Although the ruggedly beautiful Joshua Tree National Park receives more than a million visitors each year, only a handful of those venture more than a mile from the parking lot. Count yourself as one of the lucky few as you enjoy a rare, up-close view of the rich Joshua Tree ecosystem. Experience the landscape firsthand – alongside the birds and animals and amidst the park's namesake Joshua Trees, cholla cactus and palms. Both demanding and beautiful, the desert pushes you to challenge your personal limits and develop leadership skills in an extreme, natural environment.
|XJXB-723||12.27.17 - 1.2.18||7||16 and up||$1,765||ENROLL|
|XJAB-821||3.24.18 - 3.30.18||7||18 and up||$1,765||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.
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.
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.
Students 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 more ownership of the course to the students. By the end of course the participants will manage 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 the environment is a core value of Outward Bound and is integrated into each course. Participants follow Leave No Trace ethics as service to the environment and do acts of service while leading and supporting fellow participants. Students develop a value of service, seeing the impact of their actions firsthand, and transfer this desire to serve their communities back home.
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 by instructors to provide as much solitude as possible. Participants have all necessary equipment, food and water. On this course, the maximum time for solo is 24 hours.
Outward Bound courses vary in length from 4 to 85 days. On shorter courses, participants will receive an intro to leadership skills, strength of character and a desire to serve. With longer courses, the same outcomes and benefits are achieved with the ability to reach a more profound level of mastery as there are more opportunities develop technical skills, receive and implement feedback and further personal development.
Welcome to the high desert moonscape, where rugged mountains and desert plateaus were 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 travel through granite monoliths and through narrow canyons that have attracted travellers 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, irregular and persistent thunderstorms do sometimes occur. Temperatures can vary, averaging 50-80 degrees during the day to a cool 30 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.
"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
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.