Join Outward Bound on this wilderness expedition designed to provide veterans and service members with the opportunity to explore Joshua Tree National Park, one of the most beautiful and demanding environments in the country.

Through generous funding these amazing courses are available TUITION FREE to Veterans.


This introductory course is designed to give Veterans and Service Members a chance to learn backpacking skills while enjoying a stunning desert landscape. As most visitors to the park never get more than a mile from their car, this course is a fantastic opportunity to see the park’s beauty and grandeur up close and personal. You will learn basic backcountry skills such as navigation and how to assess and adapt to varying weather conditions. You will experience the beauty, depth, and fragility of life in the Mojave Desert and get the chance to observe the unique birds, plants, and animals that make this desert landscape such an incredible place. You and your team will move camp each day as you make your way through flat expanses and jumbled granite formations. Outward Bound courses are not guided trips; as such, all of your food and gear will be carried in the backpack on your back and you will assist with camp chores such as cooking, cleaning, and tarp setup.


Joshua Tree National Park is a well-known international climbing destination set against the backdrop of one of California’s most surreal desert landscapes. During your course you will be inspired and intrigued by plant life and geology that resemble alien-like creations from a Dr. Seuss book. You will backpack through the same bizarre rock formations that have challenged rock climbers and adventurers from across the world for many years.

The Mojave Desert’s sunny weather is conducive to maximum time on the trail. Weather in the park is generally dry and rainfall is normally sparse, though unpredictable, irregular, and sometimes persistent torrents do occur. Temperatures are most comfortable in the spring and fall, with average highs of 85°F and lows of 50°F. Winter brings cooler days, around 60°F during the day with nights below freezing.

Course starts at the Palm Springs International Airport.

Get Started

To apply for this course click the enroll button next to the course dates that work for you. Or better yet call one of our expert Admission Advisers at 866-467-7651.