An instructor smiles as they reach the top of a pitch while rock climbing in the Southwest.
Camera Rainbow Weinstock

Spring Semester in the Southwest


80 days


17+ yrs



Stay tuned for dates

Grow as a leader in the desert’s canyons and rivers

Explore a living desert and find your leadership style on the Semester in the Southwest. Discover a landscape that’s alive with coyote and javelina, mesquite and cactus. On this course, you’ll learn the outdoor skills to explore rivers and mountains. Follow the Rio Grande through steep sandstone canyons and climb rocks warmed by the sun. Navigate swift-moving rivers and learn about the area's ecology as you move through ponderosa pine forests and lush river ecosystems. Learn about the area's past and current history while viewing cliff dwellings of indigenous cultures and learning about today's land management practices. 

Though the outdoors are central, this course is about more than gaining outdoor skills. You’ll also dive deep into your leadership style. Every day will have new challenges that will push you to grow. Navigating a challenging route becomes a lesson in decision making. Setting goals for a climbing route becomes an opportunity for self-leadership. Living in a small community presents opportunities to practice communication and responsibility. If you’re ready for a challenge that will prepare you to lead, this is the course for you.

*This course travels on the Rio Grande, which is one of the original rivers protected by the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968.

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