Outdoor

Outdoor Experience


Outdoor Experience 2020

August 10–14, 2020

Begin your Westminster experience with the Outdoor Program, learning outdoor skills while meeting fellow first-year students and exploring Utah's landscape. Outdoor Experience is a pre-orientation program that complements the first-year student orientation. Trips are inclusive and open to individuals of all skill levels, including students with no prior experience.

The Outdoor Program also works with honors students, international students, and some student-athletes to ensure everyone can participate in an outdoor experience in addition to their respective orientations. This program is for incoming first-year students only and space is limited.

Westminster's Outdoor Experience program is designed to facilitate a more positive transition to college life by:

  • Building a community and meaningful relationships in a dynamic and fun setting
  • Challenging students with experiences that promote opportunities for leadership, reflection of personal strengths and challenges, responsibility, communication, respect for differences, and self-confidence
  • Providing a forum for students to discuss and process their thoughts and feelings about entering college with peers and mentors
  • Drawing parallels and comparisons from the trip to the college setting, ultimately helping students learn more about themselves and how they might cope with challenging situations in the future
  • Developing an appreciation for the outdoors and providing students with a connection to the Outdoor Program

Take a look at the post "How to Get the Most Out of Outdoor Orientation" on the Outdoor Program's Facebook page. And, while you're at it, like the page so you can stay in the loop about what's happening in the Outdoor Program.

Arrival Information

Residence Hall Check-in

  • Outdoor Experience participants can check-in/move-in and spend the night in their rooms on August 9.
  • Outdoor Program staff will be available from 10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. to help get participants checked in. If you need to check in outside of this time frame, email the program (outdoorprogram@westminstercollege.edu) so you can be accommodated. There will be no residence hall check-in on August 10.
  • When you get to campus, come to the Outdoor Program in the Health, Wellness, and Athletic Center. There is an exterior entrance on the northwest corner of the building.
  • If you do not already have your student ID, you will first do that. Then, you will receive your keys and staff will take you to your residence hall.

View Campus Map

Airport Shuttles

  • The Outdoor Program will provide airport shuttles periodically throughout the day on August 9. If you need a shuttle, email your flight number and arrival time to the program (outdoorprogram@westminstercollege.edu).
  • The shuttle arrives every hour beginning at 10:45 a.m. and is planned to run until 6:45 p.m. If you anticipate needing a shuttle outside of this time frame, just let the Outdoor Program know! The shuttle is a Westminster van and will be at passenger pick up #4 at the specified time.
  • To get to the passenger pick up lane, exit the airport after baggage claim, walk outside and cross to the farthest lane (right before the parking garage). You will see large numbers overhead—go to 4.
  • If your flight is delayed or getting your bags takes a while, don’t worry, the shuttle will wait for about 15 minutes after the pickup time, or you can catch the next shuttle. If at all possible, call the program (801.832.2866) to let someone know about the delay.

Outdoor Experience Begins!

  • Outdoor Experience officially starts at 9 a.m. on August 10. Come to the Outdoor Program in the Health, Wellness, and Athletic Center with all of your trip gear packed and ready to go. You can come directly to the Outdoor Program door, which is on the northwest corner of the building. You’ll leave your gear with the program and head over to the welcome and breakfast in the Jewett Center.
  • Trips will divide into groups, meet, and take care of equipment needs. If you are borrowing equipment from the Outdoor Program for the trip, this is when you’ll get the gear.
  • Backpackers will spend a some time re-packing, and all trips will load up and depart around noon.
  • Box lunches are provided as you depart.

View Campus Map

Cancellations & Evacuations

  • If you cancel before the registration deadline (July 10) you can receive a full refund. If you cancel after July 10, but before July 24, you will be refunded 50% of the trip cost. The 50% the Outdoor Program keeps may be applied as a credit toward future trips. After July 24, no refunds will be given but 50% of the trip fee can be applied to future trips.
  • If a participant needs to leave the trip for a policy violation either on or off campus, that participant is responsible for the cost of evacuation. If a participant needs to be evacuated for other reasons, responsibility for the cost of evacuation will be assigned on a case-by-case basis depending on location, logistics, and cost.
  • Each trip has emergency communication that they can use to access help should they need it. Most trips will be out of cellular phone coverage and will not be able to receive incoming messages or calls.


Trip Options

Registration for all trips opens May 2, 2020

Multi-Sport Adventure | August 10–13, 2020

This trip is for incoming first-year students only. No experience necessary! Hike, rock climb, raft, explore, return to camp, and repeat. Southern Utah is home world-class rock climbing and rafting. Participants will be base-camping in a central location in the LaSal Mountains outside of Moab for the duration of the trip. Rock climbing will accommodate all levels - no experience needed. Whitewater rafting will be on the Colorado River.

