Intro to Backpacking at Mt St Helens

  • Learning to start a campfire

Trips to be scheduled.

Learn the basics of backpacking on this fun weekend escape! Explore the trails of the Northwest’s most active volcano and observe close-up the aftermath and natural recovery since the 1980 eruption that blew the top off this iconic mountain. Discover great views, ripe huckleberries, and stunning scenery at this national monument, known to Native Americans as “Loowit.” We’ll start our hike on Friday evening by headlamp, carrying everything we need for the weekend on our backs. Each day we’ll hike through islands of old growth forests and sleep in tents at night. In case of inclement weather, the trip location may change. If you have never been backpacking before, or you want to learn more outdoor skills, this is the place to start!

How to Register

Registration Opens: Fall 2021 *Trip Fee: $65 / $32*

*If you qualify for any federal financial aid, the trip fee is cut in half thanks to scholarship funding from ASLC. We accept cash, checks, credit/debit cards, and apple/samsung/google pay. 

How to Sign Up:

Beginning Feb. 7th, 2022:
To register for a trip, stop by the College Outdoors desk on the first floor of East Hall, across from Maggie’s and right outside the office of the Vice President of Student Life. The desk is staffed weekdays 11:30am-1:30pm and 4pm-6pm.

Trip Type


Physical Demands

No experience necessary! The hiking pace and rigor will be tailored to the group and weather conditions, and we’ll teach you everything you need to know.

Participants should be prepared to hike up to 4 miles per day on uneven trails, carrying 50-60lbs in backpacks. You’ll sleep outdoors on foam pads.

Accessibility accommodations are available, contact

What to Expect

  • Sleeping indoors
  • Sleeping outdoors
  • Electricity
  • Wifi
  • Cell phone service
  • Heating
  • Beds
  • Bathrooms
  • Gender-inclusive bathrooms
  • Showers
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Food for any Dietary Restrictions


Pre-Trip Meeting

College Outdoors trips have a Pre-Trip Meeting (PTM) prior to the trip to help you prepare, which takes place at the Sequoia warehouse on the Graduate Campus.

At this meeting you’ll meet the trip leaders and other participants, learn more about the trip activity, location, and schedule, and be given a packing list of everything you need for your trip. The trip leaders and Sequoia staff will then help you find and borrow anything on the packing list that you’d like to borrow. We have high-quality outdoor clothing and equipment, and it’s all free to use for your trip!

If you miss a Pre-Trip Meeting, check your email for important info you missed. 

Sequoia Warehouse

Sequoia is the College Outdoors warehouse, located on the Graduate Campus. Everything you’ll need is available for free when you come on a College Outdoors Trip. At Sequoia you will find:

  • Clothing needed for your trip, including any relevant outerwear and specialty items needed for the activity. Sizes range from XS - XXL and come in gendered an non-gendered designs. 
  • Gear needed for your trip, such as sleeping bags, backpacks, water bottles, and much much more.
  • Equipment such as tents, cookware, first-aid kits, and boats, which trip leaders will pack for each trip as needed.
  • Gender-neutral bathrooms, which can also be used as changing rooms.
  • Staff available to answer your questions.