group of students jumping with mountains in background

Outdoor Experience

Start Your Westminster Experience with the Outdoor Program

Explore the outdoors with other first-year students as you start your transition to college. Outdoor Experience is a program that occurs before New Student Orientation begins on August 14, 2021. The program is designed to facilitate a more positive transition to college through:

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

COVID-19 Protocols

Minimizing the spread of COVID-19 in the campus community and keeping individuals healthy is among the Outdoor Program’s top priorities for Outdoor Experience 2021. The COVID-19 risk management plan is based on CDC recommendations in place during this experience. Email for more information on the COVID-19 risk management plan.

2021 Trip Options

All 2021 trips will take place in Utah’s stunning Uinta Mountains and are for incoming first-year students only. No experience is necessary, and the Outdoor Program can provide any equipment you need to borrow. If the trip fee is a barrier to your participation, inquire about the Participation Fund at

Registration for all trips opens May 1, 2021 at 9 a.m.

student propelling down mountain in harness

Rock Climbing and Camping

Hike, rock climb, explore, return to camp, and repeat. Participants will be base-camping with access to alpine lakes and streams.

This trip can accommodate students who need to return to campus for the Honors or International student orientations that begin on August 13.

Cost: $305 (includes transportation, equipment, food, camping, and instruction)

Dates: August 9–12

View/Download Equipment Requirements


students backpacking in mountains

Alpine Backpacking

Trek through beautiful terrain in the High Uintas Wilderness. The Uintas are home to the highest terrain in Utah (including King's Peak at 13,527 ft.), offering ample opportunities to see wildlife and spend time above the tree line with spectacular vistas. Participants are likely to backpack 5–10 miles per day and occasionally experience significant elevation gains. Participants should be prepared to carry a backpack weighing ~40 lb. and hike and camp at altitudes above 8,000 ft.

Cost: $305 (includes transportation, equipment, food, camping, and instructions)

Dates: August 9–13

View/Download Equipment Requirements

student fly fishing in stream

Fly Fishing and Camping

Fly fish mountain lakes and streams, hike, explore, and camp. Participants will be base-camping and learning from a professional fly-fishing instructor while enjoying spending time in some of the Uintas’ most scenic spots.

This trip can accommodate students who need to return to campus for the Honors or International student orientations that begin on August 13.

Cost: $305 (includes transportation, equipment, food, camping, and instruction) + Utah state fishing license ($28 for non-resident 3-day permit)

Date: August 9–12

View/Download Equipment Requirements

tents pitched in mountains

Legacy Scholar and STEPS Summer Bridge Program Trip

Only for Legacy Program students.

Camp, hike, swim, paddleboard, and explore. Participants will be base-camping. Get ready for some amazing time together under the stars by the campfire.

This trip can accommodate students who need to return to campus for the Honors or International student orientations that begin on August 13.

Cost: Included with Legacy Program

Dates: August 9–11

View/Download Equipment Requirements

Arriving on Campus

Outdoor Experience participants can fully move in and spend the night in their residence hall early on August 8. Staff will be available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. to help get participants checked in. If you need to check in outside of this time frame on August 8, email to let the Outdoor Program know so that you can be accommodated. There will be no check-in for the Outdoor Experience 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 to the Outdoor Program on the northwest corner of the building. If you do not already have your student ID, you will do that first. Then, you will get your keys from the Outdoor Program, and a staff member will take you to your residence hall.


There is no official programming on August 8. Those who arrive are on their own for food and activities that day, but the Outdoor Program can give ideas for some things to do.

The Outdoor Program will provide airport shuttles periodically throughout the day on August 8. If you need a shuttle, email your flight number and arrival time to The program will respond with instructions on how and when to find the shuttle at the airport. If your flight is delayed or getting your bags takes a while, don’t worry, you can catch the next shuttle. If possible, call the Outdoor Program at 801.832.2866 to notify the staff about delays. If the program doesn’t hear from you, the shuttle will wait for about 15 minutes after the arranged pickup time if you aren’t seen.

Trip Departure

Outdoor Experience starts at 9 a.m. on August 9. Come to the Outdoor Program (exterior entrance on the northwest corner of the Health, Wellness, and Athletic Center) with all of your trip gear packed and ready to go. You’ll leave your gear there and head over to the welcome and breakfast. Trips will divide into groups, meet, and take care of equipment needs. If you are borrowing equipment from the Outdoor Program, this is when you’ll get the gear.
All trips will load up and depart around 12 p.m. Box lunches will be provided as you depart.



Refunds are based on when you cancel your trip:

  • Before July 10: Full refund
  • After July 10 but before July 24: 50% refund. The 50% that the Outdoor Program keeps will be available to apply towards future Outdoor Program trips.
  • After July 24: No refund. 50% of the trip fee will be available to apply towards future Outdoor Program 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 can be used to access help should it be needed. Most trips will be out of cellular phone coverage and will not receive incoming messages or calls.