Recreation

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.

Who Participates?

These trips are for incoming students looking to have an adventure and get a jump start on building a community before the fall quarter begins. Most of the trip participants are incoming freshmen, but when possible, we host transfer student and grad-student specific trips too.

Who Leads the Trips?

Fellow UW students trained in wilderness education lead most of UWild’s FYA trips; professional staff will be co-leading with students on a few courses. 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, the aforementioned light rail to the airport, or we can drop folks off around the U District (local drop-off must be pre-arranged).

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. Individual gear (sleeping bags, sleeping pads, headlamps, clothing, footwear) must be provided by participants. Some individual gear can be rented from the UWild’s Gear Garage Rental Center, with discounts for FYA participants. After registration, you’ll receive a packet with detailed information about meeting times and places, preparation suggestions, a packing list, and other important information.

Summer 2022 Trips

Backpacking

(TRIP FULL, Waitlist available!) East Bank Trail @ North Cascades National Park

Difficulty Rating Experience Level Pre-requisites
Moderate Beginner to Advanced None, but some backpacking experience is helpful

The North Cascades National Park is known for its “we are really out here” feel along with breathtaking alpine lakes and rugged mountains. Backpacking the East Bank Trail along Ross Lake will provide sweeping views of some of the most remote snow-capped peaks in all of the Cascade Range. You’ll have the chance to soak in the views while exploring the picturesque shores of Ross lake with up to 11 other Huskies.
Dates: July 7-11, 2022
Course Fee: $400

North Coastal Trail @ Olympic National Park

Difficulty Rating Experience Level Pre-requisites
Moderate to Strenuous Intermediate to Advanced Some backpacking experience

The Pacific Coast of Washington State is one of the wildest and most awe-inspiring places to backpack. Over four days, you will carry all your possessions, along sandy beaches and rugged shores taking in all of the outstanding views. This hike is 21 miles, is considered moderate, and would be an ideal trip for someone with regular 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.

Typically, this route requires a long shuttle at the beginning or at the end. To avoid car time, we will have two groups navigating the coast at once, one group starting from the south and one from the north, at about the halfway point the groups will cross paths and exchange keys.

Dates:
*July 18 – 22, 2022 (*Affinity course designed for those that identify as Women [cis & trans]!)

    • This course is designed for those that identify as women (both cis and trans). This class will be instructed by skilled Backpacking instructors that are also women! 

**July 18 – 22, 2022 (**Affinity course designed for those that identify as Queer!)

    • This course is a collaboration with the Q-Center and consists of all of the introductory backpacking knowledge as any other backpacking course, but geared toward those that identify as Queer! Students will learn the basics of backpacking, including how to set up camp, navigation, cooking, and camp craft. There is special emphasis on our language regarding gendered body parts and movement descriptions, continuing our mission to make UWild courses as inclusive, body-affirming, and non-assumptive as possible. This class will be instructed by skilled Backpacking instructors who identify as Queer.

Course fee:$425

(TRIP FULL, Waitlist available!)Hoh Rain Forest @ Olympic National Park

Difficulty Rating Experience Level Pre-requisites
Easy to Moderate Never Ever to Advanced None, but some backpacking experience would be helpful

The Olympic National Park is known for its remote mountains, rugged beaches, and lush rainforests. The Hoh River trail is truly one of the gems of Washington State. You will spend your time on the trail with other first-year Huskies exploring one of the greenest and most biodiverse landscapes in Washington as you pass countless old-growth trees, hanging moss, and much other flora and fauna unique to this temperate rainforest.
Dates:
August 30 – September 3, 2022

Course Fee: $425

Climbing (Rock & Mountaineering)

Rock Climbing @ City of Rocks National Reserve

Difficulty Rating Experience Level Pre-requisites
Moderate Beginner to Advanced None, but climbing experience would be helpful

If you’re a climber, this is the trip!!! ‘The City” as it is known to rock climbers is a remote and other-worldly climbing destination tucked in the heart of southern Idaho. Popular since the early ’70s, City of Rocks granite is internationally renowned among climbers. There are more than 600 routes within the park that are both traditional and sport. 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 will be camping nestled among the rocky spires – some days we will be climbing just minutes from our tents! You can expect to hike .5 to 2 miles per day on trails that can be uneven and muddy, carrying a backpack weighing up to 30 pounds. Climbing will begin on easy and moderate terrain and will progress depending on the group’s desire and ability level!

