Extra-Day Trips

Every fall and spring, the entire Thacher community takes off in small groups for a week of backpacking in wilderness areas like Yosemite, The Lost Coast, Zion National Park, the Redwoods, and the Sierra Nevada.

In fact, Extra-Day Trips are one of the first things a new Thacher student participates in at the School; shortly after arriving on campus, all freshmen head to Santa Cruz Island for three days of hiking and sleeping out under the stars. For many, it’s their first-ever camping experience. 

List of 2 items.

  • Why We Camp

    Keeping track of gear, enduring tough trails for multiple miles, taking on the extra work of cooking or washing duties at dinner, offering to carry extra group supplies—these experiences strengthen the fabric of our community and teach students valuable lessons about responsibility and grit. Each camping group is led by an experienced faculty or staff member and made up of students from every grade.
  • Other Opportunities

    Beyond the all-school trips twice a year, students have many opportunities to explore the outdoors. Various faculty members plan weekend excursions for interested students throughout the year, both on foot and on horseback. Additionally, students in the rock-climbing or kayaking programs take off to flex their new skills beyond our local offerings on weekend trips with their instructors. And truly committed students can participate in extra training to become A- or B-level campers, a designation that allows them to enjoy greater freedom to plan and execute their own weekend backpacking trips without faculty supervision.

    “Hope for the best, plan for the worst”—it’s the motto of our Outdoor Program, and one that we believe serves students for a lifetime.


“On the first day of the trip, I toppled off a cliff, scraping myself up and shattering my confidence. I didn’t think I could possibly finish the trip. By the last day, though, I was leading the pack up the trail, and was the first to reach the top and get a view of Santa Barbara in the distance, and feel that fresh ocean breeze on my face.”

San Francisco, California

Extra-Day Trip Media Gallery

Notice of nondiscriminatory policy as to students: The Thacher School admits students of any race, color, national, and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the School. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national, and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other School-administered programs.