Campus Recreation > Sports & Outdoors > Outdoor Adventures

Outdoor Adventures

During these unprecedented times, we continue to explore outdoor options we may safely offer while adhering to all state, city, and university COVID-19 guidelines. 

Do you want to escape bustling city life by exploring beautiful locations and experiencing outdoor activities? Campus Recreation’s Outdoor Adventure program provides trips and workshops that are both educational and fun. 

Register in person at The Ray during Membership Services hours or register online.*
*a unique Campus Recreation (not your Campus Connect) log-in is needed to register online: online instructions.

Adventures and Workshops

Dates Available:

Monday, September 6 (Labor Day Paddle) - Register by September 2

Friday, September 24 - Register by September 21

Trip times: 9 am - 1 pm (includes traveling estimates on departure to and return from the launch site.  Approxamately 1.5 - 2 hours on the river.)

Cost: $37

Get outdoors and explore a new view of downtown Chicago. The trip starts in a natural section of the Chicago River before winding through downtown's "skyscraper canyon." On this urban tour you're likely to see wildlife, barges, and awesome architecture.

During these unprecedented times, take advantage of the opportunity pick up a new skill or refresh an old one.  Below are links to a number of outdoor resources that will help prepare you for a future outdoor adventure:

Benefits of Hiking

Hiking is an activity that can bring numerous physical and mental benefits. This article by ACE outlines the benefits you receive when hiking and provides a few tips for those new to the activity to get started.

How to Read a Topo Map

Having the ability to read and understand a topograhic map is an excellent tool to help keep you safe when you are exploring the outdoors and essential if you are going to be out in the wilderness.

Leave No Trace Principles

The seven principle of Leave No Trace provide an easily understood framework of minimum impact practices for anyone visiting the outdoors and can also be applied in everyday life.  Learning these practices and applying them will help ensure you can help minimize your impact on your next adventure.

How to Fix a Flat Tire on your Bike

For anyone biking in the city, we all know how easy it is to find yourself dodging potholes and other random obstacles in the streets.  This video will show you the process of removing and installing a tire and tube.

How to Build a Fire in the Wilderness

Knowing how to get a fire going in the wilderness can both be a nice tool to have and even a lifesaver.  This article from "Popular Science" dives into the basics of getting that fire going confidently.

Learn a New Knot

Knowing and being confident in tying various knots is extremely useful in both the wilderness setting and in general life. This "animated knot" site is a great resource to learn a couple of useful knots that can help you in a number of situations. Most pertinent to the outdoor setting, check out the slip knot, trucker's hitch, and bowline knot.

How to Pack a Backpacking Backpack

Thinking about a future backpacking trip and wondering how best to pack your bag? Our friends at the University of Utah put together an excellent tutorial that can help get you ready for that trip.

Even while staying physically distanced, it is important to safely get some outdoor exposure and utilizing AllTrails is find the closest trails to you. Search your location and find the nearest trails to get outside.  Please pay attention to all local safety guidelines and make sure to "mask up" and adhere to proper physical distancing.

Missing the outdoors or wanting to go explore?  Here are some ways to adventure from your own home!

Trek the world with Google Maps

Unleash your inner explorer and travel the globe without leaving home.  Take a Street View journey to sites of cultural, historical, and geographic significance.

Parks at Home - Virtual National Park Tours

From virtual tours, webcams, and games for everyone – this site offers numerous ways to enjoy our National parks at home. Staying at home now is important, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring the history, landscapes, and stories of the national parks to you.

The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks

Teaming up with “Google Arts and Culture,” five different national parks have created virtual tours that allow you to explore and experience the parks.  Travel through hoodoo’s and gaze at the Milky Way in Utah’s Bryce Canyon, kayak through icebergs in Alaska’s Kenai Fjords, explore a lava tube in Hawi’i Volcanoes, “see” life as a bat through New Mexico’s Carlsbad Caverns, or swim through the third-largest coral reef in the world in Florida’s Dry Tortugas. 

Yellowstone National Park - Wyoming

Explore and learn about a number of the main attractions in the park and find pointers to plan your visit when we are able to get out and about again. View the park through a number of live webcams, including one that will show you “Old Faithful” erupting.

Rocky Mountain National Park’s “Wildlife Sounds Index”, Colorado

Need sounds in the background that bring you to the outdoors instead of a concert? Check out the “Wildlife Sounds Index” through Rocky Mountain National Park. The index covers anything from animals to various soundscapes to various parts of the park.

Trek the Grand Canyon - Arizona

Click your way through the famous Bright Angel Trail and see the canyon walls in all of their glory. Traveling from the South Kaibab trailhead down to Phantom Ranch, this trek allows you to explore the trail yourself.

Our friends at Oregon State University are running a series of "Remote Outdoor Programs" designed to help continue outdoor education and refreshing skills, even while we are "sheltering in place." Register for Dutch Oven Basics, Prepping your Backpack, Basics of Primitive Skills, and more.  Programs are offered on a variety of days and times. For more information on all of the available programs and offerings, check out their site HERE


Adventure trips are designed for DePaul University students, with a limited number of spaces open to faculty and staff. Register through our online registration system.