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Cornell University

FULL - 6 Day Backpacking in the Adirondack Mountains

This trip goes to the High Peaks Wilderness Area of the Adirondack Mountains. The Adirondacks region is one of New York's greatest natural assets, preserved by state law to remain "forever wild." The area covers an impressive 6 million acres, 2.3 million of which are State Forest Preserve, the largest tract of wild land in the Northeast. There are many Wilderness Areas in the Adirondacks, and Odyssey trips travel to several of them. Spectacular views await those adventurous enough to scale one of the many peaks of these regions. The flora varies from hardwood forests at lower elevations, to spruce and fir forests higher up the mountains, to unique alpine vegetation on the highest summits. This trip is usually 5 days of travel backpacking and 1 day doing a day hike without moving camp.  Specific trip details will be provided by the guides.

Trip Dates

August 12, 2024: Arrive in Ithaca between 11am-1pm (Day 0)

August 13, 2024: Trip departs (Day 1)

August 18, 2024: Trip returns to Ithaca for Camp-o-rama (Day 6)

August 19, 2024: Move-in day (Day 7)

Trip Fee$545 (Financial Assistance available)
LocationAdirondack Mountains, NY
Activity LevelThese mountains can have rocky terrain and extensive elevation gain, so participants should be prepared for relatively steep terrain with a 30-40 pound backpack. Most trips hike an average of 5-10 miles per day with substantial elevation gain due to the various high peaks. These trips sometimes do day hikes (leaving gear at camp) with 1,000-2,000 ft elevation gain, and hikes with packs are usually <1,000 ft elevation gain. 
Access to showers or restroomsNo
Day 0Trip participants arrive between 11:00AM and 1:00PM at Cornell, trip participants and their guides meet and begin to get to know each other, prepare their belongings for the trip and have a trip dinner (usually at one of the restaurants in Collegetown). Trip participants and their guides sleep on the Arts Quad.
Day 1The trip wakes up bright and early and heads off to the starting point of their backpacking trip.
Days 2-5A normal day consists of 4-6 miles of hiking with a break for lunch. In the afternoon, you will help set up camp, make dinner, and sleep outside!
Day 6All trips return to Ithaca for Camp-O-Rama, a closing ceremony and celebration of the Outdoor Odyssey trips. Trip participants clean their gear, share a meal with other trips, and get the chance to meet some of the ~200 other participants.
Move-In DayTrip is shuttled back to Bartels Hall on the morning of move-in day, where the participants return their rented gear as a group. Once all gear is returned, trip participants are free to register at Bartels Hall and move into their dorms. Oftentimes, guides will help their trip participants move in.


" ... I just wanted to say that not only did our daughter absolutely love it but we did as well! The organization, communication, staffing and program etc. was superb. I have two daughters at Cornell and I wish that my oldest had had this experience as a freshman. The trip made the transition from home to college so much easier. Initially I thought that the dates given were too close to the orientation day, however; when we arrived at orientation with her all settled into Cornell and welcoming us to her dorm, I was so pleased. She introduced us to her new friends from the program. Fabulous!"