Step out of your comfort zone and into expedition mode as you embark on an adventure of a lifetime.
This expedition includes alpine backpacking in the La Sal Mountains, canyon backpacking and canyoneering in or around Canyonlands National Park and rafting on the Green River. Take the time to move away from the noise of everyday life and connect with all that Southern Utah has to offer. Ideal for motivated individuals seeking skills for a lifetime, this course combines whitewater rafting, mountaineering and the mysteries of the canyons. Start out by learning the most important elements of wilderness lifestyle, including environmental stewardship, outdoor cooking, safety and first aid. On the river, skilled Instructors will teach you how to work together as you paddle as a team on rafts, coordinate your positioning and spacing and time your strokes to help and protect each other as you go. In the mountains and the canyons, traverse over high passes, descend into lush, vegetated valleys and attempt several summits, learning to rely on and help each other at every step of the way.
NOTE: Outward Bound strongly recommends that all students be vaccinated against COVID-19 and up to date as defined by the CDC prior to arriving to their course start. For all open enrollment courses beginning on or after April 15, 2023, Outward Bound will no longer require students to be vaccinated against COVID-19. For questions regarding this policy please see this page or call us at 866-467-7651.
APPLY NOW This means a course has several open spots and is actively processing applications.
APPLY NOW – Almost Full This means there are three or fewer currently available spots left on a course. To secure your spot click Apply Now to begin an application!
JOIN WAITLIST Once a course has reached capacity, three waitlist positions become available. To join a course’s waitlist, click “Join Waitlist” to begin the application process. A $500 deposit is required. This $500 deposit includes a $150 non-refundable application fee and a $350 tuition payment. The $350 tuition payment is refundable only if you cancel your waitlist application or if an open position does not become available. If a position does become available, the applicant will be applied to the open position and the Application and Cancellation Policies of the Regional Outward Bound School will be followed, including forfeiture of the $500 deposit if you cancel 90 days or less prior to the course start date.
Waitlist applicants are encouraged to complete all required admissions documents while awaiting an open position. Positions may become available up to two weeks prior to the course start date. Applicants may only apply to one course. We recommend applying to a course with open positions instead of a course that is accepting waitlist applications. If you have questions, please call 866-467-7651 to speak with one of our Admissions Advisors.
CALL TO APPLY This means a course is very close to its start date. Although it is unlikely to secure a spot this late, you can call the National Admissions office at 866-467-7651 to discuss your options.
COURSE IS FULL When a course has reached maximum capacity, meaning all spots and the three waitlist spots are occupied, a course will read “Course Is Full.” This means applications are no longer being accepted.
CLOSED As a course nears its start date, the availability status may read “Closed.” In this event, a course roster has been finalized and applications are no longer being accepted or processed.
Alpine backpacking, peak attempts, hiking, Solo, resupply canyon day
Launch on Cataract Canyon, whitewater rafting, hiking
Do you ever want to unplug, step away from your daily responsibilities, and face new challenges? Adventure is calling! Outward Bound’s Classic expeditions for adults are designed to help you hit the reset button by breaking your routines and radically changing your surroundings. This is an opportunity to build new skills and remind yourself (or discover for the first time) what it feels like to crest a mountain peak, hear the echoes at the edge of a vast canyon, or feel the rush of whitewater. Put some “firsts” in front of you and you’ll find that the moments of unexpected discovery linger long after you return home.
Build skills, form connections: Meet like-minded peers and make connections as you work through priorities and adventures together, learn outdoor skills at the hands of expert Instructors, and earn every good night’s sleep.
Value strengths and strengthen values: Re-discover your inner strength, renew your natural leadership abilities and practice adapting to new environments. Tap in to your trust and compassion as you tackle obstacles with a support crew standing beside you.
Demonstrate mastery: As you awaken your wilderness skills and dig deep to rise to the physical and mental challenges, the bulk of the expedition’s leadership and decision-making responsibilities transfer from the Instructor to the crew. Work together to achieve team goals, solve problems and succeed both individually and together.
What you’ll learn: By allowing yourself to focus beyond daily responsibilities and obligations, you’ll master more difficult skills and open yourself up to new directions and opportunities you never thought possible. You’ll find clarity in the life changes you’re facing, you’ll uncover inspiration in the wilderness, and you’ll renew your sense of adventure to take on the next challenge in front of you.
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.
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 enough 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-filled rapids and flat-water sections.
In places, the canyon rims rise thousands of feet above the river, 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 stunning views, a change of pace and often the chance to see Native American archeological sites, petroglyphs, pictographs and strange but remarkable geological formations.
