"I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to traverse the beautiful Utah wilderness. I will never forget the sight of the Colorado River far below us after a long hike, the starry sky after a long day of rafting or the feel of a cold wave while swimming through rapids." - Boaz Kaufman, Outward Bound alumnus
Can you imagine spending 16 days paddling your way through the unforgettable environments of Southern Utah? Deep within a canyon, you’ll work your way through white water wave trains and get to know the members of your group. You’ll learn paddle strokes and commands that will help you while captaining your crew. No previous rafting or kayaking experience is necessary to fully embrace this extraordinary expedition. Enjoy the rhythm of the river, take in the exquisite natural beauty of the land and stop often to explore awe-inspiring viewpoints.
|CUTV-041||6.22.20 - 7.7.20||16||16 - 18||$4,295||APPLY NOW|
|CUTV-042||8.7.20 - 8.22.20||16||16 - 18||$4,295||APPLY NOW|
This course starts within the next week. Please call us at 866-467-7651 to assess the possibility of applying for this course!
Are you ready to take a journey that will change your life? You won’t look at day-to-day drama the same way after you’ve conquered a high mountain ridge, made a boat obey your command in windswept waves or slept under the stars watching bats swoop overhead. Joining an Outward Bound expedition changes you. Your crew, your Instructor, your route and your adventures will have a profound and lasting impact on you as you rise to meet exhilarating natural challenges in some of the country’s wildest places.
After you come home, many of the character, leadership and service traits you uncovered on your expedition stay with you, helping you navigate your daily life with more resilience and success.
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 some 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.
In addition to rafts, students also go downriver in sit-on-top kayaks. Sit-on-top kayaks combine stability with maneuverability. Students take their experience predicting whitewater and hydrology from the rafts and apply it to smaller, more responsive watercraft. In a kayak students move, predict and react with every movement of the water and are met with exhilaration as they charge through crashing waves and negotiate the river’s obstacles. Students learn new skills specific to kayaking: eddy turns, bracing, surfing and self-rescue. Students travel close together, support one another through rapids and share stories of each rapid with ear-to-ear grins. With these boats, everything depends on the student: their effort, their planning and their decisions. This demand for self-reliance translates to increased confidence off the river as well.
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. As they see the impact of their actions firsthand, students develop a value of service 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.
Depending on permits and river conditions, the course will take place in one of the following regions:
Gates of Lodore on the Green River, Colorado and Utah
Whitewater on this northern section of the Green River begins the start of the course where the river enters the imposing Gates of Lodore. 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 students will be privileged to witness the towering cliffs as well as rock art from the Fremont people, who called these canyons home over 1,000 years ago. Dinosaur National Monument is within the ancestral lands of the Núu-agha-tʉvʉ-pʉ̱ (Ute) nation.
Cataract Canyon of the Colorado River
One of the most rugged and beautiful canyons in the West, Cataract Canyon cuts through the heart of Canyonlands National Park. Natural wonders and ancient archeological sites are found in the canyon on the way to the confluence of the Colorado and Green Rivers. The Colorado River roars through 31 exciting rapids that rate with those of the Grand Canyon in power and difficulty, including the famous Mile Long Rapids and “the Big Drops.” Cataract Canyon runs through the ancestral lands of the Núu-agha-tʉvʉ-pʉ̱ (Ute) and Pueblos nations.
Desolation/Gray/Labyrinth Canyon on the Green River, Utah
Surrounded by the Tavaputs Plateau and bordered by the Uinta and Ouray Reservation on the east, the journey on the Green River begins in Desolation Canyon near Sand Wash. Throughout the canyon, there are spectacular rock formations, ancient Native American archeological sites and abandoned ranches including McPherson Ranch, once frequented by Butch Cassidy's Wild Bunch. The tiered rock walls of Desolation give way to the earthy bluffs of Gray Canyon, creating a striking contrast that characterizes the next 25 miles of the journey.
On longer rafting courses you may continue your journey down the Green River through Labyrinth Canyon, where the river dives deep into the pink sandstone of the Navajo Formation which characterizes southeastern Utah and the Canyonlands area with narrow winding side canyons, orange Wingate cliffs, pinnacles and ledges. The Green River runs through the ancestral lands of the Núu-agha-tʉvʉ-pʉ̱ (Ute) nation.
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.