Outdoor Center Excursions

The Outdoor Center enhances opportunities for students and other members of the WWU community to involve themselves in outdoor recreation activities. This fall, 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 ($10). 

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.

Spring 2023 Registration

Registration for excursions in the first half of Spring'23 will be open on Friday, March 10 at 10 AM. Registration for excursions in the second half of Spring'23 will open on Wednesday, April 26 at 10 AM.

Students can sign up online at the Outdoor Center WIN page!

For the first half of sign-ups: you must come in person to the Outdoor Center (Viking Union 150, off Garden Street) within 1 week of signing up on WIN to officially confirm your attendance. Outdoor Center is closed during SPRING BREAK. If you sign up over Spring Break you must come into the Outdoor Center before Friday March 31st @ 4:30 to confirm your spot.

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.

Spring 2023 Excursions Schedule

First Half of Spring Quarter

Wellness Weekdays (FREE)


  • Drop-in sessions every Monday, 5:00-6:00 PM in the Viking Union Multipurpose Room
  • 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

Fall In Love with Whatcom Falls

  • Wednesday, April 5th, 3:00-6:00 PM
  • Bus to Bellingham's oldest park, Whatcom Falls! Take a short bus ride to the trailhead and hike for 3-4 miles round trip on mild terrain. Connect with your peers and nature while enjoying the namesake of Whatcom County.
  • Essential Eligibility: N/A

Tide Pooling at Marine Park

  • Wednesday, April 12th, 3:00-6:00 PM
  • Crabs, anemones, and chitons, oh my! Spend the afternoon exploring low tide at Marine Park where we will learn about some of the wild and wonderful creatures of the Salish Sea.
  • Essential Eligibility: N/A

So, You Want to go Rafting?

  • Wednesday, April 19th, 4:30-6:30 PM
  • Come eddy out with us and learn the ins and out of river travel! If you are curious about what rivers are out there, what rafting seasons look like, what gear you need, what skills/knowledge you need, what river safety is, where you can get training and work on rivers, how river permits work, and MUCH more, this is the right seminar for you. We'll be focusing primarily on big boats, but we're down to chat about kayaking and pack rafting too.

Weekend Excursions ($10)

Sea Kayak to Chuckanut Island

  • Saturday, April 15th
  • Pre-Trip Meeting: Tuesday, April 11th from 5:00-7:00pm
  • Come spend the day exploring Chuckanut Bay by sea kayak as we paddle to Chuckanut Island! All necessary equipment and instruction are provided, and beginners are welcome! We'll travel about 5 miles by kayak and go at a pace that is comfortable for everyone.
  • Essential Eligibility: Participants should be able to sit comfortably in a sea kayak!

Interurban Bikepacking Bonanza (food included!)

  • Saturday, April 22nd – Sunday, April 23rd
  • Pre-Trip Meeting: Tuesday, April 18th 5:00-7:00pm
  • Join us on a self-supported bikepacking trip along the Interurban Trail to Larabee State Park. We can enjoy a spring weekend in the Chuckanuts exploring our beautiful local offerings. Activities may include: tide pooling, bay plunging, banana boats, and exploring the park.
  • Essential Eligibility: Participants should be able to ride a bike!

Sprinkles on the Skagit – Rafting Day Trip

  • Saturday, April 29th
  • Pre-Trip Meeting: Tuesday, April 25th 5:00-7:00pm
  • Join us for a day of whitewater wildin' on the Magic Skagit River!! Spring is in the air, and we'll be embracing the warmer weather with ice cream and getting pitted. All experience levels are welcome for a beautiful section of classic class II-III Washington whitewater.
  • Essential Eligibility: Participants should be able to comfortably sit in a raft!


Intro to Sailing at Lakewood ($30 per series)

  • Dates:
    • Saturday/Sunday series, 11:30am – 3:00pm: 6 sessions, starting 4/1, ending 5/7
    • Tuesday/Thursday series, 4:50pm – 7:10 pm: 6 sessions, starting 4/4, ending 6/11
  • Come learn to sail a small boat! Lakewood student staff will help you gain sufficient knowledge and skills to continue to sail at Lakewood independently or with friends. Lifejackets provided and required. Be prepared with a change of clothes and footwear that can get wet! Transportation is included in the Tues/Thurs classes from the OC at Viking Union 150.
  • Essential Eligibility: Participants should be able to comfortably sit and move around in a small boat

These lessons are hosted at Lakewood, which is WWU’s Watersports Facility, located on Lake Whatcom, offering rentals and lessons for sailing, kayaks, canoes, paddle boards, and more.

