It all started with a youth group…
Wilderness Trek started as a dream of a youth minister who worked at the Hillcrest Church of Christ in Abilene, Texas named Bob Woods. During the summer of 1975, Mr. Wood took a group of 21 9th grade boys, 2 girls, and a few parents for a week-long backpacking trip to the mountains near Gunnison, Colorado. He continued to do this for several years.
Starting in 1978, youth ministers from other churches began combining their groups with the Hillcrest group. By 1980, over 500 teens and adults had gone on one of his trips and almost a dozen additional groups were asking Mr. Woods to take their group on what had become known as “Trek”. The cost was approx $125 per person.
Up until that time, Mr. Woods had operated Wilderness Trek as an extension of his youth ministry at the Hillcrest Church. In 1984, Mr. Woods approached a group of youth ministers and Christian businessmen about forming a nonprofit organization, led by a board of directors. The purpose of the board was to remove the organizational burden from Mr. Wood and provide for Treks’ spiritual direction and ensure the ministry of Wilderness Trek for future generations. On Oct 23, 1985, the first board of directors was chosen and drafted the articles of organization for Trek. In Sept 1986 WTCC was granted its 501(c)3 designation by the Internal Revenue Service. Since then, WTCC has been a non-profit organization led by a volunteer board of directors.
In 1986, WTCC starting utilizing a paid contractor (usually an individually owned for-profit company) for outfitting services such as equipment rental, Forestry Service permits, base camp services, and meals. From 1986-1991 WTCC used “Woods and Trails” as its only outfitter. In 1992 and 1993 WTCC used Woods and Trails and Wilderness Expeditions as its only outfitter. From 1993-2011 WTCC used Wilderness Expeditions out of Salida, CO as its only outfitter. The owners of Wilderness Expeditions, Tommy and Kristi Query, were valuable partners in the growth and expansion of Wilderness Trek during those years.