See below for brief descriptions of the 2013 OA trips.



(San Gabriel River) 

Situated between the Los Angeles Basin and the Mojave Desert, this trip winds through the San Gabriel Mountains that compose Pitzer’s northern backdrop, with river crossings, swim spots, and the beautiful scenery. The trip backpacks into the mountains, camps three nights, and takes day hikes to the Bridge of Nowhere, a 120 foot concrete bridge in the middle of the canyon. The hike will cover about 14 miles over the course of this trip.

Backpack camping 3 nights.


(San Gorgonio)

Also known at “Old Greyback,” Southern California’s tallest mountain, this trip provides beautiful views of California alpine at about 9,000 feet. Backpackers will hike about 22 miles and camp for three nights. There will be some day hikes without packs, discovering the alpine lake, an outlook of the Mojave Desert and LA Basin, and getting up close with famous pine trees and manzanita. The summit of Mt. San Gorgonio is 11,501.6 feet and is a monumental climb, giving you a feeling of success at the top!

Backpack camping 3 nights.


(San Jacinto)

The second highest peak in Southern California at 10,834 feet, the San Jacinto mountains provide a breathtaking view of the Coachella Valley and Palm Springs. The trek is about 16 miles, taking in unique sights like California black oak trees, fern covered meadows, and far reaching view of the brother San Gorgonio Mountains nearby. We plan to summit the mountain and take our time enjoying the beauty of the wildlife and getting to know each other in the process. The people guiding this trip will create a welcoming atmosphere which respects the identities and needs of all participants involved.

Backpack camping 3 nights.


Beach Camping

(Leo Carrillo and Point Mugu State Beaches)

If you like long walks on the beach and are an avid shell collector then you are going to love these trips. They are for for anyone who wants to frolic in the warm California sun for a few days. We will spend our days exploring the local nature playing in the tide pools,hiking around the California landscape, hanging out on the beach and getting to know our new friends. Get ready to cook some delicious food and play and listen to awesome music around the campfire at night. From tie dying t-shirts during the day to making ooey-gooey s’mores at night this fun packed trip is something you don’t want to miss!

Tent camping 3 nights.


Big Bear Camping

Located conveniently just a little over an hour away from campus the diverse, yet accessible, terrain of Big Bear is guaranteed to fulfill the needs of campers with zero to extensive outdoor experience. The chosen campsites provide a serene wilderness setting located just north of Big Bear Lake. On this woodland camping adventure campers can expect to go on beautiful hikes along the Pacific Crest Trail, swim in the lake, relax in nature, and form unforgettable memories alongside fellow members of the Pitzer community. If you want to experience some of what California’s beautiful mountains have to offer in a laid back and fun-filled adventurous environment, then this trip is for you.

Tent camping 3 nights. 


Camp Pitzer

Enjoy the best of summer camp activities on this exquisite Camp Pitzer experience. Located in the beautiful San Bernardino mountains, the retreat center offers a wide variety of fun activities. Our days will be filled with archery, doing a high ropes course, exploring nature on day hikes, and enjoying loads of outdoor activities such as basketball, volleyball, swimming, and canoeing! Our nights will be spent roasting s’mores by the fire pit, sharing stories and hot chocolate with our new found friends, watching late night movies, and sleeping in cozy wooden cabins (with showers!). Come join us to relax and adventure in the natural beauty of the Southern California mountains.

Bed or mat on campus or otherwise indoors 3 nights.

Catalina Kayaking and Backpacking

Spending two days kayaking (12 miles) and two days hiking (10-12 miles) around and on beautiful Catalina Island, participants will get to know this natural wonder, historically inhabited by indigenous peoples including the Tongva, better than most Californians have. Participants will likely see bald eagles, island foxes, and bison while trekking and as they paddle a rich array of sea life will make themselves known. Seals and dolphins regularly accompany the kayaks. Each night will be spent camping and looking up into the stars. After physically strenuous, long days of paddling, hiking, and swimming along and in some of the most beautiful beaches and oceans of California, participants will gather ‘round the campfire ready to share stories and build community.

Backpack camping 3 nights.

Healing Ourselves Healing Our Communities

This trip will share a variety of cultural traditions and rituals with new students to explore the resources of healing and community building in the LA basin.  Recenter as you embark on your time at Pitzer with daily practices of group meditation, journaling, tea rituals, and yoga.  Incorporating sunrise hiking, kombucha making, and an exploration of co-op living and communal spaces around the Claremont area, including the farmers market, Myra House, and a Pasadena Hootenanny, students will gain a better understanding of what it means to play, eat and live cooperatively amongst neighbors.  In addition, personal healing traditions drawing from a wide array of cultures will be incorporated, including traditional Tongva medicine, Korean bath houses, music, and healing through food as medicine. This trip is open to any and all experience levels in any of these practices. Come with an open mind and heart.

Bed or mat on campus or otherwise indoors 3 nights.

LA Arts and Food

This trip ventures through the neighborhoods, culture, and sights of the greater Los Angeles area: exploring the sunny southern California niche in which Pitzer is happily situated.  It includes explorations of prominent museums as well as tastings of delicious foods offered at various restaurants and coffee shops around the City of Angels.  The trip will focus on the food and art culture in LA through a professional food tasting tour, time spent at the famous Venice Beach boardwalk, ambling through the famous Getty museum, taking in the breathtaking view of the county at the top of the Griffith Observatory, exploring historical architecture, learning the history of cinema in the area, and much more! Participants will be traversing the area for four days, travelling into Los Angeles, staying at a hostel one night and our own Pitzer College on other nights. This introduction into LA is guaranteed to leave you with a full stomach of what LA is all about!