Second Half of Spring Quarter

Wellness Weekdays (FREE)


  • Drop-in sessions every Monday, 5:00-6:00 PM in the Viking Union Multipurpose Room
  • 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

Knot Tying Workshop

  • Wednesday, May 3rd 5:30-7:30 PM
  • 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

Grounding Bay Jump with Hot Chocolate

  • Wednesday, May 10th 4:30-6:30pm
  • Come reset with a splash in the bay! Work on grounding with nature through meditation and reflection followed by a jump in the water at Taylor dock and hot chocolate.
  • Essential Eligibility: Participants should be able to swim and feel comfortable in open water!

Intro to Mountain Biking

  • Wednesday, May 17th 4:00-7:00pm
  • What’s right in our backyard? Fantastic mountain biking that’s what! Come ride along with us at one of the best local mountain biking locations, Galbraith Mountain.
  • Essential Eligibility: Participants should be able to ride a bike.

Arts in Nature

  • Wednesday, May 24th 4:00pm-7:00pm
  • Come explore your creative side by the ocean with opportunities to play/listen to music, create art, and sip some steamin' hot cocoa. This afternoon is intended to give participants a space to come together as a community, express their creativity, and connect with the nature around them. Bring your favorite mug and creative juices.
  • Essential Eligibility: N/A

Intro to Wild Foods Foraging

  • Wednesday, May 31st 3:00-6:30pm
  • Hungry? Look no farther than the Chuckanuts! Join us in the Clayton Beach area for a foraging frenzy. Wet your feet and taste buds on tantalizing clams, oysters, oyster 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! Be prepared to travel over uneven/muddy terrain and be on your feet for up to four hours.
  • Essential Eligibility: N/A

Weekend Excursions ($10):

Intro to Mountaineering Field Course

  • Weekend Trip: Sunday, May 21st
  • Pre-Trip Meeting: Tuesday, May 16th 5:00-7:00pm
  • Come spend the day with us learning how to use mountaineering equipment, practicing basic glacier travel techniques, and exploring the high mountains on the Easton Glacier of Kulshan (Mt. Baker)!
  • Essential Eligibility: Participants should be comfortable hiking 3,000 vertical ft over the course of a day, but no previous experience is required.

Intro to Rock Climbing at Mt Erie

  • Weekend Trip: Saturday, June 3rd
  • Pre-Trip Meeting: Tuesday, May 30th 5:00-7:00pm
  • Want to try rock climbing or gain more confidence with sport climbing gear? This trip is for you! Spend the day with us at Mt Erie learning the basics of ropes, knots, belaying, and climbing!
  • Essential Eligibility: Participants should be able to climb comfortably with the support of knowledgeable staff, no previous experience needed!

Intro to Mountaineering: Kulshan (Mt. Baker) Summit Attempt (food included)

  • Weekend Trip: Saturday- Monday, June 10-12
  • Pre-Trip Meeting: Tuesday, June 6th 5:00-7:00pm
  • Classroom Sessions: Friday, June 9th 4:00-8:00pm
  • Caught a glimpse of that magnificent snowy giant to the east? Ever dreamed of the journey to the top? Come learn about the glorious experience of climbing glaciated peaks and attempt to summit one of Washington's five stratovolcanoes and its forth tallest peak at 10,781 ft, Koma Kulshan (Mt. Baker)!
  • Essential Eligibility: Desire to learn about glacier travel and participants should feel comfortable being on their feet for a full day traveling through the mountains carrying a 30-45lb pack.


Intro to Windsurfing at Lakewood ($20)

  • Saturday, May 20th, 3:00-6:30 PM and Sunday, May 21st, 3:00-6:30 PM
  • Join Lakewood student staff in this brand new event! You'll learn the basics of the exhilarating sport of windsurfing and gain knowledge to continue building windsurf skills at Lakewood on your own. Lifejackets are provided and required. Not provided is a change of clothes for after a long day of waves and splashes on the lake!
  • Essential Eligibility: Participants should have some prior sailing or board sport experience and be comfortable standing and balancing on a board.


ConSENDt it! Embodying consent through climbing in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month

  • Wednesday, April 26th 7:00-9:30 PM
  • Join the Outdoor Center, Student Rec Center, and Counseling Health and Wellness Advocates for a fun night of climbing, learning, and communicating. Students will learn about how the communication and safety culture practiced in climbing can be used as a metaphor and model for embodied consent.

Outdoor Wellness Extravaganza!

  • May 13th, 12:00-8:00 PM
  • Join us as staff from Counseling & Wellness Center and Trip Leaders team up to give you a spring Saturday at Lakewood designed to help you feel good and connect with nature! The day is capped off with an evening of live music performances! Stay tuned for more awesome activities and a full FESTIVAL schedule.

Community Accessible Mountain Biking Trail Building Day!

  • May 21st, 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
  • Come join Adaptive and Inclusive Recreation of Whatcom County, Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition, and the Western Outdoor Center for a day of community trail building, group rides and good times!


For disability accommodations, questions or requests please contact our Outdoor Center Co-Coordinators and 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