Cost: $405 - includes transportation, equipment, food, and instruction. Tentative itinerary: Meet at the Outdoor Program at 9am Monday, August 10th. Depart campus around 12pm, drive to Moab, Utah. Camp, go hiking, whitewater rafting and rock climbing on August 11th and 12th, and return to camp. Return to campus in the afternoon on Thursday the 13th. First Year Student Orientation begins in the morning on Saturday August 15th.

*This trip can accommodate students who need to return to campus for Honors or International Orientations beginning on Friday, August 14th.

Multi-Sport Equipment List

Hike, rock climb, raft, explore, return to camp, and repeat.

Register Now

Packrafting Expedition | August 10–14, 2020

This trip is for incoming first-year students only. No experience necessary! Backpack and paddle all in one unique expedition-style trip. Packrafts are small inflatable 1-person boats weighing in at just under 5lbs and they allow for some spectacular wilderness travel. On this trip, participants are likely to backpack 5-8 miles on hiking days and paddle 10-15 miles on paddling days. Participants should be prepared for strenuous hiking, paddling, and camping above 8,000ft, carrying backpacks weighing ~40lbs, alpine & desert environments, and stunning scenery. Westminster was the first college in the lower 48 states to start a packrafting program!

Cost: $405 - includes transportation, equipment, food, and instruction. Tentative itinerary: Meet at the Eccles Health, Wellness, and Athletic Center Lobby at 9am Monday, August 10th. Depart campus around 12pm. Backpack and paddle someplace spectacular in the intermountain west until the morning of Friday, August 14th. Return to campus in the afternoon on Friday, August 14th. First Year Student Orientation begins in the morning on Saturday August 15th.

Packrafting Equipment List

Backpack and paddle in a unique expedition-style trip.

Register Now

Alpine Backpacking | August 10–14, 2020

This trip is for incoming first-year students only. No experience necessary! Trek through the beautiful alpine terrain of the Uinta Mountains. The Uintas are home to the highest terrain in Utah, including King's Peak which stands at 13,527ft. The Uintas offer ample opportunities to see wildlife, try your hand flyfishing, and spend time above treeline. Participants are likely to backpack 5-10 miles per day and occasionally experience significant elevation gains. Participants should also be prepared to carry a backpack weighing ~40lbs and hike & camp at altitudes above 8,000ft.

Cost: $405 - includes transportation, equipment, food, and instruction. Tentative itinerary: Meet at the Outdoor Program at 9am Monday, August 10th. Depart campus around 12pm, drive to Uinta Mountains. Backpack in the High Uintas Wilderness through Friday morning, August 14th. Return to campus in the afternoon on Friday the 14th. First Year Student Orientation begins in the morning on Saturday, August 15th.

Alpine Backpacking Equipment List

Trek through beautiful terrain in the High Uintas Wilderness.

Register Now

Service in Southern Utah | August 10–13, 2020

This trip is for incoming first-year students only. No experience necessary. Hike through beautiful Southern Utah and participate in meaningful service with the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. The Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, UT is located in Angel Canyon and is the temporary home of over 1,600 animals ready to be adopted. This trip offers ample opportunities to help animals in need, hike around Zion’s National Park, and spend time making new friends. Participants will be staying overnight at a hotel in Kanab, UT. Participants should also be prepared for hot weather, long beautiful hikes, and a lot of animal interaction.

Cost: $405 - includes transportation, lodging, food, and group registration costs at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. Tentative itinerary: Meet at the Outdoor Program at 9am Monday, August 10th. Depart campus around 12pm, drive to Kanab, UT. Hike in the area the first day and a half, and volunteer with Best Friends the last day and a half. Return to campus in the evening on Thursday the 13th. First Year Student Orientation begins in the morning on Saturday, August 15th.

*This trip can accommodate students who need to return to campus for Honors or International Orientations beginning on Friday, August 14th.

Multi-Sport Equipment List

Volunteer at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary and hike Utah’s red rock country.

Register Now

Legacy Scholars and STEPS Rafting | August 10–12, 2020

Raft the Green River and sleep under the stars. Only for students in the Legacy Program.


Important Information

If you must cancel: before the registration deadline (July 10th) you can receive a refund in full. If you cancel after July 10th but before July 24th: you will be refunded 50% of the trip cost and the 50% that we keep may be applied as credit toward future trips. After July 24th, no refunds will be given but 50% of the trip fee can be applied to future trips. If the trip fee is a barrier to your participation, talk to us about the Participation Fund!