Orientation Adventure Trips

2017 Trips

The Orientation Adventure (OA) is the off-campus component of Harvey Mudd’s new student orientation program. Student participants spend two days on excursions with 10–15 of their peers in, above, and around the greater Southern California area, all while being mindful of the program’s most fundamental goal – to foster the development of meaningful relationships between new students.

OA trips are led by two to three student Orientation Leaders as well as a faculty/staff member.

Below are descriptions of the 2017 trips! Some may still be subject to change.

If you are ready to pick your trips, fill out the OA Trip Preferences Form by Saturday, July 1.

Bridge to Nowhere Hike

Guides: Jenna Kahn ’20 and Alo Torres-Navarro ’20
Faculty/Staff: Prof Ran Libeskind-Hadas

Want to explore Nowhere? We will go on a 15 mile (round-trip) hike to the Bridge to Nowhere in Los Angeles National Forest and explore the surrounding desert wilderness. We will go on as many side adventures as the group wants to, and will have plenty of time for swimming in the refreshingly cool river below the bridge. Be prepared to enjoy nature with new friends! Note: No prior experience is required, but keep in mind that this is a moderate intensity overnight backpacking trip that involves a few mandatory river crossings. Bring water shoes!

Angles of the City of Angels

Guides: Daniel Bashir ’20 and Ivy Chen ’20
Faculty/Staff: Kim Nykanen 

Looking to destress, explore, and try some great food? We’ll spend one day hiking up to the Hollywood sign and enjoying the sights of LA. The next day, we’ll explore Little Tokyo and The Broad Museum. We’ll also get a taste of the great and diverse foods LA has to offer!

Mechanics and Wave Motion (3.0 units)

Guides: Rebekah Justice ’18 and Evie Antholis ’20
Faculty/Staff: Evelyn Real

The first day, we will go to Knott’s Berry Farm to discover the mysterious mechanics of roller coasters. What makes them work? We may never know. The second day we will chill on the Crystal Cove State Park beach and study the waves as they oscillate. Hiking, sitting, swimming and playing catch are all possible activities that can be enacted on this beach. At the end of each long day, you will have an opportunity to wind down and do puzzles and play board games.

King of Little Tokyo

Guides: Marina Knittel ’18 and Tommy Schneider ’18
Faculty/Staff: Prof Sal Plascencia

Being a student at Mudd isn’t all just fun and games. But OA is! If you come with us, we’ll give you the Ticket to Stride through the 7 (or more) Wonders of Little Tokyo, and eat sushi like a Hungry, Hungry Hippo. After that, you’ll return to the Dungeons and Dormitories of Mudd to chill, play games, and maybe even lose to a Professor at Cards Against Humanity! The next (or previous) day, you’ll have more time to play games and explore the Dominion of Claremont. You’ll also be playing laser tag, where you can wander through dark Labyrinths and learn what Betrayal feels like when your new friends shoot you with lasers. Bang! In our OA trip, you won’t be bored. Are you willing to take the Risk? Got the Clue? Don’t Resist the urge, just Go! Join our trip, because we’re pretty Coup.

Malibu Excursion

Guides: Rachael Kretsch ’18 and Anthony Romm ’18
Faculty/Staff: Molly Kastendieck

We will be driving to Malibu Creek State Park where we will do an amazing 7.5 mile hike called Castro Crest that will take us on a journey through the park and show us some funky rocks. It is not very challenging (1250 altitude gain) but gives beautiful views of the ocean and mountain range. After staying overnight in tents at the park (Wooooo!), we will go to Malibu beach (More Wooo!!). Lunch will be eaten at a restaurant in Malibu upon arrival. After eating, we will enjoy a few hours of kayaking/paddleboarding/chilling on the beach. Finally, we will stop for dinner on the way back to Mudd.

Wandering Little Tokyo

Guides: Liya Zhu ’19 and Angela Sun ’19
Faculty/Staff: 

Secretly (or not so secretly) an anime fan? Infatuated with Japanese crafts, origami, or want to learn? We welcome everyone who enjoys some aspect of Japanese culture (or just really, really likes green tea kitkats). Our first day will be spent around campus, exploring the Claremont Village, playing board games and crafting in air-conditioned rooms, and marathoning Japanese animation (please send us your suggestions!). On the second day, we will venture into Little Tokyo, wandering around the Japanese American National Museum, diving into Kinokuniya’s large stash of books, taking a walking tour of Little Tokyo, and exploring all that it has to offer.

