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Spring Break 2023

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Date(s) - 03/11/2023 - 03/19/2023
All Day

Trinity River bank across from Woodshed


Spring Break : West Texas Tour

Dates: 3/11-3/19 Time: Multiday
Early Registration Deadline: 2/3 Early Bird Cost: $595/$650
Registration Deadline:  3/3 Regular Cost: $695/$750


Explore West Texas on this iconic Spring Break Trip. Come with us to hike through Big Bend Ranch State Park, Big Bend National Park, Franklin Mountains State Park, White Sands National Park and Guadalupe Mountains National Park. Along the way, we will explore the surrounding towns as we camp, hike and retreat for the week.

Register in-person or online @

Trip Cost:

Early Registration (full payment due at registration):

$595with a TCU ID, $650 as a sponsored guest

Regular Registration:

$695 with a TCU ID, $750 as a sponsored guest

  • Prices reflect the TCU student/faculty and sponsored guest rate.
  • Please read our cancellation/refund policy carefully before registering.
  • Price does not include meals on the road



Packing List

Physical Challenge




Outfitting & Food


Pre-Trip Meeting:

3/6 @ 6pm

Pre-Trip meetings are required and are held in order to adequately prepare you for the trip. Meetings are from 6-7:30 pm at the TCU Climbing Wall.  You will meet the leaders and other trip members, as well as cover all details such as weather, menu, safety issues, and clothing requirements. You will also be issued all of your equipment at this time (sleeping bags, pad, tent, etc.).


Day 1: Meet at TCU around 6:00am and drive to Big Bend Ranch State Park (about 10 hours). We will unload the gear and set up camp in the park. Together we will watch the stars come out as we gather around the campfire roasting S’mores.

Day 2: We will hike at Big Bend Ranch State Park and explore along the Rio Grande River.

Day 3: We’ll drive to Big Bend National Park and hike Emory Peak, the most iconic hike at Big Bend National Park. That evening we’ll camp in Marfa at El Cosmico Campground.

Day 4: The fourth day of our trip is a day to rest and explore Marfa. We will sleep in, have a delicious breakfast and enjoy spending time around the campground. 

Day 5: Drive to Franklin Mountains State Park where we will hike and camp for the evening.

Day 6: White Sands National Park is just a hop and a skip away from Franklin Mountains, so we’ll spend the day exploring White Sands and taking in the views.

Day 7: Back at Franklin Mountains, we’ll hike and explore the state park, as well as the surrounding El Paso area.

Day 8: We’ll drive to Guadalupe Mountains National Park and hike the tallest peak in Texas, Guadalupe Peak. That evening, we’ll camp at Guadalupe Mountains National Park as we enjoy our final evening on the trip.

Day 9: We’ll pack up and drive back to TCU (about 8 hours).

Physical Challenge

Hiking through these stunning national parks can be strenuous on both your legs and back. It may also prove challenging to spend multiple days on trail in a row and hiking about 10 miles a day. Staying well hydrated, taking your time, resting when necessary (but not for too long), and keeping your energy level high is essential. Trip members should be in good physical condition and should plan on challenging themselves on this trip.

TRIP RATING 2 out of 3 – This is an intermediate trip.

Packing List

We are limited on space, and the less stuff you bring, the less you have to carry around. Ask yourself…What would I want in the coldest weather or the hottest weather? Pack to be prepared for both!

Things that should be packed inside your personal day pack and kept with you inside the van:

  • Small day pack
  • Money for road meals
  • A warm layer
  • Headlamp
  • Travel size pillow
  • Water
  • Snack food
  • Camera


  • Sunglasses w/retainer strap
  • Personal stuff- extra contact lenses, chapstick, sunscreen, baby wipes, baby powder, ear plugs, hand lotion, medications you usually take…
  • 2 durable crush proof one-liter water bottles or a hydration pack
  • Eating utensils
  • Plastic bowl
  • Mug/insulated cup
  • Hand sanitizer


  • Wide brimmed shade hat
  • Beanie/ stocking cap
  • Bandana
  • Gloves
  • Tennis shoes with good ankle support
  • Hiking Socks
  • Hiking Shoes/ Boots
  • Cotton or synthetic blend hiking shirt (breathable layer)
  • Cotton or synthetic camp shirt (a clean shirt to wear at camp)
  • Synthetic Long Sleeve Top(s) – Polypro, Capilene, or polyester.
  • Fleece jacket or sweatshirt
  • Sports bra
  • Windbreaker
  • Nylon shorts
  • Lightweight long pants/ cotton or synthetic hiking pants
  • Rain Pants
  • Sweatpants
  • Underwear
  • Synthetic long underwear (top & bottom)
  • Bathing suit
  • 15-30˚ sleeping bag and Thermarest sleeping pad
  • Tent with rain fly (sleeps 2-4)
  • Headlamp
  • Camp chair
  • Pack Bag: to hold all of the above items PLUS your personal gear and clothes
  • Expedition First Aid Kit
  • Ground Tarp
  • Stoves, fuel and all cooking gear-pots, pans, spice kit etc.
  • Repair kit for tents, stoves, packs, etc.
  • Water bags -2+ gallon bags for camp use
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert


There are numerous risks and hazards associated with the terrane of West Texas. Not drinking enough water results in dehydration and not being in adequate physical condition can result in sore muscles. Trip members must make a conscious effort to be safe. One person’s disdain for safety will always result in more hardship for the group. If we do have an accident or injury that requires medical attention beyond the scope of our leader’s experience, the trip is immediately over without refund. Our leaders are trained to administer first aid in an outdoor environment; however, while they may be able to treat injuries they cannot always prevent them.


We will camp at various campsites throughout the duration of this trip. Modern bathroom facilities and clean running water may not be readily available for the at every campsite of this trip. TCU will provide water jugs (for drinking and cooking), tents, warm synthetic sleeping bags, and foam sleeping pads. You will have the choice to share a tent with two or three trip members or sleep under the stars. The sleeping area provides us with durable hard packed dirt.


The trip leaders will research the weather conditions in advance to assess the situation. The Trip will be canceled if the weather is dangerous. If you do not receive an email about this, then please be prepared to be out in the weather. Please follow the weather and use your best judgment as well as the packing list to determine what you will personally need to stay warm and dry during the entirety of this trip. Layers are recommended for cold weather and failure to bring proper attire will be detrimental to your experience.

Please contact Emily Tumilty, Coordinator – Outdoor Programs with any questions at