As someone from Colorado, I grew up hiking and camping all my life. I absolutely love the outdoors and have continued to go out hiking and camping as much as possible in college. Although our campus is gorgeous, it’s nice to get away from city life and get some fresh natural air.
Getting to hiking trails and camp spots can be challenging if you don’t have a car, but there are plenty of groups on campus that will take you. For example, the Trojan Judo Club which I’m apart of does hikes in Griffith Park for fun and team bonding. There are a couple groups on campus that are specifically geared for hiking and outdoors. Peaks and Professors is a group that takes students hiking with professors, which is really great way to get to know our amazing faculty at USC. The other group is SC Outfitters, who I have taken several camping and backpacking trips with.
SC Outfitters is one of the biggest student organizations on campus. They run amazing trips year around, not only for hiking and camping, but also for mountain biking, rock climbing, kayaking and much more! The club is organized by super outdoorsy students called guides, who take first aid and wilderness training each year and have lots of outdoors experience. The guides organize trips, and then as a regular club member you can sign up to go on any and all trips that look fun to you. I’ve been on several trips, including the Freshman/New Transfer Student trip when I first came USC, which took place a couple days before Welcome Week. It was a great way to make friends and get involved right away. Besides the Freshman trip, I’ve also summited Mount San Gorgonio (tallest mountain in Southern California) and gone hiking in Sequoia National Park with SC Outfitters.
Even if you don’t join the clubs, grab a car and some friends and head out to the many gorgeous places around LA and beyond. One of my favorite places I’ve camped was Big Sur, which is about 4-5 hours north of LA on the coast. Angeles and San Bernardino National Forests are pretty close (less than an hour) and also offer great trails. One place I really want to go to is Yosemite National Park. It’s a bit of a long drive, but I hope to make it out in the spring!
You may think that LA is all about the city life, but campus is in a great location to explore the natural beauty of California.
If you love the outdoors and want to see more of Southern and Central California’s natural wonders, you should check out the rest of my Great Outdoors series!See the Eastern Sierras and Death Valley Learn about Yosemite National Park