Students reading a map

The following description is meant as a guide to help you decide which trip most suits your desires and abilities. These descriptions are not intended as comprehensive itineraries and are subject to change.

Students backpacking uphill

Set out for some of the continent’s most beautiful and rugged wilderness, where you’ll encounter towering mountains, streams, waterfalls and feelings of peace and appreciation too often missing from urban life. Along the way you’ll have opportunities to share stories, play games and contribute to group tasks like making and breaking camp. Backpacking itineraries are not finalized until late summer, when specific trail conditions can be assessed more accurately.

Climb into the high country of the California mountains and enjoy remote and scenic terrain. You’ll hike 4-8 miles a day. You will have the opportunity to enjoy some of California’s most majestic and secluded wilderness, feasting on panoramas the likes of which most people only see in pictures. And you’ll work for the views; backpacking trips require the participants to be in good cardiovascular condition, as you will be hiking at high elevation over rough terrain, and covering the extensive ground necessary to take you to your next pristine destination. If you sign up for these trips, your trip leaders will contact before you arrive on campus to talk with you in detail about your suitability for the itinerary.

Community Engagement Component

Previous Backpacking OA groups have worked with rangers in both Sequoia National Forest and Sequoia National Forest. Trail maintenance has been the primary focus on previous Backpacking OA trips. Groups monitor culverts along the trail and clear any debris that may have become trapped. Water is a major factor in trail erosion and keeping the culverts clean helps keep the trails pristine! By maintaining the trail systems during OA, the groups minimize the impacts of the increasing numbers of visitors to wilderness areas, preserving the area for the enjoyment of present and future generations.

View the trip packing list