Sign up for Fall 2023 Excursions here! Registration will open at 10am on September 27th.

Outdoor Center Excursions

The Outdoor Center enhances opportunities for students and other members of the WWU community to involve themselves in outdoor recreation activities. We have a host of in-person events available to all so come join us in exploring the outdoors and connecting with ourselves and others! All Outdoor Center excursions are either free or low-cost. 

Excursions offers a fun, accessible, and affordable way to get outside for students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Emphasis is placed on group involvement, developing and refining skills, responsible environmental practices, fostering diversity, enriching the academic experience, and promoting life-long learning. On our excursions, we attempt to engage all of our participants in fun and absorbing activities based on their comfort and ability levels. This will mean checking in with everyone to see what they want out of the trip and checking in multiple times during the trip to assess how the trip can best fit the groups' needs. We believe that there is a way to balance the excitement level of an activity and the perceived risk/exertion for each of our participants so that everyone can leave our program having learned something and enjoyed themselves.

Fall 2023 Registration

Registration for all fall quarter excursions that require sign-ups will open on Wednesday, September 27th at 10:00am using this link. You will be required to sign our Hold Harmless form as well as pay for your trip (if applicable).

Trips have a limited number of spots and typically fill up fast - registration is first-come, first-serve. Students will have the option to place themselves on a waiting list once trips are full but there is no guarantee that any spots will open.

Scholarships and Trip Costs

The Outdoor Center recognizes that the cost of Trips will be a barrier to some students who are interested in participating in our trips and events. To try and reduce those barriers, 3 spots on each trip with an associated cost will be reserved for students who are experiencing financial insecurity. This scholarship is intended for, but not limited to students who are: Pell eligible, first gen, experiencing financial difficulties, of the Global Majority or experience marginalization in another form that leads to financial difficulty. To receive a spot please email VOR Program Coordinator @ crandab2@wwu.edu with your name, phone number, address and desired trip. No other information is required, and we trust your experience is valid. Spots will be reserved the first 2 weeks of the quarter and then opened to the general student body if not used.

Difficulty Ratings Explained

Informed consent is critical, and we want you to be aware of the activity you are signing up for. Each trip has a difficulty level listed in the description: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. Below you will find a detailed description of what that entails. Please reach out to your student Excursions Coordinators @ as.oc.excursions.coord@wwu.edu and as.oc.excursions.coord@wwu.edu with any questions.

Beginner: Beginner Excursions cater to those individuals who are interested in trying something new! Generally, these introductory experiences are designed to be more laid back and not too strenuous. Most importantly they are created for those who do not have prior experience in the activity. Activities may range from educational experiences to artistic activities and anything in between! These excursions are great if you are looking to learn new skills, gain exposure to new activities, foster community, and have a great time outside!

Intermediate: Intermediate Excursions are a great option for those who would like to explore new challenges and build upon past skills. If you are looking to explore more difficult trails or embark on longer, more strenuous adventures, this activity category is for you! These Excursions are designed to safely instruct participants on more technical skills, and to dive deeper into the activity at hand. Outings often include less introductory material, but still ensure that participants are fully informed on the activity at hand! These are a great option if you are looking to step outside of your comfort zone, continue to explore these awesome activities, and meet new people!

Advanced: Advanced Excursions are designed to build upon prior experience and solidify technical skills in outdoor recreation. Participants must have experience in the associated activity and feel competent, but still open to growth in their individual skill sets. Designed to explore more challenging recreational activities, expect a higher level of potential difficulty on these Excursions. These are great if you are looking to build upon past experiences and use old skills in new ways. Come explore new aspects of your favorite activities, and of course have a great (and safe) time!


How many trips can I sign up for?

  • 1 per quarter! We have limited number of spots available on each trip and hope to serve as many students as possible.

The trip I wanted is full. What do I do?

  • Once a trip is full you may register for our waitlist. If a spot becomes available on a trip you will receive a text from the Outdoor Center.

I am on a waitlist for a trip. When will I know if a spot is available?

  • You will receive a text from the Outdoor Center if a trip becomes available. You must respond to that text within 1 hour to confirm your spot and come into the Outdoor Center to complete trip registration.

Can I register more than 1 person for a trip?

  • Nope! Please have your friend sign up individually.

I am signed up for a trip and I can no longer attend. What do I do?

  • Cancelations are in person ONLY in the Outdoor Center (Viking Union 150).

I already went on a trip this quarter but got a spot from the waitlist? Is that alright?

  • If you have already been on an Excursion through the Outdoor Center, consider giving other folks the same experience that you had.

