Orientation Trips

The Outdoor Program offers two orientation experiences for incoming University of Montana freshman:

Freshman Wilderness Experience

UM's Outdoor Program and The Wilderness Institute have joined forces to offer an orientation experience of a lifetime. The Freshman Wilderness Experience (FWE) is a chance to make friends and learn from experienced UM student leaders about what it's like at the University of Montana. This opportunity is available for incoming UM Freshman only and immerses participants in a Montana wilderness.


One of the highlights of the FWE is the growing involvement of student alumni in the program. Each year former FWE students return as organizing staff members and guides for the trips. The goal of Campus Recreation and the Wilderness Institute is to make this a program run by students, for students. In this way the FWE program supports the University’s continuing efforts to increase retention by fostering peer networks and establishing a sense of engagement with the UM campus, Missoula and the surrounding wilderness areas.

“Being able to arrive on campus one day not knowing anyone, and then return four days later having bonded with strangers in a wilderness setting was an amazing way to integrate into the school community,” said Zoe Leake, a former FWE participant, who returned to the program as a student leader.

The retention rates of students who participated in FWE are as much as 18.5% higher compared to the rates of those who did not.

Rafting Trips

Great for students and their families visiting for Orientation, our rafting trips take you on a local river to experience adventure in Western Montana. Raft trips include transportation, gear, sack lunches and guides.

The Outdoor Program offers rafting trips on beautiful and scenic whitewater close to Missoula. This is a perfect opportunity for families to enjoy Montana adventure during their visit to the University of Montana.

Summer 2023 Raft Trip Dates

  • Dates Coming Soon

Details and Registration

  • Cost: $65.00 per person
  • Includes: Transportation, equipment, sack lunch, and guides
  • Schedule: Trips meet at 8:00 a.m. at the Outdoor Program, located on the east end of the Fitness & Recreation Center. Trips return to the Outdoor Program at approximately 4 p.m.
  • What to bring: Participants are encouraged to wear appropriate clothing on the raft for the expected weather (no cotton, please)
  • Registration: Register for a raft trip by calling the Outdoor Program at (406) 243-5172 or by using our online registration portal
Rafting Alberton Gorge