Large group of students in yellow raft going down a river

Outdoor Program


The Westminster Outdoor Program exemplifies Westminster's unique environment for learning, which is located minutes from world-class skiing, mountain biking, and rock climbing in the local Wasatch Mountains. Beyond the Wasatch lie Utah's red rock deserts, wild rivers, and vast wilderness areas—all of which become both Westminster's playground and classroom.

Through meaningful outdoor experiences, the Outdoor Program helps students to develop leadership, technical skills, self-awareness, character, and stewardship. Student leadership is a priority for the program and most outdoor trips are student-led. Graduates who were a part of the Outdoor Program often leave Westminster having weeks of valuable field experience, advanced certifications, and an understanding of how lessons learned in the outdoors can apply to other areas of college, career, and everyday life.

Whether you're joining us for an evening hike or a weekend in the backcountry, you'll most likely learn something new, meet interesting people, and spend time in awe-inspiring places.


Upcoming Trips and Events

Westminster students, faculty, staff, alumni, and their guests are welcome to participate in outdoor program trips and events. We're committed to supporting anyone who is interested in getting involved regardless of skill level, previous experience, or equipment needs. Contact outdoorprogram@westminstercollege.edu with any questions or if you would like to participate but cannot pay the entire event fee. While modest, the Outdoor Program Participation Fund is designed to help in these cases.


two males walking down steep snowy hill

Avalanche Rescue Refresher Day

January 20, 2023

Come refresh your Avalanche rescue skills and practice with OP trip leaders and staff. We'll travel to Big or Little Cottonwood, travel a short way to a meadow and provide instruction on rescue techniques, practice working with our beacons, probes, and shovels in scenario's, and brush the dust off of our avalanche basics.

Cost: $15 includes transportation, rescue equipment, and instruction.

three student standing on snowy mountain top

Backcountry Touring Day 

January 27th, 2023

This event is for people who already know how to ski or snowboard but would like to try backcountry skiing or snowboarding. We will cover basic avalanche awareness concepts throughout the day. The Outdoor Program has snow safety equipment to borrow for the day, a limited selection of alpine touring skis and splitboards (not boots for either). Equipment must be arranged BEFORE the trip and participants must have a basic knowledge of equipment use. 

Cost: $15 includes transportation, rescue equipment, and instruction. 

large group of students pose in the snow

Castle Rocks Cross Country Ski Trip 

February 3–5, 2023

Stay in a cozy cabin in Castle Rocks State Park, Idaho and cross country ski on the trails surrounding the cabin. No previous cross country skiing experience is needed! This trip will be an awesome opportunity to enjoy the cozy comforts of a warm cabin while getting outside in a winter environment. 

Cost: $80 includes all food, transportation, equipment, and instruction. 

three student climbing red rocks in St. George

St. George Climbing Trip 

February 10-12, 2023

Spend a fun weekend camping and climbing in this legendary climbing area. This is a great trip for climbers of ALL levels, whether you climb regularly or have never put on a harness before. 

Cost: $80 includes all food, transportation, equipment, and instruction. 

group of students walking through desert with large backpacks

Canyon Exploration Trip

February 24–26, 2023

Camp and explore in the canyons of southern Utah! This trip will focus on non or semi-technical canyons, meaning they don't require ropes and harnesses to get through them (although we might use a short rope to make obstacles easier). This will be a great chance to explore one of the most unique and stunning of Utah's red rock desert landscapes, meet people, and decompress from the school week in a beautiful place.

Cost: $80 includes all food, transportation, equipment, and instruction. 

students practicing first aid on student on the ground

Wilderness First Responder/WEMT Course

March 3–7, 2023

This is a Hybrid Wilderness First Responder course through the Wilderness Medicine Training Center (WMTC). This course requires 40+ hours of independent online study and testing (Part 1) prior to the in-person practical session (Part 2) March 3-7, 2023. Westminster students wishing to receive academic credit for this course (2) should first register for OEL 245A. If you're hoping to take this course to complete your WEMT, please contact us for more information.

Cost:

  • $510 for Westminster Community: Students, Faculty, Staff, & Alumni (includes the Part 1 independent study and the Part 2 practical session)
  • $430 for Non-Westminster Community (includes the Part 2 practical session only, Part 1 is completed through WMTC) 
group of students walking through desert with large backpacks

Desert Backpacking Trip

March 17-19, 2023

Explore the red rocks and canyons of southern Utah! This trip is geared toward any experience level, including beginners. If you have been interested in seeing a different part of the state, backpacking, getting more involved with the outdoor program, or just getting outside for the weekend - this trip is for you! 

Cost: $80 includes all food, transportation, equipment, and instruction. 

Ongoing Events 

female student in kayak in rocky water

Kayak Roll Sessions

Wednesdays, 8:00–10 p.m.

First–timers meet in the Eccles HWAC Aquatic Center from 8–8:30 p.m. All other current students, faculty and staff arrive at 8:30 p.m. to come practice your roll and kayaking skills.

Cost: Free

female student getting into harness to climb rock wll

Intro Climbing Hour

Fridays, 1:00 p.m.

Location: Bishop’s Wall in Eccles HWAC

This time is dedicated to new climbers who want to “learn the ropes." No equipment or experience required– just come ready to climb. If you haven’t already, please complete the Climbing Wall Registration before arriving.

Cost: Free

Mascott, Griff climbing rock wall in HWAC

Faculty/Staff Climbing Hour

Last Friday of each month, 12:00 p.m.

Location: Bishop’s Wall in Eccles HWAC

Heard of “walking meetings?” Now you can have climbing meetings too! Or just come climb. No equipment or experience required– just come ready to climb.. If you haven’t already, please complete the Climbing Wall Registration before arriving.

Cost: Free


Refund and Cancellation Policy

  • If there is a fee, you must pay for the trip or event before you are considered to be registered. Email outdoorprogram@westminstercollege.edu if you're having trouble with payment.
  • If you register for a trip and cancel before the registration deadline (if applicable), you can receive a refund for the trip.
  • If you register for a trip and cancel before the pre-trip meeting (if applicable), but after the registration deadline (if applicable), you can apply the registration fees as a credit toward a future trip with the Outdoor Program within the same academic school year.
  • If you cancel after the pre-trip meeting (if applicable), no refunds or credits will be given.
  • You MUST attend scheduled pre-trip meetings for trips if applicable. Meeting dates and times vary and will be included in event information. If you do not attend the meeting and have not made other arrangements with us to get trip information, your spot on the trip may be forfeited. Email outdoorprogram@westminstercollege.edu with any questions or concerns about attending pre-trip meetings.
  • No refunds for Wilderness First Responder/First Aid/re-certifications, avalanche certification courses, and AMGA Single Pitch Instructor course will be given unless the Outdoor Program cancels the event.

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