Fall 2023 Excursions Schedule

Drop-ins (FREE)


  • Drop-in sessions every Monday and Wednesday, 5:00-6:00 PM in the Viking Union Multipurpose Room (Meet at VU 565 on 10/4, 11/6, 12/6)
  • Need to de-stress before a long week of classes? Come join our drop-in yoga sessions! Learn some mindfulness techniques and ways to help improve your physical and mental health.
  • Essential Eligibility: N/A

Bike Maintenance Clinic

  • Thursday, October 5th from 5-6 pm in the Outdoor Center (VU 150)
  • Flat repair/ tire maintenance clinic
  • Learn the ins and outs of flat repairs, tubeless tire set ups, and tips for keeping wheels in good condition! Abby will walk everyone through repairs, and participants will get the opportunity to watch, or try maintenance on their own wheels with assistance from the OC’s fantastic bike techs..
  • Essential Eligibility: N/A

Leaf Art & Mindfulness at the Outback

  • Wednesday, November 15th from 3-6 PM - Meet at the OC (VU 150)
  • Spend a relaxing afternoon in the Sehome Arboretum and Outback Farm! We will be going on a guided nature walk the Arboretum to learn about local ecology, collect fallen leaves, and practice mindfulness. Then, we will make some fall-inspired art in the Outback's outdoor classroom. All materials provided.
  • Essential Eligibility: Ability to walk around one mile on a slightly inclined, packed gravel and dirt trail. This trip can be wheelchair accessible depending on the entrance we take into the Arb.
  • Difficulty Level: Beginner

Knot Tying Workshop

  • Wednesday, November 29th from 3-6 PM - Meet at the OC (VU 150)
  • Come join us for an afternoon workshop learning how to tie all kinds of useful knots! We'll play some goofy games and get to know each other. All experience levels and abilities are welcome.
  • Essential Eligibility: N/A
  • Difficulty Level: Beginner

Geocaching Adventure

  • Wednesday, December 6th from 3-6 PM - Meet at the OC (VU 150)
  • Who doesn’t love a treasure hunt! Come unlock your inner detective and join us on a geocaching adventure through the Sehome Hill Arboretum!
  • Essential Eligibility: Ability to walk around on slightly inclined, packed gravel and dirt trail. This excursion can be wheelchair accessible!
  • Difficulty Level: Beginner

Adventure Breaks - require sign-up (FREE)

Racehorse Falls Fossil Hike

  • Wednesday, October 4th from 3-6 PM
  • Want to start off Fall quarter with an adventure? Come join us to hike around Racehorse Falls! Scramble down to the riverbed to explore, hopefully discovering some of the abundant fossils in the area.
  • Essential Eligibility: Participants must be able to hike on uneven, slippery ground. Hike down to stream bed is STEEP
  • Difficulty Level: Beginner

Kite Flying at Zuanich Park

  • Wednesday, October 11th from 3-6 PM
  • Let's go fly a kite! Join the Outdoor Center and fellow students at Zuanich Point Park to catch some wind and have some laughs! Kites will be provided, but feel free to bring one if you've got it!
  • Essential Eligibility: Ability to stand for several hours, and potentially run or walk with a kite in hand.
  • Difficulty Level: Beginner

Intro to Mountain Biking

  • Wednesday, October 18th from 3-6 PM
  • Want to get into mountain biking? Join us for an introduction to mountain biking at Bellingham's own Galbraith Mountain! We will explore several beginner trails to get acquainted with the mountain and comfortable on mountain bikes. Open to all ability/experience levels!
  • Essential Eligibility: Ability to ride a bike including some climbing and riding downhill on uneven terrain.
  • Difficulty Level: Beginner

Intermediate Mountain Biking

  • Wednesday, October 25th from 3-6 PM
  • Have a desire to challenge yourself on the famous Galbraith? Look no further! Join us for an afternoon of intermediate mountain biking with our awesome trip leaders!
  • Essential Eligibility: Participants should have the ability to ride a bike and be comfortable climbing, riding on uneven terrain and narrow trails.
  • Difficulty Level: Intermediate

Fall Wild Food Foraging

  • Wednesday, November 1st from 3-6 PM
  • Join us at Fairhaven Park for a foraging frenzy! We'll learn basic edible plant I.D and honorable food harvest techniques. We'll look for mushrooms, berries, roots, and any other tasty treats that nature provides - no guarantees that we will find any food, but we guarantee a good time!
  • Essential Eligibility: Be prepared to travel over uneven/muddy terrain and be on your feet for up to four hours.
  • Difficulty Level: Beginner

Birding at Whatcom Falls Park

  • Wednesday, November 8th from 3-6 PM
  • Are you looking to take a gander at the local Bellingham birds and wildlife? Look no further! This quarter two bewitching OC trip leaders will be taking a band of birders on an idyllic walk-through Whatcom Falls Park to see birds, fall foliage and a waterfall! This brilliant bird bash will knock your socks off!
  • Essential Eligibility: Ability to walk on packed dirt trails. Weather-dependent trails may be slippery.
  • Difficulty Level: Beginner

Single Day Trips - require sign-up ($20)

