Campus: Santa Fe Outdoor Program Student Activities

St. John’s Outdoor Program – Santa Fe Campus

The Santa Fe campus of St. John’s college is nestled right in the heart of the Southwest United States. We are lucky enough to be surrounded by some of the most beautiful natural terrain in the world. Opportunities for skiing, hiking, camping, climbing, and the like abound. Johnnies can walk out of the back of campus and be on a trail up one of the three surrounding mountains in minutes. Want to get further away than that? Ski Santa Fe and the gateway to hundreds of miles of stunning Pecos wilderness are a mere 45 minute drive away. Whether you are an experienced mountaineer or a curious wilderness fledgling, Santa Fe has something to offer.

If you aren’t sure how to tap into all that nature, or just want to have company on your next adventure, the Outdoor Program is here to help. The OP runs trips every weekend and over the breaks, and they really know their stuff. If it’s outside, the OP will help you do it. They’ll take you all over New Mexico and everywhere else in the beautiful Southwest.

Looking to do your own trip? No problem! Rent all the gear you need and get help with planning from our professional guide, all completely free of charge. If I ever need to get my nose out of a program book, the OP is always happy to oblige. I always joke that the Outdoor Program’s mission statement is to make sure that my homework remains forever neglected, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

That’s why, when everyone else on campus was still fast asleep early on the first morning of the long weekend, I was waking up at 4:00 am to walk down to the activity center. Myself and a group of other Johnnies were getting ready to drive out to Moab, Utah. We met up, ate some breakfast, and loaded into the van for our trip. A few hours later and it seemed like we were on the surface of Mars.

Deep canyons of red sandstone, majestic pillars, the mighty Colorado River winding along to the left, and the beautiful La Sal mountains in the distance. It was breathtaking. What ensued was an amazing weekend of hiking, climbing, and camping. I even managed to get some reading done. By the time I left Moab, I had made some great memories and some even greater friends. College is about more than just books and papers, and while St. John’s is surely an intellectual adventure, in Santa Fe, that’s not the only kind of adventure it has to be.

Photo Credit: Matthias Marklin (

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