Spotlight on: Peak Adventures

Discovery to degrees: Students chart successful course with Peak Adventures

It was the early 1970s when two Sacramento State students created the campus' first bicycle shop. Armed with wrenches and tire pumps, students met under the roof of a metal tool shed to fix their bikes and enjoy a little camaraderie.

The concept gained popularity and scope over the years and has since evolved into what is now known as Peak Adventures, an outdoor recreation program of Associated Students.

"We've come a long way since our beginning as what was basically a tool co-op," says Jael Young, director of Peak Adventures, ’92 (Anthropology), MS ’05 (Recreation and Leisure Studies). "Not only are we a full-service bike shop, we also offer equipment rentals and on-campus Challenge Center ropes course as well as popular excursions to many of California's famed destinations."

Young says spring is one of her favorite times of year at Peak Adventures, citing California's enviable combination of sun and snow. "The trips we offer to students and community members are all connected to the earth's cycles. So for us, springtime means we're looking at river flows for our popular rafting trips on the American River and identifying hiking paths where the waterfalls are running most impressively," Young says.

Peak Adventures raftingPEAKS AND VALLEYS—Peak Adventures offers students a variety of recreational opportunities from an on-campus Challenge Center to hiking trips to Yosemite and rafting trips on the American River.

Photographs of smiling faces surrounded by breathtaking scenery line the walls of the Peak Adventures office located next to the campus health and fitness hub known as The WELL. But it's the behind-the-scenes benefits of Peak Adventures' programs that really make an impact.

"There are many students who come to campus without the experience of camping, hiking, or even riding a bike. It's very rewarding for us to introduce them to these activities for the first time and hopefully create a new and lasting interest in outdoor recreation and a connection to the campus community," Young says.

Throughout the year up to 40 students serve in all capacities at Peak Adventures, including bike mechanics, front desk office staff, trip leaders and facilitators for the Challenge Center ropes course. This type of involvement on campus can be an important factor in student retention and a successful college experience, according to research from Sac State's Office of Institutional Research as well as the National Survey of Student Engagement. Studies show a direct correlation between high student involvement and grades. Simply put, the more engaged a student is on campus, the higher grades the student receives and the more likely he or she is to re-enroll for the next semester.

"Being new to Sac State, I didn't know very many people," says Alyson Teixeira, who plans to graduate in 2017 with a degree in recreation administration. "Going on trips with Peak Adventures allowed me the opportunity to meet other students with similar interests and feel more a part of the campus."

Alumni and community members also are welcome to enjoy Peak Adventures programming. For details, visit or call (916) 278-6321.

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