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SAN DIEGO: COAST TO SUMMIT
A WILDERNESS ORIENTATION (WO) TRIP FOR INCOMING BIPOC STUDENTS
Wilderness Orientation Office (858) 534-8211 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Get to know your future backyard on our new San Diego-based Wilderness Orientation for incoming BIPOC students. This one-of-a-kind trip will introduce you to a few different outdoor activities – no experience required. From kayaking in Mission Bay to rock climbing at Mission Gorge, your group will experience some of the natural spaces within our city limits all while challenging each other to try new things and acquire new skills.
Please note that this year’s trip may not follow this exact itinerary. You will have an opportunity to paddle kayaks in either Mission Bay or San Diego bay, and we will explore Mission Trails Regional Park. This group will either camp there, or at Tijuana River Valley Park.
You don’t need to travel far to go on an adventure at UCSD. Scripps pier looks out over La Jolla Shores and La Jolla Cove, two popular snorkeling areas on the San Diego coast. A walk across the street from some of our residence halls will take you to bluffs and beaches where you can hike among the rare Torrey pine trees while watching for dolphins and seals out at sea. Mission Trails Regional Park is a short half-hour drive from campus and is home of Mission Gorge, a favorite spot for beginner rock climbers to try out the sport. This Wilderness Orientation trip will give you access to some of our favorite local adventures. Your small group will basecamp in San Diego and spend days exploring the wide range of activities and natural spaces this city has to offer. Not only will you learn the technical skills necessary to kayak, snorkel, and rock climb, but you will also spend ample group time working together, exploring your leadership style, and sharing stories over delicious camp meals prepared by you and your peers.
San Diego has been the home of the Kumeyaay people for over 10,000 years, and long before that it was deep underwater. The geologic and natural history of San Diego make it a fascinating location to explore natural spaces. On this trip you will have the opportunity to discover the rich biodiversity that San Diego has to offer, from the state marine fish the Garibaldi to the elusive Gray Fox. You will also get the chance to explore old and new land formations that lend themselves well to outdoor pursuits, and learn about the rich cultural history in those spaces.
Originally a tidal marsh before it was dredged out, Mission Bay sits just north of the San Diego River. Now it is the largest human-made aquatic park in the country, with numerous areas designated for different water sports.
La Jolla Cove
La Jolla Cove is a well-known snorkeling destination, perhaps because it is part of the Underwater Park Ecological Reserve and therefore wildlife is protected in the area. Quite possibly for the same reason, it is also a popular area for seals and sea lions—you can often spot them sunbathing on the rocks beside the cove.
Mission Trails Regional Park
Mission Trails Regional Park is home to the highest point in San Diego, Cowles Mountain, and sits in the California Chaparral and Woodlands ecoregion. It is one of the largest open space urban parks in the US, and we are fortunate to have it right in our backyard. Some species in the area include horned lizards, roadrunners, great horned owls, brush rabbits (which are also frequently spotted on UCSD campus), and mule deer.
Sample Trip Itinerary
Day 1 - Meet at Outback Adventures Office / Rental Shop at 10am. Check out your gear and experience the Outback Challenge Course. Camp at Outback Adventures.
Day 2 - Head to the coast for a day of kayaking on Mission Bay and snorkeling at La Jolla Cove. After returning your watersport gear, head to Mission Trails Regional Park and set up camp. Sleep in tents at Kumeyaay Campground.
Day 3 – Drive to the climbing area and spend the day on the rocks. Return to camp for an early dinner before hiking Cowles Mountain around sunset. Spend one more night in tents.
Day 4 – Pack up and return to campus to de-issue. Pancake breakfast and closing ceremony, Depart at noon. Plan flights no earlier than 2pm.
No experience in any of the activities is necessary to participate in this trip. You will hike 3-5 miles and paddle for 2-3 hours. Swimming experience is required to participate in the snorkeling section; however, snorkeling is optional, so non-swimmers are also welcome to sign up for this trip. This trip is based in the city, but you will be spending almost all of your time outdoors, including cooking outside and sleeping in tents. Spending this much time outside can be challenging, and your guides will ensure you have the proper equipment necessary to thrive during this trip.
*We are more than willing to work with participants who may require adaptive solutions. Please call the Director for more information at a minimum of 30 days in advance of the trip start.
Registration Fee Info
Registration fees cover transportation from UCSD to the trip destination, instruction, most food and all group gear (tents, cooking equipment, backpacks, first aid supplies etc.). Participants provide personal equipment on the trip packing list, most of which can be purchased or rented at Outback Adventures. We also offer a limited number of $200 financial assistance awards for first generation college students, students from low income families, international students, and out of state students. If you believe you qualify and would benefit from this financial assistance, please apply early.
If the cost of this trip is prohibitive to you, please reach out to us. We do not want financial barriers to stop anyone from participating in our programs.
Cancellation Policy - please review the trip cancellation policy before registering for Wilderness Orientation.