Rothrock Backpacking & Climbing


This trip in the Rothrock State Forest area will take you through some of the best outdoor terrain that central Pennsylvania has to offer. You'll begin your experience with an overnight backpacking trip before transitioning to overnight camping at a campground and rock climbing during the day. This is an excellent opportunity for anyone interested in learning about rock climbing and backpacking. Get to know your fellow Bucknellians and make lasting connections throughout this unforgettable weeklong experience.

How to Prepare

You don't need to be an experienced backpacker or climber to participate, but a baseline amount of fitness and comfort/eagerness to be outdoors will serve you well. For the backpacking portion of this trip, group equipment will be distributed among 12 people, and you can expect to carry a pack weighing between 25 and 35 pounds (the weight of the pack is determined based on the size and strength of individuals). The elevation gain and loss along the trail is gradual, but it can be challenging when carrying a loaded pack. Daily distances may range up to 12 miles per day at a leisurely pace. For the climbing portion of this trip, you will be guided and taught by experienced climbing instructors. This portion of the trip will take place on less difficult to somewhat difficult single-pitch (40-80 feet in length) vertical rock climbing terrain.

Expedition Itinerary

The experience below is only an example. Trips are subject to change based on weather, local conditions and other circumstances.

Day 1

7–11 a.m. Move into your residence hall. Breakfast on your own. Once you have moved in, leave the items you packed specifically for Buckwild in a separate bag or basket in your room. You will have time to come back to get your things after your Pre-Orientation group initially meets. Any equipment that you will be borrowing from the program will be picked up later in the day once you are with your Pre-Orientation leaders.

11 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Lunch at Bostwick Marketplace for all Pre-Orientation participants, their families and friends as guests of the University (no charge).

12:30 p.m. Meet with the associate dean, the professional staff members of Outdoor Education & Leadership and BuckWild student trip leaders in the Weis Center for the Performing Arts.

1:30 p.m. Family goodbyes.

1:45 p.m. Report to Malesardi Quad to meet with your BuckWild student trip leaders.

2 p.m. Families meet with the president, provost and dean of students in the Weis Center.

Day 2

Wake up, pack up equipment and depart campus! Hike 6-10 miles. Set up camp. Enjoy fun daily activities prepared by BuckWild student trip leaders.

Day 3

Wake up, break down camp and hike up to 10 miles to trailhead. Transition to campground near Raystown Lake. Enjoy fun daily activities prepared by BuckWild student trip leaders.

Day 4

Wake up, transfer to a nearby rock-climbing site. Spend the day climbing before returning to camp for an evening of fun activities prepared by BuckWild student trip leaders.

Day 5

Wake up, break down camp, enjoy morning activities before departing for campus. Unpack from trip. Meet with your BuckWild leaders and enjoy a celebratory dinner with all BuckWild participants. Go back to your residence hall to shower and sleep.

Day 6

Breakfast at 8:15 a.m. in Larison Dining Hall. Your BuckWild trip leaders will talk about the New Student Orientation schedule, and you'll watch a slideshow displaying each of the BuckWild trip experiences. New Student Orientation begins a little before lunch.

Contact Details

Outdoor Education & Leadership