Wilderness Welcome Orientation Trips

Stay healthy and get out in the Alaska wilderness. A big part of enjoying life in Fairbanks is embracing an active, outdoor lifestyle. UAF Outdoor Adventures offers Wilderness Welcome Orientation before the traditional new student orientation. Start your time at UAF right by participating in this from August 17-21.

During Wilderness Welcome students from all over the U.S. and the world get to know each other while they explore Alaska's vast wilderness. No experience is required, but all students will be challenged.

Trip options (2018)

Backpacking: Strap boots to your feet and a pack to your back, because you'll be walking the beautiful Kesugi Ridge in Denali State Park. This open ridge hike is above tree line overlooks Denali and the Alaska Range. This is an amazing wilderness trip that has four days of amazing views and challenging hiking, and you might even see a bear!

Canoeing: Take a trip out the Denali Highway to the Tangle Lakes. We'll be deep in the wilderness quietly paddling thorough lakes and doing short portages so that we can camp in a different secluded spot each night. This is a great trip for students who enjoy the water and may not be comfortable carrying a pack for days.

Rafting: Join us as we raft the Chulitna River along the border of Denali State Park. This river has incredible views of the Alaska Range, and even Denali on a clear day. There are sections of class II – III rapids and a good chance of seeing wildlife. Learn about paddling rafts and reading rivers, or work on the skills you already have while building new friendships that will make your UAF experience even better.

Schedule of Events

Day 0- 8.16.2018: Students should arrive in Fairbanks on this day. Transportation from the airport can be arranged. Students who plan to live on campus can move into their room that day. Students living off-campus will need to provide their own housing. Anyone arriving before 8.16.2018 will need to provide their own housing before this day.

Day 1-8.18.17: Wilderness Welcome begins! This day will consist of pre-trip meetings, brief tours of campus and Fairbanks as well as taking care of new student business like the Polar Express cards and the campus post office. It will also serve as a day to allow students to get over any jet-lag. Personal errands should be taken care of prior to meeting at 10:00am this day. Once the program begins, students will be very busy and will need to be there for the day's activities.

Day 2-5- 8.18-21 : Students will depart for the field on one of our different four-day adventures. The morning will be spent driving, but students will be hiking, rafting, canoeing or kayaking by lunch time. On Tuesday, students will return from their trips in the late afternoon. There will then be a large group BBQ after all the gear has been cleaned up, and then the students spend the night in their dorm rooms.

Day 6 8.22.2018: This is the first day of traditional Orientation.


Trips cost $425 each. The price includes transportation, food, equipment, instructors, a T-shirt. This price also includes early move in to campus housing. Early move in starts on August 17th. Meals are provided starting with lunch on August 17th through dinner on August 21nd. Students must provide footwear, clothing and personal items all other equipment for the trips is provided. A complete packing list will be mailed after we receive your registration.

Sign Up

Register Soon! Click Here for the 2018 application form.

You can mail the completed form to: P. O. Box 757450, Fairbanks, AK 99775, fax the form to (907) 474-1998 or email the form to uaf-oa-staff@alaska.edu. Space is limited, so don't hesitate!

Thank you to the UAF Alumni Association

It is through continued support from the UAF Alumni Association (UAFAA) that Wilderness Welcome and other Outdoor Adventures trips can included equipment use with trip fees. UAFAA recently support OA's purchase of a new raft and backpacks.

Back to Top