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Adventure Trips

Adventure Trips are opportunities for first year students to explore the great outdoors with the guidance of experienced students and faculty.

The information below is for Adventure Trips 2017. Information for 2018 will be available by July.

Learning Outcomes

By participating in Adventure Trips, first year students will have the opportunity to:

  • Meet classmates and form friendships before classes begin
  • Explore California and learn about its natural history
  • Learn about sustainability, leadership, nature, and discernment
  • Have a facilitated transition into college from Orientation to Welcome Weekend to the start of fall classes
  • Learn about the college experience from current students and faculty
  • Gain backpacking skills and/or other skills

Adventure Trips

We are offering 4 trips for 2017:

Depart from Campus: September 13
Return to Campus: September 15
Total Spots Available: 12 total spots (6 first come first serve, 6 lottery)
Cost per Student: $160

Surf and Turf is a trip for individuals that want surf and hike in the Santa Cruz mountains. The first day we will be doing an introductory course on how to surf, for those with little to no experience, and we will eat some marvelous meals from our chef Tarcher, best known for catching food as he hangs 10 on his board. The second day we will split up into 2 groups, one that surfs in the morning and the other in the afternoon. When your group is not surfing you will be carted to the nearby mountains to find your inner zen and views that are reserved only for the “Devine” and Into the Wild. The last day will be spent catching some last waves until we bus everyone back to Santa Clara, where your journey will officially begin as Broncos!

Depart from Campus: September 13
Return to Campus: September 15
Total Spots Available, Trip A: 11 total spots (6 first come first serve, 5 lottery)
Total Spots Available, Trip B: 10 total spots (5 first come first serve, 5 lottery)
Cost per Student: $160

Note: This year we will be running 2 separate trips to Emigrant Wilderness National Forest. This means that there will be Emigrant Wilderness Trip A and Emigrant Wilderness Trip B. These trips will take you on the same rugged outdoors adventure, but with opposite routes. No matter which one you sign up for, we promise it will be the experience of a lifetime!

Come with us to Emigrant Wilderness and experience California at its finest! We will be backpacking deep into the Sierra Nevada Mountains, following lakes and rivers into the heart of the forests John Muir said, "surpass all others of their kind in America, or indeed the world." You will never forget the jagged peaks, lush meadows, and Milky Way stars on our journey. There is simply no better way to start off your Santa Clara experience as you meet other first-years and create friendships that will last a lifetime on this 3-day adventure of beauty and wildness. So join us and let the mountains be your first teacher at Santa Clara!

This trip will be 3 days and 2 nights. We will be carrying all our gear on our backs, and hiking about 10 miles a day.

Depart from Campus: September 13
Return to Campus: September 15
Total Spots Available: 9 total spots (5 first come first serve, 4 lottery)
Cost per Student: $160

This backpacking trip will be leaving in the early morning from Santa Clara’s campus on September 13-15 to make its way to the Castle Rock trailhead for the Skyline to Sea trail in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Students will backpack along the stunning trail led by student trip leaders from Into the Wild. This trip is an advanced backpacking trip as we will traverse 30 miles of beautiful terrain over the course of 3 days and 2 nights. If you are already an avid backpacker, this is the trip for you! Students should expect to arrive back at the Santa Clara campus by midday on September 15. Transportation will be provided by a chartered bus. More information regarding necessary gear will be provided to students in the coming weeks after trip sign-ups.

All trips generally depart from campus on the morning of Wednesday, September 13 and return to campus midday on Friday, September 15. Exact times TBA to confirmed trip participants.

Online Sign-Ups:
Online sign-ups for Adventure Trips 2017 will open on August 1, 1:00pm PST and close on August 7, 1:00pm PST. The link to online sign-ups will be posted on this website by the August 1 launch date.

IMPORTANT: In previous years once online sign-ups go live, spots go fast within a few minutes. To make it more fair for students who can't sign-up immediately, we are doing a 50/50 split meaning that: (1) half of the spots on each trip will be "first come, first serve" by automatically going to the students who sign up first, and (2) the other half of the spots on each trip will be via "lottery" where sign-ups will be open for a full week so as many students as possible have a chance to sign-up. Then once sign-ups close, we will randomly select from this pool of students to fill the other half of spots.

Arranging Travel to Campus:
Since the first half of trip spots won't be confirmed until the first week of August and the second half of trip spots won't be confirmed until the second week of August, it is highly recommended that you not arrange for travel to campus in September until you know for certain that you have a confirmed spot on one of our trips.

IMPORTANT: If you arrange travel to participate in these trips prior to online sign-ups going live on August 1, 1:00pm PST, but later find out that you did not get a confirmed spot, then you are responsible for paying any and all expenses you incur such as changes in airfare, lodging, etc. SCU will not reimburse you for any incurred costs.

Trip Fees:
View the fee per trip by clicking on each trip above for more details. For students who are able to secure a "first come, first serve" spot for the first half of spots, payment is required upon signing up in order to confirm your spot (see more details below about fee waivers, alternate payment options, and refunds). For students who enter the lottery for the second half of spots, payment is required after the lottery has occurred and students in these spots are confirmed.

Payment Options:
Credit card is the only payment option upon signing up to at least hold your spot. If you prefer to pay cash or check instead, please contact Tedd Vanadilok so we can discuss other payment options. We can also process refunds if necessary.

Fee Waivers:
Fee waivers are available for students who are Pell Grant eligible. A fee waiver may be requested either upon or after signing up for the trip. If you submit a credit card payment and are eligible for a fee waiver, we can assist you with a refund.

Early Move-In:
Students who participate in Adventure Trips will be able to move in early into the residence halls on Tuesday, September 12. More information about early move-in will be shared with those students who sign up for the trips.

Meals on Campus:
Although meals are provided during trips, meal plans do not start until Welcome Weekend (September 16-17) so students who move in early are on their own for meals when not on trips. Student trip leaders from Into the Wild can assist new students with finding (but not paying for) options for any meals needed on September 12-15.

Required Equipment:
Student trip leaders will contact all confirmed trip participants later in August and/or September with details about required equipment for each trip. However, we will supply most equipment, especially equipment or supplies shared by the entire trip group.

Students Attending Orientation Session 7:
Since all trips are September 13-15, new students attending Orientation Session 7 on September 13-14 are not able to participate in any trips. We have been aware of this restriction since Adventure Trips began a few years ago. However, our parameters for scheduling and housing as well as other factors have prevented us from having a solution at this time. We sincerely apologize to Session 7 students for not having the chance to participate in Adventure Trips!


Adventure Trips are sponsored by the Center for Student Involvement and Into the Wild. The Center for Student Involvement organizes and hosts Orientation for all new students. Into the Wild is one of our nine chartered student organizations (CSOs).