Upenn Recreation

Outdoor Adventure Trips

Get out of the city and into nature with one of our Outdoor Adventures!  Studies have shown that spending time in the outdoors has significant physical health benefits, helps reduce stress, decreases anxiety, increases self-confidence and sharpens one’s focus.  Our trips are suited for all ability levels and are led by trained staff.  Transportation and all necessary equipment is provided for all trips.

Penn Outdoor Adventure trips will run in all weather conditions with the exception of dangerous conditions. Ending times of trips are approximated for your convenience, but please expect that times may vary due to traffic or unexpected delays. All trips will promptly begin at the climbing wall at the Pottruck Health & Fitness Center. Remember that wilderness trips take place away from modern amenities such as bathrooms, heaters, and grocery stores. Please plan accordingly.

Seasonal Offerings

Expand the tabs below to see upcoming trips and learn more about each activity.

  • Outdoor Climbing 

    IMG_2155Whether you have never climbed before or you are an avid climber just looking to get outside, our outdoor climbing courses are for you.  We will be visiting some of the Philly areas best  local climbing destinations.  No experience is required and all necessary equipment is provided.  All courses are taught by an American Mountain Guides Association Single Pitch Instructor.

    Please Check Back in August – Trips run September through June

    Trip Logistics

  • Hiking and Backpacking

    IMG_2177Day hikes stroll down lazy hills, along rivers, lakes, and swamps, scale steep ridges to gain gorgeous views of the valley below. Multi-day backpacking trips are designed to develop self-reliance in the participants; to keep you out of the school of hard knocks. Trips run on a wide range of trails including Appalachian Mountain trails.

    Waterfall Day Hike to Ricketts Glen (Registration Full)
    July 22nd – Saturday

    Trip Duration: 1 Day 8:00pm to 6:00pm

    Cost: $40 Pottruck Member / $50 Non-Member

    Hike one of the most beautiful locations in Pennsylvania. We will be traveling to Ricketts Glen State Park in North Central, PA, which boasts 22 waterfalls, including the 94 foot high Ganoga Falls. This trip is suited for hikers of all abilities.

    Register Online

    Backpacking The West Rim Trail

    July 28th-Friday to July 30th-Sunday

    Trip Duration: 3 Days – Friday, July 28th: 5:00pm to July 30th: 6:00pm

    Cost: $100 Pottruck Member / $125 Non-Member

    Spend the weekend on one of the best backpacking trails on the East Coast. The West Rim Trail travels along the picturesque “Pennsylvania Grand Canyon” in the mountains of Northern Pennsylvania. Specatcular views and various forest types make this a must-do backpacking trip. We will be spending 2-days and 2-nights on the trail, leaving Friday evening and returning on Sunday afternoon. No experience is required. Transportation, all necessary equipment, instruction, and guiding are included. There is a mandatory pre-trip meeting on July 24th for all those registered.

    Register Online


    Trip Logistics

  • Paddle Sports 

    IMG_2210Take your adventure off shore with our water-based paddle sports.  Join us for a variety of paddle sports, whether you prefer Stand Up Paddleboarding at the beach, canoeing or kayaking down a lazy stream, or challenging the rapids on a whitewater rafting trip, we have something for everyone.  Participants must be able to swim in order to register.


    Pack Rafting Weekend – Pine Creek Gorge (Registration Full)
    July 14th-Friday to July 16th-Sunday

    Trip Duration: 3 Days – Friday, July 14th: 5:00pm to July 16th: 6:00pm

    Cost: $100 Pottruck Member / $125 Non-Member

    Enjoy a weekend of hiking and paddling in Pennsylvania’s most beautiful areas. This trip will combine hiking, camping and pack rafting down the Pine Creek Gorge. We will spend two nights of camping, 1 day of hiking and 1 day of paddling. Pack Rafts are compact 1-person inflateable rafts, similar to paddling a traditional kayak. However, Pack Rafts are extremely versitile and, when deflated, can pack into a backpack to enable you to explore remote water ways that is hard carry a traditional boat to. Join us as we test out our new fleet of Pack Rafts, which are unique to an East coast urban university program.No experience is required. You must be able to swim. Price includes: Transportation, all necessary equipment, and guiding.

