"We hiked to the highest peak in the park. On our way there, we slept over and did the solo. That was one of the biggest impacts on me – it was a night all by myself to reflect. I connected with nature. It was a clear night sky with no distractions from anyone. I’ve never had that much connection to nature. Just silence all around – I could hear the wind moving. There was a point in the evening, where I got up and meditated on the view before the sun went down."
- Uzoma Onuoma
During this adventure, you’ll backpack through the vast expanses of the Mojave Desert. The ruggedly beautiful Joshua Tree National Park receives more than a million visitors each year, but only a handful of those venture more than a mile from the parking lot. With this up-close view, you’ll travel through the rich ecosystem of birds and animals beside the parks’ namesake, the Joshua Tree, cholla cactus and palms. The demanding and beautiful desert, offers the opportunity to challenge your personal limits and refresh leadership skills while finding time to reflect.
|XJAB-822||12.30.18 - 1.5.19||7||18 and up||$1,695||ENROLL|
|XJAB-921||4.1.19 - 4.7.19||7||18 and up||$1,695||ENROLL|
This course may be full or preparing to leave in the next week. Please call us at 866-467-7651 to discuss your options.
Do you ever want to unplug, step away from the daily grind to take on new challenges? Are you ready to conquer harder skills and remind your senses (or discover for the first time) what it’s like to crest a mountain peak, hear the echoes at the edge of a vast canyon or feel the rush of white water spray on your face? Take a break from your routine, radically change your surroundings and test your tenacity. Put some “firsts” in front of you and find moments of unexpected discovery along the way. Experience Outward Bound as an adult and prepare for an injection of adventure, awareness and adaptability that sticks with you long after you unpack your backpack.
Return home with newly expanded wilderness acumen, an energized outlook, a rekindled allowance of empathy into situations and relationships and an eye toward the future.
This course is designed for those either new to backpacking, or who have some experience and are interested in exploring the desert environment. The low elevation and high chance of encountering unique wildlife as students travel off the tourist track, will provide a rare experience and set of challenges.
Crew members will begin by learning foundational skills such as camp setup, cooking and navigation. As students learn these crafts and develop trust with their group, Instructors will step back and transfer ownership of the course to the students. By the end of course the crew will manage their own routes, daily schedule, navigation and other necessary skills for expeditionary travel. Each day presents opportunities to learn new skills and work closely with teammates to travel efficiently and become self-reliant in the desert.
Service to others and to the environment are core values of Outward Bound and they are integrated into each course. Participants follow Leave No Trace ethics as part of their service to the environment. Students develop an ingrained appreciation of service, seeing the impact of their actions firsthand, by multiple small acts of service with and for their crewmates while leading and supporting each other throughout the journey.
In order for profound learning to take place, there must be time to reflect on the experience. Solo is that opportunity, and that time can range anywhere from 30 minutes to 24 hours. It is a chance to experience solitude in the wilderness without distraction while also taking a break from the physical rigors of activities. Students experience short periods of time away from their group throughout the course for reflection. These “mini-solos” are at solo sites chosen by Instructors to provide as much solitude as possible (within emergency whistle-signaling distance of other group members). Participants have all necessary equipment, food and water during their Solo time, and safety is always the top priority.
Outward Bound courses vary in length from four (4) to 85 days. On shorter courses, participants will receive an introduction to leadership skills, strength of character and a desire to serve while activities fill most of the time and the pace is quick. With longer courses, the same outcomes and benefits are achieved with the opportunity to reach a more profound level of mastery as there are more chances to develop technical skills, receive and implement feedback and further personal development. However many days the expedition lasts, the strength and impact of the experience lasts a lifetime.
Backpacking and wilderness navigation techniques are great practice for the essential skills and habits that help prepare for new challenges at school, work, home and in the community. Outward Bound expeditions encourage students:
Welcome to the high desert moonscape, where rugged mountains and desert plateaus have been sculpted by wind and rain. Three distinct ecosystems come together to form this land of extremes: the dark, cold, star-filled nights against warm sand and boulder-filled days. Participants will travel through granite monoliths and through narrow canyons that have attracted travelers from around the world long before the park became a national park in 1936.
The Mojave Desert’s sunny fall and spring weather is perfect for a week on the trail or basecamping below the next climb. Weather in the park is generally dry and rainfall is sparse, though unpredictable, and sometimes persistent thunderstorms do occur. Temperatures can vary, averaging 50 to 80 degrees during the day to a cool 30 degrees at night and potentially hitting 100 early or late in the season.
Travel in the desert takes careful planning to ensure an ample water supply. Logistics staff place water and food caches around the park to enable extended backcountry travel in this unique wilderness.
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.