Thoroughly immerse yourself in the landscape of the desert southwest by experiencing the canyons on foot and by raft. Backpack in the canyons and out across the mesas. See countless stars in some of the darkest skies in the country. Stop along the way to explore amazing ruins or stand on top of a summit, gazing for over 100 miles in every direction. Experience the discipline of rock climbing or the rush of rappelling. Encounter exciting rapids that compare in scale to those of the Grand Canyon. In the nearby canyons, explore fantastic rock shapes carved by the whimsical forces of nature. At every step of the journey, focus on leadership skills such as communication, collaboration, decision-making and conflict resolution, skills you can fall back on in many situations throughout life.
|CUPO-762||10.1.17 - 10.30.17||30||18 - 25||
|CUPO-861||3.18.18 - 4.16.18||30||18 - 25||$6,195||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.
Our Pathfinder expeditions are designed for young adults who are recent high school graduates, college students, or young adults seeking personal, educational, or professional direction. Throughout these 30-day expeditions, students focus on increasing self-knowledge, clarifying values, strengthening decision-making skills and processes, and setting goals – all life skills to help chart a path toward independence with confidence and passion.
Each day on the river is spent learning to recognize and navigate various obstacles and hazards in the river, and how to anticipate the forces of the current from far upstream. Participants will work to become a team, coordinating spacing and paddle strokes. They will have an opportunity to be the captain of their raft and practice new skills as they maneuver through adrenaline-pumping rapids and flat-water sections.
In places, the canyon rims rise thousands of feet above, enclosing participants in a remote world of rushing water, delicate ecosystems and unbelievable beauty. Most courses get the opportunity to take day hikes away from the river and up to the canyon rim. These hikes provide amazing views, a change of pace and often the chance to see Native American ruins, petroglyphs, and pictographs and strange but beautiful geological formations.
Canyoneering involves travel in canyons that are often narrow and steep with many obstacles to negotiate. Traveling through them requires a combination of scrambling up and down-climbing over boulders, rappelling, lowering packs and walking with packs on. This rugged, rocky terrain requires teamwork and effective decision-making. To meet the demands of technical terrain, instructors begin by teaching the foundational skills necessary for efficient travel, such as basic movement over rock.
Nearly a week of the course is dedicated to canyon backpacking. 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.
In the canyons or on the river students spend a day experiencing the thrill and grace of rock climbing or the control and exhilaration of rappelling. This is a great opportunity for students to challenge fears and push themselves to do things they never thought possible. Rock climbing or rappelling instruction is for all levels and includes basic climbing techniques, helmet and harness use, climbing commands and belaying.
While helping local groups with much-needed projects, students learn more about the community and the landscape they have been traveling in. Past projects have included working at a local community youth garden, trail building, using natural building techniques for affordable housing initiatives, and naturalizing open space by cleaning up trash and debris.
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.
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.
Canyon Country, Utah
The most spectacular aspects of the Utah landscape are the hidden treasures found within its vast canyon networks, formed by millennia of wind and water erosion. The canyonlands of Southern Utah are still as stunning, mysterious, and wild as they were for the Ancestral Puebloans and Fremont Indians who roamed these lands over 800 years ago, and whose ruins and rock art still abound in the canyons. The sandstone canyons are a geological playground for students with scrambling, teamwork, and rappelling. They are composed of a spell-binding labyrinth of alcoves, fins, pinnacles, buttes, towering walls, ledges and arches just waiting to be explored.
Cataract Canyon, Colorado River, Utah
One of the most rugged and beautiful canyons in the West, Cataract Canyon takes students through the heart of Canyonlands National Park. Students learn how to guide a whitewater raft as they float past natural wonders and ancient ruins to the confluence of the Colorado and Green Rivers and prepare for what awaits downstream. The Colorado River roars through 29 exciting rapids that rate with those of the Grand Canyon in power and difficulty, including the famous Mile Long Rapids and “the Big Drops.” In the nearby canyons, fantastic rock shapes carved by the whimsical forces of nature await you as your group ventures off-river to jaw-dropping views.
San Juan River, Utah
The San Juan River in southern Utah, a major tributary of the Colorado River, flows 83 miles through the deeply incised sandstone of the Colorado Plateau in many tight bends. The San Juan is world renowned for archaeological sites of ancient Indians featuring both petroglyphs and spacious cliff dwellings accessible on side hikes from the river. The San Juan River is also well known for its exquisite natural scenery, as students soon find out once they are deep within the towering canyon walls.
"That night I told everyone when we were sitting around the fire, reflecting on our day, that I was surprised that they were comfortable with me captaining them. Some people jokingly said that they were not, I fully expected that. But once the laughs died down, I had 14 people looking back at me smiling, complimenting me on my bravery and capability. I have never been more taken back and appreciative than during that group reflection period." - Parker Mikesh, Outward Bound alumni
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.