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 the wilderness lifestyle, including environmental stewardship, outdoor cooking, safety and first aid. On the river, skilled instructors teach you how to work together as you paddle as a team on rafts, coordinate your positioning and spacing, and even time your strokes to help and protect each other as you go. In the mountains and the canyons, climb 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.
This course is closed for the season. 2018 dates coming October 25.
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.
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, 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, 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.
The course begins with lessons in basic travel and camping techniques. Along the way, students learn Leave No Trace techniques; map and compass navigation; camp craft; and get a feel for the human and natural history of the area. Students wind through sage, aspen groves and above tree line to The La Sal’s highest peaks. 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 mountains 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 places they never thought possible. Rock climbing/rappelling instruction is for all levels and includes basic climbing techniques, helmet and harness use, climbing commands and belaying.
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.
La Sal Mountains, Utah
The La Sal Mountains rise dramatically out of the desert, towering 9,000 feet above the surrounding canyonlands and the sporting mecca of Moab. The La Sals are known for their groves of aspen, rich amount of wildlife, high summits and incredible views overlooking Canyonlands and Arches National Parks and the Four Corners area. Hidden lakes dot the landscape. Peaks in the La Sals range from 10,000 to just under 13,000 feet and include the highest peaks in Southern Utah.
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 Anasazi 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 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.
Green River, Utah
Whitewater on the Green River begins at our course start where the river enters the imposing Gates of Lodore Canyon. Red sandstone escarpments rise up 2,000 feet above the river as it carves a 45-mile course of placid flat-water and raging rapids through three dramatic canyons — Lodore, Whirlpool and Split Mountain. This section of river is enclosed within Dinosaur National Monument, and you will be privileged to witness the towering cliffs as well as rock art from the Fremont Indians, who called these canyons home over 1,000 years ago.
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 featuring both petroglyphs and spacious cliff dwellings accessible on side hikes from the river.
"I have met some intriguing and intellectual individuals from all around the country who have pushed me to think differently about ongoing issues. We slept under the star-laden skies, paddled our hearts out on the Colorado River, and worked as a team to accomplish this course." - Benjamin Beaty, 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.