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Our camping and hiking trips are great for those who want to get outside and camp without having to carry all the equipment on their back. We will “car camp” or camp with the van in close proximity, usually with picnic tables, fire rings, and restrooms of some sort. Our trips are designed for a group of 10-15 people, and require no previous experience. Each trip is led by Outdoor Rec. Trip Coordinators who are experienced in camping and hiking. Group equipment, such as tents, stoves, cooking gear, is included in the trip price. The hiking part of the trip is simply a day hike.

Upcoming Trips

JULY 15-17  (Friday – Sunday)
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN
Cost: $93
Sign-up by: Friday, July 8


1. You must be part of VU and have an @vanderbilt.edu email address.

2.  Click HERE to sign up and pay on-line!

Pre-Trip Meeting:  Tuesday, 7/12 at 5:00 pm at the Outdoor Rec. Center, 2600 Children’s Way.

Come explore the backcountry of the most popular park in country!   It’s a relatively long drive, but this park is worth it!  We have not yet secured our permits, put we plan on car camping at the Cosby Campground on Friday night and begin hiking on Saturday.   Expect to hike 5-8 miles each day.  The scenery should be spectacular and the temperatures are cooler in the Smoky Mountains.  Hiking boots are advised.  This trip is limited to the first 6 people who sign up. Estimated trip duration: 3 pm Fri. – 7 pm Sun.

JULY 30-31 (Saturday – Sunday)

Ocoee River, TN
Cost:  $110
Sign-up by: Friday, July 15


1. You must be part of VU and have an @vanderbilt.edu email address.

2.  Click HERE to sign up and pay on-line!

Pre-Trip Meeting:  Tuesday, 7/26 at 5:00 pm in the Outdoor Rec. Center, 2600 Children’s Way.

Whitewater rafting on the Ocoee River is packed with fun and excitement on back-to-back rapids!     We will leave early Saturday and camp at the state park near the Hiwassee River and then hike near the scenic Hiwassee River or Ocoee River.  Sunday morning we will be guided down the beautiful middle section of the mighty Ocoee in rafts of 5-6 paddlers each.  Estimated trip duration:  7 am Sat. – 7 pm Sun.






Date:  May 21 – 29 (Saturday – Sunday)

Location:  Yosemite National Park, CA

Cost: $595 + your airfare to and from Sacramento, CA
Registration Fee: $200 can be paid on-line, the rest can be paid in later months.

Sign-up by: Friday, March 18




The Summer adventures continue with the Outdoor Recreation Program and this years trip to Yosemite National Park, located in the high sierras of central California. Home to some of the most famous and captivating scenery in the world, we will have a chance to see and explore the impressive granite cliffs and domes, rushing waterfalls, alpine lakes and giant sequoia trees. This trip will include a 4-day backpacking trip and 2.5 days of day hiking. The elevation in the park ranges from around 3,000 feet to 13,000 feet so participants need to be in good shape for this trip. We will mostly be hiking from around 4,000 feet to 7,000 feet in elevation and 6 – 11 miles per day. This will be a trip to remember!

Cost includes:   Van transportation (from / to Sacramento Airport), wilderness permits, camping, entrance and other fees, in-camp food, and group equipment.

Click on this:  Yosemite web for a colorful PDF with more info!

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







The Colorado Adventure: Whitewater Rafting, Climbing, and Hiking 14-ers!


Dates: Aug 6-14, 2016 (Saturday – Sunday)

Locations: Colorado: Rocky Mountain National Park, Pikes Peak, the Royal Gorge, Mt. Elbert, Garden of the Gods, Breckenridge, and Jurassic Park!

Cost: $665 + your own airfare to Denver Airport

Sign up by: Friday, March 18



As of 3/31:  This trip is full. E-mail  to outdoorrec@vanderbilt.edu to get on the waiting list.

1. You must be part of VU and have an @vanderbilt.edu email address.

Sign up by: midnight by March 18

This summer, get ready to cross some items off your bucket list! We will meet at Denver International Airport and road trip to experience everything Colorado has to offer. We will start in the famous Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) and hike to hidden waterfalls and glacier lakes before doing some rock climbing at Jurassic Park. Then we’re off to hike some 14ers, mountains that are over 14,000ft. To give you some perspective Clingmans Dome, the tallest Mountain in Tennessee, is 6,644ft high. We will hike over two times that high on Pikes Peak (14,114ft) and Mt. Elbert (14,439ft), the tallest mountain in Colorado! To split up these two big ascents we are going to do some whitewater rafting through the   Royal Gorge. There we will experience the Arkansas River’s big class IV and V rapids.  A hike through Garden of the Gods will be the perfect icing on the cake before heading back to Denver. The majority of this trip will be intermediate day hiking (9-19 miles per hike with elevation) with the addition of rafting and climbing. It’s designed to be a tough but extremely rewarding adventure for experienced hikers, but we will allow enthusiastic beginners to join us on the excursion.


Everyone who goes must be in good physical shape by the time we leave.

Participants are expected to attend one of two all day sessions on a Saturday in 2016.  This will involve a Pre-Colorado Training Hike and a meeting following the hike.  Expected duration:  7:30 am to 5:00 pm, but specific dates are yet to be determined.  For your flight to DEN, arrive no later than 2 pm MST on 8/6 and leave no earlier than 9 am MST on 8/14.

Pre-Trip Meeting: Thursday, March 24 at 6:00 PM Conference Room, Outdoor Rec. Center.

There will most likely be another Pre-trip meeting, TBA in April or May 2016


Payment Information:

2/26/16 Registration fee: $200
3/18/16 Second payment: $220
4/8/16 Last Payment: $245

Cost includes: van transportation to/from Denver airport, all in-camp food, hotel at the end of the trip, group equipment, permits, whitewater rafting, camping and entrance fees.

> Space is limited to the first 10 people that sign up, and spots are expected to go quickly



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 ORC rental hours. This is also where the Pre-Trip Meeting takes place. Trips are open to all VU students, faculty, staff, and VRWC members. Alcohol is not permitted on any trip.