Dates

June 25 – July 1, 2022

Course Fee: $650

(TRIP FULL, Waitlist available!) Rock Climbing @ Deception Pass and Mt. Erie

Difficulty Rating Experience Level Pre-requisites
Moderate Never Ever to Advanced None

A three-day camp and climb trip to two of Washington State’s most picturesque settings, Mount Erie and Deception Pass. Climbing at Mount Erie Boasts 360-degree views of mountains and the coast and a ridiculously amazing sunset from the summit park. About the only thing that can compete with the views from Mount Erie is camping at Deception Pass, tucked into lush forests and access to sandy beaches. Climbing at Mount Erie and camping at Deception Pass 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’ll learn the basic climbing skills including knots and top rope belaying. We’ll 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.

Dates
July 13-15, 2022

Course Fee: $350

Glacier Peak Mountaineering @ Glacier Peak Wilderness

Difficulty Rating Experience Level Pre-requisites
Strenuous Intermediate to Advanced No Mountaineering Experience Required; Previous Backpacking Experience in Challenging Terrain Strongly Recommended

Glacier Peak is the most remote of the big volcanoes in Washington State and boasts some of the most beautiful backpacking terrains in the area. On this exhilarating trip, you will learn the skills necessary to safely travel as a group on glacial terrain. This includes using an ice ax, knots and hitches, and crampons. A bid for the summit will be made if the weather allows! If you like big days in the mountains, this trip is for you.

This trip is ideal for those with limited to no mountaineering experience, but backpacking experience is strongly recommended. Mountaineering is strenuous and challenging, strong physical fitness is a must for this adventure.

Dates
August 3-8, 2022
August 24-29, 2022

Course Fee: $700

National Park Tours

Olympic National Park Tour

Difficulty Rating Experience Level Pre-requisites
Easy to Moderate Never Ever None, but good physical fitness is helpful

The Olympic National Park offers visitors the chance to see and explore a wide variety of incredible natural wonders. On this trip, you will set up camp at various car camping sites (camping in tents at a campground that you can drive to). Each day you will hike and explore various popular trails while making memories and friends that could very well last a lifetime.

Dates
July 5 – 8, 2022
Course Fee: $425

(TRIP FULL, Waitlist available!) Mt. Rainier/Tahoma National Park Tour

Difficulty Rating Experience Level Pre-requisites
Easy to Moderate Never Ever None, but good physical fitness is helpful

Mt Rainier (Indigenous name: Tahoma) is simply referred to as “the Mountain” here in Seattle. When you get a glimpse of it you’ll understand why. On this trip, you will set up camp at the Ohanapecosh campground, each day you’ll drive to a different area of the park where you’ll hike some of the most popular trails to see why Mt Rainier is one of the most visited National Parks in the country.

Dates
Sept 6 – 9, 2022
Course Fee: $425

Sea Kayaking

(TRIP FULL, Waitlist available!) Sea Kayak Tour (4-day paddle) @ San Juan Islands

Difficulty Rating Experience Level Pre-requisites
Moderate to Strenuous Beginner to Advanced Ability to Swim

Explore the iconic San Juan Islands by kayak and tour one of UW’s remote campuses Friday Harbor Labs, on San Juan Island. Sea kayak to remote islands only accessible by boat where you will spend four nights camping and exploring. This trip is wonderful for active participants who may not have sea kayaking experience, but love being on the water.

Dates
July 12 – 16, 2022

Course Fee: $500

Sea Kayak Expedition (9-day paddle) @ San Juan Islands

Difficulty Rating Experience Level Pre-requisites
Strenuous Beginner to Advanced Ability to Swim

Explore deep into the remote corners of the northern San Juan Islands by kayak. You’ll sea kayak to remote islands only accessible by boat where you’ll spend nine nights camping and exploring. MORE DESCRIPTIONS TO COME AS CAMPGROUNDS ARE BOOKED.

You’ll wake up on the final morning of the trip to a short paddle and a relaxing ferry ride back to the mainland. This trip is wonderful for active participant who has kayaking experience or a desire to be on the water for an extended amount of time!

Dates
August 10 – 19, 2022

Course Fee: $900

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!

    • After May 31st, applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis!
      • Please expect to be contacted via email within 5 business days after we receive your application.
    • June 6th UPDATE – There are still many available spaces! 

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!

UWild Contact

Nathan Page, Field Programs Manager

uwild@uw.edu

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 uwild@uw.edu 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.