About Wilderness Inquiry
Our purpose: Connecting you with nature and other people through shared outdoor adventures.
Wilderness Inquiry creates unforgettable outdoor adventures for people like you. We operate throughout North America and around the globe, maintaining high quality standards on every trip we do. Wilderness Inquiry adventures are more than simple vacations. We break the mold and invite you to experience the outdoors in a manner that provides new perspectives on the natural world and the power of positive community spirit. We use an approach called the Universal Program Participation Model, which promotes the inclusion of people from all walks of life. Over the years, we have found that success depends far more on a positive attitude than experience or ability.
Since 1978, WI has served more than 500,000 people and leads the outdoor recreation industry in providing equitable access to outdoor adventures throughout North America and around the world. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Wilderness Inquiry owns a basecamp on the south shore of Lake Superior, operates in 32 states and 10 countries, and promotes inclusion, active learning, and meaningful connections to the natural world. Each year we serve 40,000 people. Wilderness Inquiry employs 120+ full and part-time staff and is governed by an 18 member volunteer board of directors. As a 501(c)(3) organization, our “stakeholders” include everyone in our community. In short, that means you! When you travel with WI you are supporting our mission of connecting people from all walks of life to the outdoors.
We are inclusive by nature
Wilderness Inquiry is all about access, inclusion, and opportunity. We believe exploration of the natural world is a birthright we all share, and we act on that belief. We operate in a manner that facilitates full participation by everyone, including people who come from different physical, cultural, or socio-economic places. We believe in the power of community.
Share the Adventure is more than just a slogan for us. We welcome everyone to participate. In addition to the many adventures featured on this site, as a non-profit organization we also conduct programs that introduce people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities to the outdoors in positive, life-changing ways.
Our programs provide opportunities for urban youth, families, and people with disabilities to discover and share the many benefits of outdoor experiences. Our founders realized long ago that the true beauty of the outdoors is that it helps us all discover our common humanity.
Our staff excel at fostering positive attitudes. We regularly receive comments like the following:
“The leaders were professional, knowledgeable, fun, patient and very well organized. They were a big part of making the trip perfect.” Beth K.
Sustained With Community Support
Your support makes our programs possible and also helps to provide financial assistance to those who need scholarships to experience the outdoors. As a nonprofit organization, all proceeds from our trips, events and donations go back into our programs—not shareholders.
There are numerous beneficial impacts of inclusive outdoor recreation. Our own evaluations and the numerous independent research studies that we have participated in illustrate just how valuable experiencing the outdoors with others is to personal growth, community and discovery.
Wilderness Inquiry is a unique organization that represents the intersection of the environmental and social justice movements—in a fun and positive way. We hope you will Share the Adventure with us!
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“You’re not just going on a trip with WI, you’re going to change the world.”-Heidi W., MD