from the WAC to the trip trailhead/put-in and back to the WAC, meals (Breakfast, lunch, dinner), and all group gear (backpacks, shelters, cookware, etc.) will be provided. After registration, you’ll receive a packet with detailed information about meeting times and places, preparation suggestions, a packing list, and other important information.

How do I apply for a trip?

  1. Please read through all of the trip information (posted above) thoroughly to ensure that the course is a good fit for your desires and abilities!
  2. Complete the “Apply Here” form in it’s entirely – there are some courses that are designed for those that identify with a particular affinity group, and we have others where foundational experiences are recommended to ensure all participants are set up for success!

Apply Here!

    • We will not start reviewing applications until May 31st. We will accept applications after that date and they will be reviewed on a rolling biases

How to submit payment and finalize registration

  • A member of UWild’s staff will contact you via the email provided when we are able to process registrations.  We may have supplemental questions at that time to ensure the program is a good fit and to answer any questions you may have regarding the course prior to your registration!
  • After you have been contacted and accepted into the course we will follow up with a separate payment portal to complete course fees. Course fees can be paid with either Credit Card or billed through tuition.

Are there financial awards available?

Yes! We are pleased to partner with the First Year Programs Office to provide partial funding for our courses!

  • Simply click the “I would like to apply for the Adventure Fund” option at the bottom of the application form and complete the prompted questions to apply!

Funding is available on a “first come, first served” basis for any incoming first year students that have a demonstrated financial need and / or come from traditionally underserved populations within higher education broadly and outdoor recreation in particular. Unfortunately, we cannot offer  Adventure Funds to all applicants, but we will try our best to ensure the funds are divided equitably and justly!

First Year Adventures Refund Policy:

  1. Drops made 30 days prior to the activity results in a 50% loss of the registration fee.
  2. Drops made 14 or fewer days prior to the activity results in a 100% loss of the registration fee.
  3. Failure to attend an activity results in a 100% loss of registration fee

UWild Contact

Alexis Ryan- UWILD Field Program Manager

Request Disability Services Office

Questions About Accessibility? The University of Washington makes every effort to honor disability accommodation requests. UW Recreation encourages everyone to participate in our department offerings; please contact us at (206) 543-4590 or at for more information on how to get involved. Requests can be responded to most effectively if received as far in advance of the event as possible, preferably at least 10 business days.