Our Students Outdoors

Our program takes advantage of the Inland Northwest’s great outdoors, with national forests, parks and recreation areas serving as your laboratories for studying the interaction between humans and the natural world. We also offer opportunities for service learning, internships and volunteer work.

We are committed to raising environmental awareness on campus and throughout our Spokane community. Our department sponsors public lectures on environmental topics, and we work closely with environmental community partners and on-campus environmental organizations, such as the Gonzaga Environmental Organization, the Outdoor Pursuits living-and-learning community in Marian Hall, and the Gonzaga Outdoors program.


Student paddling canoe on the Missouri River

Paddles and Pens: Two Weeks on the Missouri
When I first received the email, I was sure there was a typo. The Missouri River… in Montana? I’d spent lots of time on the rivers in Montana and had never heard any mention of the Missouri. Still, I was intrigued by the rest of the message: two weeks, 150 miles, all done in canoes.

students stand and sit atop rocks in the Montana wilderness

Big Sky Classroom
We sat in a circle as we had so many times before during the 14-day trip, discussing writerly perspectives and portfolios, scribbling in notebooks. It was a scene out of any seminar-style course, except we were sitting in the dirt, watching the sunset through the branches of a cottonwood tree.

Students sit in the shade of a cliff while journaling outdoors.

Paddles and Pens: Postcards from the Field
One of the two classes students took while on the Gonzaga in the Wilderness trip was John Eliason’s Nature Writing (ENG 306). Students kept journals, shared their work at evening circles, and explored their wild experiences through written language.

Gonzaga Outdoors

Gonzaga Outdoors gives students the opportunity to explore and challenge themselves in the outdoors. Our programs strive to keep the outdoors as accessible as possible by providing inexpensive gear rentals, subsidized outdoor adventures, and educational clinics. Our goal is to give as many students as possible the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful local surroundings and to connect with the outdoors and each other.