Bill and Ted’s Excellent Escape

Guides: Roger Hooper ’19 and Jenny Lee ’19
Faculty/Staff: Paul Hardister

Are you ready for some sun and fun? Do you love solving puzzles? If you do, this is your trip! Our first day we will be spent riding water slides at Raging Waters, waterpark! On the second day you will have the opportunity to team up with your fellow Mudd Frosh, two other Mudd students, and a Mudd staff member to find your way out of an escape room*. Are you new to California? Have you heard of this mysterious place called In-N-Out with the best burgers in the world? Are you from California and just love In-N-Out? Well, we will welcome you to the Heaven-on-Earth that is In-N-Out after we dominate the escape room. *Note: This is not a horror escape room.

Space Travel

Guides: Toty Calvo ’20 and Greg Murphy ’20
Faculty/Staff: Dean Zach Ritter

Ever wondered what it is like to live in space? How much would you weigh and what would you see out your window as the rocket ship takes off? Well, here is your chance to find out! Join us as we journey through the deep dark Downtown Metro tunnels into the California Science Center to see Endeavor and then blast off to the Griffith Park Observatory and Planetarium. Be prepared to do a lot of space walking during the day and at night you get to enjoy some cool Sci-Fi movies and dinner cooked by your flight commanders. If you are ready for this Space Trip pack your helmet, sun visors, communication equipment, water connectors, and your cameras to document your cool findings because this trip is going to be out of this world. Lastly, don’t forget your oxygen tanks and your sense of adventure!!

Sea, Stars, and Sea Stars

Guides: Casey Gardner ’19 and Chris Strong ’19
Faculty/Staff: Dean Mike Edwards

This trip begins with a ferry ride to Santa Cruz Island in Channel Islands National Park where we may (hopefully) spot dolphins, whales, or other marine wildlife. Then, we’ll spend the first day exploring under the sea marine reserves with snorkels. In the evening, we’ll peer upwards and enjoy the bright stars. Day two continues with a gorgeous and fairly strenuous hike around the island with views of the ocean and local wildlife before we ferry back to shore and then (Santa) Cruz back to Mudd! (Note: Participants should be able to swim)

Wood You Like to Go Camping? It’s In-Tents!

Guides: Charles Dawson ’19 and John Little ’20
Faculty/Staff: Danny Ledezma

In the morning, we will drive to the Stone Creek Campground for two days of camping and hiking in the gorgeous high-country wilderness of the San Jacinto State Park. Upon arrival, we will set up camp and have a picnic lunch at the campground. Once everyone’s settled in, we’ll depart on a day hike loop from the campground (1.5-3 miles). After returning we’ll have a cookout under the stars and go on another, more strenuous hike in the morning to take in the sweeping mountain views before packing up and heading home.

The Mudd Tea Party

Guides: Rachel Cohen ’20 and Morgan Carothers ’20
Faculty/Staff: Nabel Villafaña

On Friday, we will travel to Huntington Library and Gardens to look at the gardens and galleries and eat a picnic lunch. Upon returning to Mudd in the evening, we’ll get boba tea, eat dinner, play board games, and decorate mugs. On Saturday, we will meet mid-morning to make scones, tea (in the mugs we decorated!), and sandwiches for a tea party brunch. We’ll watch movies, play more board games, and do some simple crafts that will brighten your new dorm room. In the evening, we will walk into town for dinner and liquid nitrogen ice cream.

Citizen Science!

Guides: Zach Evans ’18 and Fernando Fernandez ’18
Faculty/Staff: Maureen Ruiz-Sundstrom

Can’t wait to get to Mudd and start “understanding the impact of your work on society?” Ready to engage with the community and explore some science before classes even start? We will spend the weekend volunteering at a local Los Angeles museum, working behind the scenes and also getting a chance to take in all the sights, history, and learning. The first day will be spent volunteering and the second will be spent exploring the exhibits. Come join us for a experience that’s both educational and exciting!

Big Bear Bonanza

Guides: Moira Dillon ’18 and Katie Erickson ’19
Faculty/Staff: Dean Michelle Harrison

Buckle up because we’re bringing you to Big Bear! We will be driving out to Big Bear where we will spend two days exploring the beautiful mountainous area which is Big Bear. On Friday, we will leave Mudd in the morning and go on a moderate (4-6 mile) hike in Big Bear in the afternoon, with views of the gorgeous Big Bear Lake. We will spend the night in a cabin at Big Bear where we will bond over board games, s’mores and the brilliant light from the bright Big Bear stars. On Saturday, we will be going kayaking in the morning in Big Bear Lake, and in the afternoon we depart Big Bear to visit the Deep Creek Hot Springs before coming back to Mudd in the early evening to chow down on a well-deserved dinner on the town. By the end of the 48 hours, we should all have new memories, friends and an appreciation of Big Bear.