Bed or mat on campus or otherwise indoors 3 nights, 1 night in hostel.


Pedal to the Pacific

Can’t decide which outdoor trip to do? This one covers it all! Pedal to the Pacific revolves around biking but incorporates the joys of camping, hiking, swimming, beach play, cooking, and maybe even catching a few waves! As we travel to the coast and down the shoreline, we will learn that Southern California is accommodating to cyclists. From the unique perspective that only two wheels can provide, we will experience the LA area's beach scene and range of socioeconomic environments. On the first day, we will pedal 40+ mostly flat and downhill miles along the San Gabriel River (LA River) to Seal Beach and south to Orange County. The following two days will cover less mileage but will get a bit hillier. The trip will conclude at San Onofre State Beach where we will spend our final night. A U-Haul van will accompany the trip to carry all the gear that we do not need while biking. As a participant, you are welcome to bring your own bike as long as it is in good condition and has several gears, but bikes, helmets, and other necessary gear can be provided to all who need them. Whether you’re a beginner cyclist or a aspiring pro, this trip can accommodate you.

Tent camping 3 nights.

SoCal LoCal Outdoors

If you are adventurous and are interested in exploring all of the outdoor hot spots of Southern California then this is the trip for you! We will spend our days exploring local trails, relaxing in the natural beauty of beaches and scenic vistas from mountain tops, and getting to know the Pitzer way of navigating Southern California. We will spend our nights bonding over bonfires and our mutual love for adventure, the outdoors, and spontaneity. This is a trip for people who are interested in doing a variety of outdoor things while also getting to know popular Pitzer excursions.

Optional camping on campus 3 nights.

SoCal LoCal Cuyamaca (fall athletes)

Who says 2 days isn’t enough to have an amazing outdoor orientation experience?! We know you all are going to be exhausted from your practices, so this trip is aimed to offer you the best of relaxation, adventure, and an opportunity to bond with fellow first year athletes. We will be heading down South to Cuyamaca State Park to camp for the night. We will spend our days hiking, exploring, bonding, and hanging out at the waterfalls. At night we will sit around a campfire sharing stories and roasting s’mores! This trip will be exactly what you need as a break from your fall training schedule. Exclusively for men’s water polo, men’s and women’s soccer, women’s volleyball, men’s football, and women’s and men’s cross country incoming varsity athletes.

Tent camping 1 night.

Social Justice in Action
This trip will introduce participants to critical social and cultural issues in the Los Angeles Basin and Inland Empire. But, it won’t stop there. Through collaborating with Pitzer’s Community Engagement Center and their community partners, participants will tap into relationships that Pitzer has taken years foster and begin to define for themselves what local social justice issues they feel most connected to. Not to mention, this is a jump start on Pitzer’s social responsibility graduation requirement. Splitting time between Pitzer, Claremont and Los Angeles, participants will gain well rounded perspective of their new home.
-Beds or mats in hostels and on campus 3 nights.

S.T.A.G.E. is focused on giving incoming first years a chance to get a glimpse into the fantastic world of theater and media studies. The trip will combine elements of acting, lighting, make-up, media production, photography, graphics, directing, filming, editing, and writing. Students will participate in a variety of acting games/exercises, they will be exposed to the backstage world of lighting and make-up, and even write/create their very own film, play, photo montage, or mock movie poster. The first day will focus on the theater basics. The second day will be centered around the camera and production. The third and fourth days will be devoted to major projects.

Bed or mat on campus or otherwise indoors 3 nights.


(Trestles Beach; San Onofre State Beach)

Ready to hang ten?! Whether you have surfing experience or you have never even been to the ocean, you probably are aware that catching waves is a great experience Southern California has to offer. On this trip you will have the opportunity to learn to surf with Pitzer from professional surf instructors at some of Southern California’s best surf spots. In addition to surfing there will a lot of opportunities for beach side sports, bonding, crafts, and soaking up the summer sun. At night we will make s’mores, get to know each other around a campfire, and camp under the stars. If you want to enjoy fun in the sun and try your hand at surfing, then this introduction to college is definitely for you!

Tent camping 3 nights.


Sustainability in Action

Through hands-on exposure, students will be introduced to the complexities of sustainability issues in LA and surrounding areas. Participants will visit local urban farms, markets, and other community projects, explore Ojai via a farm to fork restaurant, experience a beekeeping workshop, and learn to make kombucha. Folks who have spent years working on sustainability issues and folks to whom this is a new issue will all feel welcome on this trip. Participants will taste a variety of locally grown and harvested foods, including goat cheeses and produce from sustainable farms in the LA area. Two nights will be spent sleeping in community spaces near Pitzer and one night will be spent camping outside under the stars.

Bed or mat indoors 2 nights. Tent camping 1 night.

Welcome class of 2017. As of noon on June 10th, the OA registration form is live!.

  • May 15 - Trip descriptions updated.
  • June 10 - Trip registration is live.
  • July 5 - Trip registration closes.
  • July 10 - Trip placements announced.
  • August 24 - OA trips begin.
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