The UGA IFP – It’s a Hiking Trip!

Lace up your boots and spread on the sunscreen!

The IFP will elevate your pulse and take your breath away as you walk in the woods, descend desert canyons, summit volcanoes, crawl through caves, jump in the waves, trot with mountain goats, and feel your way alongside fossils hundreds of millions of years old.

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Heading down the Navajo Loop trail in Bryce Canyon (photo credit Jennifer Stewart IFP 2013)

The UGA IFP has been leading trips out west for over 25 years, and we know where the best hikes are!  We have carefully chosen the day hikes that are optimal for you to experience the best each region has to offer. The national parks and other recreational areas we visit are our classroom, so we make sure there is always something new and amazing to see and learn on each excursion.

Some of our hikes are short easy strolls, while some are long, strenuous mountain climbs. During the summer, we build your endurance and ability for the more difficult hikes. If you are concerned you might not be in good enough physical shape, don’t worry – we will get you there.  The IFP staff are trained in first aid (some of us are certified Wilderness First Responders) and will be on hand during every hike to ensure your safety and comfort.

The longest hike we usually do is 15 miles roundtrip, through Cascade Canyon to Lake Solitude in the Tetons of Wyoming. But the toughest hike we do is climbing Mount St. Helens in Washington. St. Helens is the most active volcano in the Cascade Range (it famously exploded in 1980 and last erupted in 2008), and hiking the mountain is by permit only. The hike is 10 miles roundtrip and requires 2 miles of scrambling over boulders (non-technical) followed by a final half mile slog through volcanic cinder to get to the crater rim.

Just as with camping gear, you may need to acquire some new hiking equipment before the IFP. Proper footwear, head covering, and sufficient water bottles will be crucial to your safety and enjoyment of these hikes. Consult our list of required and recommended gear to give you an idea of what you’ll need. And, remember we’re always here to answer questions.

To give you an idea, here are some of the amazing hikes we do. No two IFP trips are exactly the same, but we generally do these hikes every year: