Travel Information for High Sierra and Yosemite Courses
**Reminder – Do not book travel until you have been cleared to do so. This includes receiving both your medical clearance AND course confirmation emails. If you aren’t sure if you have these two items, or have any questions, please contact your Course Advisor before purchasing any non-refundable travel. Due to COVID-19 uncertainty, OBCA recommends purchasing ticket that are refundable or changeable tickets, and/or trip insurance (more information on insurance can be found on our Policies website).
For the 2023 season, ALL participants need to have a backup travel plan in case of early departure under quarantine or isolation protocols. For participants under the age of 18, this must include a parent or guardian who can pick them up within 48 hours of receiving notice. Backup departure plans for the participant cannot include commercial travel such as airplane, train, or bus. For more information on OBCA’s COVID-19 Practices, please click here. (Subject to change for the 2024 season.)
Fresno Yosemite International Airport (FAT) – Baggage Claim Area – Terminal Map
If a travel delay occurs en route, please call (209) 742-6999 as soon as possible so that we can facilitate your pick up.
FlightArrival: Book your inbound flight to arrive by 1:00PM on the first day of the course. If you arrive early, please go to baggage claim to connect with your group. Someone will be there by 11:00 AM.
Being Driven: Please arrive at the airport by 12:30 PM.
Driving Yourself: Please arrive at the airport by 12:30 PM.
Greyhound/Amtrak: In some instances, an Outward Bound staff member may be able to pick you up from the station (Amtrak - Fresno Santa Fe Station / Greyhound Fresno, CA). Please confirm with your course advisor prior to booking, to have someone to pick you up from the station. Trains/buses should arrive between 10:30 AM and 12:45 PM.
FlightDeparture: Book your return flight after 11:00AM on the last day of the course, you’ll be back by 10:00 AM or earlier if there are no travel delays.
Driving: For those being picked up, you’ll be back at the airport by 10:00 AM on the last day of the course. The best place to meet is the baggage claim area.
Greyhound/Amtrak: In some instances, an Outward Bound staff member may be able to drop you off at the station (Amtrak - Fresno Santa Fe Station / Greyhound Fresno, CA). Please confirm with your course advisor prior to booking. Trains/buses should depart after 11:00 AM.
Note About Course End Drop Offs
Middle School Courses - Ages 13 – 14: OBCA Staff will take students through security who have been booked as "Unaccompanied Minors" (see below) with their airline. For all other students, OBCA staff will wait until 2:00 PM, or until they are able to pass through security. Typically travelers can pass through security up to 4 hours before their flight. If you wish to book a flight after 6:00 PM and have a staff member wait with your child, please first get approval from your Course Advisor to determine whether this is possible.
Youth, Teen Course - Ages 14+: OBCA Staff will take students through security who have been booked as "Unaccompanied Minors" (see below) with their airline. For all other students, an OBCA staff member will be available to assist with check in, and support as needed for a limited time after drop off. Unless Unaccompanied Minor Services have been purchased through your airline, students will not be supervised after drop-off.
Definition: A term that airlines (as well as bus and train services) use for minors who have purchased their Unaccompanied Minor (UM) service. For airlines, it allows a staff member from OBCA to pass through security with the student, and connect the student to a staff member from the airline. The airline staff then ensure that the student connects with a designated adult at their final destination.
Travelling as an Unaccompanied Minor (UM) has its challenges. We recommend calling the airline as you enroll to make sure there are flights that will accommodate your schedule. Our info is here to assist, but may become inaccurate if the airlines change their procedures. Please confirm current UM policies and restrictions directly with your airline (or bus or train).
There are additional fees for travelling as a UM, up to $300 per ticket, please keep this in mind when selecting a course out of state.
One of our staff members (not your Course Advisor) will meet your child at the flight gate to escort them to the group. You'll need the name of that staff member who will collect and return your child to the gate. We usually can confirm summer staff in late spring. If booking travel prior to staff confirmation, please use a temporary name and adjust once you have our details.
Amtrak and Greyhound also require UM services. If traveling using these carriers, please make sure you review the policies and select UM services if necessary - they are very strict about this.
Please notify your Course Advisor ahead of time when traveling as a UM, as there are additional steps you’ll need to take. It is your responsibility to book UM status and find out if it's necessary.