Home » Trip Schedule » Backpacking


Backpacking involves carrying all your food and equipment on your back and hiking to a site accessible only by foot. Usually there are many rewards for the hiker enroute to the campsite. Our trail groups are generally 8-12 people. Each trip is led by Outdoor Rec. Trip Coordinators who are experienced in backpacking. Group equipment, such as tents, stoves, cooking gear, is included in the trip price. Generally, no experience is necessary, only enthusiasm!  

Upcoming Trips

MAY 1 – 4 (Friday – Monday)
Great Smoky Mountain National Park, TN
Cost: $126

Sign-up by: Friday, April 10

1. You must be part of VU and have an @vanderbilt.edu email address.
2.  Click here to sign up.
3.  You are not officially signed up until you PAY at the VRWC (Vanderbilt Recreation & Wellness Center).   You must do this within 2 business days of signing up.  Bring $126 cash, check, credit card, debit card, or Vanderbilt Card to the Office of Campus Recreation on the 2nd floor of the VRWC.  Hours:  8:30 am – 5:00 pm Monday – Friday.

Pre-Trip Meeting: Monday, 4/20 at 5:00 pm

Springtime in the Smokies:  a perfect way to round off another semester at Vanderbilt!  We plan on hiking three 5-8 mile days up, down, and around the Smokies.  Specific trails are still to be determined.  Beginners are welcome, but you need to be in shape, as the terrain will be challenging!  Be prepared for all types of weather.   Est. trip duration:  8 am Fri.  – 8 pm Mon.




Date:  June 27 – July 11, 2015 (Saturday – Saturday)
Location:  ALASKA:  Lost Lake, Denali State Park, Denali National Park
Cost: $1,695 + your airfare to and from Anchorage

Sign-up by: Friday, Jan. 9
Bring $300 cash, check or Vanderbilt Card to the ORC to register.

Sorry this trip is currently full.  E-mail outdoorrec@vanderbilt.edu to get on the wait list.

In the summer of 2015, a trip coordinator from the Outdoor Recreation Program and Linda Rosenkranz, Director of Outdoor Rec., will set out with a crew of 8-10 participants to the great wilderness of Alaska.  Our plan will be, over the course of 16 days, to immerse ourselves in the wilderness (via backpacking) as well as the unique cultural and ecological heritage of the state.  We will meet in Anchorage and then drive down to Seward on the following day and camp.  Next we will begin a 4-day backpacking trip to Lost Lake which is surrounded by mountains in the beautiful Kenai Peninsula.  Following this we will lodge in Anchorage for two nights and go whitewater rafting (class IV) on the incredible Sixmile Creek in the Chugach National Forest.  The thrills and the scenery will both be memorable!  Next we will drive north to Denali State Park and begin a 4-day backpacking trip on K’esugi Ridge.  This hike will provide us with some incredible views of the south face of Denali and the Alaskan Range.  We will end our trip with some camping and hiking in Denali National Park.  We plan to take the park bus on the 85 mile journey to Wonder Lake.  This is the closest campground to Mount McKinley, aka Denali.  The bus ride can be fascinating as the driver will stop whenever he/she sees any wildlife up close, such as grizzly bear, elk, moose, and Dall sheep.  We will camp two nights at Wonder Lake, giving us ample time to explore the surrounding area.  The final night will be spent in a cabin or hotel before going to the airport in Anchorage.  This trip offers a mix, and through balancing our backcountry time with a dose of front country decadence, we hope to offer a well-rounded experience.

Designed for the experienced backpacker, we will allow enthusiastic beginners on this trip.  Expect to hike 6-10 miles a day, sometimes with significant elevation change.   Everyone who goes must be in good physical shape by the time we leave.

Cost includes: van transportation, hotel/house/cabin for 4 nights, front country camping for 4 nights, whitewater rafting fees, food for whole trip minus 6 dinners and a few lunches, group equipment, bus fees, park fees, etc.

Space will be limited to the first 10 people that sign up, and as of Dec. 9, only 2 spots remain.

To Register, Bring $300 cash, check or credit card to the O.R.C.  by Friday, Jan. 9.  DO NOT miss out on this amazing opportunity!

For more info, click on this colorful pdf

For more information regarding this trip please contact Linda Rosenkranz, VU ORP Director, at (615) 343-7898 or via email at outdoorrec@vanderbilt.edu


Spring Break 2015: February 28 – March 8, 2015 (Saturday – Sunday)

Grand Canyon National Park, AZ

Cost= $1,066
Sign-up by: Bring $500 cash, check or Vanderbilt Card to the ORC by Fri. Jan. 9

Sorry this trip is currently full.  E-mail outdoorrec@vanderbilt.edu to get on the wait list.

Pre-Trip Meeting:  Tuesday, Jan. 13 at 5:00 pm.

2015 marks our 19h trip to the canyon since 1992.  For the fifteenth year, however, we will get there in style, via air to Phoenix and charter bus to the canyon.     We are planning on two hiking groups, both of which will hike a 25 – 40 mile trail the entire week, depending on permits.  Needless to say, the Grand Canyon is incredibly beautiful, awesome and spectacular.  Designed for the experienced backpacker, we will allow enthusiastic beginners on this trip.   Everyone who goes must be in good physical shape by the time we leave. Participants are expected to attend one of two all day Training Sessions on a Saturday in 2015.  This will involve a Pre-Canyon Hike and a meeting following the hike.  Dates for the Training Sessions are Sat. Jan. 17 and Sat. Jan. 31 from 7:30 am to 6:00 pm.  Note:  this trip will not be offered again until March 2017.   Estimate trip duration:  6:30 am Sat. to 7 pm Sun.

Cost includes all transportation, in-canyon food, hotel on both ends of the trip, group equipment, permits, camping and entrance fees.  Space is limited to the first 18 people that sign up, so don’t delay.

For a colorful PDF , click on this:  GC for WEB.2015.



Trip Information

Most trips are designed for a small group of people (10-12), and many of the trips require no previous experience. The fee for each trip covers the activity, transportation, in-camp food, camping fees, and group equipment. For more information, look for flyers around campus or stop by the Outdoor Recreation Center (at 2600 Children’s Way and behind the new Vanderbilt Recreation and Wellness Center) during rental hours. This is also where trip sign-up takes place. Trips are open to all VU students, faculty, staff, and VRWC members. Alcohol is not permitted on any trip.