Outdoor Activities

St. John’s College in Santa Fe is located in the midst of numerous opportunities for outdoor adventure. The Student Activities Center coordinates a number of excursions every year. Hiking, rock-climbing, ski/snowboard trips, and river rafting trips are offered several times a year. Knowledgeable trip leaders accompany students on outdoor activities to guide and teach students necessary and proper skills to fully enjoy the experience. Outdoor activities are advertised via school email and fliers beforehand and students can sign up for them at the SAC front desk. Many activities may have small fees (or refundable deposits), which can also be paid at the SAC.

Important Information

Although standard safety procedures are followed, adventure activities have inherent risks associated with them that prevent a guarantee of absolute safety. Students are expected to assume responsibility for requisite risks. Some activities require the completion of a short medical waiver. Attendance is required at all pre-trip meetings. These meetings will cover safety, logistics, equipment and meals.

The SAC sometimes provides equipment used by more than one person, which includes tents, stoves, rafts, first aid supplies, etc. The group will be held responsible for returning the equipment to the SAC in clean and working condition.

Outdoor Opportunities


Search and Rescue


Search and rescue is led by the Atalaya SAR team. Atalaya SAR is a Mountain Rescue Association certified search and rescue team that has been operating out of Santa Fe, NM since 2002. They specialize in technical rescue and are qualified in all aspects of wilderness search and rescue including ground search and evacuation, winter operation and high angle rescue. You can visit their website at www.atalayasar.org. Meetings are held on campus every other Wednesday night. Equipment and membership fees are taken care of by the SAO. For more information, contact Mike Thurber at (505) 984-6148.



Hiking and Biking Dale Ball and Atalaya Trails

An expansive trail system begins and extends from St. John’s campus to Hyde State Park and beyond. The SAC provides free maps for students.

Rock Climbing

Rock climbing trips at St. John’s are designed for climbers of all levels. For the most part, climbing takes place at White Rock, Las Conchas, and El Rito. If the weather is not permitting, we climb at Stone Age Climbing Gym in Albuquerque.



Skiing & Snowboarding


The SAO sponsors several skiing and snowboarding trips to Wolf Creek, the Santa Fe Ski Basin, and Taos Ski Valley (weather permitting). Dates for the trips will be announced starting mid-semester and are subject to change based on ski area conditions. Included with the Wolf Creek overnight trips are accommodations at one of the area’s cabins or hotels, food, transportation, and rental equipment. Taos and Santa Fe are day trips only. There are fees for these trips to cover certain accommodations.


In warmer weather, Student Activities Organization (SAO) sponsors rafting trips to local favorites such as the Rio Grande, San Juan, and Chama. Trip dates are announced mid-semester and are dependent on water levels. Look for fliers on the Student Activities Board in Peterson Hall and at the SAC.