Sierra Nevada Backpack

There’s nothing quite like seeing the spectacular high sierra’s with new friends, powered by your own two feet, carrying all you need in your backpack. WO backpackers will spend seven days exploring Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Park, an area that John Muir deemed as "glorious”. Your group will feel a sense of shared accomplishment and camaraderie as you hike over mountain passes, past pristine lakes and among craggy peaks. This trip will set you on the path to success at UCSD. The Trip There are very few things as impressive as the mountains. Sheer peaks offering fantastic views of the California landscape; glassy alpine pools still crisp from winter snows; expansive night skies teeming with flecks of the moon and stars; fern-lined mountain trails that echo scenes from The Lord of The Rings: these are just some of the wondrous sights that students will get to experience while on their Wilderness Orientation backpacking trip. The rugged and beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains provides an inspiring Wilderness Orientation backpacking experience. Not only will you learn how to have a working relationship with the environment, but you will also learn how to physically, emotionally, and mentally deal with the rigor of the wilderness. You will learn an abundance of skills during this time including team building, leadership, backcountry cooking, and navigation. In addition to all of this, you will also experience an invaluable camaraderie with their fellow WO participants and will form friendships with them that can last throughout their years at UCSD and beyond. Whether you're a seasoned backpacker, or would like to get out and explore for the first time, our backpacking trips can fit your needs and get you even more ready for life here at UCSD!  Click on a Trip Video here Course Area - Sierra Nevadas The Sierra Nevadas are the largest mountain range in the contingent United States and extend 400 miles from north to south making it bigger than the Swiss, Italian, and French Alps combined. It is in this wilderness that WO participants will spend seven days traveling, learning, and bonding with their fellow backpackers. This year's trips will travel to the majestic Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park: one of California's oldest National Parks. This glacially sculpted area offers a remote look into the inspiring beauty California has to offer. You'll find high-country meadows brimming with wildflowers and the waters delightfully cool after a day of hiking. Along the way, you may encounter deer, marmots, red tail fox, rabbits, and very occasionally a curious little black bear.

To see where you will be backpacking click here (needs Chrome to view map)

Trip Itinerary Day 1 - Meet at Outback Adventures Office / Rental shop at 10 am on the first day. Gear check and experience the Outback Challenge Course. Camp at Outback Adventures on the first night. Day 2 - Depart for Sierra Nevadas early in the morning. Arrive at Sierra Nevada and set up camp. Day 3 - Learn and practice backpacking, cooking, navigation skills. Camp high in the mountains. Day 4-8 - Explore the Sierra Nevada, be amazed, feel connected to nature, search for wildlife and get to know about life at UCSD. Drive back to campus on   day 8 for trip clean up and a final celebration dinner. Camp at Outback Adventures for the final night. Day 9 - Breakfast, Closing Ceremonies, Depart 10.00am. Plan flights no earlier than 12pm (noon). Physical Demands Everyone is capable of backpacking, but carrying a loaded pack in the mountains is physically challenging. We will travel 4-10 miles per day with packs loaded with personal equipment and water and a share of the group gear and food.  The rewards and feeling of accomplishment are probably greater than any other trip we offer. *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. Useful Links Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park Website Sequoia-Kings Canyon Weather Registration Fee Info Registration fees cover transportation from UCSD to the trip destination, instruction, most food and all group gear (tents, cooking equipment, canoes, kayaks, surfboards, first aid supplies etc.). Participants provide personal equipment on the trip packing list, most of which can be purchased or rented at Outback Adventures.


Drugs, alcohol, tobacco and firearms are not permitted on any Outback trip. Presence of these items is grounds for immediate removal from the trip at the participant's expense.

Current emergency contact and medical information must be provided.

All participants must complete a Liability-Waiver (PDF) prior to the trip.

Cancellation Policy

Rental gear listed as provided above by Outback Adventures must be reserved and picked up at the Outback Rental Shop prior to the trip, during store hours. There is no extra charge.


Adventure travel has inherent risks of injury and/or death. These risks contribute to the "adventure" aspect of our trips. UCSD Outback Adventures and its employees assume no liability for any damages, loss, injury or death as a result of our trips. Some trips have a prerequisite fitness level, for which the participants are responsible. Any person participating in an Outback Adventures trip is personally responsible for his or her own safety.

WO DOES NOT REPLACE FORMAL COLLEGE ORIENTATION and students must schedule WO and college orientation without a time conflict.