Southwest Service Expedition

Credit: Kirk Rasmussen

Southwest Service Expedition

Help restore backcountry trails in a rugged desert environment

Combine your hunger for adventure with your passion for service. Backpack through the desert canyons and ponderosa pines of the Southwest. Work with a team to construct and restore backcountry trails in New Mexico’s Gila National Forest. Learn about the area’s rich human history as you travel through the ancestral lands of the Apache. Cook delicious meals on camp stove with your group, then fall asleep in a tent under the stars. Find fulfillment in the hard physical labor of building and restoring trails.

You’ll spend part of your course backpacking and the other portion camping at a remote work site. As you learn to maintain trails and live comfortably in the backcountry, you’ll also develop leadership skills. Each day you’ll find an opportunity to lead, whether it’s planning a route for the day’s hike or working with a team to restore a section of trail. Choosing a campsite offers a lesson in good decision making, while resolving a group conflict is a chance to practice effective communication. You’ll walk away from this course with lifelong leadership skills—and the knowledge that your hard work has helped ensure others can enjoy this wild land for years to come.



2019 Dates

April 18 – May 1, 2019

Tuition: $3,010


All course information at a glance


Learn about Financial Aid & Scholarships

Equipment Deposit



14 days

Minimum Age

18 yrs.

Academic Credit

2 College Credits
  • 2 Environmental Studies

0.50 High School Credits

  • 0.50 Physical Education
Learn about Academic Credit


Course Description

Equipment List

Travel and Logistics


Tucson, Arizona

Fly in/out

Tucson, Arizona

Skills learned


Additional Details

Essential Eligibility Criteria

See Photos and Videos from Students and Instructors

Start Your Experience Today

Explore Similar Courses