Hike for Women and Non-Binary Folks

  • Sunday, October 8th
  • Required Pre-Trip Meeting: Tuesday, October 3rd from 5:00-7:00pm
  • Come live, laugh, larch with us! Hike by the lake, mountains, and golden larch trees in all their glory. This day hike is open to women and non-binary folks looking for a safe space to challenge themselves. It's a 7-mile-long loop with 2000 ft elevation gain. Heads up, we are leaving very early in the morning.
  • Essential Eligibility: This is a hard and far hike on uneven terrain (including snow, mud, inclines, and declines). Ability to carry 10-15 pounds on your back. Some previous day hiking experience strongly recommended (at least 1–2-day hikes, 4+ miles, with elevation gain).
  • Difficulty Level: Intermediate

Sauk Mountain Summit

  • Saturday, November 4th
  • Required Pre-Trip Meeting: Tuesday, October 31st from 5:00-7:00pm
  • Come spend a day hiking Sauk Mountain in the Northern Cascades! This moderate hike will offer views of the Sauk and Skagit River valleys, Mt. Baker, and potentially some beautiful wildflowers.
  • Essential Eligibility: Participants must be able to carry a day pack while hiking between 5 and 6 miles with moderate elevation gain.
  • Difficulty Level: Intermediate

Intro to Skiing and Snowboarding at Mt. Baker

  • Saturday, December 2nd
  • Required Pre-Trip Meeting: Tuesday, November 28th from 5:00-7:00pm
  • Do you want to try skiing or snowboarding? Or solidify your basics? Come with us to Mt. Baker! We will enjoy the day on the beginner friendly slopes, working on skills, building confidence and community, and having a great time!
  • Essential Eligibility: No prior ski or snowboard experience is needed.
  • Difficulty Level: Beginner

Overnight Trips - require sign-up ($40)

Learn to Lead Climb

  • Weekend of October 28th and 29th
  • Required Pre-Trip Meeting: Tuesday, October 24th from 5:00-7:00pm
  • Want to learn new rock-climbing skills and gain more confidence with sport climbing gear? Come spend the weekend with us in Vantage, WA learning how to lead climb!
  • Essential Eligibility: Participants should be able to climb comfortably with the support of knowledgeable staff.
  • Difficulty Level: Beginner
  • Food included!

Extended Weekend Trips - require sign-up ($60)

ViQueen Sea Kayak

  • Friday, November 10th through Sunday, November 12th
  • Required Pre-Trip Meeting: Tuesday, November 7th from 5:00-7:00pm
  • If a weekend in a rustic cabin on Sinclair Island is for you, look no further! Join us sea kayaking to ViQueen Lodge and for a weekend chalked full of paddling, exploring, and a great time!
  • Essential Eligibility: Ability to sit comfortably in a kayak for a prolonged period.
  • Difficulty Level: Intermediate

Big Events

Fall Lake Day

  • Saturday, September 30th, 12-6 PM
  • Come experience Lakewood! Variety of free activities for ALL students, including guided sailboat rides, canoe tours, and boat rentals! Not feeling up for water adventures? Join us for lawn games, campfire, arts and crafts, and more!
  • Free shuttle service from the Outdoor Center every hour between noon and 5PM and free lunch for the first 100 students

Trail Building Party with WMBC and the AIROW Project

  • Saturday, October 20th, 9AM-1:30PM, Galbraith South Side Parking Lot
  • Come join Adaptive and Inclusive Recreation of Whatcom County, Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition, and the Western Outdoor Center for a day of helping out on the trails and building community. We’ll get our hands dirty as we help prepare trails for wintertime, ensure they are safe and accessible for all riders and best of all, have fun doing it! Afterwards, join us for a provided cookout lunch! Mountain bike rentals available through the OC on a first-come, first-serve basis.
  • Essential Eligibility: Ability to ride a bike including some climbing and riding downhill on uneven terrain. Ability to work and move on uneven ground


No Man’s Land Film Festival

  • Wednesday, November 8th - doors open at 6:00 PM, show starts at 7:00 PM in Arntzen 100
  • Join the Outdoor Center and Shifting Gears for the 4th annual showing of No Man’s Land: Diversify the Outdoors. Fuel up for your winter excursions with this inspiring collection of fem-powered adventures.
  • Tickets are $7 for students and $12 for general admission
  • ALL are welcome and encouraged to join us in uplifting femininity in outdoor recreation. Bring your friends from far and wide!
  • Purchase tickets online or at the on-campus Box Office


For disability accommodations, questions or requests please contact our Outdoor Center Co-Coordinators at as.oc.excursions.coord@wwu.edu or call 360-650-7677 at least two weeks before the trip. For more information check out our website.

For any other questions or feedback, you can also reach out to our Outdoor Center Co-Coordinators or call the front desk at the Equipment & Bike Shop at 360-650-3115