Enter a world of intricate canyons and perfect alpine paths on a journey that captures the essence of the Wild West. Live every adventurer’s dream with a rafting and camping adventure down the celebrated Colorado River. Climb rock faces in the cool Rocky Mountains that stretch above the dramatic high country. Sink into artfully carved slot canyons and hike a dreamland of twisted orange spires and misshapen arches. Discover the enchanting lands of the Navajo and Hopi Indians, trace silver miners’ footsteps high above Telluride, and bathe in golden sunsets found only in the West.
“It was one of the best experiences of my life. The people were great, the places were beautiful and the activities were amazing. ”
— Shannon F., Palo Alto, CA
Arkansas River Whitewater Rafting
Snaking through the center of Colorado, at the base of 14,000-foot peaks, is the Arkansas river — our water playground for two days. In the care of professional whitewater guides, we navigate the thrilling Class III-IV rapids of Brown’s Canyon, where rapids like Cidel Slide keep us cool and on the edge of our seats.
Exploring in Moab
Next we are lured to the wildly beautiful Moab, the ancient crossroads for many Native American tribes. Here the snow-dusted La Sal Mountains tower over a golden fantasyland of mesas, buttes, and giant arches. We spend two days exploring this glorious southwestern landscape.
Arches National Park
Next we travel past a labyrinth of arches and hike to the national park’s most famous span -- Delicate Arch -- in time to see the glow of the rising sun. We then spend a magical day exploring the whimsical, sun-blasted, rock features in the park such as the Windows, Devil’s Garden, or the maze-like Fiery Furnace.
Rafting the Colorado River
In the heart of Canyonlands National Park, at the confluence of the Colorado and the GreenRivers, the dazzling 100-mile Cataract Canyon begins. We follow this canyon for five days, plunging down Class III-IV rapids like Imperial and Mile Long, on a classic western adventure. Ancient petroglyphs, 300 million year-old sculpted rock walls, and tumbling canyon waterfalls decorate our route. At night we camp on river beaches at the base of thousand foot canyon walls (with only each other and our echoes for company).
Climbing in the Rockies
Finally we head to the wilderness gem of Colorado, Rocky Mountain National Park. The park is home to miles of untouched wild lands and an ocean of peaks as far as the eye can see. For two days we learn to climb on brilliant granite faces in the care of professional instructors. We start on beginner routes, perfecting our belaying and rappelling techniques, and move on to more challenging climbs if we choose. Our summer adventure concludes in Denver with a final celebration.
The High Alpine of Telluride
Telluride, Colorado, once a mining boomtown and hide out for Butch Cassidy, is now coveted as the hidden gem of the Rockies. Blessed with numerous waterfalls and a regal position at the head of a box canyon, Telluride is a haven for adventure and exploration. Adventures Cross-Country has been given special permission to hike above Telluride, and our hike takes us high into the mountains through stands of shimmering aspen and purple columbine.
*Students participating in the Colorado/Utah Multisport program should be comfortable hiking at elevation to fully appreciate this experience.