For many San Diego State students, hectic schedules make it difficult to explore the world’s beautiful landmarks. Because of this, many Aztecs think they don’t have time for adventure. However, an outdoor adventure education and recreation program managed by the Associated Students’ Campus Recreation division since 1977 is here to help.
Aztec Adventures offers students a variety of leisure activities on which to embark, including canoeing, backpacking, hiking, camping, white-water rafting and rock climbing. For students who don’t enjoy such adrenaline-pumping escapades, there are educational classes available as an alternative, including a geography bus trip, a national parks tour and a wilderness first aid training course.
The mission of Aztec Adventures is “to eat good food (all successful expeditions throughout history depended on this), be kind (to the natural environment and to each other), tell the truth (be honest about our abilities and limitations) and make a difference (we are committed to making a positive difference in the lives of our participants and staff through rewarding outdoor travel).”
Apart from its main goals, Aztec Adventures encourages students to let go of daily routines, put down electronics and physically and mentally challenge themselves outdoors. Aztec Adventures practices outdoor etiquette known as “minimum impact,” or the decrease of individual and cumulative impacts on the environment. The organization promotes traveling alfresco, which means to “take only memories” and “leave only footprints.”
All trips require a fee ranging from $115 to $395, which includes transportation, food, equipment, safety gear, campground fees, permits and professionally trained leaders to pilot the voyage. For those on a budget still looking to explore, Aztec Adventures’ local trips are highly recommended because of their affordability. Some trips even offer class credit for Recreation and Tourism Management 305 and 489, as well as Exercise and Nutritional Sciences 138. Students interested in joining do not need an Aztec Recreation Center membership and can easily sign up through the ARC website.
This semester, Aztec Adventures will travel to Joshua Tree National Park for backpacking, camping and hiking, Lower Kern River in the southern Sierra Nevadas for white-water rafting, the Colorado River for canoeing and Mission Trails for rock climbing.
This semester, trips depart from early next month until early June. Interested Aztecs should visit aztecadventures.sdsu.edu for more information. Those who would like to register for a trip should do so online or contact the ARC services desk in person or via the phone at 619-594-6958. Space is limited.