On the river, learn both the basics and the fine points of managing a paddle raft through some of the best whitewater in the West, as well as camping underneath the pristine night skies of Southern Utah. Enjoy the rhythm of the river, take in the exquisite natural beauty of the land and stop often to explore awe-inspiring viewpoints.
This course is closed for the season. 2018 courses coming soon.
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.
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.
Depending on permits and river conditions, the course will take place in one of the following regions:
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 students as the group ventures off-river to jaw-dropping views.
Gates of Lodore -Green River, Colorado and Utah
Whitewater on the Green River begins at the 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 students are privileged to witness the towering cliffs as well as rock art from the Fremont Indians, who called these canyons home over 1000 years ago.
Yampa River – Colorado and Utah
There are few instances in the United States or the world where a river runs free and wild without dams, highways, railroads, or other manmade creations for its entire length. The Yampa is a symbol of wild rivers around the world, and it is the only major tributary of the Colorado River system without a dam controlling its flow. Students paddle through deep sandstone gorges and class II-IV rapids with their expedition mates. The Yampa is one of the most sought after rivers on any river-runner’s list, due to the exhilarating whitewater, rich Native American history from over one thousand years ago, storied recent political history and riverside wildlife.
"Bob pulled me aside that night and asked me to walk with him down to the river after everyone split off. We sat on the bank and he told me that he had never seen someone go from so terrified and so aware of a risk, to so focused and composed. He asked me what changed, and the only reasoning I could give him was that we had to make it through that rapid. I took the job of getting us to the other side, so I had to get the job done right. The rapid pushed me into a new state of mind." - 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.