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The student news site of Sacramento State University

The State Hornet

The student news site of Sacramento State University

The State Hornet

Student news without fear or favor

Scrapbook: The experience of a frequent Peak Adventure traveler

Adventure calls to Sac State students
A+collage+of+Peak+Adventures+trips+from+2021+to+2023+.+Madelaine+Church+shares+her+experiences+through+her+skills+as+a+journalism+student+who+documented+over+10+trips+she+attended+during+her+time+in+college.+%28Photos+by+Madelaine+Church%2C+graphic+created+in+Canva+by+Alyssa+Branum+and+Madelaine+Church%29
Madelaine Church
A collage of Peak Adventures trips from 2021 to 2023 . Madelaine Church shares her experiences through her skills as a journalism student who documented over 10 trips she attended during her time in college. (Photos by Madelaine Church, graphic created in Canva by Alyssa Branum and Madelaine Church)

When you’re scrolling on your phone, do you run into scenic photos? Perhaps Yosemite, San Francisco, or Big Sur. Do you have the desire to travel and make connections with other people? You can do that at Sacramento State with Peak Adventures.

What is Peak Adventures?

Peak Adventures is Sac State’s outdoor recreational program that is a part of Associated Students Inc. and located inside the University Union. Services such as a full-service bike shop and rope course referred to as the “challenge center” are offered through the program.

Peak Adventures is most known for outdoor trips like hiking along Point Reyes cliffs or pitching a tent in Joshua Tree. Recreation services are available to all Sac State students, affiliates and the public.

Attendees do have to pay for the excursions ranging from $45 to $500. Peak Adventures also offers free trips to go bike riding in Sacramento. If the cost of these activities don’t fit your budget, consider applying for the Adventure Scholarship. Fall applications are open from Aug. 25 to Dec. 15 and spring applications will resume on Jan. 17, 2024.

Peak Adventures can be an excellent program for students to connect with each other and explore the outdoors. If any student is experiencing loneliness or feeling overwhelmed, Peak Adventures can help eliminate those feelings.


Why did I join Peak Adventures?

Peak Adventures allowed myself and many other students to explore Northern California. Participating in the adventures helped me feel less trapped, and gave me the confidence to explore nature.

I started traveling with Peak Adventures in October 2021 in my second year at Sac State. I saw a social media post on their Instagram account advertising a trip to Apple Hill. I had never been before and it seemed like a great opportunity to connect with other students. We spent the day exploring ranches, drinking apple cider and eating apple cinnamon donuts.
Two years later, I have been on 14 trips with Peak Adventures. I have traveled to iconic destinations such as San Francisco, Big Sur, Point Reyes and more. I also had the opportunity to travel outside of state lines and spend a week camping in Moab, Utah during spring break in 2022.
Reflecting on each trip with Peak Adventures, I cherish each unique experience and the ability to socialize and make connections while traveling.

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Trip Highlights
Snowshoeing in Echo Lake, Lake Tahoe

On Jan. 22, 2022, I went snowshoeing for the first time with Peak Adventures in Echo Lake through fresh Sierra Nevada snow.

Peak Adventures provided snowshoes and showed us how to walk in them. This was my third trip with Peak Adventures and I found myself within a vibrant group of 14 people who were eager to make connections. During this trip, I forged many bonds within the group, while taking in the breathtaking winter landscape.

Throughout the hike, participants paused to take videos and pictures to capture the soft, powdery snow covering the mountains. I can still hear the snow’s gentle crunch beneath our snowshoes as we hiked along Echo Lake. This trip felt like we were in a winter fairy tale.

Spring Break in Moab Utah

Spring break in Moab, Utah with Peak Adventures was unforgettable.
We spent 16 hours driving along Highway 50, known as the Loneliest Road in America. During our time in Moab, we immersed ourselves in the desert environment.

During our stay at Big Bend Campground, the group of 24 embarked on various activities. Participants had the opportunity to go paddleboarding along the Colorado River, hike trails in the mountains and climb on magnificent rocks. At night, we’d spend our time gazing at a sky full of twinkling stars.

We explored the heart of downtown Moab and saw the iconic Arches National Park, grabbing pictures by the Delicate Arch. During our time in the park, we got to see petroglyphs near Wolfe Ranch, which was established in the mid-1600s.

This was the most life-changing trip I’ve been on with Peak Adventures. It led me to discover a state I never imagined I would explore.

Big Sur Camping Trip

May 2023 I went on a camping trip with the program to California’s remarkable 90-mile stretch near the coast called Big Sur. I’ve traveled to Big Sur many times, yet each visit manages to take my breath away.

Our large group spent three days and two nights camping at Ventana Campground off of Highway 1. During our camping trip, we hiked along the Valley View Overlook trail. Our hike led us to the mountaintop, where we were mesmerized by the vast expanse of trees and mountains before visiting the captivating McWay Falls. During the evenings we gathered to cook dinner and roasted marshmallows by the crackling fire.

I had a fantastic time on this trip, but my fondest memory was being nestled inside the cozy van for the drive. There was a harmonious blend of laughter that filled the space as we drove along the coast.

How did Peak Adventures change my life?

Peak Adventures also gave me the opportunity to connect with students who had similar interests as me.

In January 2022 during the snowshoe hike in Echo Lake, I met a group of Sac State students who shared a similar interest in travel and found our compatibility exceeded everyone’s expectations. This led us to embark on our own adventures, beginning with a weekend trip at Yosemite National Park in February 2022 when we rented camping equipment and snow shoes from Peak Adventures for this expedition.

We continued to go on adventures together and our group just kept growing!

Peak Adventures has positively impacted my career because the photographs I’ve captured during my adventures caught the program’s attention. They gave me the opportunity to take photos for three trips in spring 2022 and write an article for Eagle Nest Outfitters in 2023. The images I captured on my trips enriched my portfolio and opened doors for me to pursue photography professionally.

On all of my trips with Peak Adventures, trip advisors have always recommended to us that “you get out of what you put in.” I couldn’t have asked for more from the opportunities, connections and memories I’ve made with them. Adventure is calling your name, are you going to answer?

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About the Contributor
Madelaine Church, Social Media Staffer
(she/her) Madelaine Church is in her last semester attending Sacramento State and is expecting to graduate in May. This is her fourth semester at The State Hornet and will be a social media reporter. Madelaine has experience with photography, news writing, press releases, videography, social media marketing and other forms of content creation. This summer, Madelaine had the opportunity to work as a photojournalist intern for The Observer. Madelaine hopes to continue covering arts and entertainment in the future.  
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