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Texas Trip


Winter Break 2020/21

This winter break trip is a great way to get away and explore some amazing areas of the desert southwest. The trip runs for 13 days, and includes visits to four different State Parks, National Parks and Monuments: Big Bend NP, Guadalupe NP and Carlsbad Caverns NP. This is a multidimensional trip that includes several different recreation activities. Some of these activities include: backcountry camping, backpacking, caving, and day hikes. Although this trip takes place in desert environments, it will be the middle of winter so there is still the possibility of snow and below freezing temperatures. 

Alcohol is not permitted during the trip due to safety and respect concerns. Although showers are available at some sites, there will not be showers every day of the trip. 

Total Cost of Trip:TBD

The cost includes:  Instruction, Camping fees, Park entrance fees, Backcountry fees, transportation, trip gear, and food (road dinners and one dinner out are the participants’ responsibility – total 5 dinners). (Extra money for eating out, road drinks, and souvenirs is recommended.)  

Registration: Participants can register either in person at the WVU Outdoor Recreation Center (Located in the free zone of the WVU Student Recreation Center) or online.  Online registration must be paid with credit card, while in person registration can be paid by STAR charge.  Registration opens Fall 2020.

For questions call: (304) 293-2203


The Outdoor Recreation trips program is focused on getting people outside to explore new places, gain skills, meet new people, and have fun. Skills and safety instruction are an integral part of every trip so that risks can be decreased and participants can participate actively in the trip and can go on their own trips in the future. Trips are offered to give WVU students, faculty, staff and their families a chance to gain experience in a variety of outdoor activities while exploring beautiful environments. 


The staff at the WVU ORC is proud of their attention to risk management; however, we acknowledge that outdoor recreation/adventure activities have inherent risks associated with them. We make every effort to mitigate these risks; however, we cannot ensure participant safety or eliminate these risks. 

Previous Experience: 

Experience in adventure recreation activities is not required. This trip is designed for beginners, so no experience is necessary, although participants should expect to work at gaining proper skills for the activity. The Winter Break trip includes activities with medium physical difficulty and beginner to intermediate skill level. This is due to the nature of the environment (backpacking in 6000 feet high mountains and camping during the winter – temperatures will likely dip to below freezing at night and there could be snow and cold during the day).

Pre-trip Meetings:

We are going to have a series of pre-trip meetings where we will discuss the skills and equipment needed in the outdoors. The pre-trip meetings are mandatory for all participants. This is to ensure that everyone is prepared. 

Topics covered will include: 

  • Trip Itinerary 
  • Equipment (tents, stoves, etc.) 
  • Group dynamics and team work
  • Participant expectations  
  • Emergency procedures 
  • ORC policies 
  • Paperwork 
  • Safety 
  • Basic skills 
  • Clothing 
  • Food and Cooking  

All meetings are mandatory! If you miss a meeting you must reschedule the time to get information from the trip leaders, otherwise you will forfeit your spot on the trip and lose your money. 


Due to the ever-changing weather and the variety of environments we will be traveling through, we must require everyone have certain equipment. This is personal equipment that we cannot supply. One of the trip leaders must inspect it before the trip. There is a specific list of gear attached to this packet. 

Feel free to check out the following websites, related to our trip. 

Big Bend National Park

We will be day hiking here and camping two nights at the Rio Grande Village and three nights at Chisos Basin Campground. We will also be spending 2-nights in the Chisos Mountains (High Chisos Trails System) during our backpack trip. 

Guadalupe Mountains National Park

We will be camping two nights at the Pine Springs group campground. Here we have some day hike options depending on weather and wind. 

Carlsbad Caverns National Park 

We will drive north from Guadalupe Mountains National Park into New Mexico to explore the giant stalagmites and stalactites in Carlsbad Caverns NP, where the annual cave climate is 56°F (13°C)!

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