    Register Online

    Whitewater Rafting – Lehigh Gorge

    July 23rd – Sunday

    Trip Duration: 1 Day   8:00am to 7:00pm

    Cost: $85 Pottruck Member/ $100 Non-Member

    Prepare to get wet as we will be rafting down the Lehigh Gorge on a dam release day that will ensure the best rafting of the year as we will see up to Class III rapids. We will be spending 3-5 hours on the river and each trip will be lead by guides from Whitewater Challengers. You must be able to swim to participate on this trip as there is a high possibility that your raft will flip. No experience necessary.

    Register Online

    Trip Logistics

  • Biking

    Choose pedal power for your next adventure with one of our biking trips.  We offer a variety of biking, from leisurely touring to hopping over roots and rocks on the trails with a mountain bike.  Biking is a great way to cover a lot of distance and see more in a short amount of time.  We rent bicycles from the destinations that we travel to.  Sorry, but you can’t bring your own trustee bike, as we do not have a way to transport it.


    Please Check Back in March – Trips run April through October

    Trip Logistics

  • Snow Sports

    PennRec StaffWhether you’re learning the slopes, or are a seasoned veteran, join us for a wintry experience on our Downhill Ski/Snowboard trips. Local trips ski at the various resorts in the Pocono Mountains. Opportunities are available for long weekend trips further into the northeast. The destinations we select offer a challenge for any level ski/snowboarder: from green to black diamond.


    Please Check Back in December – Trips run January through February

    Trip Logistics

    • Meet at the Pottruck Health and Fitness Center for all trips.
    • All participants will receive a pre-trip email.
  • Extended Trips

    Take an Adventure for your academic break.  The Outdoor Adventure program offers a variety of adventures during Spring, Summer, Fall & Winter breaks.  Trips range from 4 to 7 days long and usually require extended travel time.  The extended trips visit some of most scenic outdoor locations regionally and nationally and may encompass several activity areas during one trip.  Interest and/or pre-trip meetings are typically required to participate in an extended trip.


    None at this time.  Please check back in the Fall.

    Trip Logistics

  • Wilderness First Aid Courses 

    If you spend any time in the outdoors, it is good to know what to do if things go wrong.  Our wilderness medicine courses are taught by professional instructors from the Wilderness Medicine Institute of NOLS.  Choose from a 2-day (16 Hour) Wilderness First Aid Course or a 9-day (80 Hour) Wilderness First Responder Course.  These courses are great for everyone, whether you’re a weekend warrior or an outdoor professional.

    None at this time.  Please check back in the Fall.

    Trip Logistics

    • All participants will receive a pre-course email.
  • Cancellation & Refund Policies 

    Penn Campus Recreation reserves the right to cancel any Outdoor Adventure trip due to weather, safety issues, or low enrollment.  Participants will receive notice of cancellation at least 24 hours before the adventure is due to depart.  In the event of a Penn Recreation cancellation, participants will receive a full refund of any fees paid.

    Day Trips

    If a participant withdraws from a day trip prior to 48 hours of the trip departure, a full refund will be given of any fees paid.  No refunds will be given if participant withdraws within 48 hours of the trip departure.

    Weekend Trips (2-3 days)

    If a participant withdraws from a weekend trip prior to 7 days before the trip departure, a full refund will be given of any fees paid.  A 50% refund of any fees paid will be given if withdraw occurs within 7-2 days prior to the trip departure.  No refunds will be given if withdraw occurs within 48 hours of the trip departure.

    Extended Trips (Longer than 3 days)

    If a participant withdraws from an extended trip prior to 14 days before the trip departure, a full refund will be given of any fees paid.  A 50% refund of any fees paid will be given if withdraw occurs within 14-7 days prior to the trip departure.  No refunds will be given if withdraw occurs within 7 days of trip departure.


Email Sign-up

Interested in getting the latest updates on Campus Recreation Outdoor Adventure and Climbing Wall programs? Please submit your name and email address below.

To join the list-serve email Jason Erdman at jerdman@upenn.edu with the following:

Subject: List-serve

Body: Email, First, Last Name

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