Southwest Mountain, Canyon and River Expedition
  • Southwest Mountain, Canyon and River Expedition
This is a three-week multi-expedition including mountaineering in the La Sal Mountains, canyon backpacking and canyoneering in or around Canyonlands National Park and rafting on the Colorado or the San Juan River. This is one of Outward Bound's premier courses and is perfect for fit motivated teens or adults looking for skills for lifelong success.

Course Area

The La Sal Mountains are located in southeastern Utah. The La Sals are known for their groves of aspen, scrub oak and incredible views into Canyonlands National Park and a taste of the type of terrain you'll travel through on the canyon section. Hike the labyrinth of alcoves, rock bridges, pinnacles, buttes, box canyons, ledges and arches that is Utah's canyon country.

Your course will either travel the Colorado River or the San Juan River. On the Colorado you'll paddle through the deeply incised sandstone slick rock "goosenecks." The San Juan is well known for archeological sites of ancient Indians, including the Fremont and Anasazi, and the phenomenon of "sand waves." Weather and condition permitting, a mixed fleet of rafts and sit-on-top kayaks will be used on the San Juan.

Course Description

This course combines whitewater rafting, mountaineering and the mysteries of the canyons. During the initial phase of your course, either on the river or in the mountains, your instructor introduces you to the most important elements of wilderness lifestyle: environmental stewardship, outdoor cooking, safety and first aid.

On the river, you and your companions work to become a team paddling a raft or sit-on-top kayaks, coordinating your positioning and spacing and even your strokes to help and protect each other as you go. In the mountains and the canyons, you climb over high passes, descend into lush, vegetated valleys and attempt several summits, learning to rely on and help each other.

To apply for this course click the apply button next to the course dates that work for you. The non-refundable application fee of $125 is due at the time of application. For full fee schedule and process, click here. Course tuitions listed do not include our application fee or transportation fee.