With their crew, students will journey through the intriguing and difficult-to-explore canyon country, taking in the infinite shapes of the arches, towers, buttes, amphitheaters, overhangs, and domes. While doing this, students will carry a 45 to 60 pound backpack which will have all that's needed to thrive in the wilderness. Sometimes students will shed their backpacks for smaller daypacks to navigate into narrow slots or explore thousand-year-old cliff dwellings and rock art. Crews camp on expansive rock slabs, stopping along the way to explore microclimates and canyon ecosystems. All the while, students continue learning how to use maps and compasses, to cook meal, negotiate slickrock obstacles, find water, and live comfortably in the immense canyons. The days can be long and hard, but the canyons reward students with their jaw-dropping beauty. Students will spend time in an incredible area where life becomes more in tune with the essentials of traveling through a landscape of rock, sand, sky.
Backpackers carry everything they need - food, shelter, clothing and gear – allowing them to go deep into the wilderness where few people go. Students feel a sense of freedom from deadlines and task lists as they grow accustomed to eating when hungry, setting up camp when tired and having complete control over what they accomplish each day. The simplicity of hiking gives students the opportunity to focus both internally on their own thoughts and self-reliance, as well as externally to connect deeply with others as they talk, sing, play games and spend time together without distraction.
This course will begin with lessons in basic travel and camping techniques. Along the way, students learn Leave No Trace techniques, map and compass navigation and camp craft as they get a feel for the human and natural history of the area. Students backpack along valleys and long ridges, camp in basins with views like the top of the world and stop along the way to explore microclimates and alpine ecosystems. Most importantly, students spend time in an incredible area, sleep under the stars, feel the sunshine on their face and maybe watch a few sunsets over this magical landscape.
The expedition includes at least one peak attempt. Peak attempts are major enterprises and typically require early morning starts and take all day to complete. Weather or other factors including group dynamics and physical ability may preclude even an attempt to ascend a peak. One of the unique aspects of courses in the La Sals is that you can see the canyon country you will later explore from above.
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. Past projects have included working on a goat farm, building trails, cleaning trash and debris from natural spaces, working with a local community garden, and removing invasive species.
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 or more, depending on the length of the course. Weather and time permitting, the Solo experience provides an important break from the rigors of the expedition and gives students the opportunity to reflect on their Outward Bound experience. Many students use this reflection time to make decisions about their future, journal and enjoy the beauty of their surroundings unencumbered by the constant external stimulation of modern life. The duration of Solo depends on the course length and type, as well as the competency and preparedness of the student group. With all the food, skills and supplies they need, participants are given a secluded spot to reflect alone and are monitored by staff throughout the experience to maintain safety. Students find that Solo provokes profound and powerful learning in a short period of time and often becomes one of the most memorable parts of their Outward Bound experience.
Whether an 8-day course or an 80 day course, all Outward Bound expeditions are focused on building character and leadership skills. Short courses are a great option for students looking for an introduction to the outdoors or for those who need a quick recharge. On shorter courses, students learn camping and expedition basics, as well as the skills specific to the course activity, such as climbing or rafting. Students get to know fellow crew mates surprisingly well as they share this immersive and intense experience.
On longer courses, Instructors progressively hand over more of the decision making and leadership of the expedition to the crew, allowing each person to test the new technical and interpersonal skills they have learned. Through the dynamics of an evolving group setting, students have more freedom to investigate who they are and how they want to develop personally. All along the way, students will experience a wide variety of some of the most beautiful wilderness in the US and the world.
The Green River in Utah is one of the most spectacular and iconic rivers to explore in the Southwest. Students will enjoy views of towering canyon walls and opportunities to explore archeological sites. World-class rapids and campsites along sandy beaches offer a truly wild experience. The Green River runs through the ancestral lands of the Núu-agha-tʉvʉ-pʉ̱ (Ute), Diné, Pueblos, and Hopi nations.
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. The canyonlands of Southern Utah are still as stunning, mysterious and wild as they were for the Ancestral Puebloan and Fremont Native Americans who roamed these lands over 800 years ago, and whose ruins and rock art still abound in the canyons. The canyons are composed of a spell-binding labyrinth of alcoves, fins, pinnacles, buttes, towering walls, ledges and arches just waiting to be explored on Canyon Backpacking courses. Canyoneering courses also venture into narrower, deeper chasms two feet wide with walls several hundred feet on each side. These sandstone slot canyons are a geological playground for scrambling, teamwork and rappelling. Robbers Roost, Canyonlands, and the San Rafael Swell lie within the ancestral lands of the Núu-agha-tʉvʉ-pʉ̱ (Ute) and Pueblos nations.
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 slick rock country of the Colorado Plateau in many tight bends. The San Juan is world-renowned for archaeological sites of the Fremont and Anasazi cultures, 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 you’ll soon find out once you are deep within the towering canyon walls. The San Juan runs through the ancestral lands of the Núu-agha-tʉvʉ-pʉ̱ (Ute), Diné, Pueblos, and Hopi nations.
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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.
To secure your spot on a course you must submit an enrollment form and $500 deposit that is applied toward the total cost of the course and includes a $150 non-refundable enrollment processing fee.