"The highlight of the trip was my experience with the other group members. I had no idea I could bond so much with strangers from around the country in that short amount of time. To have a meaningful and positive experience with someone, you don’t even need to have anything in common. I connected to every single person I was with."
- Owen Frank
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 see the rich ecosystem of birds and animals beside the parks’ namesake, the Joshua Tree, cactus and palms. The demanding and beautiful desert, offers the opportunity to challenge your personal limits and develop leadership skills in a very unique environment.
This course is closed for the season. 2019 courses coming soon.
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 appropriate for those new to backpacking as well as students with some experience who are interested in exploring new terrain. Each day presents opportunities to learn new skills and work closely with teammates to travel efficiently and accomplish tasks.
The course 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 transfer ownership of the course to the students so they manage routes, daily schedule, navigation and other necessary skills for expeditionary travel.
The rock climbing section of this course is designed for all levels and will teach students the skills necessary to be effective top-rope climbers. The first lessons will set the foundation for belaying and movement on rock and progress toward more advanced skills, including rappelling and setting top rope anchors. Students build trust and motivational leadership as they belay and are belayed by their crew in this base camping section of the course.
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.
Outward Bound believes in order for profound learning to take place, there must be time to reflect on the experience. Within course, the solo is that opportunity. It is a chance to experience solitude in the wilderness without distraction while also taking a break from the physical rigors of course. Students are separated from their group for a period of time which depends on course length and Instructor assessment of group capability. Solo sites are chosen to provide solitude. Participants have all necessary equipment, food and water. Solos range in length from 12 hours to 72 hours.
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, rock climbing 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.