Photo: Cara Befort

Course Details



Expedition Type


Additional Activities

Desert Backpacking


$1650 - $1695

Technical Skills

Campcraft, Leave No Trace Methods & Ethics, Map and Compass, Natural History, Navigation, Travel Techniques






7 days


Spring, Fall

Interpersonal Skills

Character, Leadership, Service, Camaraderie, Communication, Conflict Resolution, Empathy, Independence, Positive Risk Taking, Problem Solving, Resilence, Responsibility, Self Awareness, Self Confidence, Sense of Social Connection

Upcoming Courses

Dates Days Age Cost Course # Actions
3/26/16 - 4/1/16 7 23+ $1695 CUAB-621 Enroll
9/25/16 - 10/1/16 7 23+ $1650 CUAB-622 Enroll

* Some course dates may not include all of the activities and skills listed. Please ask.

This seven-day canyon backpacking course is an exceptional opportunity to explore the dramatic canyon country of Utah. Individuals who are looking for travel in an amazing environment and are ready to look inward, work as a team and gain new perspective will thrive on this course. From towering red rock formations to rolling hills of high desert sage to untamed rivers and canyons, Utah is truly unique. With a rich history dating back centuries still evident and preserved by the desert, you may see pictographs, pottery shards, or other evidence of those who came before. This is a backpacking course in the canyon country, specifically designed for adults. A break from everyday life, this course provides time and space for reflection and serves as a reminder that sometimes the simple things are most important. 


No two Outward Bound expeditions are ever quite the same. Every crew is unique; every route is distinct; and every adventure is dynamic. But one thing remains the same. On each course, students rise to meet exhilarating natural challenges in some of the country’s wildest places – and find strength and determination along the way.

  • Build core skills: Learn and practice wilderness, teamwork and leadership skills. Form a crew that supports and encourages one another, and in the thick of challenges, discover there is more in you than you know.
  • Practice Outward Bound values: Learn to incorporate Outward Bound values into everyday life by pushing your own limits and seeking challenge as an opportunity for personal growth.
  • Demonstrate mastery: As the course nears the end, take on more leadership and decision-making responsibilities. Work together to apply new skills and achieve team goals during this final phase of the expedition.
  • What you’ll learn: Return home a stronger, more resilient individual. Discover increased self-confidence, improved leadership, and a desire to make a difference.


The course begins with lessons in basic travel and camping techniques. Along the way, students learn Leave No Trace¨ techniques; map and compass navigation; camp craft; and get a feel for the human and natural history of the area. Students backpack in the canyons and out across the mesas, camp on vast expanses of desert slickrock, and stop along the way to explore amazing ruins and interesting geology. 

Most importantly, students spend time in an incredible area of the desert, sleep under the stars, feel the sunshine on their face, and maybe watch a few sunsets over this simple but magical landscape.

Photo: Cara Befort


The course ends with the Final Expedition, during which the team heads back into the field to put newly acquired skills into practice. Depending on the team’s ability levels, instructors step back during this section and allow the crew to take over decision-making responsibilities for navigation, time schedules, communication and general leadership.


The course takes place just north of the San Juan River on a large plateau called Cedar Mesa. The landscape is filled with sandstone that has eroded into an endless variety of mesas, towers, grottos, hoodoos, arches and canyons. 

Getting Started

If you are ready to enroll on a course click the enroll button next to the course you wish to select or you can enroll over the phone by speaking with one of our Admissions Advisors (toll-free) at 866-467-7651.

To secure your spot on a course you must submit an enrollment form and $500 deposit that is applied toward the total cost of the course and includes a $150 non-refundable enrollment processing fee. Click here to learn more about the complete enrollment process.