San Gorgonio Ascension

Guides: Chris McElroy ’19 and Ankoor Apte ’19
Faculty/Staff: Prof Werner Zorman

Our trip explores the San Gorgonio Mountain, the highest peak in Southern California! We will be on a very difficult hike, up switchbacks and steep slopes to reach the summit. The group will cover about 20 miles of trails in 2 days; this is one of the more challenging adventures. The work pays off though; you’ll find amazing views and get to know fantastic people. We can’t wait to see you on the trail! Note: No experience is required, but this is a very intense overnight backpacking trip, totaling about 20 miles and 5500 feet elevation gain. Please be cognizant of your fitness level in going on such a trip.

Yer a Wizard, Bilbo!

Guides: Parnika Sharma ’19 and Caroline Sinclair ’19
Faculty/Staff: 

Did you never get over your Harry Potter phase growing up? Does the existence of the one ring dominate your life? If those sentences did not scare you off, then this is the trip for you! Before school starts, learn to live the life of a hobbit (with a little bit of magic added in). Take it easy and learn how to manage a 7-meal-a-day diet! Spend your time relaxing, making wands and flowers crowns. Go on an adventure and explore Mordor Downtown LA! Wander through bookshops and teashops galore! (Side note: Our magical abilities grant us the power of flexibility with our activities)

Backpack San Jacinto

Guides: Jonathan Kupfer ’18 and Patrick Scalise ’18
Faculty/Staff: Mike Nino

Come hike Mt. San Jacinto with us! The two-day hike will be fairly strenuous – 20 miles long with an elevation gain of over 4000 feet to the summit at 10,800 feet! We’ll spend the night at a campground on the mountain and continue our hike out the next morning. On our drive back to Mudd we’ll stop for a well-deserved meal. The trip will be filled with gorp, amazing sights, a night under the stars*, a beautiful sunrise**, and some great new friends***!

* we cannot guarantee it won’t be cloudy
** waking up for the sunrise is not mandatory
*** we CAN guarantee there will be friendship

San Jacinto Summit and Sand

Guides: Matt Guillory ’19 and Finn Southerland ’19
Faculty/Staff: Brandon Ice

Our first day will begin driving to San Jacinto state park, where we will embark on an 11 1/2 mile hike to the summit, eating lunch sometime during the hike. We will then head back to the state park and have dinner at the campground. After a good night’s rest in tents or under the stars, we will drive a couple hours to one of Southern California’s most famous beaches, Laguna Beach. We will spend the day chilling at the beach before stopping by the classic In-n-out on our way back to Mudd.

The Zion Undertaking

Guides: Isaac Zinda ’20 and David Linn ’20
Faculty/Staff: Prof Adam Johnson

This trip is no small undertaking — but it may be for you.
We’ll enjoy coffee and pastries at Augie’s before making the 40 minute drive to the Chantry Flats trailhead. We will proceed to the magnificent Sturtevant Falls, take a dip in the water, and continue on the Zion Trail toward the domineering mountain summit, camping overnight not so far from the peak. The second day we will finish the hike and head — sweaty and elated — into downtown LA to enjoy a hip dinner in the city. Get ready for great views and good times!

This trip will involve 12 miles of hiking and a 2500-foot elevation gain over two days, making it fairly strenuous. Backpacking experience totally not required but be sure you’ll be capable of completing it! Although there will be plenty of time for us to get to know one another, this trip will include little physical relaxation time- this is for people stoked about adventuring and exploring as much as possible, whether it’s the wilderness or the city.

Surfing in San O

Guides: Charlie Van Eijk ’18, Sydney Wallace ’20, and Prakarsh Pandey ’20
Faculty/Staff: Prof Dagan Karp

We will spend most of our time in the water surfing. Whether beginner or pro, everyone can take this time before school to live the Cali dream. With professional surf instructors and lifeguards on hand, anyone can learn to surf even if they have no experience. To take a break from surfing we will hike through dunes and tide pools, or toss discs and play soccer. At night we will camp out on the campsites near San Onofre, making s’mores and memories.

The Mountain Sampler

Guides: Kai Kaneshina ’19 and Chris Doering ’19
Faculty/Staff: Dave Hamilton

Do you want to climb piles of rocks? Or rappel through waterfalls? We’ll be hitting up two of the mountain ranges in the LA area: the San Gabriels and the San Bernardinos. We plan on canyoneering* in the morning at Mt. Baldy before driving over to Big Bear that afternoon. We’ll be staying at a campsite near the climbing area with plenty of s’mores and bonfirin’. The next day we will climb outdoors at Holcomb Valley; it is totally okay if you have never been rock climbing before–everyone will become familiar with the basics of the sport. There is a large variety of routes available for climbers of all abilities. Whippers will be taken**, free beta will be provided (we promise we don’t actually talk like this). For more reference: https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/rock-climbing-glossary.html
Note: Must be relatively comfortable with heights and/or ignore your fear of heights to climb.
*if you don’t know what canyoneering is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hm455XunXw
**no whippers will actually be taken, however for reference: https://vimeo.com/129902016