There’s no better place than Cate to develop—or continue—a love of the outdoors. California is home to a staggering variety of natural beauty, some of the best of which is in Cate’s backyard. Here, students are just minutes away from a swim in the ocean, a run on the beach, or a hike in the mountains, and just a short drive from some of the best backpacking, surfing, and rock climbing in the nation. And while the country surrounding the Mesa is beautiful—our sunsets are spectacular—the real benefit of living and learning among such natural grandeur is the sense of perspective it provides—the reminder that we are part of a world much bigger than ourselves.

Students' experiences of the outdoors at Cate will begin with Outings Week in September, when they'll explore California’s wilderness. As freshmen they'll visit Pyles Camp in Sequoia National Forest for a week of hiking, swimming, and team-building activities with classmates. As sophomores they'll backpack in Yosemite, and as juniors they'll trek along the Kern River. In their final year they'll have their choice of serving as a leader on one of the underclassmen trips, camping on the Channel Islands just off the coast, or visiting colleges.

Throughout the year, faculty members also lead weekend kayaking, backpacking, and diving trips. Students can even choose the Outdoor Program for their afternoon athletic activity and learn to surf, rock climb, kayak, and paddle board. And those are just the sweatier things they can do. The natural landscape around Cate also serves as a great biology lab and study space, and provides ample inspiration for art making.