A Hike Through Time: Trek in Eastern Oregon’s Oldest Mountains with Geologist Liz Safran

Hikers looking out on the trail

Dates: August 1-5, 2024

Our adventure begins late afternoon, Thursday, August 1st in Baker City, Oregon with an overnight stay at the Geiser Grand boutique hotel before transport the next day to the trailhead.

Group Size

Participants will be capped at eleven, plus staff and faculty leader.


Trip Overview

A 5-day Geology Trek & Backcountry “Glamp-out” in Eastern Oregon’s Oldest Mountains

Led by Lewis & Clark geology professor, Liz Safran, A Hike Through Time is an all-inclusive mule-packing trek through Oregon’s Eagle Cap Wilderness. Over the course of 4 days in the backcountry, learn about the geological forces that shaped some of Oregon’s oldest mountains, I.D. rocks found along the trail, and enjoy evening fireside geology discussions over camp cocktails and gourmet cast-iron cooking. Lewis & Clark alumni Dan Sizer, owner of Eastern Oregon based Go Wild: American Adventures is our partner leading and supporting this adventure.

Daily Hike distances: 5-8 miles a day and 500-1500’ elevation gain.

Group hiking
Program Highlights

  • Start your adventure with a sunset dinner reception, hosted wine bar, and geology kickoff presentation under big Eastern Oregon skies at Copperbelt Winery.
  • Hike in style! Mules pack 30lbs of gear per person as you hike to “Glamp,” a fancy camp nestled deep in the backcountry with a private chef & professional naturalist guides.
  • Enjoy evening fire-side presentations on topics ranging from basic geological history to glaciation to climate change.
  • Dine on hyper-local gourmet meals, sip on craft signature cocktails, put your feet up disconnect and enjoy a wide range of activities from fly fishing to star gazing.
  • Explore the Eagle Cap Wilderness’s alpine lakes, trails, rivers, and peaks through the lens of geology.


Chef cooking at camp

Register Now



August 1

After checking in to our historic hotel, enjoy a private transfer to Copperbelt Wines, Eastern Oregon’s only winery within the Snake River AVA, for a hosted dinner reception with the winemaker, your guides, and professor Liz Safran. Sip a variety of wines made on location, dine on wood-fired pizza, and relax under a big Eastern Oregon sunset. Finish the evening with an overview geology presentation by Liz before returning to your hotel.

August 2

Enjoy breakfast and coffee at a local bakery at 8am. After a ~1 hour drive to the trailhead, meet our expert mule packer who packs in your personal gear, 30lbs / person. Step into the wilderness and leave the hustle of the city behind. “Glamp” lies 5.5 miles into the backcountry. Along the trail take ecology and geology breaks and enjoy a lunch of locally sourced charcuterie.

August 3 and 4

At camp, your professional local guides turn into expert fun facilitators and chefs, serving hand crafted appetizers, cocktails, and gourmet campfire cooked meals, all sourced from hyper local ingredients. During the day, explore nearby lakes on guided hikes with a focus on geology, try your hand at fly fishing, forage for wild edible plants, or relax at camp. It’s up to you. Your guides will have planned activities every day. In the evening, enjoy fireside geology presentations by Liz with opportunities to ask questions and talk about what you saw throughout the day.

August 5

After your last delicious camp meal and bottomless coffee, pack up your gear to leave at camp for our mule packer to carry out for you. While it’s tempting to put your head down and hustle (like a horse to the barn), even your last day is a chance to deepen your experience in the wild and enjoy the stroll back to civilization. We will have a simple leftover charcuterie style lunch along the way. Typically, groups reach the trailhead between 1-4PM, please plan flights & travel plans accordingly. 

For those who would prefer not to drive back the evening of 8/5 additional hotel reservations can be secured.

Sign-up Now

Please Register here

A $500 non-refundable deposit is required to secure your spot.


  • Total Cost is $2,245 per person signing up as a pair, sharing a room in a boutique hotel as a couple in one bed, or as two travelers in a room with two beds. Tents are all shared with two people with two single cots.
  • $500 deposit + $1,745 balance payment (plus a private room fee if not paired) due by May 1st, 2024. 
  • Private Hotel Room Fee — Solo travelers not paired for the hotel, will be billed an extra $150 to cover a private room at the hotel. Solo travelers will share a four-person tent with one other person.


  • Local, professional, naturalist guides, camp chef & bartender
  • Mule packer to carry 30lbs of personal gear per person
  • Boutique hotel stay, day 1 (double occupancy)
  • All meals, beverages & cocktail package from dinner Day 1 to lunch Day 5. This will include a hosted opening reception at Copperbelt Wines on August 1st. On August 5th a simple leftover charcuterie style lunch will be provided.
  • All camp / hike gear- tents, cots, pads, chairs, group gear, kitchen, etc. We’ll send you a packing list upon booking. A note on tents: We sleep 2 people in one 4-person tent. This decreases our impact on the land.
  • Transportation to and from trailhead from our hotel in Eastern Oregon
  • Professional photographer & download link to photos
  • Endless adventure, new friends, an experience of a lifetime
Price does not include
  • transportation to Eastern Oregon, any additional pre- or post-night accommodations in LaGrande, or trip insurance.


Faculty Leader

Elizabeth Safran

Professor of Geological Science

I am a geomorphologist — a geologist who worries about how landscapes evolve. I am originally from the Boston area but have been on the west coast throughout my graduate and post-doctoral work, which I did at the University of Washington, University of California (UC), Santa Barbara and UC Santa Cruz. I was first drawn into geology through a class taught by Stephen Jay Gould, with the modest title of “The History of Earth and of Life.” Once I learned that field trips and camping were required elements of the geology major, I was hooked. I have been at Lewis & Clark College since 2000. For me, this is a wonderful professional setting, where I get to interact with intellects from vastly different fields and with inquisitive, gung-ho students. Professor Safran has led numerous groups throughout Oregon, and was the faculty leader for our LC Travel group to Iceland in 2018 and 2021. 

Academic Credentials: PhD 1998 University of California at Santa Barbara, M.S 1993 University of Washington, BA 1989 Harvard University


Trek Leader

Dan Sizer, Class of 2016

Owner, Go Wild: American Adventures

I suppose, Go Wild: American Adventures really began my freshman year at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. I told people I lived in Eastern Oregon and they said, “Where? Bend?” No, farther east, the real east, where there are more cows than people, where a traffic jam means waiting at a stop sign longer than 30 seconds. I began taking friends home, friends from the city, and many friends from overseas, from Tokyo, Japan, from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Every time it was the same- we stepped out of the car after the five hour drive from Portland, looked up at the starry sky, and mouths dropped open. The more I explored the mountains in my own backyard, the more I realized, yes, this is something worth sharing. And so, Go Wild was born.



Tents Eastern Oregon


We sleep 2 people in each 4-person Teepee style tent to decrease our impact on the land. Each tent comes equipped with cots, sleeping pads, sleeping bags, and pillows.

“When Nature Calls”

As opposed to classic backpacking, we won’t be digging “cat-holes.” We’ve tried to make the experience as comfortable as possible with a framed pit toilet, privacy tent, and air fresheners :)




Andrew McPheeters, Associate Vice President of Community Education & Travel Programs at mcpheete@lclark.edu or 503-768-


Copperbelt Winery