Be Wilder: Writing from Wilderness

Summer 2017 quarter (Second Session)

Taught by

physics, mathematics, creative writing

Many cultures have traditions of teachers and students spending time in wilderness. We’ll let wilderness work in us, inspire us, and help immerse us in writing. Carrying our own food and shelter will focus us, and open new outlooks on sustainability. We’ll live Leave-No-Trace ethics as we paddle to Squaxin Island and hike and backpack in the Olympic and Cascade Mountains. We’ll write daily and we'll read, seminar and critique, with ongoing in-depth faculty feedback.

This all-level program could be an orientation for incoming students, and a chance for anyone to engage deeply with writing, and/or produce a finished publishable manuscript.

Participants need to be able to carry a 40-pound pack for up to six hours on backpacking days.


Summer Open

Location and Schedule

Campus Location


Off-Campus Location

wk 1: Capitol State Forest

wk 2: Hoh Rainforest (Olympic National Park)

wk 3: Hope and/or Squaxin Island & Olympic National Forest

wk 4: Olympic National Forest & Mt. Rainier

wk 5: North Cascades National Park

Time Offered

Day and Evening

Advertised Schedule

July 31-August 2, 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.: on campus; August 2: day hike in Capitol State Forest

August 8-10: backpacking trip in Hoh Rainforest, Olympic National Park

August 15: paddle to Hope and/or Squaxin Islands; August 16, 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. on campus; August 17: day hike at Mt. Ellinor

August 22: day hike to Lena Lake; August 23, 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. on campus; August 24: day hike at Mt. Rainier

August 28-31: backpacking in North Cascades National Park



Online Learning

No Required Online Learning


$474 total for entry fees, maps, campsites, motorpool, food, and guided paddling trip. If our costs are less, the difference will be reimbursed.