Home » Trip Schedule » Camping


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

Spring Break 2016: March 5-13, 2016 (Saturday – Sunday)

Gulf Coast:  Florida and the Blackwater River
Cost: $385

Sign-up by:  Friday, Feb. 12

1. You must be part of VU and have an @vanderbilt.edu email address.
2. Click HERE to sign up.

3.  We are now accepting payment on-line for trips!!!   You can pay with a credit card or debit card when you sign up on the link above.

4. If you cannot pay this way, then you will have to come PAY at the VRWC (Vanderbilt Recreation & Wellness Center).   You must do this within 2 business days of signing up.

Bring $200 cash, check, credit card, debit card, or Vanderbilt Card to the Office of Campus Recreation on the 2nd floor of the VRWC.  Hours:  8 am – 6 pm Monday – Thurday, and from 8 am – 5 pm on Friday.

Pre-Trip Meeting: Wednesday, Feb. 17 at 5:00 pm in the ORC.

This Spring Break, we will be driving down to the Gulf Coast for a big canoe-camping trip!  First, we’ll check out the wildlife in Big Lagoon State Park, FL.  The lagoon is located just inland from the gulf.  There will be a chance to hang out at the beach on the coast before heading to Florida’s Blackwater River State Forest.  We will camp at Bear Lake where we can sleep in, go hiking, or canoeing on the small lake.  We will bring mostly canoes, but also 2-3 touring kayaks that we can take turns paddling. Finally, we will go on a 5-day, 4-night canoe-camping trip down the incredible Blackwater River.  (The water is a dark, tannin-stained color, but it contrasts vividly with the snow-white sand bars at each bend).   This is definitely an area that you have to just be there to experience all of its beauty.  No experience is necessary for this week of camping and paddling, but you must know how to swim.  In order to properly prepare for this fun adventure, plan on attending 2-3 Pre-Trip Meetings.  Estimated trip duration:  6:30 am Sat. to 4 pm Sun.

Cost includes: van transportation, in-camp food, group equipment (including the canoes and kayaks), permits, camping fees, entrance fees and a cheap hotel in Alabama on the last night.

Space is limited to the first 12 people who sign up, so don’t delay!

Click on this:  GulfCoast2016.web.11.15 for a colorful PDF of info.

Please contact Sean Wilkinson, VU ORP Coordinator, at (615) 936-8527 or via email at outdoorrec@vanderbilt.edu if you have any questions regarding this trip.



APRIL 2-3  (Saturday – Sunday)
The Great Stone Door, S.C.S.P., TN
Cost: $56
Sign-up by: Friday, March 25


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, 3/29 at 5:00 pm at the Outdoor Rec. Center, 2600 Children’s Way.

Savage Gulf, home to the Great Stone Door, is a great place to go backpacking.  On Saturday, we will hike to and through the door enroute to a trail on the bottom of the gorge, camping at the Alum Gap campsite.  On Sunday a side hike to a pair of waterfalls and panoramic overlooks is a great way to start the day!  Expect to hike 5 – 6 miles a day on moderately difficult trails.  This trip is designed for the experienced backpacker or the ambitious beginner.  The trails are rocky (and challenging) in places, and easy in other places.  Overall, the reward is well worth the effort.  Estimated trip duration:  7 am Sat. – 6 pm Sun.


APRIL 9 – 10 (Saturday – Sunday)

CLIMBING and CAMPING (Beginner to Advanced)


Sand Rock, AL

Cost: $86

Sign-up by: Friday, April 1




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

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

Tuesday, 4/5 at 6:00 pm in the Outdoor Rec. Center, 2600 Children’s Way.

Come and get a taste of some sandstone climbing at Sandrock, AL. This overnight camping trip will offer a whole range of climbing challenges for beginner climbers all the way to advanced ones. Not to mention the views from these bluffs are to die for. If you are looking for a laid back climbing trip with a ton to offer, then this has your name written all over it. Climbing shoes = $7 extra. Estimated trip Duration: Saturday 7 am – Sunday 6 pm.





MAY 6 – 9 (Friday – Monday)
Great Smoky Mountain National Park, TN
Cost: $122
Sign-up by:  Friday, April 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 Meetings:  # 1 Monday, 4/18 at 5:00 pm at the Outdoor Rec. Center, 2600 Children’s Way.
# 2 Thursday, 4/21 at 6:00 pm at the Outdoor Rec. Center, 2600 Children’s Way.

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.  We will have two one-hour important Pre-Trip Meetings for this trip.  Please plan to attend both.   Est. trip duration:  8 am Fri.  – 8 pm Mon.



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


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


Sign up by:  midnight on 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

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.