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Wilderness Passage Site

Wilderness Track Options: Backpacking, Canoeing, and Rock Climbing

Your wilderness trip will take you on one of three amazing adventures to enjoy God’s creation. Your trip will provide close community, facilitate spiritual growth, and prepare you for the transition into college. Wilderness Passage is a completely technology free experience, allowing you to fully connect with your peers in creation.  Previous wilderness and camping experience are not necessary.   

During the registration process students can choose their preference for one of the three wilderness trip options: Backpacking, Canoeing, and Rock Climbing. Keep reading to learn more about your options!


Location, Accommodations, and Food for the Wilderness Track

Lake Superior shoreline Our People Variant

Location

The sites of the wilderness locations will vary day by day as students journey through The Superior National Forest’s varied wilderness environments.  

student setting up a tent

Accommodations

Students will live in backpacking tents and sleep under the stars. Leave No Trace principles will be employed to properly use the bathrooms in these pristine wilderness locations.  Wilderness Passage ends in a wilderness camp environment.

cooking in the wilderness

Food

Food will be prepared by students while on their trip. We can accommodate medically necessary dietary needs when given advance notice in your registration form!

"Passage was such a formative and amazing experience to have before starting my time here at Wheaton. The time spent in the wilderness allowed me to disconnect and reflect before having to adapt to the changes of college life." — Ethan Roth '25

Sample Schedule of Wilderness Trips

Watch the emerald lily pads step aside as you navigate your canoe along the serene shore of a quiet lake. An example day on your Boundary Waters canoeing trip will look like the sample schedule below. Depending on the group, weather conditions, and campsite availability, the timing of each day’s itinerary will vary. Trips include a rest day for intentional spiritual reflection where little to no paddling is included.

Time Activity
7:00 - 7:30 Wake Up, Personal Prayer and Devotional Time
8:00 Prepare and Eat Breakfast
8:30 Pack Up
Morning Paddle 4 miles along a scenic lakeshore
Take a snack break at a campsite
Portage your canoe over land to reach another gorgeous lake
12:00 Eat Lunch
1:00 Paddle 3 miles to overnight campsite - often on an island or point
5:00 Prepare and Eat Dinner
6:30 Free Time
8:00 Evening Campfire, Debrief of the Day, and Discussion
9:00 Head to Bed & Sleep

*Approximate schedule provided; subject to change.

Rappel down a seaside cliff to get the most unique views of Lake Superior before scaling back up with the support of your wilderness leaders. See below for an example of what a day might look like on the rock-climbing track. Depending on the group and weather conditions, the timing of the day will vary. Some days on the Rock-Climbing trip are focused on climbing, while other days require packing up and relocating camp to a different crag. This trip also includes a rest day for focused spiritual reflection. See below an example of a backpacking day. 

Time Activity
7:00 - 7:30 Wake Up, Personal Prayer and Devotional Time
8:00 Prepare and Eat Breakfast
8:30 Pack Up
Morning

Hike 4 miles along the Superior Hiking Trail

Snack Break at a scenic spot

Hike 3 miles enjoying vistas of Lake Superior

12:00 Eat Lunch
1:00

Hike final 2 miles to your campsite 

2:30

Set Up Campsite

5:00 Prepare and Eat Dinner
6:30 Free Time
8:00 Evening Campfire, Debrief of the Day, and Discussion
9:00 Head to Bed & Sleep

On a climbing day, you would spend the morning getting oriented to the site and start climbing the routes of your choice, which will vary in difficulty to meet the varied ability levels of the group. The afternoon is spent continuing to climb and spending time with your new friends at the rock face.

*Approximate schedule provided; subject to change.

Tighten your laces and double check your map – the backpacking trip will wind along a section of the 310-mile-long Superior Hiking Trail. The schedule below gives you a peak into what a day on a Wheaton Passage backpacking trip might look like. Depending on your group and weather conditions, the exact schedule of your day will vary. Trips include a rest day where little to no backpacking is included so that students can focus on spiritual reflection.

Time Activity
7:00 - 7:30 Wake Up, Personal Prayer and Devotional Time
8:00 Prepare and Eat Breakfast
8:30 Pack Up
Morning Hike 4 miles along the Superior Hiking Trail
Take a snack break at a scenic spot
Hike 3 miles enjoying vistas of Lake Superior
12:00 Eat Lunch
1:00 Hike final 2 miles to your overnight campsite
2:30 Set up overnight campsite
4:00 Prepare, Eat, and Clean Up Dinner
6:30 Free Time
8:00 Evening Campfire, Debrief, and Discussion
9:00 Head to Bed & Sleep

*Approximate schedule provided; subject to change.

Registration for Passage begins February 15, 2023 

 

"Passage was a great way to make new friends and really helped with the transition into college life. It was an amazing bonding experience to be backpacking with total strangers, with no technology, and living 10 days in the wilderness! It was the best way to take a step back and focus on the Lord before moving onto campus." — Kathryn Skinner '25
Passage was a fun adventure and a great way to meet new people before the transition to college. It put me in a new environment that forced me to try new things, and had a blast with the girls in my group! — Sarah Schwartz '25
The rock climbing Passage Wilderness trip I was blessed to be a part of heightened my anticipation of the next four years at Wheaton and showed me to embrace the challenge of change. My time at Passage was full of laughter, joy, excitement, tears, and learning alongside fellow classmates and amazing leaders. Throughout the trip, we made up songs while hiking, shouted encouragement from the top of the cliffs, and held life-giving conversations centered on the goodness of God and his work in our lives. — Arabela Escareño '25
Passage was one of the most formative times of my life. I was stretched in ways that I didn’t know I could handle and met some of my best friends at Wheaton. I grew in my faith and became so much more confident in myself. Wilderness Passage was an amazing way to begin college.” — Ellie Swigle '25